Windows Phone News

Nokia has announced the Lumia 610 today with NFC (Near Field Communication) support, which we covered earlier with the above video being uploaded to Nokia's Youtube account by accident. The Lumia 610 NFC was revealed at WIMA NFC 2012 in Monaco and is expected to be available early in the third quarter of 2012 with Orange listed as the first partner carrier.

But what's all the hype about NFC, and what can the technology do to make life easier for Windows Phone owners? An NFC enabled device will enable users to share photos and other media by just touching other handsets, make payments in stores with MasterCard PayPass, use the Windows Phone as a travel ticket (e.g.: Oyster on London public transport), just to name a few examples.

Check out the video for more information and quick demos from Nokia's Andrea Bacioccola of what NFC can achieve on Windows Phone and read more on the announcement at Nokia Conversations. Unfortunately the Lumia 710, 800 and 900 do not support NFC. 

Check out the press release after the break. Video Source: Youtube

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With the confusion this week of some news blogs publishing alleged photos of a Lumia line waiting to purchase a Windows Phone at launch that later turned out to be an iPhone launch, we feel the need to relay some positive coverage of the Lumia launch in China. China Telecom released the Lumia 800c late last month, and announced along with Nokia that both companies have plans in place to market the handset.

According to the photos published on the Meizu discussion board, the Lumia 800c launch was well received by consumers with a healthy line being illustrated. It's a positive sign to see such interest shown for Windows Phone. Bravo, Nokia.

Check out more photos after the break.

Source: Meizu, via: @Jubbing

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On April 19, Nokia is expected to release their Q1 results.  As a precursor, they put out some initial figures, showing that despite relatively strong sales, their profits continue to shrink.  Nokia totaled €4.2 billion in phone sales, the bulk of which consisted of 71 million feature phones, Nokia's one-time bread and butter, bringing in around €2.3 billion.  Smart devices earned them about €1.7 billion.  And even though these seem like pretty big numbers, they are not enough to cover the cost of moving over to the Windows Phone platform in an attempt to gain a foothold in the smartphone arena.  The expected result is a first quarter finish 3 percent below the break-even mark. 

But this doesn't mean all doom and gloom for Nokia.  Sales of Nokia's Lumia line of phones has been solid and continue to increase.  The Lumia 900 has gotten off to a quick start and doesn't show any signs of slowing yet.  And neither does Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop.  He says that he and his crew continue "to increase the clock speed of the company" and that "the change is tangible."  Considering that they scrapped their previous operating system in favor of Microsoft's just under a year ago, and that their first devices just hit the market last quarter, it's hard to call a 3 percent loss a failure.

Read the presser after the break.

Source: Nokia

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Nokia has been aggressively marketing their Lumia family of Windows Phones on a massive global scale, with events sporting 4D projections, augmented reality experiences, and live music performances the manufacturer appears to have extraordinarily deep pockets for the marketing budget, something that Microsoft needs from an OEM with its new mobile platform. 

As well as Nokia we've seen Microsoft pushing hard with carriers and the famous Smoked by Windows Phone campaign. Following on from this successful array of stunts, Nokia has kicked off "Blown away by Lumia" in India, which hasn't gone down too well with Samsung, who is backing the Galaxy family of devices. The Finnish manufacturer also took to the streets in the UK with the "Lumia Challenge", sharing the same concept.

Back to the "Blown Away by Lumia" campaign in India, check out the following video, which is one of many adverts Nokia has where competitor handsets are literally 'blown away' by Lumia Windows Phones.

As with the Smoked by Windows Phone challenges, contestants have to try and best the Windows Phone (a Lumia handset in this case) with general smartphone tasks, such as taking a photo and uploading it to Facebook. Which ever device completes the task first wins. Should the contestant lose, they have to hold up a sign that reads: 'My phone just got blown away by the Nokia Lumia'.

Nokia explains the challenges were validated by Nielsen, with Nokia India Director of Marketing, Viral Oza, commenting the following on the accusations of unethical campaigning:

"The Lumia 800 emerged as a clear winner by winning 94% of the total 104 challenges timed by Nielsen. This challenge has not been created to target competition but to highlight the social media capabilities of the device."

Samsung, however, shares a different view and an Indian spokesperson stated that the campaign is "clearly unethical". The complaint is based on the view that the video clips Nokia has uploaded mostly target the Korean manufacturer's popular devices. It's a fierce battle between the two handset makers in India so it'll be interesting to see how this plays off in the future, especially with Samsung's Windows Phone lineup.

What do you guys think of Samsung's claims?

Source: India Times

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A few weeks ago we spoke with AT&T about the lack of OS updates for current Windows Phones, specifically the 8107 update which fixes the disappearing keyboard and applies various security fixes.

During that conversation, AT&T informed us they were committed to updating current Windows Phones and were evaluating a post-8107 update aka "Tango" or Consumer Release 3 (CR3). You can read that whole situation here but the important take away was that AT&T users would get a significant OS bump in the coming months (no time frame was committed to).

Now in their help forums, AT&T has once again come out publicly to reiterate this position. From Community Manager Jamileh:

"Hey all - I know you're eagerly awaiting news about this. AT&T plans for a Windows Phone update that will contain the improvements in the 8107 update and more.

I will likely start a new thread as I get more information as this one is getting a bit tricky to find information in.

Stay tuned!"

Again, no time-frame was given. But at least AT&T have twice gone on record on the matter. Now, it's just a matter of waiting which for some of you will be too long no matter how quick AT&T pushes this out.

Source: AT&T Support Forums; Thanks to all who sent this in

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While the previous line of Lumia devices including the 710, 800 and 900 don't have near-field communication (NFC) on board (we even asked recently about the 900), evidently a variation of the low-end Lumia 610 will.

A video from Nokia was erroneously made public on YouTube early this morning and then quickly pulled. In the video, the Lumia 610 is shown demonstrating various NFC tasks like payments (Mastercard Paypass), streaming music to NFC-enabled Bluetooth speakers and more.

Even though the video was pulled the site NokiaBuff was able to rip and post a much poorer quality version back on YouTube. (It's running at about 5 FPS but you get the idea.)

Orange UK is also reportedly going to be one of the first partner carriers to get the Lumia 610NFC though no time-frame was given. The Lumia 610NFC is expected to be revealed today at WIMA NFC 2012 in Monaco as Nokia is a chief sponsor of that convention.

Developing...

Source: YouTube (pulled); via NokiaBuff, WPSauce

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You heard that right, everyone. We are having our first ever Windows Phone Meet Up this Saturday April 14th in St Louis.

What is a Windows Phone Meet Up? The ideas is to pick a time and place, post it in our Windows Phone forums Meet Up area and then go hang out with other WinPhans in your area for drinks, food, conversation, and fun. This sounds like a great way to meet other WinPhans nearby and with your new Lumia 900 or Titan II you're sure to have a lot to share with others. 

Forum member speedtouch is famous for his WebOS Meet Ups and has insisted on hosting our first one ever for Windows Phone. What better way to show off your Windows Phone than to join speedtouch and other WinPhans at the Triumph Grill for drinks, eats and conversation?

The Triumph Grill is located 3419 Olive St. Saint Louis, MO 63103

We have all the details in our Forums including directions with links to maps of the area and more information on The Triumph Grill. You can also sign up at: St. Louis Windows Phone Meetup @ GroupSpaces

Everything you need to know is in this thread: [April 14] St. Louis Windows Phone Meetup

Forum member jabtano would like to get a Meet Up going in the Boston area but he hasn't had many replies to his thread "Boston MA Meet Up?" He has a great idea so if you live in Boston, let him know you're interested.

If you have thoughts for a meet up in your locale or if you want to show interest in getting a Meet Up set up, start a thread in our Meet Up forum. Also don't forget to show your support for the WinPhan movement.

Remember, the forums are more fun when you register, so sign up today.

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This, ladies and gentlemen, is the definition of a win-win. See, there's been this little bug in the Lumia 900 (by the way, you've read our Lumia 900 review, right?) that has been causing some early adopters -- regular consumers as well as reviewers -- to lose all data connectivity. As in, the phone kinda forgets the fact that, in fact, it is a phone. Not good, to say the least.

Nokia, in a blog post this evening, starts off on a positive note. "Award-winning CES product" blah blah blah. "Stars aligned for a successful sales start on AT&T" blah blah blah."Very positive response on Day 1" blah blah blah.

Oh, and, yeah. A "memory management issue was discovered that could, in some cases, lead to loss of data connectivity." That's kinda a biggie. The good news is that Nokia's found the issue. Here's what's going to happen next:

  • On or around April 16 (that's next Monday), an update will be made available via Zune. That should fix all this nonsense.
  • Or, you can swap your current phone for a new one that will already have the updated software.

And Nokia's doing even one better. If you've already bought a Lumia 900, you're getting a $100 credit on your AT&T bill. If you're going to buy a Lumia 900, do it before April 21. Because you'll also get a $100 credit on your bill. That covers the cost of the phone on contract. So, you're basically getting a free Lumia 900 for your troubles. Or for trouble you might have had. Either way. It's a sweet deal.

And good on Nokia for making it right. But that doesn't change the fact that black eyes do sting for a little while. Read more on the issue and join the discussion in our Lumia 900 forum.

Source: Nokia Conversation

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AT&T if offering a free Samsung Focus Flash for existing customers who add a new two-year contract to their account. The 4G Windows Phone (see our review) is a perfect freebie for anyone who's looking to add a second line to their account.

Sporting a 3.7" S-AMOLED display, 5MP rear-shooter (with f2.6 lens), 1.4Ghz chip, 512MB RAM and 8GB storage, the Focus Flash is no slouch when it comes to powering the latest apps and games.

Do note that this limited-time offer is not available in-store, and a $5.95 shipping and handling fee may apply. The new service line must be a 2-year agreement with voice ($9.99/mo) and data plan ($20/mo) added. 

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Nokia has begun sending out email notifications to the first 500 Lumia 900 Windows Phone owners who put their name down to submit feedback on the product experience. The lucky 500 will receive a $50 Amazon gift card as a thank you for filling in a minimum of three web surveys.

Should you have been lucky enough to get your form in before the entry limit was surpassed, you will be receiving the following email in your inbox:

"Hi *NAME*,

Congratulations! You are among the first 500 eligible participants and we can now confirm that you are in.

As a reminder, participation in the study involves responding to three mandatory web surveys which will be sent out within approximately 6 weeks. After responding to the three surveys you'll get the gift card as a thank you for your time.

Please use the phone as you normally would, we don't expect you to be an expert user. We are interested in what you think, so respond to all questions based on your personal experience and feelings.

Start with the first mandatory survey by clicking this link.

Once all participants have completed the required number of web forms for Nokia they will receive the Amazon gift card. It's good to see Nokia taking owner feedback into account for future products.

Thanks everyone who tipped us!

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The guys (and gals) over at XDA regularly provide the Windows Phone community with homebrew apps that fill some gap that non-native apps cannot.

One of these gaps is screenshots. The Windows Phone Operating System provides no support for taking screenshots, which can cause reviewers like ourselves some hassles. So we previously covered an app called Screen Capturer which took screenshots and saved them to your pictures hub, and now 'N37-L0RD' over at XDA has developed a similar app called WP Screenshot.

It's pretty close to Screen Capturer, except for the main feature: pictures you take are instantly transferred right onto your PC, eliminating the extra step of syncing with Zune. It is also really basic to use and setup, which you can see below:

1) Download the two files attached to this post.

 

2) Deploy the .XAP to your device and open it up. Also open up the desktop app.

3) Open up command and find out your IP Address, and input that into the WP Screenshot app on your phone.

4) Once it's connected, half-press (as if to focus) the camera button any time on your phone and the picture should automatically pop-up on your PC. Press Ctrl+S to save the current screenshot. And press Ctrl+H to view the other commands.

There you have it, a super simple way to get screenshots from your device. This does require your device to be dev-unlocked, but does not require Interop-unlock.

Source: XDA

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The Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U, two popular UK mobile phone retailers, have both joined Clove UK in listing the Lumia 900 (our review) on their websites for pre-order and interest registration. The handset is launching in the states on AT&T's LTE network, so it's good to see the international version (HSPA+) hit the British shores.

The Carphone Warehouse expects to release the handset in May, and has an interest registration page setup for alerts to be sent out when pre-ordering is available. Phones4U on the other hand has already gone live with pre-orders for both the black and white version of the Lumia 900.

What's more is the retailer is offering a free Nokia Play 360 Wireless speaker (worth £120) with a Lumia 900 pre-order. Not a bad deal. As well as the speaker, the white version is exclusive to the retailer according to the order page, and they expect to have the Windows Phone ready for delivery by April 27th.

Source: Carphone Warehouse, Phones4U, via: The Verge

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Looks like AT&T is not forgetting their important demographic of Spanish speakers as they're running a new ad for the Lumia 900 featuring Ricardo Arjona. For those of you not familiar, he's a very popular and famous "Guatemalan Grammy Award- and Latin Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter" (thank you, Wikipedia!).

In other words, they landed a fairly be celeb for this ad which seems to show of the strengths of the Lumia 900 fairly well. More importantly, this commerical is targeted for Mother's Day, which is an opportune time to buy mom a $99 Cyan Lumia 900, especially if has Ricardo Arjona serenading her. (We'll stick with flowers, thanks)

Okay, perhaps it's a tad cheesy but to be honest, it's no different than any other smartphone commercial out there and the ladies deserve to have a nice phone too.

So go buy one for mom, she'll finally forgive you for not calling her more often.

Thanks, Jonathan, for the tip

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Today wrapped up a big day for Windows Phone with the launch of two 4G LTE devices on AT&T, the Lumia 900 (review) and Titan II (review). In celebration, Microsoft ran their Free-Time Machine promotion which basically allowed people to play with both giant Windows Phones and the real thing with the Lumia 900 taking front and center.

From New York City to Chicago to San Francisco, Microsoft had their booths set up and celebrities on hand to help draw new people into "saving time" by seeing how efficient Windows Phone can be. Oh and yeah, they also gave away a lot of gift certificates to restaurants, for gas and all sorts of things to help out folks.

Not much else to say on the events so you can watch the other two videos after the break to get an idea of what happened. And if you stopped by, feel free to post up your pics and tell us your experience in comments.

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It would appear that the Nokia Lumia 900 Windows has done well during it's opening weekend. While many scratched their heads at an Easter Sunday launch, the Lumia 900 was available for pre-order with many receiving the new Windows Phone on the Friday before the official launch date. The pre-launch exposure kept everyone informed and while odd, the Easter Sunday launch apparently was a non-issue.

While we don't have sales figures from AT&T we can look to another strong indicator of sales, Amazon.com's Best Sellers Lists. The Nokia Lumia 900 now holds the top two spots on Amazon.com's Best Selling Cell Phones with Service list (black #1, cyan #2).

While holding the top two spots on the Cell Phone Best Seller list by the same phone is rare, what's even more impressive is that the Nokia Windows Phones are holding high spots on the more broader reaching Cell Phones and Accessories Best Sellers list.  The new Windows Phones also hold the top two spots on the "Movers and Shakers" on this Best Seller list.  This list is composed with everything from phones to screen protectors to cases and everything in between.  At last check, the Lumia 900 Cyan has moved from 527th to 70th and the Lumia 900 Black jumped from 192nd to 30th on this list.

It will be interesting to see what staying power the Lumia 900 will have. We know it's a quality Windows Phone but will the marketing efforts of AT&T turn others heads. How will the availability of the other quality Windows Phone, the HTC Titan II, impact the 900's sales? Also remember that we still have the white Lumia 900 heading to market on April 22nd. The white Windows Phone may help keep the Windows Phone momentum going strong.

Source: Forbes; Thanks, everyone, for tipping us on this!

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A friendly reminder to our beloved Windows Mobile 6.x users: the Windows Mobile Marketplace is to be discontinued on May 9th, 2012. From that date on, users will no longer be able to access the service to download content. All apps and games already installed on handsets will continue to work as expected after the Marketplace is closed down, but further downloading of already purchased apps will no longer be available.

Microsoft recommends users review apps and games installed on any Windows Mobile handsets and install all available updates in advance. According to the reminder email sent out by the company, all apps and games that are compatible with the platform may still be available from developers directly or via third-party Marketplaces.

Should you be looking to upgrade and leave the golden days behind, now is a perfect opportunity with Windows Phone. The Lumia family of handsets are rolling out globally, with devices from popular OEMs including HTC, Samsung and LG. Be sure to check out our reviews of any device you may be interested in for more information and a detailed walkthrough. Check out the reminder email after the break.

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In a continuing day of large financial transactions, Ad Age is reporting that AT&T has budgeted nearly $150 million dollars to promote and sell the Nokia Lumia 900 (review).

We've heard before that AT&T is making this their biggest phone launch ever, even dwarfing the iPhone and we reported that Nokia is paying AT&T upwards of $25 million for exclusive employee-use of the flagship Windows Phone. But this figure for advertising really puts into perspective just how big a deal this phone is to Microsoft, AT&T and Nokia.

Of course there is a strategy involved for everyone and for AT&T, that is getting itself away from the iPhone (which is now on two of its competitors here in the U.S.). Whether or not "Rolling Thunder" , Nokia's campaign name for the 900, will pay off remains to be seen. We expect it to be a few months before the "beautifully different" slogan catches on and awareness to increase.

Still, if the numbers by Ad Age are even close to being accurate, then we're in for an exciting few months. At least for now, the Lumia 900 has been the #1 seller on Amazon Wirelss for the last 24-hours under AT&T phones. That's a good sign. And reception for AT&T's first commercial has been fairly positive so far.

Source: Ad Age; via CNet

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Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com

We mentioned how Kourtney Kardashian will be in New York City today for the Free-Time Machine promotion going on in Bryant Park (more info on that here) and while she's in the city, she stopped by Fox and Friends for an interview.

In a smart move cross-promoting her ongoing reality show "Keeping up with the Kardashians", Fox and Kourtney weaved the Lumia 900 into the conversation starting at around 1:20 in the interview.

Though it's somewhat forced (mostly because we're aware), she discusses how Twitter is built in and how easy it is to use the Lumia 900.

While some of you may be thinking "no big deal" we're actually quite excited about this as these little bits of celeb sighting and small, sneaky promotions will raise curiosity about Nokia's flagship phone. We can't help but think that this will create much more awareness of Windows Phone and just as importantly, Nokia.

PS Please keep comments on topic and non-inflammatory/non-political.

Source: Fox News; Thanks, @Nokia_Man_USA, for the tip!

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Tweaks for Windows Phone is a homebrew application by Windows Phone Hacker, the brains behind Lock Screen Widgets, that empowers the user with an array of customisable options. From hiding the clock to faking a Xbox Live Gold subscription, Tweaks will allow one to have some fun while on the go. The beauty of such an app is how it allows such alterations without diving into the registry or applying multiple hacks.

The app sports interesting functionality, including the ability to access OEM Marketplace collections (but not all apps will work on unsupported devices). Some highlighted features of Tweaks:

  • Toggle Dehydration
  • Toggle clock visibility
  • Toggle 32bit color
  • Enable 'never' screen timeout
  • Allow media access while the phone is syncing
  • Spoof Xbox "Gold" status and send messages without subscription
  • Change phone's voice
  • Charge your phone wirelessly (not really, but it'll make the OS think that)
  • Change your OEM Marketplace

Head on over to Windows Phone Hacker to download Tweaks. Note that this requires root access / privileges.

Warning: Microsoft takes Xbox LIVE hacking seriously. We don't know the ramifications, if any, in using this hack but be forewarned that permanent bans could occur on your account if Microsoft figures it out.

Source: Windows Phone Hacker

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