Windows Phone News

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HTC Surround at BestBuy

Best Buy is accepting pre-orders for the HTC Surround. The AT&T Windows Phone 7 device will run you $199.99 with the two-year contract discounts.

Regular Price is listed as $549.99 and the interesting item of note is the ship date. Best Buy has the Surround shipping on November 8, 2010. At the Windows Phone 7 Launch, AT&T indicated that only the Samsung Focus would be available on November 8th with the Surround and LG Quantum shipping a few weeks later.

Is this wishful thinking on Best Buy or could HTC production be ahead of schedule?

via: Android Central

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Milestone: DroppyPop now available

Flashback to May of this year and we first reported about DroppyPop, an admittedly silly little game that showed off how quickly someone could write an app in Siliverlight for Windows Phone 7. It was also one of the first indie-developer games we reported on for the fledgling OS.

Today, looks like developer Andy Beaulieu finally got his little game listed in the Zune Marketplace for the small token of $0.99. To that, a big congrats to Andy!

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More on the IMDB app for Windows Phone 7

We're learning a bit more about that very cool IMDB program for Windows Phone 7 that we saw on Monday. In short, it's really, really sharp and many of you will find it quite pleasing to use.

The program was made by a company called IdentityMine who also works on Microsoft's Surface. We recently received this description about that movie database app:

New features include daily application tile image updates, panorama views, and the ability to receive IMDb movie recommendations by shaking the phone. Users can also find show times, watch trailers, browse photo galleries, get TV listings, find DVD and Blu-ray releases, explore popular charts and share movie information. The application is available in English US, English UK, French and German. To understand the complexities and deliver on all the goals of this project, IdentityMine researched IMDb’s business needs, user profile, movie assets and technology capabilities.  Over a course of three weeks, IdentityMine’s team of UX experts worked with Silverlight and Microsoft web services to integrate IMDb’s enormous database of 1,633,300 titles and 3,649,234 names with graphics with an interface that users could easily access, search, sort and engage with.

IdentityMine has made a total of six applications for Windows Phone 7 (Graphic.ly and Twitter are others) and we'll be learning more about those over the next few days, so stay tuned!

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Smiles coming to Windows Phone 7

Smiles from Sykhronics Entertainment is headed to Windows Phone 7 and should be available over at the Marketplace at launch. What is Smiles you say?

From the demo video it reminds me of the "match 'em up" puzzle games such as Bejeweled or Jewel Quest. Based on the demonstration, Smiles will have several game modes to keep things from getting dull. The rotating game field is an interesting twist to this style of game.

Our list of apps to review for Windows Phone 7 continues to grow and we'll add Smiles to the list.

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It's been longed rumored that Microsoft was going to make the Zune software compatibile with Apple's desktop OS, but the question still remains when? While we still don't know the answer to the latter question, we now know officially that Microsoft is making the Zune software Mac friendly syncing possible between Windows Phone 7 and a Mac (see Update 2, below).

In a Tweet that was posted (and quickly deleted), Oded Ran, Head of Consumer Marketing, Windows Phone, UK, basically announced that Mac users will be able to use Zune on their computers with "more details soon" as a tease.

Offering such compatibility between Macs and Windows Phone 7 is important to take the fight to Apple, we suppose, though it's unclear how many Apple fans will really ditch their iTunes/iPhone mini-closed empire for the "enemy's offerings". In that sense, this move is probably more symbolic than strategic in the long run, but it's one of those things that is very symbolic. Plus we know there has to be a few Apple fans who want Windows Phone 7, right?

Update: Evidently Microsoft decided to reveal a little bit more stating "Later in 2010 Microsoft will make a public beta available of a tool that allows Windows Phone 7 to sync select content with Mac computers."

Update 2: And it's not Zune software, according to Thurrott, but a way for Mac users to sync content to their devices. Ah, the finer differences in life.

[via Neowin.net & Engadget]

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Unfortunately the Samsung Omnia 7 won't be heading to the U.S. anytime soon (but it is going to Mexico, according to SPK), instead we'll have the similar and somewhat better Samsung Focus on AT&T (brief hands on). We say that the Focus is better now because it features removable/expandable storage, whereas the Omnia 7 does not. In fact, the Omnia 7 is basically the same phone in a lot of ways.

Still, the Omnia 7 is a quad-band GSM and tri-band 3G phone, so technically you can import one if you really want its squareness over the more svelte Focus. And in our conversation with Samsung yesterday, they said they are in talks with all U.S. carriers, so hope is in the air for some CDMA love in the spring.


In the meantime, take a look at GSM Arena's comprehensive review of the I8700 Omnia 7. They "...walk away impressed" with the hardware, reserving any criticism for the now familiar "limitations-of-the-OS" arguments. Getting back to the hardware they say this:


To summarize the review in one sentence – the hardware is perfect, it’s the software that lets the phone down on occasion.


Like all current Samsung devices (Galaxy S series), their strength is simply their screens featuring Super AMOLED, which really is quite impressive with it's "wet" blacks and rich contrast. That's the take away message of why Samsung's WP7 offerings may be a better choice for some of you.

Source: GSM Arena; Thanks, Olaf M, for the tip!

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HTC 7 Pro headed to the U.K.

The HTC 7 Pro made a surprise appearance at yesterdays Windows Phone 7 launch and is headed to the Sprint network next year. We are now hearing rumors that it will also be headed across the pond to the United Kingdom.

Tracy and Matt are reporting that while they demoed all the HTC Windows Phone 7 devices headed to the U.K. they were told that the Pro 7 would also be included in the mix. Speculation has the Pro 7 being available to all networks in the U.K. and will be available Spring of 2011.

Update: Here is the HTC product page for the 7 Pro GSM.

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Windows Phone 7 demo on Facebook

Curious what your Windows Phone 7 Start Screen will look like with your contacts and pictures? The Windows Phone Facebook page might help satisfy your curiousity.

Microsoft has put a Windows Phone 7 demo on their Facebook page that runs through the new system with generic contacts and pictures. But if you allow access, you can populate the demo Windows Phone with your Facebook pictures and contacts.

The demo is not interactive but gives you a decent feel for what to expect from your Windows Phone 7.

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Hands-on with the LG Quantum

The LG Quantum is headed to AT&T Wireless and Phil was able to spend some intimate time with the phone during the Windows Phone 7 launch.

The 3.8" screen looks really responsive to the touch. The side-sliding QWERTY appears to be on the narrow side but when you're used to the five row keyboard of the Tilt2, a lot of keyboards appear narrow.

You can hear Phil's thoughts on the Quantum, as well as the other Windows Phone 7 devices he dropped handled during the Windows Phone 7 launch, in this week's Podcast.

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WP7 Video: HTC HD7 boot time

The HTC HD7 is heading to T-Mobile and we were able to spend a little hands-on time with the Windows Phone 7 device during the Windows Phone 7 Launch.

It's an impressive phone with an impressive boot time. Helped by the 1ghz processor, the HD7 takes about twenty seconds to boot. That's lightning fast compared to some Windows Phones running Windows Mobile.

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For those of you who have not yet joined the Zune network, Microsoft is giving away 3 months of it for free if you pre-order a new device with Windows Phone 7.

In the U.S. (where this offer is only valid, sorry ROW), this adds up to a savings of $45 ($14.99 a month) and is a great way to give the Zune music and video marketplace a trial three months. As mentioned numerous times here, a Zune Pass allows unlimited streaming and downloading of music to your phone, Xbox 360 and PC, plus you can "keep" 10 songs a month (MP3).

According to Microsoft:

Sign-up to be notified to pre-order the new Windows Phone, and we’ll give you unlimited music for 3 months with a Zune Pass—FREE*. Just give us your email address. When Windows Phone is ready to pre-order, use the same e-mail address you sent to us, and when your Windows Phone ships, we’ll send you a 3-month Zune Pass, free.

Not a bad deal if you ask us (especially since we're huge Zune Pass fans, but you knew that already).

[Microsoft via Neowin.net]

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HTC was in the thick of the Windows Phone 7 launch and has added three new videos highlighting three of their WP7 phones. You can find the video on the HTC HD7, Trophy and Mozart over at HTC's YouTube Channel.  The twenty second videos don't offer any specs on the phones but showcases them nicely.

While the Trophy and Mozart are headed to overseas markets, the HD7 will land at T-Mobile next month. Still not sold on the kickstand but that 4.3" screen does look nice.

Ease on past the break to see the videos on the Trophy and Mozart.

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Windows Phone 7 Launch Round-up

It has been a busy day for Microsoft and the Windows Phone 7 crowd. We've seen devices, specs, pricing points and availabiltity dates move across the wire at record speeds.

So much has been covered today we felt the need for a little roundup to pull as much as we can under one roof. So, hit the link and ease on past the break to see a brief summary of today's events.

 

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Yup, of course we got to play with the Dell Venue Pro (an odd name) aka the 'Lightning'. Featuring a 4.1" screen with 8GB of storage, the device felt pretty solid in our hands. It was a bit top heavy with the keyboard out, but nothing serious. Speaking of, the slider is fantastic--you really feel the springs and quality with this one.

The keyboard itself is also quite nice, though a bit cramped (being a portrait slider, this is natural). Here's a funny thing though: yeah, the onscreen keyboard is really, really as good as everyone says it is. Seriously. Phil and I were both banging away on the HD7 and were shocked at the speed and accuracy. All of this almost, almost makes the hardware keyboard feel redundant. Still, we know some of you want this bad boy and we don't blame you--it's a sold device.

In fact, all the phones today feel fast, smooth and top quality. We like these new hardware restrictions as we get consistency for once.

The Dell Venue Pro will be on T-Mobile, features a 5MP camera and Gorilla Glass for the screen. A few more shots after the break!

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Ebay has announced the availability of it's first Windows Phone 7 application. The Ebay App will allow you to bid, buy and check Ebay buying and selling activity from your Windows Phone 7. The app supports push notification to provide real-time alerts.

Other features include:

  • Scroll through the panorama to quickly engage in Daily Deals, popular searches, my eBay activity – bids, items won, selling or watching, messages – and reminders
  • Personalize the shopping experience with saved searches, sharing favorite items with friends and unique background themes
  • Use “Best Offer,” eBay’s fastest growing way to buy, where users negotiate the price of a particular item, with real-time notifications when an offer is received and finalized
  • Quickly pay for items with PayPal in just a few clicks

The Ebay app will be a free application through the Marketplace. It's just one more example on how Windows Phone 7 will keep you in touch. Follow the break for the full press release and another screen shot.

 

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The HTC HD7 on T-Mobile marks the largest of the new Windows Phone 7 devices -- and it's quickly grabbed a spot in our top five devices launched today. Let's start with the particulars:

  • 4.3-inch LCD touchscreen.
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon Processor at 1GHz
  • Wifi: 802.11 b/g/n
  • GPS (and Telenav)
  • Quad-band GSM/AWS 3G
  • Dimensions: 4.8 inches by 2.7 inches by 0.44 inches
  • Multimedia kickstand (that might double as a bottle opener)
  • 5MP camera with autofocus and dual LED flash
  • FM radio
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • 16GB internal storage
Really, it was how thin the HD7 is that struck us the most. Sure, it's big. And it's bright. And the Windows Phone 7 OS flies on it. But for all that size and power, the phone is nice and then. Surprisingly so. We'll have more on this guy coming up. In the meantime, taste some pics after the break.
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Here it is folks.  Looks like HTC snuck in a little surprise as this is the so far unseen HTC 7 Pro, featuring that all too familiar and wonderful sliding (and tilting) keyboard and it's coming to Sprint this spring.

The device will reportedly feature 16GB of storage, has a 3.6" screen, presumably a 1Ghz processor. No confirmation on 4G, but we wouldn't doubt it.

Overall it's a solid device, with a great keyboard. This is the device many of us have been waiting for, so kudos to Sprint and HTC on this design.

Anyone else getting excited?

 

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As busy as we've been this morning this may be old news. Nonetheless, Microsoft has updated it's Windows Phone website to showcase all the Windows Phone 7 devices announced this morning.

And they all look really good.

Each phone is listed with specs, carrier information and the ability to compare the models side by side. Very similar to Google's phone page but with a more animated presentation.  Dare I say, less cluttered than the Android page in the same way that Windows Phone 7 is less cluttered than Android. Ahem.

The only thing missing is the "buy" link and it's only a matter of time before those are added.

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AT&T and Microsoft announced three Windows Phone 7 devices this morning. The HTC Surround, LG Quantum, and Samsung Focus.

In AT&T's Press Release, all three will run $199.99 after the two-year contractual discounts. The offer also includes a free 30-day trial for U-verse Mobile and Zune Pass, which gives customers the ability to download or stream songs from Zune plus the option to download and keep ten songs after the subscription ends.

The Focus will be available on November 8, 2010. The LG Quantum and HTC Surround will hit the shelves in time for the Holidays. We are hoping to get a clearer picture on those dates and will let you know the moment we do.

Follow the break for the full press release from AT&T.

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