Windows Phone Tango roll out has started. Update your phone manually to build 7.10.8773.98

As promised last week by Nokia the Windows Phone 7 Tango (7.10.8773.98) worldwide update has started for the Nokia Lumia 800 and 710. What’s even better is that you owners of any other Windows Phone 7 device can also manually update their handset to the latest OS version thanks to the OS bits made available by Microsoft on Windows Phone update servers. So let me recap what is going on:

- If you are a Nokia Lumia 800 or 710 owner you can either wait for the update to show up in Zune or manually push the OS update to your phone followed by the OEM Firmware update (1750.0805.8773.12220).
- If you own a Nokia Lumia 900, HTC, Samsung, LG, ZTE handset your only option right now is to manually push the OS update to your handset and wait for the subsequent OEM Firmware to be pushed to your device via Zune later on.
Hit the break to get all the goodies.

–Updated with all Language Packs–

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Nokia Lumia 900 still $49 on AT&T, HTC Titan II also launched while the Titan is free on contract

Everybody at AT&T, Nokia and Microsoft’s Windows Phone division is probably looking closely at the early sales numbers of the recently launched Nokia Lumia 900 and its brother from another mother the HTC Titan II (which doesn’t have any marketing push at all unfortunately). According to Amazon Wireless both variants of the Lumia 900 are currently the top selling handsets and tis isn’t really surprising given the buzz and $49.99 price (with a 2y contract). The HTC Titan II with it’s LTE modem (same MDM9200 as on the Lumia 00) and 16Mp camera (currently seems to take better overall shots than the Lumia’s thanks to a more mature camera stack and better white balance/noise algorithm) is currently selling for $149.99 (2y/contract) but the original HTC Titan is now back to being free ($0.01) with a 2 year AT&T contract! Hit the links below if you finally want to jump into the Windows Phone bandwagon.

Continue reading Nokia Lumia 900 still $49 on AT&T, HTC Titan II also launched while the Titan is free on contract →

Windows Phone Black Friday deals: All smartphones free on contract

Just a quick reminder for all my US readers who are celebrating Thanksgiving this week; Amazon is selling all smartphones (besides the iPhone) for only One penny on contract on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. The offer will end on November 28th so hurry up if you wish to get a handset like the HTC Titan which is currently in back-order (it will be shipped to you next week if you order today). Hit the banner above or below to grab the Titan, Samsung Focus S or Focus Flash.

HTC Titan available right now for 0.01 on AT&T

Just a quick heads up to let you know that the HTC Titan is now available for only $0.01 on AT&T right now similar to the Samsung Focus S and Samsung Focus Flash on a 2 year Contract. Hit the banner below to order one of the three Mango devices.

Update: Acutally every single US smartphone is sold for a penny on Amazon this week. Hit the banner below:

AT&T HTC Titan now available for $99.99

AT&T fans rejoice! The mighty HTC Titan is now finally available on your favorite carrier today for only $99.99 with a 2year contract. Interestingly this one is quite a bit cheaper than the Samsung Focus S which is now priced at $174.99. For more info about the Titan just hit the related links below the post or click here. I will have my full review up in the coming days.

UPDATE: the Titan is on Back-order but the Focus S and Focus Flash are now priced at $0.01:

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I don’t care about what’s inside your phone as long as the user experience is great

I just came across a post on Neowin today which must have been inspired by what I have been saying all along and especially this editorial I wrote back in February after I came back from Mobile World Congress. To put it simply: things haven’t changed since I originally posted what I did and people are now finding out that what I have been preaching all along may be somewhat true. Throwing endless numbers of processor into a device isn’t going to make the user experience any better especially the OS (hello Android) or app is bloated / badly coded or simply doesn’t take advantage of the hardware horsepower under the hood. Yes I everybody wants 1080P video encoding/recoding but nobody’s going to do this 90% of the time with his phone and that’s the point: if what I’m principally using isn’t perfectly smooth (OS, browser, apps) why should I care about one single great feature?

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HTC Titan landing on AT&T on November 20th

The gigantic HTC Titan which I’m extensively reviewing right now is set to hit AT&T stores on November 20thfor $199.99 with a 2yr contract. You can already check out some of my Titan videos here (or the related posts links below) and follow me on Twitter here because I often post about some of the good or bad things I encounter while using the handsets I’m testing. If you really can’t wait for the Titan then the Samsung Focus Sand Focus Flash are already available right now at the links below:

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Kinectimals for Windows Phone 7 released

Kinectimals for Windows Phone 7 is finally out in the Marketplace and is this weeks Xbox Live enabled game for the platform. I’m going to shoot a video hands on which I’m going to embed below later today but there’s a few things I would like to point out before. The Adreno 200 GPU in the first generation Windows Phone 7 handsets is definitely showing its age here: the game’s framerate is really lower and choppier on the Samsung Omnia 7 compared to the HTC Titan (Adreno 205 GPU) which is perfectly smooth. The same thing is noticeable in last week’s Xbox Live game Orbital. The game is also note Mango “compatible”, this means that there”s no fast-application-switching, and no camera integration which means that there’s no augmented reality feature a previously thought (you can only take insert the animal in a previously taken picture or one shot by launching the camera a from within the game). Anyway the full game is $2.99 but you can already try the trial here.

Continue reading Kinectimals for Windows Phone 7 released →

HTC Titan performance compared to 1st Generation Windows Phone 7 handsets

Time to show you how the gigantic HTC Titan performance compared to a first generation QSD8250 powered Windows Phone 7 handsets. As you will see in the video embedded after the break, the Titan is simply perfectly smooth at all times unlike the Samsung Omnia 7 which has a hard time rendering the live tiles when scrolling fast, the Webbrower controls embedded in third-party Silverlight applications and also panorama controls are now perfectly smooth in all applications. The Titan also often loads big games faster than the Omnia 7 and simply destroys the Samsung devices in HW accelerated HTML5 rendering (watch the video until the end..). This is really a combination of the 1.5Ghz Scorpion CPU in the MSM8255 and also the more powerful Adreno205 GPU.

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HTC Titan 4.7″ SLCD display performance

Yesterday I showed you how the HTC Titan‘s 4.7″ SLCD display performed outdoors in bright daylight and it’s now time to check out the panel’s viewing angles performance. This is really important especially with a display of this size. I first noticed the great viewing angles when I first witnessed the device during the launch event early last month and was really happy to find out that I wasn’t dreaming back then because the Titan does indeed have a pretty nice screen. As you will see in the video below the colors are perfect even at extreme angles as if it was using an IPS panel. Issues appear only when the screen is viewed from a diagonal angle: the blacks/shadows will wash out but the colors will fortunately stay the same.

Continue reading HTC Titan 4.7″ SLCD display performance →

HTC Titan’s screen outdoor visibility

It’s now a well known fact that the HTC Titan‘s 4.7″ SLCD screen is gigantic but what I really wanted to test was its outdoor visibility compared to the Super AMOLED displays from Samsung which are currently the best in this lighting situation. The first thing you will notice on the HTC Titan and HTC Radar is that unlike all of HTC’s previous handsets there’s no air gap at all between the glass (Gorilla Glass here) and the display panel. The result is that contrast, viewing angles and outdoor visibility are greatly improve because there’s less light refraction and dispersion messing things up. As you will see in the pictures below outdoors visibility is nearly identical on the HTC Titan and Samsung Omnia 7.

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HTC Titan HD video recording hands on and compared to the Omnia 7

One of the main differentiating feature of the HTC Titan is its new 8 megapixel camera with F2.2 lens, dual LED flash, and BSI sensor. Thanks to the MSM8255 SoC the device is now capable of shooting 720P videos at 30fps (25fps for the 1st gen Windows Phone 7 handsets).

So how do the videos look like ? Well, I shot two of them on the Titan and the Samsung Omnia 7 both at the same time so you can directly compare them. The first thing you will notice is the higher frame of the Titan video and its higher level of motion blur which seems to be caused by a slower shutter speed. This results in a steadier video shoot compared to the Omnia 7′s jerky mess. The only downside of the Titan is th super slow auto-exposure control which can be really annoying in some situations(the Omnia 7 colors are more natural). Both camera also have continuous auto-focus (it’s a hit-or-miss feature as you can see sometimes both devices have a hard time focusing depending on the lighting situtation.). As of right now the HTC Titan features the best camera that HTC has ever packed in a one of their handsets. The 720P videos shots on the HTC Titan are btter than the 1080P ones shot on the HTC Sensation. For you information the the First HTC Titan is 75MB while the Omnia 7 is 45MB (the Titan encodes at 10Mbs and has 5 more fps while the Omnia 7 encodes at 6Mbs). Check out both videos after the break and tell me what you think and if you want me to show you anything else.

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The HTC Titan is here

Friendly heads up for all of you who interested in the HTC Titan; I just received one today and will post my first impression in the coming days. If you have any question about the handset (hardware, software etc) just post them in the comment section below and I will make sure to answer them. Justin case you ware still wondering: this thing is kinda huge…the SLCD panel is the best so far on any HTC handset but I still want a Super AMOLED Plus display… Anyway, let me know if you want to know anything.


One Third of the HTC devices sold are Windows Phones

According to HTC, Windows Phones make up 30 percent of their sales the rest being Android powered handsets. Ironically this was the other way around not long ago when the Taiwanese manufacture went from being an exclusively Windows Mobile OEM to the first Android manufacturer (recently outclassed by Samsung). HTC’s manager in Singapore, Melvin Chua also believes that “Windows Phone 7 will eventually be better than other platforms and will give Android a run for its money”. This obliviously remains to be seen and only an good marketing campaign can effectively make things rosier for Redmond’s camp this fall.

Nokia is said to prepare a big ad campaign for its first Windows Phones and Samsung’s recent deal with Microsoft also includes participation in the platforms marketing. Unfortunately we have yet to see any thing new on this front so far…

Continue reading One Third of the HTC devices sold are Windows Phones →

Windows Phone 7.5 Mango video chat demonstrated on the HTC titan

Here’s a short promotional video courtesy of Microsoft’s Windows Phone team demonstrating video chat using the soon to be released mulch-platform Tango app running on Mango on an HTC Titan handset. Besides the fact that this is the first time that we see video chat in action on a Windows Phone 7 device there’s nothing really ground breaking in thre that couldn’t already be done countless years ago. Check it out after the break:

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HTC Attentive Phone update for Mango released

Following the release of the HTC Watch, HTC Locations and HTC Connected Media (which enables DLNA support on all of HTC’s Windows Phone 7 handsets once they are updated to the final Mango Firmware) the company has just release the Attentive phone update earlier today. This will integrate HTC’s sensor enabled functionalities directly in the phone’s settings menu similar to Samsung recent High Fidelity Position feature.

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HTC Locations, HTC Connected Media (DLNA) and HTC Watch Windows Phone 7 Mango application released

HTC has just released two of its newest Windows Phone 7.5 Mango applications today. The HTC Watch video rental/streaming service application came out last week and today both the HTC Locations and HTC Connected Media apps are finally ready to be downloaded. The HTC Locations application is more or else a WP7 port of the old HTC Footprints stuff that was introduced a while ago on Windows Mobile 6. Nothing really super exciting. The second app is the most interesting one: HTC Connected Media is the DLNA media sharing hub that will allow you to broadcast your device’s multimedia content (Music, videos, pictures) on any DLNA equipped hardware (TV, Windows 7 / Vista PC etc). Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to work on current Windows Phone 7 HTC handsets but may be operational if you have flashed yours with the released leaked firmwares.

Continue reading HTC Locations, HTC Connected Media (DLNA) and HTC Watch Windows Phone 7 Mango application released →

What you should expect from the new Windows Phone 7.5 Mango handsets

I’ve been reading a lot of misguided comments lately following the unveiling of the HTC Radar and especially the HTC Titan. Things like “HTC should be ashamed to used a WVGA 4.7″ screen, the resolution is too low” or “It’s going to be more expensive that the Dual-Core HTC Sensation! HTC are cheap bastards for using the MSM8255 clocked @ 1.5GHZ” or “Waiting for the Mango version of the Samsung Galaxy S II”. Ring ring my beloved anonymous friends! HTC and all the other OEMs don’t have much control over what SoC is used, same for the screen resolution. You already know that if you’ve been closely following the platform since the beginning.

Continue reading What you should expect from the new Windows Phone 7.5 Mango handsets →

HTC RADAR Hands on

The HTC Radar (formerly known as the HTC Omega) definitely doesn’t feel that exiting after laying eyes and hands on the the HTC Titan. Fortunately for HTC everybody isn’t a fan of huge screens and this is where the HTC Radar fits in. Let’s start with the specs:

HTC Radar Hardware specifications:

- 3.8? WVGA SLCD screen
- Weight: 137 grams (4.83 ounces) with battery
- Size: 120.5mm x 61.5mm x 10.9mm (4.74″ x 2.42″ x 0.43″)
- Qualcomm MSM8255 clocked at 1Ghz
- 8GB of internal Storage (up to 6.54 GB GB or available storage)
- 512 MB of Ram
- 5 megapixel camera with F2.2 lens, dual LED flash, and BSI sensor (for better low-light captures)
- VGA Front facing camera
- 9.9mm thick
- Aluminum body
- Sensors: Gyro Sensor, G-Sensor, Digital compass, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor
- DLNA support
- SRS Enhancement & 5.1 surround sound
- HSPA/WCDMA: Europe/Asia: 850/900/2100 MHz
- Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
- Battery: 1520 mAh (talk time: WCDMA: Up to 485 minutes GSM: Up to 600 minutes)

This doesn’t look too bad right? I see it as a nice update to the HTC Trophy (and even HTC Mozart) thanks to the new SoC and it’s GPU and the addition of a Gyroscope, DLNA support, what looks like a better SLCD panel, better camera sensor and finally front facing camera.

Continue reading HTC RADAR Hands on →