Nokia Drive + now available to all Windows Phone 8 devices for US UK and Canada users

As I previously hinted at in my Nokia Lumia 920 software video tour (and by Nokia a few months ago); Nokia and Microsoft have just announced that Nokia Drive + Beta is now available for free for all windows Phone 8 devices from HTC, Samsung in addition to Nokia’s handset. This is really a big plus for the platform given that Nokia Drive is in my opinion the best navigation software on any platform thanks to it’s offline maps and its price it’s totally free!

Head over here to grab it and check out my handset on video on the Nokia Lumia 920 after the break:

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Nokia Drive + Beta updated with new Battery saver mode

Nokia has just issued an update to Nokia Drive + Beta for its Windows Phone 8 device today to partially fix one of the most annoying issue plaguing the app: extreme battery drain when the app is running in the back ground because the software was constantly updating it’s position via GPS even when navigation was stopped. As you can see in the screenshot above this is now a thing of the past thanks to a new Battery Saving feature.

There’s also a new new back to my position feature which is really handy and a welcome UX change. Check out my hands on video with the previous version after the break:

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Nokia Lumia 920 hands on videos: Hardware and Software tour

Better late than never right? Here are my first videos of my Nokia Lumia 920 in action that I shot a week ago (sorry didn’t have much time to post them earlier). The first one is a simple hardware tour of the device followed by a software tour with a short performance comparison against the Nokia Lumia 800. Finally, the third video is a demo showing Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive and Nokia Transit / Transport integration in the Windows Phone 8. Hit the break to watch them:

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Nokia Lumia 920T for China Mobile and Nokia Lumia 620 Windows Phone 8 phones announced

Nokia has just announced two new Windows Phone 8 handsets today. The first one was expected to arrive sooner rather than later but the second one comes as a really surprise. The China Mobile bound Nokia Lumia 920T is the Chinese variant of the 920 but incorporates a TD-SCDMA radio and powered by the recently announced MSM8226 / MSM8626 which incorporate an Adreno 305 GPU.

The surprise Windows Phone 8 handsets is the Nokia Lumia 620 which is the company’s new low-end WP8 device feature a 3.8 inch WVGA LCD screen, a 1Ghz Dual Core Snapdragon S4 Plus SoC, 512MB of Ram, 8GB of storage extendable with the Micro-SD slot, 5Mpix camera, interchangeable back-cover with NFC all for the super low price of $249 / €199 (available in Q1 2013).

Nokia Lumia 620 Specifications:

  • Networks: WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100
    GSM/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
  • Display: 3.8” TFT WVGA 800×480, ClearBlack
  • Memory: 512MB RAM (8GB internal memory, Micro SD support up to 64GB)
  • Camera: 5Mpix autofocus, LED flash; Video capture: HD 720p@30fps; VGA front camera
  • Size & weight: 115.4 x 61.1 x 11.02 mm; 127g (including battery)
  • Connectivity: NFC, WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4Ghz + 5Ghz, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS/A-GPS, Glonass, micro-USB, 3.5mm audio connector (AHJ + WP Controls)
  • Processor: 1 GHz Dual Core Snapdragon (TM) S4
  • Battery Talk time: (GSM/WCDMA) Up to 14.6 h/ up to 9.9 h; Standby time: Up to 330 h

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4 times more Windows Phones being sold this year compared to last one

Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer announced today during the annual Share Holder meeting that Windows Phone sales are 4 times more than at this time last year. Now, given that we don’t know exactly how many Windows Phones were being sold exactly one year ago this doesn’t really mean much for the time being. The only real number we have was that Nokia sold around 1 Million Lumia handsets in November and December (US not included because they were only available principally in EU) so don’t expect this year’s number to be extraordinary.

Microsoft finds cause of Windows Phone 8 rebooting issue. OTA fix to be pushed out next month

Many users have been reporting strange phone reboots with their new HTC or Nokia Windows Phone 8 handsets ever since they got them a few weeks ago. The good news is that Microsoft has apparently found the cause of the problem and is going to push an OTA (Over The Air) fix/update next month to all Windows Phone 8 devices. The cause of the problem has not been made public yet but from what I have seen reported on forums it may partially be Bluetooth related (this may be why I have never encountered it because I never have BT on on my devices). Anyway here’s the official word from Redmond:

“We’re continuing to investigate some reports of phones rebooting and have identified a cause with our partners,” Microsoft said in a statement on Tuesday. “We are working to get an over-the-air update out in December.”

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Nokia Lumia 920 FREE on contract with AT&T


Just a friendly heads up if you are in the market for a Nokia Lumia 920 in the US. Amazon is still taking orders for the Nokia Lumia 920 at exactly $0.01 with a 2y AT&T contract. (in Black cause all other colors are out of stock). The Lumia 920 is either selling like hot cakes or in extremely short supply given that it’s seems to be out of stocks nearly every where right now (same as the HTC 8X and Lumia 820 in the US). Just hit the Amazon link below to grab yours.

Nokia Lumia 920 mostly sold out everywhere

UPDATE: The remaining stock of Nokia Lumia 920 (only in Black) at Amazon is now being sold at 19.99 with an AT&T contract so hurry up and hit the Lumia 920 link below (all other WP8 devices are now out of stock)!

If you are in the market to buy a new Nokia Lumia 920 you better hurry up because the Finnish’s flagship device is mostly sold out everywhere and is on back-order (1 or 2 weeks delivery) even in Europe. Tomorrow’s black Friday rush won’t help the situation in the US but you probably will be able to order one at a fairly good price. It’s currently at 69.99 on AT&T via Amazon and the Lumia 820 is Free with a 2 year contract. Nokia has recently reported that the 920 has sold-out in Germany but it remains to be seen if this is because it’s hugely popular or because the stock was low to begin with. As far I know there’s still some stock in France and in the UK but your mileage may vary. The same inventory issues also apply to HTC’s Windows Phone 8X which is also on back-order right now.

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Nokia Lumia 920 first impressions

Better late than never, right? Well, I finally received a Yellow Nokia Lumia 920 on Monday and started using it as my main phone since then so I’ve had a bit more than 24 hours to handle the beast so far which is enough hands-on time to give you my first impressions about the device (but keep in mind that my device isn’t brand new).

As previously reported the Lumia 920 isn’t for the faint hearted; it’s thicker and heavier than the competition. Thankfully this doesn’t seem to be much of an issue for me as the 185g really don’t feel like a lot when pocketed all day. One handed usage is equivalent to most other 4.5″+ devices on the market so you will see yourself using it with both hands most of the time.

Build quality is great but unfortunately not perfect on my particular device. The whole polycarbonate body is apparently thinner than the previous Lumia 800 and 900 bodies and can creak when pressure is applied in certain areas. There’s also a relatively big air gap between the screen and the actual LCD panel (I can see light bleeding underneath the black bezel when I tilt my handset at extreme angles) this directly impacts the quality of the viewing angles as there’s a significant drop in brightness (but colors stay intact).

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Windows Phone 8 phones now available on all major carriers world wide: But are they selling?

For those of you who have been living under a rock or simply on vacation just like me here a small reminder: Windows Phone 8 has really launched and most of the major carriers in the world are selling WP8 handsets from HTC or Nokia. What I would like to know though is if any of you have seen TV ads, Street ads, magazine ads etc in your respective countries or if Microsoft is still failing to promote its mobile platform just like it has ever done?

Several TV ads are apparently currently being aired across the world since last week so did you actually see them (note that each region/country has its on version with its local celebrity)? Verizon has also started to sell the Nokia Lumia 822 and HTC Windows Phone 8X yesterday which is kind of a big news in the US. From what I have seen pricing and availability has been a bit spotty throughout the world especially on carriers which is really disappointing as this seems to always be the case with Windows Phone devices compared to the iPhone which is always available everywhere on the same day with enough stock or even flagship Android handsets like Samsung’s.

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Nokia Lumia 920 reviews, Windows Phone 8 and everything in-between

It’s been a year since I landed a full time job and stopped updating this site on a daily bases simply because I no longer have time to do so. Every once in a while I managed to sneak in a post when something really important pops-up (like the WP8 SDK leak here and here) but I must admit that the Windows Phone world wasn’t that exciting in the last year following the launch of Mango.

Fast-forward to this month and the launch of Windows 8, Surface and Windows Phone 8. Some may be wondering where is my Nokia Lumia 920, Windows Phone 8, Surface review etc.. Well, to put it simply: those things take time and I don’t have much of that lately. Others may not care but I sincerely want to do my best to give you a honest opinion about all those products especially after reading all the biased and link-bait drivel that is being posted on most major sites lately.

Let’s take for example the Nokia Lumia 920 review embargo that lifted today. Nothing’s more annoying than reading something passed as a review when it’s obviously nothing more that a piece written to generate quick hits. In case you didn’t know it; most reviewers didn’t have the Lumia 920 for more than 48h, which is a relatively short amount of time to form a final judgment on a product, some only got to handle it at the Microsoft Build conference in Seattle (see for example The Verge’s review where the camera samples where shot in the UK and the “review” mostly done in the US with a pre-production device using pre-production FW). Here, Nokia France only had three 920′s to hand out for reviews which is not a whole lot as you can image. But what’s even more laughable are some of the cons listed against the 920:

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Nokia Lumia 920 hands on video

The Nokia Lumia 920 heavy. Now that we got this out of the way let’s focus on what makes this phone great: worldwide LTE support, inductive wireless charging, gorgeous PureMotionHD+ 1280×768 screen and exceptional camera with OIS. Did I mention the perfect build quality? Well there you have it. Sounds like the perfect phone right? Unfortunately nothing is perfect and the Lumia 920 really is a heavy handset especially when you have handled the Samsung ATIV S and the Windows Phone 8X by HTC just a few minutes later. This is not to say that I won’t be getting one but I definitely understand people complaining about the 920′s bulkiness. I for example wouldn’t recommend it to my wife but then again she really love Nokia Drive so..decision will have to be made between Nokia’s flagship and HTC’s surprisingly nice Windows Phone 8X.

Anyway, check out my short hands-on video after the break:

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Nokia Lumia 920 coming exclusively to AT&T in November alongside Lumia 820. Cyan color confirmed

AT&T has officially announced what was far from being a mystery today: The Nokia Lumia 920 will launch exclusively on the AT&T’s network this November alongside the Nokia Lumia 820 (which will also be available on other US carriers). This is definitely not a shocker but the good surprise is that a Cyan color version of the Lumia 920 does indeed exist as seen in the picture above, and will available alongside the previously announced red, yellow, gray, white and black versions. Unfortunately no price was announce at all. Check out the full press release and video after the break:

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Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 hands-on preview

Those of you following me on Twitter already know that I had the chance to get a closer look at Nokia’s upcoming Windows Phone 8 handsets; the Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 earlier today during lunch with Nokia. First, I would like to point out that the three devices that was presented (two Lumia 920 and one 820) were prototype handsets running non-RTM builds of Windows Phone 8 and pre-release firmwares so any bugs or other weird things I encountered may not be representative of the final products.

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Nokia Lumia 920 OIS demonstration trumps the Samsung Galaxy SIII


Still wondering what all the fuss is all about? Well here’s a short video demonstrating the infamous OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) feature of the Nokia Lumia 920 PureView camera strapped to an RC car with a Samsung Galaxy SIII. The final verdict ? I won’t spoil the fun but let’s just say that the camera of Android’s flagship device isn’t really up to the task here. Video after the break:

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The Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 are Bluetooth 4.0 certified

The Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 which were initially announced to feature Bluetooth support up to version 3.1 have apparently been certified to be BT 4.0 compliant by the Bluetooth SIG yesterday. Both devices feature a B019734 Alpha engine controller subsystem designed by Nokia. What remains to be seen though is if the OS (WP8) as any kind of support for BT 4.0 in its current RTM version and if this will go to be unused until Microsoft finally adds support for it later down the road.

BT4.0 support would allow pairing and wireless communication with low power accessories like podometers and NFC like wireless syncing scenarios and payments. The Samsung ATIV S is currently listed as supporting BT 3.0 (unlike the SGSIII which is BT 4.0 so it wouldn’t surprise me if it is an OS limitation) while both the Windows Phone 8X and Windows Phone 8S by HTC only support BT2.1 + EDR.

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Nokia Lumia 920 launching in early November is select countries. LTE version exclusive to EE Network in the UK

The latest words on the streets is that the hotly anticipated Nokia Lumia 920 is set to launch in early November in most of the big countries worldwide (UK, Germany, France etc) and more precisely November 2nd in the US on AT&T’s network. (remember that WP8 is said to officially debut on October 29th) Smaller countries should see it landing later in the month or in the beginning of December. The just launched EE network in the UK (composed of Orange and T-Mobile LTE infrastructure) will offer the Nokia Lumia 920 LTE and Nokia Lumia 820 LTE as exclusives for a period of time.

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Nokia Lumia 920 specifications: Everything you wanted to know about the new PureView camera, PureMotion HD+ display and much more

 

What most of you have been waiting has finally arrived today with the announcement of the Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 handset in NYC. The event was light on new WP8 software features but packed with hardware talk about the company’s new high-end model. Let’s start with the device’s hardware specification first. The Lumia 920 features a 4.5″ PureMotion HD+ IPS LCD with a resolution of 1280×768 just like I guessed a few days ago. The PureMotion HD+ is not some fancy marketing buzzword but some really interesting tech that Nokia has worked on to improve the response type of IPS panels. Nokia has been able to override the panels voltage to get the response time from 23ms down to 9ms which is now close to the 0ms of AMOLED panels.

Outdoor visibility has also been improved compared to older panels and here’s a photo comparing to the current best, the Lumia 900:

Finally here’s the PureMotion HD + display specification:

• Diagonal size: 4.5”
• Resolution: 332 pixels per inch (PPI)
• Pixel count: 1280×768 (WXGA HD+)
• Luminance control levels: 8bit i.e. 256 levels Grey-to-grey pixel transition time: average <9ms

Display architecture:

• In-Plane-Switching
• Overdrive
• Backlight LED driving with high luminance mode
• Sunlight readability enhancement algorithms
• ClearBlack technology
• Polarization filter
• Light time-out
• Ambient light detector
• Brightness control
• Orientation sensor
• Sculpted 2.5D glass
• Proximity sensor
• High Brightness mode
• RGB Stripe
• Sunlight readability enhancements
• Luminance 600 nits
• Aspect ratio 15:9
• Corning® Gorilla® Glass
• Color boosting
• Refresh rate 60 Hz

The Gorilla Glass is also curved like the Nokia N9 and Lumia 800 but more importantly feature a Synaptics ClearPad 3 touch controlled and digitizer allowing the user to use the device with gloves or even other objects. The rest of the specs can bee seen below after the break alongside the Nokia Lumia 820‘s:

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