Tag Archives: cell phones

Windows Phone 8 fleshed out, holds hands with Windows 8

At this year’s Windows Phone Summit, Microsoft lifted the veil off the next version of their mobile operating system. Codenamed Apollo, Window Phone 8 brings many new features and improvements to the platform. At the press/developer event, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore talked about eight new platform announcements; they are all laid out below in easy to digest bullet-point form.

  • Latest and greatest hardware: Windows Phone 8 will support multi-core chipsets (up to a whopping 64 cores, to be exact), three screen resolutions including WVGA (800×480), WXGA (1280×768), and 720p (1280×720), and removable storage with MicroSD.
  • Internet Explorer 10: WP8 packs in IE10 featuring the same web browsing engine that’s coming to Windows 8. IE10 for WP8 is faster and more secure, with 4x faster JavaScript performance compared to WP7.5, 2x HTML5 feature support compared to WP7.5, and the SmartScreen anti-phishing filter to block malware.
  • Native code: WP8 introduces full C and C++ support which will help developers write apps for multiple platforms (including WP8 and Win8) faster. A native game development platform is provided based on DirectX, and this makes it possible for game devs to write the same game for the phone and the PC.
  • Better sharing with NFC: A new Tap + Send feature allows users to easily share contact information between Windows devices; simply tap your phone to a Win8 tablet and instantly a contact card is shared. Also, peer-to-peer WiFi connections can be made between Windows devices and this allows for unique game experiences between phones and tablets. Initiate a game on a phone and tap it to a friend’s tablet and within seconds the two of your are participating in a multiplayer wireless game experience.
  • The most complete wallet experience: Microsoft has built a wallet experience similar to Apple’s Passbook and Google’s Wallet. In this app users can store credit & debit cards, loyalty & membership cards, and access saved deals (read: digital coupons). With secure SIM technology, users can “tap to pay” at compatible checkout counters. Every Windows Phone running WP8 will ship with the Wallet hub, and it will be able to connect to third party apps. This means that even if your carrier blocks the tap to pay feature, you can still use the app for other functions such as storing and organizing your coupons. Wallet will launch in France with Orange first, and at some point next year it will make its way to the US.
  • Nokia Map Technology: Every WP8 device will come with Nokia’s NAVTEQ Map data baked in. The maps experience includes offline map support, turn-by-turn directions, and map control for developers.
  • Windows Phone 8 for Business: Microsoft is ready to make the Windows Phone platform fully enterprise-ready. The mobile OS includes BitLocker encryption and secure boot, line-of-business app deployment, remote management, and a customizable Company hub and apps.
  • The Start Screen: The WP start screen has been reimagined to be more personal and customizable. “People are in total control of their Live Tiles,” says Belfiore. Users can resize tiles with three sizes to choose from and they can be moved around for a personal layout. A new palette of theme colors is part of the update, too. The new look makes for a more consistent experience between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. More on this in a bit… READ MORE Windows Phone 8 fleshed out, holds hands with Windows 8

HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE coming to Verizon Wireless

Try saying that ten times fast. HTC and Verizon have announced the next smartphone in the Droid Incredible line: the Droid Incredible 4G LTE. You want specs? You’ve got ’em. The new Incredible features a 4-inch super LCD qHD display, an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus, LED flash, and HD video capability, a front-facing camera for vid chat, and a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor. The smartphone also serves as a Mobile Hotspot that can share its 4G LTE connection with up to ten Wi-Fi-enabled devices, you can throw in a 32 GB microSD memory card for additional storage, and it packs a 1,700 mAh Li-ion ion removable battery. It runs the latest and greatest version of Google’s Android OS, 4.0 aka Ice Cream Sandwich and it comes with HTC’s acclaimed customizable skin Sense 4. And if somehow you missed it in the device’s insanely wordy name, this Incredible takes advantage of VZW’s speedy and far-reaching 4G LTE network. A price point and firm release date have yet to be determined, but Big Red promises the Droid will land on shelves “in the coming weeks.” PR, per usual, waits after the break.

[Via Engadget] READ MORE HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE coming to Verizon Wireless

Samsung Focus 2 brings Windows Phone + LTE to the masses at $49.99 on AT&T

On May 20 the Samsung Focus 2 will enter the marketplace and make the jump to Windows Phone and speedy 4G LTE easier at an extremely affordable price. For $49.99 (after signing a new two-year agreement with AT&T), customers will get a smartphone that packs a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, a 5 megapixel camera that supports 720p video capture, a front-facing VGA camera for video calls, and a single-core 1.4GHz processor. The Focus 2 will be sold in a fresh coat of “pure white” and come loaded with the latest version of Windows Phone (7.5, that is). Sign up to be alerted to the phone’s release right here. PR after the break.

[Via Engadget] READ MORE Samsung Focus 2 brings Windows Phone + LTE to the masses at $49.99 on AT&T

Nokia Lumia 900, the first LTE Windows Phone, is out April 8 at $99.99 on AT&T

Announced in January, the Nokia Lumia 900 smartphone has been tagged with an imminent release date and an affordable price point. The Lumia 900, which will soon become the first Windows Phone to boast 4G LTE, releases into the marketplace on April 8 at $99.99 after a two year contract with AT&T. The handset features a 4.3-inch (800 x 480) AMOLED ClearBlack display, a Carl Zeiss 8 megapixel camera with large aperture (F2.2) and wide angle focal length (28mm) and LED flash that supports 720p HD video capture, and a front-facing camera for video calls. It runs the latest version of Windows Phone, that is 7.5 aka Mango. The Lumia 900 will come in cyan blue and matte black flavors on the 8th, and later on April 22 a high-gloss white version will release. Preorder today. PR after the break.

[Via Engadget 1, 2] READ MORE Nokia Lumia 900, the first LTE Windows Phone, is out April 8 at $99.99 on AT&T

Motorola’s Droid 4 is out now on Verizon for $199.99

In January at CES Motorola unveiled two new Droid-branded handsets: the Droid RAZR MAXX and the Droid 4. Shortly after slapping the former phone with a January 26 release date and a $299.99 price tag, Moto finally let slip the same information regarding the QWERTY keyboard wielding Droid 4. On February 10 the Droid 4 hit Verizon Wireless and can be bought for $199.99 with a new two-year contract. The 4G LTE capable phone packs a 4.0-inch qHD display, a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, an eight megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capture and a front-facing cam for video chat. It ships with Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread, with a promise to upgrade to 4.o Ice Cream Sandwich at some undisclosed point in the future. Want yours? Click here. PR after the break.

[Via VZW] READ MORE Motorola’s Droid 4 is out now on Verizon for $199.99

Motorola’s Droid RAZR MAXX is out now on Verizon for $299.99

Earlier this month at CES Motorola announced the successor to the RAZR-thin Droid dubbed the RAZR MAXX. What makes the MAXX better than its predecessor is its superb battery life (it can last up to 21 hours on a single charge) and beefier interal storage (32GB). As of January 26 the slightly thicker RAZR (at 8.99 mm) is available at Verizon Wireless for $299.99 with a new two-year contract. Pick up the latest 4G LTE Droid today. But don’t forget–if you’re in the market for a smartphone packing a physical QWERTY keyboard, Moto also has the Droid 4 coming out of the pipeline soon. READ MORE Motorola’s Droid RAZR MAXX is out now on Verizon for $299.99

4G LTE comes to Windows Phone Mango in HTC Titan II and Nokia Lumia 900

Microsoft is heating up the competition by introducing two new 4G LTE enhanced phones for its Windows Phone collection. The HTC Titan II and the Nokia Lumia 900 are in fact the first 4G LTE smartphones to run Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone iteration “Mango.” Let’s start with the Titan II. Besides packing the 4G chip, the new Titan features a giant 4.7-inch super LCD capacitive touchscreen and an impressive 16 megapixel camera with a wide-angle lens, autofocus, and dual LED flash. The rear camera also supports 720p HD video recording, and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing one allows for video chat. Inside you’ll also find a single-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor and a 1,730mAh battery.

Nokia’s Lumia 900 is the bigger brother to the Lumia 710, the latter of which is the first smartphone to come out of Microsoft’s strategic alliance with the Finnish handset maker. (The Lumia 710 is now available to buy on T-Mobile for $50 on contract.) The 900 sports a larger 4.3-inch (800 x 480) AMOLED ClearBlack display, a 1.4GHz single-core processor, 512MB of RAM, Carl Zeiss-branded eight megapixel camera with large aperture (F2.2) and wide angle focal length (28mm) and LED flash that supports 720p HD video capture. Around the front you’ll find a camera also boasting a large aperture (F2.4) and a wide angle lens. Inside the polycarbonate body lies a sealed 1,830mAh battery. When it becomes available, the 900 will come in two flavors: cyan and matte black.

Microsoft’s first 4G LTE Mango phones are coming exclusively to AT&T later this year. Images below, PR and video after the break.

[Via Engadget 1, 2] READ MORE 4G LTE comes to Windows Phone Mango in HTC Titan II and Nokia Lumia 900

Motorola outs two new handsets, Droid 4 & Droid RAZR MAXX

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Motorola announced two new Droid-branded smartphones: the Droid 4 (see above) and a newcomer to the RAZR line called the Droid RAZR MAXX (see in the gallery below). Let’s start by looking at the former’s specs. The Droid 4 packs a 4-inch qHD display with scratch and scrape resistant glass, a dual-core 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, an eight megapixel shooter with 1080p HD video capture and Mirror Mode to display images and video on an HDTV, 16GB of onboard memory, and it also features the Droid’s signature five-row QWERTY keyboard. All of this and it’s only it’s only half an inch thick. It will come preloaded with Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread and Moto says it will be upgradable to 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in time. The Droid 4 will take advantage 4G LTE speeds when it releases on Verizon Wireless “in the coming weeks.” No price announcement just yet.

The Droid RAZR MAXX, the successor to the reboot RAZR, doesn’t deviate too much from its relative. The big difference between the two is battery life. The “MAXX” refers to the smartphone’s giant 3,300 mAh battery pack which Moto promises can deliver a whopping 21 hours of battery life on a single charge. The larger battery makes the new RAZR slightly thicker measuring at 8.99 mm. Another upgrade: the MAXX comes with more internal storage, 32GB to be exact. Like the Droid 4, the MAXX will be 4G LTE super-charged on VZW’s network and pricing and availability is TBA. PR and a Droid 4 promo clip sit after the break.

[Via Engadget 1, 2] READ MORE Motorola outs two new handsets, Droid 4 & Droid RAZR MAXX

AT&T and Sprint announce 4G LTE market expansion

Verizon flipped on its 4G LTE service back in December 2010 and since then it’s rather quickly spread to 190 million US cities and 118 million major airports, covering more than 200 million Americans. At long last, the time has come for the competition to throw their hats into the ring.

In early September, AT&T launched their 4G LTE service in 5 markets (Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston) to complement its HSPA+ network (also known as “faux-G”). Later in November they expanded to eleven additional markets including Athens, Ga., Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. On January 5, AT&T added another eleven markets to the mix, and they’re big ones: New York City metro area, Austin, Chapel Hill, Los Angeles, Oakland, Orlando, Phoenix, Raleigh, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose. Ma Bell calculates that this addition makes AT&T 4G LTE available in a total of 26 markets to 74 million consumers. The company expects its 4G LTE deployment to be mostly complete by the end of 2013.

And then there’s Sprint. They’ve been innovating behind Verizon and AT&T, only just announcing their first major markets to receive 4G LTE. Dallas, Atlanta, Houston and San Antonio will be the first four markets to see the faster speeds in the first half of 2012. Sprint is also working on boosting their 3G speeds as well. They call it Network Vision: “Sprint customers can expect to enjoy ultra-fast data speeds, improved 3G voice and data quality, and stronger in-building signal penetration providing a more reliable wireless experience…everyone in the upgraded areas is expected to benefit from the advanced 3G/4G LTE network.”

With 4G LTE markets spreading across America like wildfire from Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and Sprint, consumers can expect new smartphones to release this year that take advantage of the faster voice and data speeds that 4G provides. Rumor has it that the next iPhone will in fact be compatible on VZW, at least. Now that AT&T isn’t allowed to swallow T-Mobile, the network that made popular the Sidekick is going to have to act quickly if they want to remain the race; their speedy HSPA+ network won’t stand a chance once the other three carriers are boasting their expansive 4G LTE ones. Let the games begin.

[Via AT&T; Sprint]

Samsung Galaxy Nexus now available on Verizon Wireless at $299.99

The very first phone running Android 4.0 aka Ice Cream Sandwich is now available on Verizon Wireless. The 4G LTE compatible Galaxy Nexus by Samsung packs a 1.2GHz processor, a big 4.65″ HD Super AMOLED display, 5 megapixel rear-facing and 1.3 megapixel front-facing cameras, 1GB RAM, and 32GB on-board memory. Android ICS brings with it a whole slew of new features including Face Unlock, Android Beam, an enhanced Camera app, a new People app, and of course an entirely redesigned user interface. Get all the juicy details here. As of December 15 the newest Nexus was made available on VZW and can be yours for a cool $299.99 with a two-year contract. Pics below, PR and video after the break.

[Via VZW] READ MORE Samsung Galaxy Nexus now available on Verizon Wireless at $299.99

Windows Phone-powered Nokia Lumia 710 comes to T-Mobile January 7 for $49.99

In October Nokia unveiled its Lumia range of Windows Phone-powered smartphones, the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710. This week T-Mobile became the official carrier of the budget-friendly Lumia 710 and announced that’ll be available next month. The 710, which features a 3.7-inch ClearBlack WVGA scratch-resistant display, a Qualcomm 1.4GHz Snapdragon processor, a 5 megapixel camera, and HSPA+ 14.4Mbps “4G” speed, is being touted by T-Mo as “the perfect first-time smartphone” at the low price of $49.99 after a two-year contract is signed. Also shipping with software like Nokia’s Drive and ESPN apps as well as T-Mobile TV and Netflix, the 710 comes to market in the US on January 11 in black and white variants.

It’s a shame Nokia isn’t promoting the fiercer Lumia 800 before its low-budget brother, let alone alongside it. In my humble opinion, Nokia is making a mistake by allowing customers to think that Windows Phones manufactured by Nokia are “cheap” or lacking competitive features. It would have been smarter to team the 800 with T-Mobile first so that the public could understand that the Finnish company is ready to battle the likes of Apple, Samsung, Motorola, and LG in the States, rather than push out an entry level smartphone for techies to scoff at. Nokia is a deserving phone maker, so here’s to hoping that they get their act together and release the Lumia 800 in the States sooner than later.

[Via T-Mobile] READ MORE Windows Phone-powered Nokia Lumia 710 comes to T-Mobile January 7 for $49.99

Nokia unveils Lumia range of Windows Phone-powered smartphones

Today at Nokia World in London, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop unveiled the Nokia Lumia range of smartphones. The Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 are the first Nokia smartphones powered by Windows Phone. Remember way back when, when the cell phone manufacturer announced its “strategic alliance” with Microsoft? Well the Lumia handsets announced today are the first products to be born out of the partnership.

The Lumia 800 is the fiercer of the two, sporting a 3.7-inch (800 x 480) AMOLED ClearBlack curved display, a 1.4 GHz processor with hardware acceleration and a graphics processor, 512MB of RAM, an eight megapixel Carl Zeiss optics branded camera lens on the back with a  f/2.2 aperture and 720p HD video recording and playback, and 16GB of internal storage and 25GB of free SkyDrive storage. Quad-band GSM support is included, and users can expect HSDPA download speeds to reach up to 14.4Mbps. The exterior of the super sleek device–which measures 12.1mm thin and is made of durable polycarbonate plastic–isn’t adorned with much. At the top there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack and a tiny door that hides a micro-USB charger port and the SIM slot; the right side has a volume rocker, power button, and a dedicated camera shutter button; the bottom houses the speaker; and that’s pretty much it. The traditional Windows Phone icons (back, home, and search) are capacitive and sit beneath the display. As far as availability is concerned, the Lumia 800 is scheduled to rollout across France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK in November. It will then be made available in Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan before the end of the year, and in further markets in early 2012. Whether or not the United States is included in that “further markets” category is anybody’s guess at this point. The handset is priced at €420, or about $585.

Moving on to the budget-friendly Nokia Windows Phone, the bulkier Lumia 710 sports the same 1.4 GHz processor as the 800, but the 3.7-inch ClearBlack display is WVGA TFT here and misses out on the 800’s crisper and bolder AMOLED screen. Other specs include 512MB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, plus there’s a five megapixel shooter on the back. It’s also worth noting that the Windows icons (back, home, search) are physical buttons on the 710. Availability goes like this: the Lumia 710 will release first in Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan in November alongside the Lumia 800, and then it will be made available in further markets in early 2012. Again, we don’t know if this handset will make it to U.S. shores. The 710 will sell for €270, or about $375.

Now we must briefly focus on the software. Obviously the Lumia range will be running Microsoft’s latest version of Windows Phone dubbed Mango. What’s slightly disappointing is that (at least in the beginning) Nokia isn’t doing much to differentiate their line of Windows Phones from the current competition. The Lumia range will come packaged with the following three software additions: Drive, Music, and ESPN Sports Hub. The first will provide users with full turn-by-turn navigation; the second will work alongside the Zune player and feature something called Mix Radio that allows users to stream music playlists; and the third will offer up sports stats and related news. For now, these are the only differentiating factors software-wise for Nokia’s Windows Phones. Can Nokia get by solely with their good looks?

Be sure to get a closer look at the Lumia 800 (available in cyan, magenta and black) and the chunkier Lumia 710 (available in black and white with black, white, cyan, fuchsia and yellow interchangeable back covers) in the galleries below. Videos and press releases are after the break. If/when these phones make it to the U.S. I’ll let you know. At some point in the near future (likely by 2012) Nokia will be selling Windows Phones in the States, so rest assured.


[Via Engadget 1, 2, 3] READ MORE Nokia unveils Lumia range of Windows Phone-powered smartphones