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

I’ve just shot another video of color banding issue on the Samsung Omnia 7′s Super AMOLED versus the HTC 7 Trophy and LG Optimus 7. Unfortunately videos or pictures can’t really reproduce the real experience, but believe when I tell you that the HTC 7 Trophy LCD screen has some pretty good colors compared to the other two devices (btw, they where all set to high brightness). I’m not 100% sure but the Trophy’s screen seems to be a regular TFT LCD panel and not an SLCD like previously announced (we have already seen HTC shipping both, and that sucks big time IMO. Sending reviewers like me devices with inferior screens is kinda stupid too…). Anyway, check out the video after the break:

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Samsung Omnia 7 vs HTC 7 Trophy vs LG Optimus 7 performance comparison

Here’s my second Window Phone 7 loading performance comparison video this time featuring the HTC 7 Trophy alongside the Samsung Omnia 7 and LG Optimus 7.  The Optimus 7 was the fastest, just like in the first video, followed bythe Samsung Omnia 7 and finally the HTC 7 Trophy came out last. Nothing really amazing here and the slightly slower loading performance on the Trophy isn’t really going to mess up the whole user experience. Everything else is identical on the three phones but let me know if you want to see anything else. 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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LG Optimus 7 Hardware Tour

You all probably already the know how the the LG Optimus 7 looks like by now so here’s my hardware tour video of the device. Build quality is really great and even better than what I had thought after the short hands-on sessions I hand with it earlier. The only problem I have with it is the power button which is impossible to operate without using my fingernail. For the full specs just check my Windows Phone 7 hardware comparison chart. Video and 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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Augmented Reality hacked on Windows Phone 7

Kevin Marshall from Clarity Consulting managed to code a small augmented reality application using the recently unveiled “hacked” native code access on Windows Phone 7. Nothing super amazing here or useful either, just a proof of concept. This is similar to how LG’s WP7 devices have access to the Raw video camera feed (which is needed for the SacnSearch application). Kevin also complains about LG’s phone performances and color rendering:

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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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The LG Optimus 7 is here

LG just handed me an Optimus 7 device for review so if you have any questions or requests just post a comment below,via email or twitter @MobileTechWorld. I should also receive an HTC 7 Trophy today courtesy of HTC so I’m will be able to do some interesting 3-way comparisons with the Samsung Omnia 7 before posting the full reviews (and also my gigantic Windows Phone 7 review too).

LG Star Android smatphone with Tegra 2 chipset in the wild

The Tegra 2 powered Android device that LG talked about a few months ago is now in the wild and is named the LG Star. That thing supposedly has a 4inch screen (and a gigantic bezel..), 8Mpix camera with LED flash capable of shooting 1080P videos, micro-sd slot, it’s running a version onf Android and has a 1500Mha battery. I’m not realy sure that the Tegra 2  is the best solution for a smartphone but it will definitely be interesting to see how it stacks up against the competition from Qualcomm, TI and Samsung. More pictures after the break:

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Enable tethering on the LG Optimus 7

I guess that this was bound to happen sooner rather than later. You can enable tethering on the LG Optimus 7 in the same way that it is done on the Samsung Omnia 7 and Samsung Focus. First you will have to enter the Diagnosis /MFG mode of the phone by dialing ##634# and taping call. Once it’s done the MFG application will appear in your phone’s application list. Launch the MFG app and enter the following code to unlock the diagnosis tools: 277634#*#. You will then see several option appear. Once you have done this download the LG Modem drivers here and follow the instructions below:

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Windows Phone 7 is finally out in the US: Get your device now

The day has finally come and all of you you living in the US can now buy a Windows Phone 7 device (well..unless you are on Sprint or Verizon and don’t want to change carrier). You currently have the choice between 4 handsets: the Samsung Focus, HTC Surround, HTC HD7 and Dell Venue Pro. Head over to Microsoft’s online store for the first three and to Dell Mobility’s website will be your best bet if you plan on getting Venue Pro but so far it is not listed there yet. Amazon is also selling the HTC and Samsung devices alongside the LG Quantum which is on pre-order.

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LG teams up with Microsoft to offer 10 Windows Phone 7 applications for free every 60 days

LG is really taking Windows Phone 7 seriously it seems. The company has teamed up with Microsoft to offer 10 Windows Phone 7 applications for free every 60 days if you have an LG Optimus 7 or LG Optimus 7 Q / Quatum device. This is approximately $30 of apps from a range of categories (social, games entertainment etc..) and frankly that kinda rocks in my opinion. Full press release after the break:

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Windows Phone 7 handsets selling out everywhere ?

Several reports are pointing at the recent shortages of Windows Phone 7 devices across the world (US launch is next Monday) but apparently no one really knows if this is because of a higher than expected demand or the relatively small number of devices manufactured and shipped to carriers and retail stores. Is Windows Phone 7 an early success or is something else going on? From the looks of it I would say that this shortages situation is principally caused by the OEMs and not some-kindof super high demand for WP7 devices. As far as I can see WP7 phones still can’t be bought unlocked in regular retail stores and are only available via mobile operators (retail availability is apparently going to be around mid-November). This clearly points towards a lack of stock. In some countries some carriers don’t even have devices yet which renders the situation even worst. Samsung is obviously having manufacturing delays because of the lack of Super-AMOLED screens that’s why it is  fairly hard to get an Omnia 7 and HTC just messed up the whole thing thinking that they had the ability to launch 6 devices in such a short timeframe (Desire Z, Desire HD, Trophy, Mozart, HD7, Surround). Only LG apparently got things right and has the Optimus 7 widely available in each of the country it’s launching in.

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Is Windows Phone 7 really launching today ?

I don’t think that I’ve ever posted a “rant” here before but I think that today’s a good day to do so. As you have probably heard, Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 retail launch is supposedly taking place today in Europe and Asia. Things aren’t looking good thought and I’m going to try to give you the low-down on what is going on.

First let’s talk about the so called “reviews” posted late last night. A number of websites, blogs ,journalists were handed out Windows Phone 7 loaners after the Oct 11 launch event to write up their Windows Phone 7 reviews for today’s launch. Frankly I’m still scratching my head here and wondering what that thing was all about. Only one single review was really worth reading IMO and ironically it was done by a non-gadget/mobile website but by the highly respectable AnandTech. But the vast majority were just rehashs of what we already knew about the OS without much thought put behind them (tho… love it or hate it Engadget’s Joshua Topolsky had some really good points in his write up…) BTW, where are the non UK/US reviews? Isn’t the product launching all over Europe and Asia TODAY (and only in 2 weeks in the US)? Why didn’t non-English speaking websites get loaner devices too? My case is a bit different thought, the site is in English with 90% of my readers coming from the US but I’m located in France so I was bound to be screwed anyway lol. But still, I don’t understand why no marketing or PR effort was done outside of the US/UK ….I’ve also noticed websites posting what I would call “fake reviews” based on hands-on impressions. If you see a review that doesn’t contain any camera sample (photos/videos) and only videos/photos shot during past events (like the launch event on Oct 11) then you know that something isn’t right. 

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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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One more LG Optimus 7 and Optimus Q advertising video

I’m guessing that this promo video is a a better fit for the European market compared the previous ones which looked more like Asia-centric ads. I wonder if OEMs will also have their own TV spots or if everything will be handled by the carriers. Anyway, watch the LG Optimus 7 and Optimus 7Q in action after the break:

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