Yesterday, it was revealed that the Nokia Lumia 800 will be sold here in the US through Microsoft's growing chain of stores as well as online. Since there are no plans for any US carriers to sell the 800, buying it unlocked through Microsoft is really the only way consumers here can grab that phone.
The big question everyone has was what GSM bands would this feature? We just met with Microsoft and Nokia and figured we'd ask. Turns out, it will be optimized for AT&T, which depending on your current carrier (and loyalty) is good or bad news. Here are the bands it will support:
No details on exact release dates but we're probably looking at just a few weeks at both Microsoft Stores and their online market. It should be a pretty good score though for those who want the smaller Lumia as the 900 can be quite large for small hands.
Remember Brandon Watson's charitable challenge to known technology enthusiasts last year to see if they'd like Windows Phone? We're back with a similar offer, but this time it's aimed at the general public and $100 is on the table. Should you be using an iPhone, Android handset, Blackberry, etc. then you're eligible for the speed test against a Windows Phone. Ben Rudolph (Ben the PC Guy) is at CES 2012, and is on the hunt for challengers who believe their smartphone can best Microsoft's platform.
Should he be beaten, the victor will pocket $100. Should Rudolph reign champion, all you need to do is admit that your phone was smoked by a Windows Phone. There also may be a nice consolation prize in the mix as well. Be sure to follow Rudolph on Twitter and keep an eye on Microsoft/Windows Phone Facebook pages to see where he'll be hosting the challenges. Oh, and be sure to follow the hashtag #smokedbywindowsphone on Twitter too.
Verizon is getting ready to roll out a firmware update for their HTC Trophy. The rollout upgrades the radio to provide "improved data connectivity in certain scenarios when Connection Setup application is installed." Little other detail is provided, nor a date in which the update will be made available. The instructions simply note that users will receive a notification on their handsets. You can see the update details here and keep an eye on the source link to see if further information gets added.
Just a quick reminder that the Nokia Lumia 710 becomes available for order tomorrow from T-Mobile.com, authorized retail stores and from Target, Wal-Mart and Costco locations.
The Lumia 710 is a compact Windows Phone that sports a 3.7" screen, 8gb of storage and a 5mp camera. Our first impressions of the first Nokia Windows Phone to hit the U.S. Market was good. We've tinkered with it for a few days, the Windows Phone still makes a nice impression and look for a full review on the site shortly.
The Lumia 710 will run you $49.99 after the customary two year contractual discounts. The phone will be available in an all black model and a white faced version.
Dear fellow Canadians, here's some exciting news for those of you who feel left out of the Windows Phone party. Nokia is bringing the Lumia 710 and 800 to Canada (as Nokia CEO Stephen Elop explains in the CES interview), which are to be exclusively available on Rogers and Telus respectively. The 710 is set to be on Rogers in February, but no word on availability of the 800 with Telus as of yet.
The only thing left for us to read through is an official press release. Good times ahead anyway. Be sure to check out the Nokia Momentum Map for more details on expansion plans.
Adventure games were once a thriving genre, filled with absolute classics from LucasArts, Sierra, and others. These days, they exist in much smaller number, but they do keep coming thanks to TellTale games and the occasional indie developer. Ghostscape is a product of the latter. Originating as free flash game on Kongregate, Microsoft eventually picked it up as a mobile Xbox Live title. The development staff doubled from one to two people, and that brings us to this non-free version of Ghostscape. It retains a strong low budget indie vibe that will likely scare off mainstream players, but adventure fans will want to give the game a look.
There's little doubt that day one of the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show was big for Windows Phones. I think we all were took by surprise by AT&T's announcement during their Developer's Summit and while Nokia's afternoon press event was expected, we were still very impressed with what was presented. The day ended with Microsoft giving their last CES Keynote address that reflected on the past and gave us a glimpse into the future. Here's the down and dirty highlights from day one of the 2012 CES.
AT&T 4G LTE: AT&T announced they will be offering the first 4G LTE Windows Phones in the coming months. Often described throughout the presentation as "blazingly fast", AT&T's CEO Ralph de la Vega stated that the new network will "take AT&T's Windows Phones to a new level."
HTC Titan II: Riding on the heels of AT&T's 4G LTE announcement, HTC's CEO Peter Chou introduced the world to the HTC Titan II. The Titan II will be one of AT&T's first 4G LTE Windows Phones and sport a 4.7" Super LCD screen, 16mp camera rear camera, 1.3mp front facing camera, and 1.5Ghz Snapdragon S2 processor.
Nokia Lumia 900: What might have been the best known secret of the day, Nokia officially announced the Lumia 900. The 4.3" AMOLED screened device will join the Titan II on AT&T's 4G LTE Windows Phone lineup. It will be initially offered in black and cyan with additional colors becoming available on down the line.
Steve Ballmer: Steve Ballmer likely had a pair of roller skates handy for day one of the 2012 CES. He made appearances during the AT&T Developer Summit that morning, dropped in on Nokia's afternoon presentation and delivered Microsoft's Keynote that evening. While some may have seen Microsoft's keynote as "lack luster" it did give us a glimpse at what's coming down the road, Metro. From the XBox console to the PC to our Windows Phone, Metro will be the Windows interface of choice.
All in all, day one of the 2012 CES was very promising for Windows Phones. Two very impressive devices, a promise of a faster network, and our Metro interface overtaking Microsoft's other platforms. It will be interesting to see what Day Two adds to the mix.
We'll be hitting the show floor seeking out all that is Windows Phone over the next few days and for all our 2012 CES coverage, just hit this link.
File this under "awesome use of a web page". Nokia has published up a very colourful map showing all the countries Lumia has so far invaded, as well as where it plans to go in the future.
In terms of information, the map tells us that the UK is unlikely to see the Lumia 900 any time soon (in fact the 800 is the only listed device), whereas the rest of Europe will find release dates for the 800 and/or the 710. For those of you living in the states, you'll see that the 710 is released tomorrow, with both the Lumia 800 and 900 to follow in the coming months.
But it's not all pretty colours and release dates. If you click on each country you'll see related media, reviews and tweets - including the footage from the Nokia Lumia Live event with Deadmau5 in London.
All in all, it's a page well worth a few minutes of your time to bring a bit of colour to your life.
Let’s face it, most of us don’t own enough physics puzzle games on Windows Phone. Luckily, people with this gripping problem will soon have an easy fix. Starting this Wednesday, Implode! from IUGO will be the Xbox Live Deal of the Week.
Implode! takes place in a classroom setting with every puzzle drawn on a chalkboard. The subject on offer: blowing up buildings as efficiently as possible. Over the course of 150 levels, you’ll get to use a variety of different explosives and face a number of challenging conditions like wind, low gravity, and neighboring buildings that mustn’t be harmed. As our review indicates, Implode!’s puzzles get quite tough sometimes, but it remains fun throughout.
Implode! will be on sale for $1.99 (down from $2.99) for one week only. Pick it up here in the Marketplace - once the sale goes live.
WPCentral revealed that month that Bug Village would be the first freemium Xbox Live game. Then we took it a step further and revealed the full details of the game’s microtransaction system in our interview with Glu Mobile. The time for previews now comes to an end, as Bug Village officially arrives this Wednesday.
Bug Village is a city-building game. The object is to build the biggest and best village with the help of your faithful insect army. Building things costs resources, of which there are two types: acorns and coins. While players can obtain acorns through normal gameplay, coins will cost real-world money.
Bug Village has another goal on top of just building: to unlock Achievements! There are 200 GamerScore worth of Achievements, and you won’t even need to purchase PDLC in order earn them. It’ll just take a bit more time.
Bug Village launches Wednesday, January 11. As a freemium game, it costs nothing to download and play – you’ll just have the option of buying DLC. We’ll let you know as soon as it hits the Marketplace.
Today, Nokia announced not only the Lumia 900 but also some exclusive apps. While Nokia Drive is well known, the ESPN and CNN apps are much more new and less detailed in media coverage.
Perhaps not surprisingly, both apps are quite nice. Well designed, Metro-influenced and delivering what looks to be considerable content, the apps look to increase the value of the phone. And while we don't think an "exclusive" ESPN and CNN app suite will convert many folks, as news junkies ourselves, we're more than happy to have it on board. Furthermore, the CNN iReport feature (being able to natively use the phone to submit reports) is certainly a novel idea.
Anyways, enjoy this quick look at these two new apps.
With all the news of new phones and 4G LTE speeds coming out of CES, let us not forget about the nearly as exciting world of Xbox Live game updates. After all, if you bought a buggy game, you’re probably worried more about getting it working right than upgrading to a new phone. On that note, Psionic Games has kindly provided information on the recent Ghostscape update.
Ghostscape version 1.1 release notes:
Fixed translation error in the Spanish build that was causing lockups
Issues with gameplay elements like orbs not appearing or resetting properly have been addressed
Before the update, items sometimes wouldn’t spawn or players wouldn’t get credit for finding all of the collectibles. Those problems should be a thing of the past, so now you can play through the game freely without fear of missing out on Achievements. WPCentral has also learned that the developers have another update in store which will add free ringtones and perhaps a few UI improvements.
Ghostscape is a first-person horror-themed adventure game. It’s short and has delightfully easy Achievements – see our review for more details..
Psionic Games’ Ghostscape costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Brave souls can get it here on the Marketplace.
Hey, look at that...it's the just announced Lumia 900 for AT&T. While these are still considered "prototypes" (which tells you how much Nokia is rushing here) and there are only three on the premises, we were able to get a brief tour of the device.
Our first impressions of it are quite enthusiastic. The screen is simply one of the nicest we have seen on a Windows Phone with deep blacks and high contrast colors. While the device borrows heavily from the 800, it certainly looks to be its own. The size is certainly much larger than the 800 but in a good way. Of note is Nokia has thankfully redesigned the microSIM card slot as it now requires a pin to open it as opposed to the "prone to breakage" flip door on the Lumia 800.
We're not going to lie, while the specs are fairly regular for "high end" Windows Phones, the Lumia 900 is about looks and feel. And it looks (dare we say) sexy and that is something Windows Phone needs to sell. Oh and yes, it has 16GB of storage memory as you can see at 2:30 in the video.
More photos after the break...remember to click to enlarge
Microsoft took the opportunity to reflect on its accomplishments and give us a peak at what's in store for the future in this year's CES Keynote Address. CEO Steve Ballmer took center stage to deliver a "State of the Union" type presentation for the software giant. After 14 years of delivering a keynote address at the International Consumer Electronics Show, this would be Microsoft's last. At least for a while.
Presented in conversation form with Ryan Seacrest moderating, Ballmer began the conversation on Windows Phone. Naturally, he was pleased with the success Windows Phone has had and felt it is the first phone to put people first. It provides a consolidated glance at what's important in your life.