Samsung Galaxy S Android 2.2 Froyo JPA build software tour

I’ve shot a fairly long video demonstrating the latest official Android 2.2 Froyo firmware of the Samsung Galaxy S which is the JPA build ( a newer one has apparently leak today,the JPU build but has exactly the same Kernel). The main purpose of this video is just to show you how snappy the performance is without any Lag Fix or any other modification installed on the Phone. Samsung has definitely done a good job here and the device feels better to use compared to the original 2.1 rom (and especially the JP6 build that was later taken down). Interestingly the Six Axis Mention sensing capability of the device is now perfectly functional in Google Maps when using the Street View features (it seemed totaly broken on the JP6 build). For those who didn’t know, the Samsung Galaxy S devices have two 3 axis sensors: A SMB380 tri-axial low-gravity acceleration sensor from Bosch and an MS-3C Magnetic field Sensor by Yamaha. When you combine both sensors together you get similar results to a real 3 axis Gyroscope (but not as accurate thought). Anyway, check out the video after the break (I’m really sorry for my crappy voiceover this time, but it was relatively late when I shot the video and had to lower my voice quite a bit):

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Super AMOLED color banding issue: Microsoft could partially fix it

I just did some more testing and am fairly sure now that everything is rendered at 16bit throughout the OS in Windows Phone 7 (similar to WM5/6). The picture you see above shows the image found in this news posted rendered in the Android browser on the Galaxy S (left) and IE Mobile on the Samsung Omnia 7 (right). Keep in mind that both devices have exactly the same Super AMOLED panel. What is evident here is that dithering is applied to the pictures on Android. All you have to do is move the page around on the Galaxy S to see that it’s activated (the color dithering) when the page is standing still but when you scroll or pan the images will look identical to the ones rendered on the Omnia 7 in IE Mobile. So what I did next is save this particular image and then open it in the picture’s browser where I know that dithering is applied once you start zooming in:

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Windows Phone 7 Office Mobile 2010 performance comparison

As we have seen in a previous video, the HTC 7 Trophy is a bit slower than the other devices when loading some applications and games so I decided to check out the Office Mobile 2010 loading performance on the Trophy vs the Samsung Omnia 7 and shot a video that I embedded after the break. The result here is that the HTC 7 Trophy isn’t really that much behind the Omnia 7 (never more that 1 secs slower) and this will definitely not impact the overall user experience. Check it out below:

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LG Optimus 7 Software Tour

Here’s a short software tour of the LG Optimus 7  Windows Phone 7 device. I’ve already shown you the ScanSearch and Panorama application in action last week so you should already be familiar with what’s on the device. You can also check out the screen comparison videos here and here  and also the performance videos here and here. As with all the WP7 devices currently on the market, the Optimus 7 doesn’t disappoint in terms of overall performance and LG really did a great job differentiating it’s WP7 offerings with some pretty good exclusive applications. Video after the break:

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Super AMOLED vs LCD outdoors visibility comparison: Omnia 7 vs Optimus 7 vs HTC HD2 vs Galaxy S

Here’s  a follow up to my previous Super AMOLED vs LCD comparison (and here) this time comparing the outdoors visibility of both screen technologies on the Samsung Omnia 7 and Galaxy S for the Super AMOLED and the LG Optimus 7 and HTC HD2 for the TFT LCD. There are lots of pictures (after the break) and all where shot with the brightness set to the same settings on all devices (some are  shot with it set to auto and others to full brightness) so it’s a really an apple to apple comparison. As you will see the Super AMOLED is just a tiny bit better that the LCD on the Optimus 7 (the difference is more noticeable in real life thought) but the HD2 is just a giant mirror compare to the other devices (the HTC HD7 has exactly the same screen btw):

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Samsung Omnia 7 Software Tour

Want to see how Windows Phone 7 performs on the Samsung Omnia 7? Well, you probably already have witnessed that’s it’s wicked fast as seen in the in the previous videos I have posted here, here and here. This one after the break is just a quick walkthrough, nothing fancy, because like I have demonstrated earlier every WP7 devices will give you with the same user experience. The main differentiator being the hardware form factor (Scree, camera) and some free apps provided by the OEM (like ScanSearch and Panorama on the LG Optimus 7). Check out that nice Super AMOLED display after the break:

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Samsung Omnia 7 hardware tour

Still wondering how the Samsung Omnia 7 looks like? just check out my hardware tour video to witness one of the most beautiful smartphone ever created. I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the build quality of the device. I initially thought, based on the leaked shots, that it was really ugly and even after my first hands-on I didn’t find the phone to be really attractive. But after more than two weeks of use there’s no denying that the Omnia 7 just rocks. It’s light weight (138g), solid (thanks to the metallic back and has a superb Gorilla Glass screen (with oleophobic coating) on top of the 4″ Super AMOLED display. Check it out after the break:

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LG Optimus 7 Scansearch Augmented Reality application Demo

Here’s one more LG Optimus 7 video, this time it’s a brief demo of the Scansearch Augmented Reality application found on LG’s Windows Phone 7 devices like the Optimus 7 and Optimus 7 Q/Quantum. You’ve already seen it more than a month ago in my Optimus 7 hands-on preview but I decided to shoot another one again. to talk about some I discovered while plying with the LG GW910 prototype. What’s interesting here isthe fact that this app (on the Optimus 7) seems to be  a trimmed down version of the realapplication (which is also availalbe on the iPhone). Sounds weird right? Well check out the pictures after the break:

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LG Optimus 7 Panorama Camera application demo

Here’s a short video I shot earlier today to show you how LG’s Panorama application works on the LG Optimus 7 (and LG Quantum) Windows Phone 7 devices. As you will see it actually use the built-in compass and accelerometer to guide you to the right direction and then automatically takes the shots. The picture is then stitched on the fly and will appear in your camera roll. The app is available for free via the LG section in the Marketplace. Once it’s installed it can be accessed directly from the phone’s camera menu (same for Scansearch) so you don’t necessarily have to pin it on your start screen. Video and picture after the break:

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Super AMOLED vs LCD on the Samsung Omnia 7 and LG Optimus 7

Here’s short video update to my previous post about the color banding issue on Super AMOLED screens. Nothing really new here but I just wanted to show you how it looks like in “motion” just in case somebody thought that I doctored the pictures I posted two days ago. The issue here is the RGBG (Red Green Blue Green) PenTile Sub-Pixel arrangement coupled with the insanely high contrast on the Samsung Super-AMOLED panel. To be perfectly clear: according to Samsung’s specs the Super-AMOLED screens are 24bit panels (don’t know about the RGB TFT LCD on the LG but I guess that’s it’s just a 18bit panel that does 24bit with dithering) but I don’t know if Windows Phone 7is being rendered in 16bit or 32bit. If it’s the former, then moving to 32bit could partially fix the problem but Samsung can also do some adjustments to diminish the issue too. video after the break:

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Samsung Omnia 7 vs LG Optimus 7 Performance Comparison

 

I’ve just shot this video show how Windows Phone 7 performs on the Samsung Omnia 7 and LG Optimus 7. The verdict: Exactly the same!. This is pretty amazing when you think about it. We have to hardware devices build by two different manufacturers and they have exactly the same performance running the same tasks. Sure they may have the same hardware specifications but keep in mind that they are probably using different memory modules (we know that LG is using 16GB of eMMC for the storage and that the Omnia has double the ROM (1GB)) and several other small differences. This just goes to show that Microsoft’s decision to control the whole platform was the best thing they could do. Hit the break to watch the video:

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Use your Windows Phone 7 device as a portable USB drive

Who needs a removable micro-sd card when you can just use your Windows Phone 7 device as a portable USB drive ? Here’s a little trick to enable USB drive mode on your Windows Phone 7 phone. I did some digging into the Windows registry looking for all the references to the Zune software and the devices USB stack  and finally found that the devices actually support this mode but that it is simply disabled by default. So here’s how to do it:

- Open Windows Registry Editor by typing regedit in your start menu
- Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\
- Then go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USB  (and not the other ControlSet01 or 02 if you have them) and then search for ZuneDriver

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The problem with Super AMOLED screens: Nasty color banding

Samsung’s Super AMOLED screen panel is gorgeous, especially when displaying  Windows Phone 7′s Metro UI (with the drak theme) unfortunately there are several ugly drawbacks. First, you have to live with fuzzy text because of the PenTile Matrix Sub-pixel arrangement. Secondly, you will witness sever color banding, thanks in parts to the same PenTile Matrix (it is RGBG compared to a regular RGB lcd…) and also to the extremely vibrant and high color contrast of the screen. I took two photos to show you how ugly it can look like on the Samsung Omnia 7 vs the regular TFT LCD screen of the LG Optimus 7. This is really a problem especially for developers who now have to pay close attention to the assets they are using when building their applications. I’m not entirely sure if the OS is currently running at 32bit color depth but if I had to guess I would say that it is probably set at 16bit (could be wrong thought). Moving up to 32bit could potentially diminish the problem a bit on Samsung’s AMOLED screens. Samsung can also tweak the amplitude of the modulation of the sub-pixels to reduce the problem. One more picture after the break:

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Samsung Omnia 7 vs LG Optimus 7 camera comparison

I just shot 2 similar HD videos with the LG Optmius 7 and Samsung Omnia 7 to compare both devices’ camera on this cold and cloudy day. So what is the verdict? Well the Omnia 7 is the clear winner thanks to the vastly superior clarity and continuous auto-focus feature. On the other hand you will also notice that the Optimus 7 video issmoother even-thought both videos are endoded at 24fps. The Omnia 7 seems to have some weird issue causing this problem. It is either related to the white-balance system or the shutter speed is set too high by Samsung. An other odd issue on the Omnia 7 is that the viewfinder runs at 4fps when shooting HD video (it’s perfectly smooth on the LG Optimus 7).Check out the video and photos after the break:

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Carriers will not block Windows Phone 7 updates

 

There has been a lot of confusion about the Windows Phone 7 update process after Paul Thurrott posted several quotes attributed to Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore who claimed last month during the NYC launch event that carriers will be able to block updates if the wanted to do so. First off I would like to say that I have no inside info or anything and this is just based on the info currently available and some logical thinking.

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All Windows Phone 7 devices hardware specifications in one place

I have just finished compiling this huge excel table containing all of the hardware specifications of the currently announced Windows Phone 7 devices. So if you are looking to compare one device to an other just check out the image below (click on it) and make your choice. I will regularly update it once I have more information (especially for the Dell Venue Pro). So there you have it: Samsung Omnia 7, Samsung Focus, HTC HD7, HTC 7 Mozart, HTC Surround, HTC 7 Trophy, HTC 7 Pro, LG Optimus 7, LG Optimus 7 Q / Quantum and finally the Dell Venue Pro. Click on the image after the beak (you can also right click and save it):
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Viadeo Windows Phone 7 application

This one’s for all my French readers. Viadeo is basically the “French LinkedIn” service that is super successful lately,  so it should come as no surprise to see that they have developed their own Windows Phone 7 application. As you will see in the video below the application perfectly follows the Metro UI guidelines and makes perfect use of the Panorama and Pivot controls. Users will have direct access to their Viadeo accounts which includes their profile, messages and friends/contacts. The application will available in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace in time for the October 21th launch. Check it out after the break:

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HTC 7 Mozart Hands-on preview

Finally here’s the HTC 7 Mozart Windows Phone 7 device unveiled today. The Mozart is the first WP7 HTC device we saw in the wild a little while ago and frankly I found it a bit ugly based on the pictures leaked. The device has an uni-body aluminium chassis and feels really solid in the hand compared to the other devices presented today. The main differentiating feature of the handset is the 8Mp camera coupled with a Xenon flash. It can easily be mistaken for an HTC 7 Trophy if you don’t take a closer look at it. The is just a hair smaller, 3.7″ but uses a similar SLCD panel. Performance was identical to all the other devices and frankly this is pretty awesome. It’s now up to you to choose between an Super-AMOLED screen (Samsung Omnia 7), 8Mp camera and Xenon flash (HTC 7 Mozart), gigantic screen (HTC HD7), lighter device (HTC 7 Trophy) or great software integration (LG Optimus 7). Short video after the break:

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HTC 7 Trophy Hands-on Preview

Here’s the HTC 7 Trophy Windows Phone 7 phone that will apparently only be launched in Europe in Asia. As with all the other WP7 devices announced today the Trophy features the same Snapdragon processor clocked at 1GHz. The screen is a 3.8″ SLCD panel and looks quite good. Unfortunately the lighting wasn’t really good so the pictures at the video aren’t really representative of what it actually looks like. On the back is 5Mp camera with LED flash capable of HD video recording (again, like all the other WP7 devices. The device also features the TI sound chip to enable SRS surround sound and Dolby Mobile. Super fast and super smooth, like all the Windows Phone 7 announced today. The device has roughly the same weight and build quality as the HTC Desire / Nexus One.  Short video and pictures after the break:

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