Nokia Lumia 800 1600.2487.8107.12072 Firmware released, fixes volume bug: Install it now

The latest major Firmware update for the Nokia Lumia 800 may have fixed the most important issue; namely the buggy power management, but it unfortunately also introduced an annoying audio volume bug than made playing games in particular a real pain alongside other oddities like a super loud ringer volume the first second when a call arrives. Anyway, Nokia has finally put an end to all of this via a new Firmware update: 1600.2487.8107.12072 which has already started to roll out in some regions and that you can manually apply to your handset by following the instructions below (at your own risk):

Continue reading Nokia Lumia 800 1600.2487.8107.12072 Firmware released, fixes volume bug: Install it now →

Skype for Windows Phone is out of beta and publicly available now

Skype for Windows Phone 7 is finally out of beta and publicly available in the Marketplace for everybody to download. This new V1.0 version now includes the ability to search and add contacts, call landlines, ,video calling in portrait mode, friend management capabilities including invite, accept invitations, block, unblock contacts and several other improvements on top of what was already possible in the beta. Only major downside is the fact that application still doesn’t support background notifications so user simply can’t receive a call unless the application is open (unlike all the other Skype version on other platforms or even Tango on Windows Phone) but Skype as already announced that “This is the first of many releases to come for Windows Phone, so stay tuned for even more capabilities in the future“. You can download the Skype app directly from the marketplace here or by simply scanning the tags after the break:

Continue reading Skype for Windows Phone is out of beta and publicly available now →

Nokia Lumia 800 PR 1.2 1600.2487.8107.12070 UPDATE availability detailed by country

Nokia just put up a website detailing the Nokia Lumia 800 PR 1.2 1600.2487.8107.12070 roll out schedule for each country and operator, similar to the now defunct where’s my update page that Microsoft put up last year for the Pre-NoDo, NoDo and Mango update roll-outs. If you still haven’t done it manually (instructions here) simply hit the source link below and choose you country/region to see when the update is going to be pushed to your particular handset.

Continue reading Nokia Lumia 800 PR 1.2 1600.2487.8107.12070 UPDATE availability detailed by country →

Nokia Lumia Play To DLNA Beta application released

Remember the DLNA drivers I found in one of the earlier Nokia Lumia 800 firwmare? Well they are now put to good use it via the recently released Nokia Play To Beta DLNA application which will allow Nokia Lumia owners to stream their handset’s multimedia content to any DLNA compatible receiver (Windows Vista/7/8 PC, TV etc). The Current Beta version doesn’t support Music streaming yet but this should be available in the official release later down the road. Just hit the source link to register to the Nokia Beta program or simply scan the QRCode below after the break to install it on your Nokia Lumia Windows Phone.

Continue reading Nokia Lumia Play To DLNA Beta application released →

Nokia Lumia 800 PR 1.2 1600.2487.8107.12070 update rolling out worldwide

Those of you patiently waiting for the PR1.2 / 12070 update to be rolled out to their Nokia Lumia 800 handsets should be happy to learn that it’s has finally hit Europe and the US as I’m getting reports that carrier and non carrier branded handset are receiving the update notification. As a reminder here’s what new in the PR 1.2 firmware and if you can’t wait anymore you can simply update you handset manually by following the instructions I posted here. Also note that this firmware introduces an annoying audio volume bug (sound level is totally buggy when there are more than one audio channel being played at the same time among other things) that should hopefully be fixed in an upcoming update which will also include an updated camera app (with an integrated panorama feature similar to the one found in the Creative Studio app)

Nokia Lumia 800 PR 1.2 1600.2487.8107.12070 update officially announced: Change Log

Nokia has finally made the Lumia 800 PR 1.2 1600.2487.8107.12070 update official today and has announced the roll out of the update (which has already started yesterday). The company ha also released the update’s change log as you can see below:

As this is not a mandatory software update, not every country or network carrier will make it available to their customers. However, all features and enhancements will be included in subsequent software updates. If you have questions if 1600.2487.8107.12070 will be available for you, please check with your local network carrier.

• Enhanced battery standby and talk time performance
• Battery capacity icon instead of question mark on top right of screen
• Improved bass in audio performance
• Soft-key illumination at all brightness levels
• Fixes for device performance issues including self-reboots, freezes and call-ending

Continue reading Nokia Lumia 800 PR 1.2 1600.2487.8107.12070 update officially announced: Change Log →

Nokia Lumia 800 1600.2487.8107.12070 update roll-out has started in some countries

I’m getting user reports that the 1600.2487.8107.12070 firmware update for the Nokia Lumia 800 is currently being pushed out to uses in Singapore and India. Keep in mind that nothing has been officially announced yet (and that those operators may have jumped the gun a little bit) but my guess is that it should officially be pushed out worldwide in the coming days / weeks. UPDATE: Nokia is telling me that some regions may be getting it faster than others but that everything is done to get it out everywhere so sit tight and be patient. For more info about this firmware please refer to my previous exclusive report here.

Continue reading Nokia Lumia 800 1600.2487.8107.12070 update roll-out has started in some countries →

Exclusive: New Nokia Lumia 800 firmware fixes most of the issues

Those of you who have been following me know that I’ve been testing for Nokia the upcoming Nokia Lumia 800 PR1.2 firmware for a little while. Nokia asked me to keep details about the new code confidential until its release but now that the cat is somewhat out of the bag (the firmware has already been pushed out to Nokia Care’s server and discovered by several folks) I’ll give you some more info about what you can expect in build 1600.2487.8107.12070 / PR1.2 :

- The Fast battery drain issue has been fixed
- The lack of audio Bass when listening through headsets has been fixed. There’s a whole lot of bass now..
- The auto-white balance issue with the camera has also been fixed
- The hardware buttons backlights are now always on at all screen brightness levels
- Diagnostics app has been changed to prevent users from getting misleading info about their device
- Focus Mode is now set to Normal by default in the camera app
- The jittery screen issue (bad grounding) has be reduced
- More stuff that I won’t talk about

So, just hold on to your Lumia 800 and don’t give up hope cause Nokia has been working hard on fixing most of the issues that have been plaguing the device since its launch.

UPDATE: Just got word from Nokia that you can expect the PR1.2 / 1600.2487.8107.12070 update to roll out very soon.
UPDATE 2: Just to be perfectly clear: There has been no official announcement yet for the date of availability. So just be a little bit patient.

UPDATE MARCH 9th: The FW is now being officially rolled out and you can manually update your device if you wish to do so. Just follow the instruction I posted here.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and regularly check back here for more info about Nokia’s Windows Phone handsets and future update info. The guys in Finland aren’t joking and really want to see their Windows Phones succeed.

Skype Beta app for Windows Phone 7 launched: Get it now!

It is finally here folks! Skype for Windows Phone 7 has now reached the marketplace in its beta form and can be downloaded for free as I’m typing this. The beta version will require that you have a handset running Windows Phone 7.5 Mango or up but has officially been certified to be compatible with the following handsets:

• Nokia Lumia 710
• Nokia Lumia 800
• HTC Titan
• HTC Radar
• Samsung Focus S
• Samsung Focus Flash

I’v just did a quick test and video chat also works on devices without a front facing camera (it uses the main camera on the back instead). Check it out in action in the video after the break:

Continue reading Skype Beta app for Windows Phone 7 launched: Get it now! →

Bing Vision going worldwide with news Newspaper match feature in March

In case you missed this little piece of news from late last week, the Bing team has announced that Bing Vision in Windows Phone 7 Mango is now available outside of the US (this has been the case since early February in some European countries like France) and also announced a new feature called Image Matching for Newspapers:

Enabling people to quickly find the digital version of a print magazine or newspaper article, Bing Image Matching for Newspapers allows users to take a photo of an article using their Windows Phone camera and link directly to a digital version of the article online.

Offering global access, consumers will have access to content from over 3,000 publications worldwide.

Image matching fro Newspaper ill only launch in March so don’t go around trying to scan every newspaper in sight yet (also note that Bing vision won’t be available everywhere either so just set your search region to US to try it out). Now where’s my local traffic data in Bing Maps please?

Continue reading Bing Vision going worldwide with news Newspaper match feature in March →

Windows Phone 7.7 Tango features revealed

A handful of screenshot of the upcoming Windows Phone 7.7 Build named Tango have recently appeared on a Russian site. As we have previously heard Tango will be mainly aimed at enabling lower-end handset to run Windows Phone 7 with lower ram requirements (even though 256MB has always been the minimum req for WP7), lower MP cameras,making some sensors optional and adding more language and region support. As you can see in the screenshot above this will obviously introduce a form of fragmentation in the ecosystem because some application will require more than 256Mb to run and thus not be compatible with some of the low end device running Tango. This is in someday reminiscent to the way the iOS platform works in terms of application compatibly across the iPhone models (but still far from the mess that is Android).

In addition to this Tango will also finally introduce video, audio sharing and multiple-attachments via MMS. Exporting contacts to the SIM card and more Data roaming option:

Continue reading Windows Phone 7.7 Tango features revealed →

White Nokia Lumia 800 announced: launching later this month

The white Nokia Lumia 800 has just been made official by Nokia today with n estimated launch date of late February in the following countries: UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Scandinavia, Finland, Poland and Switzerland. Besides the new color there’s nothing new about it compared to the previous black, cyan and fuchsia version of the handset. For more info and my latest hands on experience with the Lumia 800 please see here.

Continue reading White Nokia Lumia 800 announced: launching later this month →

Nokia Lumia 800 issues continued: looking better

As you all already know my Nokia Lumia 800 user experience has been plagued with some serious issues that I didn’t hesitate to publicly report here in the past few weeks. Poor battery performance, disappearing battery status, poorly grounded screen digitizer, audio and camera issues, etc. The list isn’t short and many early Lumia 800 owners have suffered the same fate. My latest post made enough noise for Nokia to notice that something wrong was going on  and made them gracefully replace both my handsets with brand new ones coming straight from the factory.

So here are my recommendations based on my experience with the brand new phones:

1) If your device suffers from the missing battery bug: Get it replaced by your Operator/Carrier or Nokia Care

2) If your phone suffers from a really badly grounded digitizer (screen jitters even when the device is not being charged: Get it replaced. All Lumia 800 I have seen have a jittery screen when charged but it shouldn’t happen when the device is unplugged.

3) Battery Life: Seems to be fine on both new handsets but I need to test it further in the coming days. Don’t pay attention to the readings in the diagnostic app because they are all wrong (charge capacity etc..). Make sure to disable the OS Update notification via cell network in the settings to save some standby battery life and remember that setting the screen brightness to high will nuke your battery really fast (It would be really great if the medium settings was as bright as the one on the Omnia 7…).

UPDATE FEB 10: Battery went south today. Before going to sleep the phone reported 40% left, unfortunately 5 hours later when I woke up the phone was dead. I charged it but the thing seems to be permanently busted for now: Max battery capacity is now stuck between 800mAh and 950mAh which is below 1000mAh so Nokia says that it’s a hardware defect (my other phone experienced the weird fast battery rain earlier this week for no apparent reason either..). Everything is working fine on the device but the battery reading is totally wrong. The company is sending me to new phones which I should receive early next week (they also may be loaded with a beta FW so I can test if things are still running wild or not). I’m betting on a Radio or Qualcomm PM8058 Power Management IC driver issue. But in either cases this shouldn’t turn the device’s battery into a lemon…

4) Audio and Camera issues will be addressed in upcoming updates. One of my handsets doesn’t suffer from the pink/purple spot as much as the other so your mileage may vary

5) Screen viewing angles and color seems to be random depending on the device: as with my previous devices one of them is yellowish while the other is perfectly fine. As if the polarizing process wasn’t perfectly done on one of the two.

Continue reading Nokia Lumia 800 issues continued: looking better →

Windows Phone Marketplace opens in Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru, and the Philippines

The Windows Phone Marketplace ongoing expansion has just hit a new milestone today with the service’s availability in five new countries: Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru, and the Philippines. The Marketplace now reaches 41 countries worldwide and should hit 42 pretty soon once it opens in China (where dev can already submit their applications for certification). It should also be noted that application submitted to the Indonesia, Malaysia and China marketplace will be subject of additional requirements (censorship?) due to local laws, regulations, or norms.

Continue reading Windows Phone Marketplace opens in Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru, and the Philippines →

Nokia issues new statement about Lumia 800 Battery life, Audio and Camera

As you all have noticed the Nokia Lumia 800 isn’t free of issues since it’s launch back in November. Following the recent patch release and subsequent users complains about it not fixing some of the battery related issues, Audio and Camera quality, the company has released another statement today to set the record straight about what is actually going on. The good news is that Audio and Camera related issues are going to be taken care off in an upcoming updates. From my own experience on the camera front the only thing that has still not been fixed is the Auto-White balance and Auto-Iso settings (Auto-Focus in video mode and Photo color temperature were fixed by the latest update).

On the Subject of the dreaded battery Nokia is telling use that all should be fine now unless you have the missing battery status defect and that your handset shows more than 1000mah of capacity. Based on what I have seen so far this is indeed true because the Diagnostics application does reports fluctuating max battery capacity even-though it doesn’t seems to affect the overall battery life. Nokia doesn’t recommend the use of the Diagnostic app and instead asks the users to check out the Battery Saver sub-menu in the OS’s settings (the remaining battery percentage can’t be trusted either from my own experience: reports are only good for the 2 first battery cycles after a hard reset and then it never goes above 20hrs). Your mileage may vary but I’m now finally having relatively good battery life after one last oddity a few days ago when I lost nearly 50% in standby mode during the night while I was sleeping (seems to have happened to many user on the exact same day so I’m not ruling out a Twitter/Live update service issue on that night that may have caused this). Anyway, if you are still experiencing issues (badly grounded screen…) or if your battery status is gone for good I highly recommend you get you phone repaired or exchanged for a brand new one. I’m having lunch with Nokia next week so I may have some more news for you on this subject.

UPDATE: As I’ve tweeted earlier this morning, the super fast battery drain issue happened again on my phone during the night while in standby (lost 30% in 5 hours after a full charge cycle). So it definitively looks like something is wrong with the device’s power management system. Things are fine for the first 3 full battery cycles then it goes bonkers on the 4th.

Full statement after the break:

Continue reading Nokia issues new statement about Lumia 800 Battery life, Audio and Camera →

Nokia Lumia 800 11501 / 11500 update officially out

The much awaited second Nokia Lumia 800 update is now being rolled out to devices worldwide via Zune and surprise surprise it’s the 1600.2483.8107.11501 firmware that I’ve extensively talked about and detailed since last week. So if you want to know what’s in it and especially what isn’t fixed simply click here. We are already seeing people complaining that the Missing battery issue hasn’t been fixed (and will probably never be as it may very well be a hardware defect at this stage). Anyway, feel free to voice your opinion and experience in the comments below.

For all the people wondering what is the difference between 1600.2483.8107.11500 / 1600.2483.8106.11500 and 1600.2483.8107.11501. Well the are the same thing. 11500 is just the Zune/MS version while 11501 is the Nokia Care version. Helps Nokia to differentiate between the two.

Microsoft releases Windows Phone Retail Insider app to help phone sales

Besides handing out money to retail sellers when they sell a Windows Phone device, Microsoft has also released a special application designed for them. It’s name Retail Insider and features the following:

Key Features:

- Multiple Live tiles you can pin to your Start Screen that show the latest content updates
- A device library with demo suggestions and selling tips
- A curated list of the best Windows Phone apps with links to Marketplace
- Easy sharing of app content via Facebook, Twitter and e-mail
- An aggregated stream of updates from Microsoft’s social media channels for retail sellers
- One-click access to customer demo videos that help you show your customers the best features of Windows Phone
- Built-in Windows Phone FAQ and quick links to step-by-step how-to’s

I’m not entirely sure that this would have any impact on Windows Phone’s retail sales in the short term but it’s a step in the right direction. Better late than never… THe app is surprisingly well laid out and packed with useful info like device hardware specifications, tips, FAQs and sale pitches. You can grab it here.

Nokia Lumia exclusive ESPN application released: Stick to the original

The Nokia Lumia exclusive ESPN app has just been released today but is unfortunately not really worth it. In it current iteration the app is nothing more than a front end for the ESPN mobile website. Tap on any news,scores etc and it will open IE Mobile (yup they didn’t even bother implementing a webbrowsercontrol..). The ESPN Scorecenter application that has been freely available to all Windows Phones is simply mile better in terms of usefulness and features. Thankfully Nokia has other quality apps already offered for free and more to come in the coming months.

Upcoming Nokia Lumia 800 firmware update doesn’t fix most issues

UPDATE February 5: Please click here for the latest on this situation.
I think that we all want to see Nokia succeed as a Windows Phone OEM but as for right now, the Nokia Lumia 800 is, to put it simply, a bug ridden mess. The company has already promised a relatively big software update that should fix the dreadful battery issues, poor camera quality in low light conditions and many other quirks that users have encountered since the devices launch in November. Unfortunately I’m sad to announce that the upcoming Firmware version 1600.2483.8107.11501 (1600.2483.8106.11500 and 1600.2483.8107.11500 via Zune) which is soon to be rolled out barely changes anything (It’s available on Nokia’s servers and can be flash on any handsets with some trickery in Nokia Care Suite 5). There are only three notable changes:

- The OS is updated to Build 7.10.8107.79
- The battery can finally be charged to its max 1490/1510Mah capacity.

UPDATE January 14: Full battery capacity is now steadily going down (~1300Mah) after several recharges. So we are back to square one..not good…but this may or may not have any effect on the overall battery life
UPDATE January 15: The OS isn’t getting a correct reading of the Battery and shuts down the phone when there’s supposedly over 20% of battery left (even though the battery is flat). Here’s a photographic proof from another user who sent it tome via Twitter (thanks @bAN01TgAZ). This happened with 11451 and just restarted to happen to me last night with 11501 (UPDATE Jan 20: Never happened again since then):

As you can see and contrary to what some people/fanboys may think, I’m not trashing Nokia for the fun of it. Fact is that the Lumia 800 has either a totally busted firmware or every device out there has a hardware defect related to the battery/power management circuit.

- The Capacitive hardware buttons no longer light up unless the screen is set to auto-brightness or low (why not do like everybody else and implement a simple 5secs timer in all modes? No big deal though.)

So what does it really mean to us? Well, the HORRIBLE missing battery status issue which is affecting one of my handsets and many more in the world is still not fixed. The camera software is unchanged and still defaults to Marco mode when first launched. It also still shoots crappy greenish shots in low light.
- The digitizer sensitivity is still too high (or it’s simply badly grounded which means that it’s a hardware defect that can’t totally be fixed but only worked around via a firmware update like HTC did on the HTC Incredible and EVO 4G in 2010 and both had the same ATMEL mXT224 controler).
- The sound quality out of the headphones still has a drastic lack of bass and exhibits static noise/ Clicking when jumping from one track to another and finally the weird screen corruption issue (whole screen is shifted to the left for a few seconds or less) is still here.
Remember that I have 2 Nokia Lumia 800 handsets build at different dates, from different countries and both exhibit the same issues (but only one has the missing battery status problem and one still has the badly grounded screen issue).

Small update: I flashed back to the original 11414 firmware on my second Lumia 800 and the battery status is back but is totally bogus: It never reports the same status and the Diagnostics application doesn’t even detect it at all. What this means is that the firmware 11451 has definitely messed something up on the phone because it wasn’t like that when I first got the handset. Everything went south when the first official update was installed. Can somebody from Nokia please contact me ASAP? UPDATE Jan 21: Nokia contacted today about these issues and I will let you know how things pan out next week.

UPDATE 2: In case people think that I’m constantly bitching… here’s some more: my second Lumia 800′s battery is functional/visible by the OS but all the other issues still remain and that’s really the whole point of this post: Nokia apparently only “fixed” one single major issue (max battery charge) alongside 2 camera tweaks in this much anticipated update and simply doesn’t want to acknowledge if some of the other problems are hardware or software related.

UPDATE January 15: Photos shot with firmware 11501 have warmer colors than with previous builds (white balance is still busted indoors though) and the continuous auto-focus no longer gets stuck in video mode.

Continue reading Upcoming Nokia Lumia 800 firmware update doesn’t fix most issues →