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2 years ago

Is the Windows Phone Samsung Mandel built off of the new Android Galaxy S3?

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If you've been following along today, Samsung finally pulled the sheets off of its much anticipated Galaxy S3 Android phone. The device is chock-full of the latest specs and is currently the biggest threat to Apple and their iPhone yet. You can get all the nitty-gritty at our sister site AndroidCentral.

What's very odd about the look of the device which was shown for the first time today was we've seen it before. In fact, we saw it last night in a post at the site WPXAP.

Those pics were of the SGH-i667 aka the Samsung Mandel a 4G LTE Windows Phone destined for AT&T. Those photos were quickly pulled from the WPXAP site, though we managed to grab them before they dissapeared. An oddly timed leak?

Reader Judge_Daniel sent a side by side of the Windows Phone SGH-i667 next to some pics taken by the Verge and gosh darn it, there are some eerie similarities. Does this mean the Mandel is really that Galaxy S3 Windows Phone variant that Samsung is working on? With only 8GB of storage we'd had to think so but then again what we reported yesterday could be an early prototype.

Perhaps the Mandel is being re-worked for a Windows Phone 8 upgrade. No one can really be sure so we'll just leave those side by side images there for you to speculate.

Update: As noted in comments, it perhaps more closely looks like the Samsung Blaze on T-Mobile. Bottom line: Samsung recycles a lot.

Thanks, Judge_Daniel, for the image and observation. Incidentally, site WP-Life also came to the same conclusion

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2 years ago

Ask WPCentral: Any PayPal apps out there?

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Are there any PayPal apps for your Windows Phone? One reader sent us this question and we took a look over at the Windows Phone Marketplace for the answer. There are two apps currently available that have PayPal connections, HelpPayMe and PayPhone Lite.

HelpPayMe allows you to send money, request money, view transactions and view your current PayPal balance.

PayPhone Lite is similar with the ability to view your balance and transactions history but also throws in a Live Tile to show the balance and a PIN to secure the app.

Here's our reservations. Neither of these apps are official PayPal apps and you are basically allowing a third party access to your PayPal Account. With PayPHone Lite you log into your account and grant the app permission to access your account. With HelpPayMe, you have to set up API access with PayPal. While we haven't heard of anything nefarious occurring with either app, we'd prefer an app that provides a more secure, direct access to PayPal.

Hopefully, we will see an official PayPal app hit the Marketplace and eliminate the need for a third party conduit. Until then we suggest proceeding with caution. You can find PayPhone Lite ($.99) here and HelpPayMe ($1.99) here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

If you've had any experience with either of these apps, feel free to sound off in the comments.

Thanks, Billy, for the tip!

          

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2 years ago

Lumia 610 arrives at Amazon Italy May 22; available for pre-order now

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Amazon Italy has the entry-level Nokia Lumia 610 available for pre-order and set to be in stock on May 22. It is currently listed at a price of € 203.51 ($267). The Lumia 610 is Nokia's first attempt at a truly low-end offering and will come loaded with Windows Phone 7.5 Tango (build 8773), which is a stripped down version designed to run on as little as 256MB RAM.

Inside you will find:

  • 3.7" screen
  • 800MHz CPU
  • 256MB of RAM
  • 8GB internal storage
  • 5-megapixel rear camera

But despite the budget hardware, the 610 is still a hot little number.  It retains the look and feel of its higher-end brethren and fits nicely in the Lumia family.  It's not clear if the May 22 availability applies to other European markets, but we will keep you posted as we find out.

Source: Amazon; Via: Plaffo, Thanks for the tip, Antonino!

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2 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: Fantasia Painter

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The other day we shared a list of the best photography apps for your Windows Phone. We knew that there were other worthy photo apps out there and one such app that was mentioned prominently in the comments was Fantasia Painter.

On the one hand the Fantasia Painter is a photo editing app. On the other hand Fantasia Painter is a creative suite to give your photos a serious splash of color.  On top of all that, if painting is more your cup of tea Fantasia Painter can handle that as well.

It's really hard to tell how many editing tools Fantasia Painter has (the Marketplace description says 45+ but that feels a little low) but it ranks amongst the top photography Windows Phone apps on the amount of control you have over editing your pictures.  Fantasia Painter is an impressive photography app for your Windows Phone and it can be a little intimidating.  Once you get the hang of the controls and all the editing possibilities, Fantasia Painter can really make your photos shine.

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2 years ago

Nokia Lumia 900 featured in the help section of the Orange UK website

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The UK carrier Orange has the Lumia 900 listed on the help section of their website. Not only is the Windows Phone detailed with photos, tips, helpful tutorials and more, but the user guide is available. Now, we're not ones to jump the gun but this appears to be a pretty definitive 'yes' to the Lumia 900 coming to Orange.

The next question is "when?". With the delays that are occurring throughout the country and beyond, it could be quite the wait. Then again when the retail chains all launch the smartphone later this month, carriers might not be far behind (if at all).

The Lumia 800 and 710 are both "out of stock" on the carrier's website. With this hint at the Lumia 900 joining the two Windows Phones, this could be a sign that Orange is satisfied with sales thus far. Orange is also set to launch the Lumia 610 with NFC technology later this year.

Source: Orange; thanks Simon for the tip!

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2 years ago

Priyanka Chopra challenges other smartphones with "Blown Away By Lumia"

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Nokia has got hold of Priyanka Chopra, an established Indian actress, singer and former Miss World to host some videos for the "Blown Away by Lumia" Windows Phone challenge. Just like the Smoked by Windows Phone campaign, Chopra challenges participants at common tasks to see which smartphone is faster. 

The Blown Away by Lumia challenges have come under fire since Nokia began uploading the video clips to sharing websites, with Samsung publicly announcing the company believes Nokia's aggressive campaign is "unethical", but we've also seen some humorous reactions, including a girlfriend of a losing participant.

Check out the other two videos after the break.

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2 years ago

Nokia's Chairman claims tablets and "hybrids" being looked into

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Jorma Ollila, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nokia Corporation, told the well respected Financial Times that Nokia has plans for tablets and "hybrid" smart devices, details nearly lost in the article focusing on how Nokia is trying to rebound from losing market share lately.

While specific on the device plans are scarce, Ollila did give a few tantalizing details in the interview, noting:

“Tablets are an important one, so that is being looked into, and there will be different hybrids, different form factors [handset designs] in the future.”

We can of course only surmise that Ollila is referring to Windows 8 plans for the fall where Nokia is expected to release such devices. Such a pronouncement echoes an earlier comment by Marko Ahtisaari, Design Chief at Nokia who said in March that he spends a third of his time at the company on tablet development.

With Nokia making advances in flexible screens, their excellent design esthetic and the new Metro layout of Windows 8, we see yet another perfect storm to take on Apple in the tablet space.

Trying to catch up to Cupertino will be exceptionally difficult for the Finnish company, as much if not more than in the smartphone realm. But if there was a perfect aligning of technology: Nokia, Windows 8 and Microsoft would be the best shot.

The other bit about "hybrids" is also fascinating as it sounds to us like something between a tablet and a smartphone is being considered, ala the Galaxy Note. While the Note with its 5.3" screen was dismissed by many as too large, the device has actually been selling quite well indicating a strong market for such hybrids.

Needless to say, this fall should be very exciting.

Ollila is stepping down from Nokia after 27 years from the company as announced late last year.

Source: Financial Times; via the Nokia Blog

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2 years ago

Windows Phone web Marketplace marches on with 22 new countries added today

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Microsoft may not be dominating in the United Sates or Europe but that isn't stopping them from expanding to the rest of the planet. In their continued expansion of the web Marketplace, which we use everyday, Microsoft has added a healthy chunck of countries to the list.

Twenty-two in all were brought online today, including Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, UAE, Bahrain, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Israel, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Ubiquity is the key word here and Microsoft has always been a fan of market saturation. So long as Windows Phone apps and games are available everywhere, developers will be encouraged to create new products and customers will enjoy the convenience.

Launching last September, the Windows Phone web Marketplace has continually and constantly expanded over the last few months, enabling users to browse, purchase and send apps right to their phone without any wires. Recently however, there were some problems as Microsoft makes adjustments to the backend, resulting in some unplanned downtime for customers.

To learn how the web Marketplace works check out Microsoft's tutorial.

Source: Windows Phone Blog

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2 years ago

Motorola injunction could block Microsoft products in Germany

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Motorola has been granted an injunction on Microsoft products being sold in Germany. The Xbox 360, Windows OS, Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player will all fall under the ban, should it be put into place. The injunction follows a ruling claiming the software giant had infringed two Motorola patents required to support H.264 video coding and playback.

An official statement from Motorola reads the following:

"We are pleased that the Mannheim Court found that Microsoft products infringe Motorola Mobility's intellectual property. As a path forward, we remain open to resolving this matter. Fair compensation is all that we have been seeking for our intellectual property."

According to reports, this is just one of several cases involving around 50 properties owned by the smartphone manufacturer. Microsoft has stated that should the software giant meet the demands of Motorola an annual bill would be in the region of $4bn (£2.5bn). The manufacturer has denied this claim.

A statement from Microsoft has been published, which highlights how the company will look to appeal the decision.

"This is one step in a long process, and we are confident that Motorola will eventually be held to its promise to make its standard essential patents available on fair and reasonable terms for the benefit of consumers who enjoy video on the web. Motorola is prohibited from acting on today's decision, and our business in Germany will continue as usual while we appeal this decision and pursue the fundamental issue of Motorola's broken promise."

Motorola cannot enforce the ruling made by the German courts until a Seattle-based judge lifts a restraining order. This restriction was put in place by Microsoft after it claimed Motorola was actively abusing its Frand-committments (pact to license innovations required for widely used technologies under "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" terms). A hearing is to be held on May 7th.

Source: BBC

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2 years ago

Samsung's white LTE Windows Phone for AT&T gets pictured. Will it ever be released?

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The Samsung SGH-i667 aka the 'Mandel' is one of the last Windows Phone that we have very little information about. It passed BT certification in January and then cleared the FCC in March but since it did not co-launch with the HTC Titan II and the Nokia Lumia 900, it is presumed that the Samsung LTE phone was canceled.

Now, two images have leaked out of the device, the first one you see above is the back of the phone and it shows a svelte, glossy white smooth rounded back.

The second image is a screen cap of the device connected up to Zune Desktop, showing the device name. The AT&T logo is prominent on the device and featured in that image which is pulled from Microsoft's servers.

The device also appears to be sporting only 8GB of storage (with 5.61 available) which tells us that this was probably not a high-end, flagship phone for AT&T but an offshoot of the Focus Flash, which also goes by the name i667.

Other than that we just don't have any more information. The images come by way of the site WPXAP and no other details were given.

Samsung has reportedly taken a break from Windows Phone to work on a high-end Windows Phone 8 device for the fall (rumored to be a Galaxy S3 knock off). Could the 'Mandel' have been skipped or passed over by AT&T or even Sammy? We may never know.

We'll keep an eye out though we know we'd like to add it to our collection. Samsung looks good in glossy white.

Source: WPXAP; Thanks, Talan1314, for the images!

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2 years ago

Microsoft details Windows Phone developer summit in June

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Microsoft has announced an upcoming Windows Phone developer summit, which will be held in San Francisco on June 20-21. The company is set to activate plans to attract more developers and big-name brands to the platform. One of the major complaints with Windows Phone is the lack of popular apps that are available on competitor platforms.

Microsoft has done a good job thus far with bringing companies to Windows Phone to build apps for consumers and broaden the Marketplace inventory. Some developers are even swayed without the software giant intervening - Windows Phone owners have proven to be a stubborn bunch when it comes to showing interest in a much desired port. DrawSomething is a good example of this with the community urging the developers to support Windows Phone.

What's interesting to note about this developer summit is that it's a week before Google I/O 2012, and is even in the same city. It would be a smart move for Microsoft to make it as convenient as possible for developers on other platforms to attend their Windows Phone event. Even if the attendees show no interest in building apps, for them to actually be present during the presentations could be enough to motivate the poor souls.

We'll of course be there for the event should you not be able to make it.

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2 years ago

Canadian carrier WIND to release Lumia 710 for $259 on May 3rd

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Canadian carrier WIND is set to launch the Lumia 710 tomorrow, May 3rd. We previously covered the rumours pointing to an early May release for the Windows Phone, and now those who have been waiting eagerly will be able to pick one up. The Lumia 710 is to be priced at a reasonable $259 without contract, or for $99 on the WINDtab with the WIND25 and $0 on the WINDtab with the WIND40 monthly plan. 

Emails have been sent out to early ordering customers with information detailing the upcoming launch, including the above pricing.

The Lumia 710 (see our in-depth review) packs a 1.4GHz CPU, a 3.7" ClearBlack screen and a 5MP camera - perfect for anyone who requires a budget Windows Phone.

Source: MobileSyrup, WIND

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2 years ago

Microsoft details cloud services for the Windows ecosystem

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Microsoft has released some more information detailing the Windows Live services for the next upcoming instalment of the software giant's operating system. As the company continues to move away from the Windows Live and Zune brands, Microsoft Account begins to take over with services such as Messenger and Hotmail being rebranded for easier recognition.

The UI hasn't been the only element of Windows to be redesigned, as one can see in the below table the Windows Live services will all be renamed to match the simplistic new approach Microsoft has undertaken.

Those who have actively used Windows Phone will feel right at home with Mail, Calendar, People, Messaging, Photos / Videos and other new branding that will be present in Windows 8. It's interesting to see just how far the services have come. Skype isn't mentioned, but we're sure we'll see more details as to how VoIP will be further integrated into Windows 8 and Windows Phone. We've also yet to hear more surrounding Microsoft's new music service.

"Windows Live reimagined" (check out the video on the official blog post at MSDN for more information) will see the Microsoft Account act as a key to the storage of personal information and settings. Simply connecting the account to a Windows 8 PC will automatically setup and integrate contacts, email, calendar events, photos, SkyDrive and more. The same experience will be present on the big screen (and tablet) as it is on the smartphone.

The future's bright; the future's the cloud.

Source: Building Windows 8 (MSDN Blog)

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2 years ago

Fable Heroes Xbox 360 impressions

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Fable Heroes Xbox 360 impressions

As part of WPCentral’s ongoing Xbox 360 coverage, we’ll sometimes discuss console titles of interest to our readers. Last week’s Arcade Next XBLA release was Bloodforge, a dark and gory action game from Climax Studios. This week’s release, Fable Heroes cleanses the pallet with a much lighter tone and cooperative play.

Remember Fable Coin Golf, the Fable-themed Windows Phone exclusive that shared a connectivity feature with Fable 3 on 360? Fable Heroes is another spin-off, this time of the beat-em-up genre. It also skews younger than the mainline Fable series, putting players in control of wooden puppet heroes as they romp through stages based on the console games. You won't find a story of any sort here (unlike past Fable games), as it centers squarely on the multiplayer experience instead.

Head past the break for our full impressions.

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2 years ago

Microsoft launching two-year subscription for Xbox 360 console and Kinect bundle

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Microsoft has plans to introduce a $99 Xbox 360 console package that will be accompanied by a two-year monthly subscription as early as next week. According to sources, the software company will offer the 4GB console package, which includes a Kinect sensor, at Microsoft Stores in the states. The bundle will be subsidised with a monthly fee of just $15.

As well as the console and Kinect, customers who make the purchase will have a Gold subscription activated on their Live ID Microsoft Account throughout the contract duration, and will be covered by a two-year warranty. There is likely to be an early termination fee for those who have the desire to break out of the contract prematurely, but how does the cost work out? Total amount comes to $459 ($99 upfront fee with a two-year $15/mo subscription) for the soon-to-launch package offer. But should you purchase the bundle with a Live subscription outright (without the offer), you'll be looking at around $400. 

Microsoft is targeting those who are keeping an eye out for a cheap entertainment centre. With Windows 8 on the horizon, not to mention a new music service, the software giant will look at more ways to attract potential customers to their new ecosystem. As a slight humorous side-note: the $15 monthly fee equates to $360.

Source: The Verge

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