With just hours before the big day, we just received word (unconfirmed, but highly probable) that the Dell Venue Pro will sell for $199.99 on contract. No word on cost without a contract, though we imagine it to be in the $550 range. The source of the price quote is none other than a Microsoft store, who will be selling both AT&T and T-Mobile phones tomorrow morning.
This sounds right as every other phone is selling for $199.99 (Samsung Focus, HTC HD7, HTC Surround) so this fits right in with the current line up, no more, no less.
According to Robert Scoble, tomorrow is not only a big day for Windows Phone in terms of launching hardware, but also for the Marketplace which will see a flood of new apps.
Not much is known as to exactly what will be released nor how many, all Scoble says is "Lots of Windows Phone 7 apps coming out tomorrow." and in response to whether they were ports or something completely different, he responds with "the apps I have seen for Windows Phone 7 are completely new".
Tantalizing. So far, the Marketplace is passed 1,400 apps as of a few days ago. It will be curious to see what Microsoft has in store for us in just a few hours. We'll be keeping a close eye and will report anything we find.
We briefly mentioned the HTC Surround's camera in the full review of the phone. More times than not, we cover the Windows Phone camera in a seperate review detailing the software and performance.
I am so accustomed to cameras on Windows Phones being driven by manufacturer software that I overlooked the fact that Windows Phone 7 drives the camera regardless of the manufacturer. Each model may have unique hardware or capabilities (e.g. 5mp vs. 8mp camera, high definition video recording, etc.) but the software is the same.
Having said that, we are covering the particulars of the camera software in our review of the Pictures Hub. After the break, we'll review the Surround's camera with respect to image quality and overall performance. We've also thrown in some sample images and videos to help illustrate the camera's performance.
Late last night, the Windows Phone Marketplace rolled out EA's much anticipated Need for Speed Undercover. To be honest, I'm not much a fan of racing games as I find them boring and...well, too hard sometimes. But EA so nailed this game. I bought it immediately after the first level (all Live games have the try-before-you-buy option).
For $4.99 it has amazing graphics, little movie clips, different adventures and best of all, great controls. The ease and smoothness of driving is just great: the car automatically speeds, you tap the screen to break, swipe down to "wind break", swipe up for nitro-boost and a double swipe down (two fingers) to pause. I highly recommend you make this one of the first games you try when you grab your new phone tomorrow.
Look for a full review in the future here at WPCentral.
We reported on this a week ago and sure enough, Microsoft held true as they released their updated version of MS Tag Reader for Windows Phone 7. With the tool now available, we can probably start using Tags here at WPCentral for links to stories, files, etc. Should be fun.
Overall, the program is quite nice and zippy. It can optionally use your location, which will be interesting to see how that is used. MS Tags can work on "mobile content, videos, music, retailers, contact information, social networks, promotions and more". Basically you just scan and the phone will "react" to what content is linked. Sounds cool, loved it in Windows Mobile.
First impression? Not bad but it doesn't have "live scan" like on Android, where the camera just scans the scene for the tag. Instead, you have to actually snap a photo. Also, pro-tip: use the zoom feature to center the tag; putting the camera near your monitor just won't work.
While we just heard about IM+ bringing over their instant messaging solution to Windows Phone 7, the other popular client, Palringo, is also likely to do the same.
No dates given and it doesn't sound like it is yet in active development, but when asked by @sedp on Twitter, they responded with "We'll see how the platform develops but it's likely". It's not a slam dunk answer, but we're confident we'll see them bringing some chattyness to WP7 sooner than later.
We are now learning that the Venue Pro will be available through Microsoft on November 8th in the U.S. and through Dell.com on November 15th. There is no information on pricing or if the phone will be available through both Microsoft's retail stores and online store on the 8th.
So, did your choice of which Windows Phone to buy on Monday get tougher?
Uh oh, this is not good. Looks like on the eve before its big launch, a major flaw in the T-Mobile HTC HD7's camera has been discovered.
Evidently, the HD7's camera has a pink-color issue whereby whites become heavily rose colored. For instance, take the picture above taken with my T-Mobile HD7: that's of my very white refrigerator. There is also this example from Kevin C. Tofel on Twitter and Matt Miller confirms that this is like what the HD2 suffered from before it had an update. That leads us to believe this can be corrected by software. At least?
Of course, you can also color correct for this in post-processing, but you shouldn't have too. And lets be honest, that's some serious pink.
What say you, HTC?
Thanks, Tim Ferrill, who's at a soccer game, for the heads-up!
Although we're not even sure how one would begin modifying files on Windows Phone 7 to circumvent Xbox Live Leaderboards, Achievements or use pirated software, it looks like Microsoft is already thinking about it. Just in case.
This is similar to what happened on the Xbox 360 in 2009 when nearly 1 million users were permanently banned for evidently modifying their Xbox hardware or using pirated software. Presumably, Microsoft is taking preventive action for when XDA and others start digging into the OS, looking to modify their new mobile OS. In that sense, this is no surprise. On the other hand, it is interesting to know that MS has a system nearly in place to react to such a scenario. So take warning gamers, as once you are banned, it's for evah.
Other notable finds were references in Internet Explorer for copy and paste:
"Cuts the selection and puts it on the Clipboard."
"Inserts the Clipboard contents at the insertion point."
Mentioned briefly in the introductory video for the latest Dashboard Update (which hit Xbox 360 consoles this past Monday and was officially announced right before the US Launch of Kinect in NYC on Wednesday) the Xbox Live Gold Family Pack is really finally truly here. Not so surprisingly, some confusion and many questions were raised among the users that don't know what to do with multiple Xbox Live Gold accounts and multiple consoles.
How it will affect their Zune accounts and alter their interactions with each of the services was also a dodgy subject. I recommend reading on if you find any aspect of the new plan confusing, confounding, befuddling, frustrating, or any other disorienting verb. We'll do our best to leave you enlightened and ready to set up an Xbox Live Gold Family Pack.
You may find it's worth it even if you don't have a full family!
For those of you watch TED: Ideas Worth Spreading, you'll be pleased to see the official application is now available in the Windows Phone Marketplace. It is of course free, in keeping with the spirit of TED, which focuses on cutting edge science and technology.
Overall he app is what you would expect it to be , which is quite solid. It does occasionally time out, depending on your connection, but for a 1.0, it's pretty darn good. We're just glad to see it so soon.
This whole microSD/expandable memory thing is pretty crazy. As we've heard, it depends on if the carrier supports and endorses such behavior, as well as if the device has access e.g. Samsung Focus does, HTC surround does not.
Now we're hearing from T-Mobile in an email received by one of our readers who asked. In short, replacing the memory on your HD7 will void the warranty. Now for some, that's not a big deal, but others it is something that you should at least beware of before you commit to upgrading the storage card.
Thank you for your interest in T-Mobile and the HTC HD7. Please be advised that the HTC HD7 is equipped with 16 GB of internal memory. Any attempts to modify the device would result in voiding the device’s one-year Limited Warranty.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me via email at ExecutiveResponse@T-Mobile.com.
Very truly yours,
T-MOBILE USA, INC.
Aaron Marshall, Executive Customer Relations
We just sort of wish everyone was on the same page here as mixed messages will cause confusion.
Evidently, the other night on 'The Vampire Diaries' showing on the CW network, the LG Quantum with full Bing glory made a cameo appearance when Jeremy was looking for some bad guys. While it is not uncommon to see product placement in shows these days, we're pretty sure this is the first for Windows Phone 7.
Not a bad nod to the great functionality of Windows Phone 7 and Bing either, as it targets the young adult...vampire...market. Or something.
Thanks, Ben Luke, for the tip!
And thank me for the screen caps as I had to sit through that show to get 'em. The things I do for you folks...yeesh.
Sounds like chat users don’t need to be too concerned about not having a viable solution for Windows Phone 7 for too much longer. Shape Services, maker of the extremely popular IM+ chat client, have mentioned on twitter that they have a version for Windows Phone 7 in the works. This was pretty much a given anyway as IM+ currently supports most every smart phone on the market, but it’s nice to get some confirmation.
What other apps are you still hoping to come to Windows Phone 7? Hit us up in the comments.
The time upon has nearly come, as less than 18hrs from now the first Windows Phone 7 devices go on sale here in the U.S. After standing on the sidelines for the last few weeks, we finally get to renew our contracts, sign new ones as well as fork over some cash.
The question is obvious: what are your plans this Monday?
We bet the Samsung Focus is the #1 choice, followed by the HD7 and finally the Surround (see our review). Too bad the LG Quantum and Dell Venue Pro can't make it to the party (well, you can order it online at least). Nor let us forget about the Sprint 7 Pro.
Take the poll after the break and sound off in comments!