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3 years ago

The science behind the Nokia Lumia 900's screen quality

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One of the many things that stood out in our review of the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 is how good the screen looks. Nokia is using ClearBlack display technology with the Lumia 900 that definitely makes a difference.  But why?

In a recent interview with CNET Raymond Soneira, president of DisplayMate Technologies, explained why ClearBlack display technology gives the Lumia 900 such a nice screen.  Soneira explains that reflectance of a screen can degrade the sharpness and color quality you see. It may be nice to touch up your make-up or comb your hair from your Windows Phone screen's reflection but it doesn't help with screen quality.

Nokia manages to address this issue with the ClearBlack technology and circularly polarized glare suppressing optics. The polarized optics disrupts the reflections, minimizing tier influence on image quality. According to Soneira,

"The Lumia 900 has the lowest screen reflectance of any mobile device I have ever measured, 4.4%, which is almost forty percent lower than the iPhone 4."

DisplayMate Technologies also found the reflectance rating of the Lumia 900 to be noticeably better than that of the new iPad which is rated at 9.9%. Science asides, the bottom line is that the Lumia 900's screen looks really good.

source: Cnet

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3 years ago

Windows Phone App Review: Clever Alarm

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3 years ago

Nokia TV confirmed to launch in Finland in coming weeks

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Nokia TV, a television programme streaming app for Lumia Windows Phones, has been confirmed to be launching in Finland in the coming weeks, according to an announcement article over at Nokia conversations. We previously looked at Nokia's latest Windows Phone OEM app courtesy of WP7Forum.ru.

A quick reminder of notable features:

  • View TV shows provided by local networks.
  • Videos can be downloaded to the device (presumably for offline usage).
  • Does not use technology for mobile TV (DVB-H).
  • Search for content / programmes within the application.

Nokia TV is set to be released in the next few weeks, and will then allow Finnish Lumia owners to enjoy programme streaming while on the go with offline functionality (similar to Nokia Music) hopefully implemented. Will the app be released beyond the borders? We're not entirely sure, but we'd certainly be excited at the prospect of Nokia TV expanding to other countries.

Requiring no registration or account creation, the app will provide users the means to browse / search available catch-up TV catalogues from major broadcasters. Mika Suomela, head of TV and video at Nokia, explains the idea behind the service:

"With Nokia TV we are bringing existing services in Finland together in a convenient way. We're making it easier for people to find and watch TV, while supporting broadcasters' existing internet TV business models. Finland is the ideal country in which to introduce this service due to its advanced mobile user base and great existing broadcaster catch-up TV services."

Nokia TV is expected to launch within the next few weeks in Finland only. 

Source: Nokia Conversation

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3 years ago

Lumia 900 review roundup: mostly positive but with a few annoyances

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A number of technology blogs and news sources have published reviews for the Lumia 900, including ourselves. What's the general reaction from reviewers? Mostly positive. Critical on certain aspects of Windows Phone itself, but positive nonetheless. The Lumia 900, with the polycarbonate unibody, shouts out "I'm good looking!" but there are a few apparent flaws with both the hardware and software that could put off potential buyers.

We've taken a look at a number of reviews on the web, from the likes of CNET, Engadget and VentureBeat to name but a few. We can now pass on a summarised feeling as to how the Lumia 900 has been received by critics. We'll hit the negative points first. Unfortunately, many reviewers stuck to their guns and complained about the lack of apps available on the Marketplace. Even though Microsoft has been accelerating growth with numerous developer camps, competitions and giveaways the company still needs to work on getting big names on-board. Something their future developer plans appear to address.

As well as the lack of apps, a number of reviews touched on the multitasking in Windows Phone, which was implemented in the "Mango" update last year. Comments include the lack of robustness that is present when compared to both the iPhone and an Android handset. As for the Lumia 900 itself, the speaker was noted as being "too quiet". This is a flaw that many Lumia 800 / soon-to-be 900 owners can (and will) agree on - the speakers could be improved.

Lastly on the negative front, a few comments were made regarding the Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac - I wanted to touch on this personally. Of course the small app isn't Zune, but it doesn't have to be. I'll be the first to admit I'm a fan of not only Microsoft, but of Apple as well. My main two computers I use on a daily basis is my trusty Mac Mini and white MacBook, so I'm familiar with not only the Zune suite on my Windows desktop, but also the Mac Connector. The app that Microsoft is continuously developing, which allows me to synchronise and update my Windows Phones, is more than enough. I would actually go as far to say it's more efficient than Zune.

It's not all doom-and-gloom for Windows Phone and the Lumia 900 however. As I mentioned in the opening of this article, the majority of reviews were positive overall with compliments provided for not only the hardware, but the software too. The LTE speeds experienced using the 4G Windows Phone were particularly impressive. Then you have the award winning design of the Lumia 900 itself, which originated from the N9. Nokia has done a superb job with fitting the 1830mAh battery as well as adding the 1.3MP front-facing camera with an f/2.4 lens to really make the 900 last and be capable of more advanced tasks.

As well as the hardware side of things, Microsoft's operating system received some love with the "silky smooth experience" being mentioned more than once. While handsets on the platform don't sport 15Ghz octo-core chips that require a mobile nuclear reactor to power them, the experience that the consumer will continue to enjoy is heavily optimised for low-end hardware. It's also slightly lighter on the ol' piggy bank with manufacturers being able to drive down cost.

To conclude; Microsoft has a long way to go. They already realize and understand this fact. As the company has reiterated: they're in for the long haul, it's a marathon and not a sprint. With their apparent planning of Windows Phone's not-so-distant future with bringing on-board more big name developers, we should see the annoyances rectified and the handsets sent to the games. But it's a positive step in the right direction.

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3 years ago

AT&T's "24 hours with the Lumia 900" ad hits the internet

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AT&T has released a new video promo highlighting the Nokia Lumia 900 over on their YouTube Channel. Not sure if we'll see this hit prime time but the "just under two minute" video follows the Lumia 900 for a 24 hour period.  It's a nice video promo on the Lumia 900 and shines a nice light on the new Windows Phone.

The day begins with an alarm, a check of the weather and a quick status update. From there you see how the Lumia 900 fits into your everyday life up until it's time to set the alarm again and call it a day.  The promo is a little on the subtle side showing only glimpses of the Lumia 900 in action.  Just enough to get your curiosity up but not too much to be overwhelming.

So, what do you think? Does AT&T need more flash or is showing the Lumia 900 in action strong enough to attract new customers?

Source: ShareATT; Thanks, Jose, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Nokia announces Lumia 710 and 800 for Vietnam and releases Vietnamese keyboard app

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Nokia has announced the release dates for the Lumia 710 and 800 in Vietnam. Both handsets will go on sale and will be available on April 9th, for 6,299,000 VND and 10,599,000 VND respectively. Nokia Vietnam has listed 21 retailers to stock and ship the two Windows Phones, and all stores will be decorated in Lumia promotion material.

Unfortunately, the Vietnamese keyboard and language aren't supported by the platform, but are on the horizon (as well as Local Scout, Maps, etc.). Nokia has attempted to soften this blow by releasing Viet Keyboard, an app which provides a convenient text input solution for the Vietnamese language. 

Users are able to type as they would normally in the app and then copy the text to the clipboard, which can then be subsequently pasted elsewhere on the smartphone. Viet Keyboard will be especially useful for common tasks such as SMS, email social network posting, and web browsing.

You can download Viet Keyboard from the Marketplace (Lumia restricted). Source: Mainguyen; thanks Hoang for the tip!

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3 years ago

Developed Down Under: a local Marketplace highlighting app for Aussies

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Developed Down Under is an upcoming app, developed by Mobile Wares, that will be of use for Windows Phone owners and developers who reside in Australia. The free app will allow developers to showcase their apps and games to a local audience. The targeted reach should provide developers with more downloads, ratings and usage compared to relying on the global Marketplace itself (depending on app functionality).

Some highlights of Developed Down Under:

  • Random suggested Apps upon each application launch
  • Additional search capabilities (includes ability to browse by publisher, latest apps, etc.)
  • Australian Windows Phone news related feeds
  • Relevant tweets displayed (#wp7au Twitter search feed, etc.)

For more control on what content is displayed, developers will have to opt-in (for free) to have their apps featured in Developed Down Under. News and tweets will be pulled down and loaded in the app from numerous sources and search / browse capabilities are present to create an efficient user experience for consumers.

Should you wish to have your app listed in the app, head on over to WPDownUnder to opt-in by filling in the available form (be sure to check out the terms and conditions first). WPDownUnder expects the app to be released over the Easter break. As well as the new localised developer app, a new hashtag for Twitter has been created - #ddu.

Source: WPDownUnder

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3 years ago

SkyScanner updated to version 1.4 with more added functionality

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SkyScanner, the popular (and highly rated) travel companion app, has recently been updated to version 1.4 with more functionality being pumped into the experience. The app integrates with the service on the SkyScanner website, and the iOS and Android apps have both proven to be very popular. SkyScanner for Windows Phone is developed by Distinction - the folk behind AppFlow and Cocktail Flow.

The free app boasts the following features:

  • Search over 1000 airlines and travel agents to get the best deals
  • Watch flight prices: pin your flight searches to your start screen (prices update every hour)
  • Search trains too: compare rail travel and flights on major European routes
  • Available in more than 25 languages
  • 100% independent and shows ALL airlines including low-cost carriers and scheduled airlines
  • Email flight details to yourself for later
  • Share your flight details with friends, family or colleagues

So what's new in version 1.4? Users of SkyScanner for Windows Phone can now view flight prices for each day of an entire month / year , making it easier to choose the best deal. An "Everywhere" search feature is now also present, which enables the user to search for cheapest fares without entering specific destinations. As well as the two feature additions, a number of optimisation improvements and fixes were implemented.

Bonamy Grimes, Co-founder and Director of Mobile at Skyscanner, had the following to say about the app on Windows Phone:

"We launched our first app for Windows Phone late last year and it has been very well received. But we’re always trying to improve overall user experience, and it’s a testament to our mobile development team that we’ve managed to surpass even our own expectations of version 1.4 in such a short space of time."

Some positive words from a well used service. You can download SkyScanner from the Marketplace for free.

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3 years ago

UK pricing for unlocked Lumia 610 and 900 revealed

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Clove UK, a mobile phone retailer, has published an article on their blog confirming pricing details for the Lumia 610 and Lumia 900 (our review), which are both heading to the shores. Unfortunately they don't have an ETA as to when the Windows Phones will begin to ship to consumers. 

Should you desire to pre-order the Lumia 610 and / or 900 unlocked from Clove, you'll be set back £228 and £486 (including VAT) respectively. A fairly attractive price for those who aren't locked in contracts and are looking for a smartphone that's both feature rich and affordable.

Source: Clove UK (Pre-order: Lumia 610 / Lumia 900); thanks Tahiti for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Attend a 'Behind the Tiles' Windows Phone event to win a Lumia 900

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Microsoft has teamed up with AnythingbutiPhone to provide the Windows Phone community with a number of invitation-only events across the U.S. 36 events will be held at 12 Best Buy establishments on set days that will run from 6:30pm - 9:00pm.

Branded "Behind the Tiles with Windows Phone", these sessions will enable attendees to get hands-on experience with a variety of devices and learn about the design philosophy behind the Metro UI. Also, you could be in with a chance of winning a Lumia 900 for attending. What's on the agenda?

  • Attend a Nokia Lumia 900 instructor-led demo lab
  • Learn about the Metro UI and the future with Windows Phone (three screens dream, etc.)
  • Get the latest information on Windows Phone for IT and Developers
  • Play with some of the latest Windows Phones
  • Network with peers and Windows Phone experts
  • Have a chance to win great prizes
  • Food and beverages will be provided

Should you be interested in attending one of the hosted events, head on over to AnythingbutiPhone (link below) to view the calendar and be sure to register for a place (enter "MVP" during registration) if you can make one.

Source: AnythingbutiPhone; thanks William for the heads up!

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3 years ago

Windows Phone Xbox Live Review: DoDonPachi Maximum

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Japanese developer CAVE is almost singe-handedly responsible for keeping the shoot-em-up genre alive in modern times – they have produced over 15 such titles since their formation in 1995. CAVE’s very first game, DonPachi, has also proved to be the most enduring, spawning many sequels under the DoDonPachi moniker. None of the DoDonPachi console ports have made the trip to the US, but DoDonPachi Resurrection was at least released as a region-free Xbox 360 title in the UK. Thankfully, CAVE has taken to publishing their games on smartphones in the US – first releasing a handful of DoDonPachi titles on iOS, and now launching DoDonPachi Maximum for Windows Phone worldwide. Hardcore shmup fans will certainly enjoy Maximum, but the game’s esoteric design will leave some gamers scratching their heads, if not flinging their phones in frustration.

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3 years ago

Lumia 900 torn apart to reveal the magical kingdom inside

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The Lumia 900 has received the 'teardown' treatment over at TechRepublic. Once dissembled, the website was able to poke around at the insides to reveal the hardware that powers the Windows Phone operating system on this device. Packing a 1.4Ghz Snapdragon CPU, 16GB storage, 512MB RAM, and an 8MP camera (with front-facing 1.3MP shooter) the Lumia 900 is no slouch when it comes to handling the day-to-day business of its owner.

In our in-depth review of the Lumia 900 we highlighted the solid build quality and polycarbonate design, which was also praised by TechRepublic. Opening the device itself is a fairly straightforward task, should you wish to take a deeper look where the fairies gather (see below video for demonstration).

Source: TechRepublic, via: The Verge

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3 years ago

MiniSquadron flies the friendly skies as the Xbox Live Deal of the Week

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Last week’s Xbox Live Deal of the Week was an unexciting repeat, but things are looking up this week. We’ve got a game that’s never gone on sale before, and it’s a relatively recent release, too. MiniSquadron from Supermono and Fat Pebble Studios is now on sale for $1.99, down from $2.99.

MiniSquadron is a fast-paced and challenging 2D aerial combat game. With 9 maps and 63 different aircraft to unlock, it certainly has a lot to keep players interested. The colorful graphics and classical music impress, and even the menus are better than average. Unfortunately, MiniSquadron is also a fairly buggy game, with a broken Achievement worth a whopping 50 GamerScore. The developers haven’t even updated it for Mango, either. Despite these major problems, it’s still an enjoyable game – see our review to learn all of the pros and cons.

MiniSquadron is on sale for $1.99 for one week only. Fly over here to get it from the Marketplace. Thanks to Jimbob73 for the tip!

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3 years ago

Xbox Live: Civilization Revolution has dawned on the Marketplace

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First announced at the beginning of March, Civilization Revolution is now available on the Marketplace. 2K China, who also created the iOS version, ported the game to Windows Phone for 2K Games.

In the Civilization games, players start at the dawn of humanity and lead their civilization through the ages, including modern times and even the future. You’ll need to gather resources, build new cities, research technologies, and either war against or form alliances with neighboring countries. You can choose from 16 different nations to play with as you strive to achieve one of four possible victory conditions: Technology, Economic, Cultural, and Domination (war).

After jumping in to the Windows Phone game, a few things have become clear. First, the graphics appear to have been awkwardly rescaled from the iOS original, resulting in a generally pixelated look. This version’s tutorial text isn’t as helpful as say, Civilization IV, so it’s going to be a lot harder to learn than previous Civilization games. Hopefully Revolution will be a rewarding experience once we get our heads around it. Feel free to leave gameplay tips in the comments section, clever readers.

Civilization Revolution costs $2.99 and there is a free trial. Get it here on the Marketplace.

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3 years ago

Nokia Lumia 900 Review

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Nokia Lumia 900 Review

WPCentral's Review of the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900

“With one of the best displays for a Windows Phone around, a $99 price point and Nokia’s svelte and sexy design, the AT&T Lumia 900 is one of the best values for a smartphone today. For those people upgrading from a first generation Windows Phone to those folks just coming on board, the Nokia Lumia 900 is sure to impress.”

Design:
The Lumia 900 is designed and manufactured to perfection. This shows in the end result, while not as smooth as the Lumia 800, it's still beautiful.

Feel:
Unibody, check. Single piece of injection molded polycarbonate, check. Feels great to hold and use? Check.

Performance:
Powered by Windows Phone Mango Release 2, a 1.4Ghz processor, 4G LTE and an 1830mAh battery, the Lumia 900 will keep you going throughout the day.

Quality:
AT&T, Nokia and Microsoft have done a great job with the Lumia 900. It's not perfect but it's certainly close.

 


 

Solid 8MP rear camera and outstanding 1MP front camera make the Lumia 900 a great video phone. The polycarbonate unibody design makes this device one of the nicest looking on the smartphone market and the 1830mAh battery ensures great battery life even when using AT&T's blindingly fast 4G LTE. To cap it off, the 900's AMOLED screen is one of the nicest we have used.


 

The rear 8MP camera could stand to use a BSI sensor to reduce noise and increase brightness in low light situations. The non-removal battery may be an issue for some and the rattle from the vibrate feature is cringe worthy.


 

For $99 on contract, the Lumia 900 is one of the nicest Windows Phone on the market today and for the foreseeing future all at a great price. It has solid hardware including super-fast 4G LTE and the latest version of Windows Phone Mango ensuring a great experience for new users and veterans looking for an upgrade. Plus the device oozes with Nokia's quality craftsmanship making it a device many will want to talk about. With all the hype around this phone, this could be the next "it" device for the summer.

The Nokia Lumia 900 on AT&T is the most anticipated release for the Windows Phone since the system was released back in October 2010. There’s a lot riding on this launch for Microsoft, AT&T and certainly Nokia, with the latter betting everything on the fledgling mobile OS from Redmond.

In fact, this is the first time outside of Microsoft enthusiasts that a Windows Phone actually has some buzz in the mainstream media, partially due to Nokia’s rapid buildup with the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 along with those respective advertising campaigns.

Does the AT&T Lumia 900 live up to the expectations? We gave the 900 high marks for its display, super-fast 4G LTE speeds, mesmerizing design and solid battery life. All of which exceeding most of our expectations.  Yet, all is not perfect though and there are few minor complaints, especially around that rear 8MP camera. Still, the Lumia 900's esthetics and visual appeal will make up for any deficiencies it may have in the long run.

Read on for our definitive AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 review...

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