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–

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

Samsung launches the Samsung Focus 2 Windows Phone with LTE support. World still wonders why

Still trying to figure out if there’s any logic behind Microsoft’s Windows Phone endeavor? Well, today’s launch of the Samsung Focus 2 isn’t going to make things clearer to the masses. The Samsung Focus 2 Windows Phone handset is launching on AT&T’s network in the US later this month on May 20th for the relatively interesting price of $49.99 with the 2year contract. Nice, right? Unfortunately not very much given that the Focus 2 is nothing more than a Samsung Focus / Omnia 7 with 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8055 + MDM9200 LTE modem instead of the older QSD8250. That’s right folks…nothing interesting to see here especially when you take into account that the Nokia Lumia 900 with its better hardware is priced exactly the same on the same network and with double the amount of on-board storage (16Gb on Lumia 900 vs 8Gb on the Focus 2).

Once again this doesn’t make much sense at all in this day and age when Windows Phone 8 is getting close to release and may or probably may not be offered as an update to the current Windows Phone 7 handsets on the market. The only good thing to come out if this announcement is the fact that it squashes the ridiculous rumors that have been flying around about a the Samsung Focus 2 being the Windows Phone variant of the Samsung Galaxy S III. Nothing to see here folks….

Continue reading Samsung launches the Samsung Focus 2 Windows Phone with LTE support. World still wonders why →

Samsung enables Extra Display setting on the Samsung Omnia 7 and Samsung Focus

Both the Samsung Focus S and Focus Flash / Omnia W have two extra settings available to the end-user: Auto-Display intensity and Key-vibration feedback. Samsung has just made them available to Omnia 7 and Focus owners via an applications in the marketplace (once installed the extra settings will be located in the OS’s settings menu). The Auto-Display intensity toggle is perfectly functional but the key-vibration option doesn’t have any effect on my Omnia 7. Let me know how it goes for you,  but remember that disabling auto-display intensity will shorten your battery life.

UPDATE: It appears like this app is once again not meant to run on the Omnia 7 and Focus. Besides the second option not working at all the auto-display brightness setting isn’t even saved. It will work as long as you the screen doesn’t shut down.If you power the screen back on it will revert to default… Thanks for nothing Samsung…

Continue reading Samsung enables Extra Display setting on the Samsung Omnia 7 and Samsung Focus →

The Samsung Focus S and Focus Flash are available on AT&T for free

Samsung new Windows Phone 7 Mango handsets are available on AT&T right now. The Samsung Focus S will set you back $149.99 on a 2 year contract while the lower end Samsung Focus Flash is only $0.01 on the same 2 year contract. If I had to recommend one I would obviously tell you to go for the Focus S and it’s gorgeous Super AMOLED + screen… Hit the links below for more info.

UPDATE 21 Nov 2011: The Focus S is now priced at $0.01!

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?

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

The Samsung Focus S and Focus Flash are available on AT&T for free

Samsung new Windows Phone 7 Mango handsets are now finally available on AT&T today. The Samsung Focus S will set you back $149.99 on a 2 year contract while the lower end Samsung Focus Flash is only $0.01 on the same 2 year contract. If I had to recommend one I would obviously tell you to go for the Focus S and it’s gorgeous Super AMOLED + screen… Hit the links below for more info.

UPDATE 21 Nov 2011: The Focus S is now priced at $0.01 with a 2 year contract..

Enable Internet Sharing / Tethering on your Samsung Omnia 7 and Samsung Focus in one click

If you still haven’t managed to flash your Samsung Omnia 7 with the latest I8700XXKI4 firmware I posted a few days ago there’s seems to be a even easier way to enable Internet Sharing / Tethering on your device and the Samsung Focus too as long as it is developer unlocked courtesy of voluptuary:

1) First install the WP Dev Tools and unlock your Samsung phone.
2) Use the Application Deployment tool to send THIS to your phone. You do not need to run it and you can delete it after it has been deployed.
3) Install the Diagnosis app by typing ##634#
4) After the Diagnosis app starts type *#9908# and select ‘System Tweaks’ press ‘Save’ then ‘Close’ and restart your phone.
5) Your phone now has Internet sharing and as a bonus is interop unlocked!

Please try it out and let me know if it worked for you.


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 →

New Samsung Omnia 7 firmware with internet sharing available: I8700XXKI4

Want that fancy WiFi Hotspot internet sharing Tethering feature on you Windows Phone 7 device? If you are a Samsung Omnia 7 owner today is your lucky day. T-Mobile Germany pushed out a new firmware last night version I8700XXKI4 with the tethering / Internet Sharing feature enabled (thanks for the tip guys!). I’m a nice guy so I grabbed the firmware file and uploaded it so you can manually install it on your handset. Follow the instructions below (same a before and I’m not responsible if it doesn’t work for you):

- Download the firmware here (remember that’s not the OS but only the firmware bits) then download the WPupdate tools from here.
- Unzip the Tools in a folder then unzip the firmware in the same folder as the tools.
- Plug in your device, wait until the Zune client starts and then close it.
- Run the the Updater and press S or B (depending on the size of your balls..)
- your phone will then reboot in download mode and update (don’t unplug it or do stupid things with your PC during the whole process..)

Please note that this won’t work if you are running the latest I8700XXKI3 firmware from SFR (there’s a conflict with the 5.9.1.4 bootloader and maybe others too) so you will have to painfully revert back to an older firmware like the T-Mobile RC1 here (I8700XXKH2).

Continue reading New Samsung Omnia 7 firmware with internet sharing available: I8700XXKI4 →

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.

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

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.

Continue reading HTC Titan’s screen outdoor visibility →

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.

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

First official photos of the Samsung Focus S

The still mysterious Samsung Focus S has finally shown its face courtesy of Microsoft today. The device’s full hardware specifications are still unknown same for it’s European variant that has yet to be announced. The whole design is definitely similar to the original Samsung Galaxy which looked kinda nice but definitely not amazing. on the other hand the Samsung Focus Flash looks identical to the European Samsung Omnia W. Anyway, let’s hope that Samsung get its act together and finally announces/ unveils something in the next few days. More picture after the break:

Continue reading First official photos of the Samsung Focus S →

Update your Samsung Omnia 7 to the latest I8700XXKI3 firmware now

Here’s my little gift for you this weekend. I just managed to download the latest Samsung Omnia 7 I8700XXKI3 Firmware package wish was pushed out by SFR yesterday and I’m giving it back to you so you can manually update your device following the same instructions I posted a few days ago when the latest Samsung Mango firmware was pushed. Please remember that if something goes wrong you will be on your own. Words of advise before attempting to update your handset: If it doesn’t work you will most probably get two different error:

- 800705B4 : Time out error which happens on many Omnia 7 depending on how much free storage you have left. Solution: hard reset you handsets.
- 8018001E: There’s a conflict with the current bootloader on your handsets (happened to me with the latest Mango firmware): Solution: you are screwed. Roll back to a previous bootloader/firmware

Here are the instructions:

- Download the firmware here (remember that’s not the OS but only the firmware bits) then download the WPupdate tools from here.
- Unzip the Tools in a folder then unzip the firmware in the same folder as the tools.
- Plug in your device, wait until the Zune client starts and then close it.
- Run the the Updater and press S or B (depending on the size of your balls..)
- your phone will then reboot in download mode and update (don’t unplug it or do stupid things with your PC during the whole process..)

Report back if it works for you. If not then please take a look at all the messages in the previous post before posting.

Continue reading Update your Samsung Omnia 7 to the latest I8700XXKI3 firmware now →

New Samsung Omnia 7 Mango firmware rolled out: I8700XXKI3

A new Samsung Omnia 7 firmware has been rolled-out today by french carrier SFR along side it’s Mango update push. I unfortunately don’t have the update (because I unbranded my SFR Omnia 7 handset) and don’t have the firmware bites either yet. As you can see below it’s newer than the previous I8700XXKH5 firmware released during the initial Mango roll out phase and most probably based on the engineering SFR firmware leaked a few weeks ago:

OS Version: 7.10.7720.68
Firmware revision number: 2424.11.9.3
Hardware revision number: 3.15.0.4
Radio software version: 2424.11.9.1
Radio hardware version: 0.0.0.800
Bootloader version: 5.9.1.4
Chip SOC version: 0.36.2.0

It would be awesome if If a brave soul is willing to send me the firmware bits so we can manually flashed it.

Thanks to everybody who sent this in.

 

 

How to get AllShare DLNA to work the Samsung Omnia 7 and Samsung Focus

A relatively easy trick enables you to bypass the current restriction put in place to allow the Allshare DLNA application to work on the Samsung Omnia 7 and Samsung Focus devices:

- Connect you device to a WiFi network
- Launch the Allshare app and instantly hit the start/home button of your device (before the error message pops up
- Navigate back to the Allshare application by long pressing on the back button and selecting it in the fast application switching view
- Voila you’re done

I just did it and it works like a charm but I sincerely hope that Samsung updates it though.

UPDATE: Actually it doesn’t properly work at all. The application in its current state doesn’t have access to the multimedia files stored on the device. You can only use is as a remote control to playback files that are shared on a network.

Continue reading How to get AllShare DLNA to work the Samsung Omnia 7 and Samsung Focus →

New Samsung Omnia 7 Mango Firmware leaked: I8700XXKH5

A new Mango firmware for the Samsung Omnia 7 was leaked this morning if you are interested in such things. This one is SFR branded (French carrier) but is labeled as engineering and packs the latest I8700XXKH5 firmware which is the one pushed out yesterday and the same one I posted in my manual update guide too. The only difference here is that you will probably get an SFR boot screen and there apps pre-installed on the device. You can grab it here (flashtools here).

Continue reading New Samsung Omnia 7 Mango Firmware leaked: I8700XXKH5 →

Manually update the Samsung Omnia 7 Firmware to Mango

As you probably already know I was one of the few people who was running the leaked T-Mobile RC1 Mango firmware on my Samsung Omnia 7. Unfortunately this resulted in me being stuck with it and not being able to get the official firmware via the normal channel (Zune software/device notification). The only solution I had left was to flash by device back to a NoDo package and then wait or force today’s Mango update on it. Well, I didn’t want to loose any of my data or waste that much time so I tried something else. I grabbed the Samsung Firmware package (thanks to the brave soul who sent it to me) which is a simple CAB file and sent it to my Omnia 7 plugged into my PC. Voila, I now have the latest bits on my phone in less than 10 mins without loosing anything.

All you have to to is:

Continue reading Manually update the Samsung Omnia 7 Firmware to Mango →

Samsung Video Call Mango application released

The Samsung Video Call Windows Phone 7.5 Mango application that was announced yesterday alongside the Samsung Omnia W device has just been released on the Marketplace today. AS you can see in the picture above the app is obviously not compatible with the Omnia 7 and Samsung Focus and will only work on the Samsung devices equipped with front facing cameras like the Samsung Focus S, Focus Flash and Omnia W. The warning message also indirectly confirms that the Allshare DLNA application which is currently not working on current handsets would be fully functional once the official firmwares are pushed out later this month (or else Samsung would have restricted its download like it just did with the Video Call application).

Continue reading Samsung Video Call Mango application released →