LG

Say what you want about LG but their custom Windows Phone software is hands down the best of all the OEMs today. Between offering $30 worth of apps for free (including the amazing Weave) and their homemade stuff like Voice to Text, ScanSearch and Metro Scanner (and a bunch of other tools, like panoramic camera), they really offer quite the one-two punch to HTC and Samsung.

ScanSearch and Metro Scanner are great because they are so-called augmented reality apps. Basically they take advantage of the phone's accelerometer, compass and camera to show you things you can't see, like bars, restaurants, or in the case of Metro Scanner, subway stations in your local city.

Metro Scanner works "world wide" and while we couldn't vouch for that it did a swell job in New York City. You launch the app, it grabs a GPS fix (can take a few seconds, though it has a progress bar, natch) and then it shows you where the nearest subway is in relation to you. Holding the phone flat  gives you a map with compass, holding it up uses the camera to show you where it is as if you could see through all the buildings. Tapping the station gives you directions.

Metro Scanner was just updated to v1.2 to fix a compass bug and all we have to say about the app is that it's pretty darn cool, LG. Our next hope? Microsoft releases those camera and compass APIs so 3rd party developers like Layar can join in on the fun.

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We covered LG complaining last week about the somewhat dissatisfying performance of the Windows Phone 7 platform, which was expected with iPhone and Android absorbing majority of the news. However, the comment made was still received with mixed feelings.

Contradictory feedback - reported by Yahoo! - from German carrier Deutsche Telekom, largest mobile provider in Europe and mother of T-Mobile:

"We are ahead of budget, Microsoft is very pleased."

Which Ingo Hofacker, Head of Consumer Marketing at the mobile giant, provided. It is a good sign that they are witnessing WP7 devices selling off shelves at speed, and one can only predict this trend to continue as updates come this year.

Thanks Philipp for the tip!

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We were just envying LG's amazing Voice to Text app, wishing it were on other Windows Phones and evidently others at XDA thought the same. Difference being they went ahead and they allegedly patched the XAP file so as to make it work on any unlocked Windows Phone.  (Similar case with Samsung's apps).

To see if it works we tried it ourselves and sure enough, it does what it was meant to do. Most of you won't have a developer unlocked device to do this and the ChevronWP7 loop hole will be patched soon, plus there's the whole thing that this is technically stealing LG's software and one of their device selling points (though everyone seems okay with loading WP7 on their HD2s, with no concern there--double standard we guess). So you know, we don't recommend you do this, even if you could, which you probably can't.

Source: XDA

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Word has it that the LG Quantum (aka Optimus 7Q) will not be heading across the pond to Europe.  According to Pocket-Lint, James Choi, marketing strategy and planning team director for LG Electronics Global, told them, “Unfortunately, the Quantum will not make it to Europe. It’s an exclusive handset for AT&T in America."  He did not elaborate much, simply attributing the move an "internal issue."

With the further delay of Dell's Venue Pro, It leaves our European WP7 counterparts QWERTY-less, with nothing more than hopes that the HTC 7 Pro manages to find its way over there in the near future.

Source: Pocket-Lint

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Although LG may be feeling some blues over the response to Windows Phone 7, one area they nailed was their awesome Voice to Text app.

We're sure Microsoft and their Tell-Me system will add this feature to all Windows Phone in the future, but for now, LG has it all to their own. That's because they're using Nuance Dragon Diction to do the actual speech translation and it works quite well.

Supporting Twitter, SMS, email and memos, the LG-only app is a shining jewel for their Quantum (see review) and Optimus 7 phones and something to consider when buying your device.

Bonus Tip: saying "period", "exclamation point" or "question mark" will do punctuation for you. So cool.

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In a recent interview, James Choi,  marketing strategy and planning team director of LG Electronics global, shared some thoughts on the Windows Phone 7 launch and at least they're honest. In short, they were expecting a bit more visibility of the launch and for it to catch on more:

From an industry perspective we had a high expectation, but from a consumer point of view the visibility is less than we expected.

LG has been closely collaborating with Microsoft from the beginning. What we feel is that it is absolutely perfect for a huge segment out there. What we feel is that some people believe that some operating systems, mainly Google, are extremely complicated for them. But Windows Phone 7 is very intuitive and easy to use...

No one should necessarily be surprised at those comments.  The launch for Windows Phone 7 has been a critical success but publicly it is a bit on the down-low now, especially with Android and now the iPhone (once again) stealing all the news. But all is not doom and gloom for LG as they truly believe in Windows Phone 7 both as a vialble OS and a way to balance the plethora of Android devices in the market--something they say their vendors are looking to balance as well because there's just too much Android. As to the solution?

There is a lot of scepticism at the moment, but once Windows Phone 7 handsets that are mid-tier to low tier start appearing the market share will grow. Right now it’s only exclusively present in a high tier, because of its hardware requirements, and that’s limiting growth.

Sounds about right to us. Microsoft has the right pieces, just a matter of time.

Source: Pocket-lint; via Pocketnow

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If you own a LG Quantum, LG has updated it's Marketplace offerings with a handful of new, free, apps.  There are ten apps in all and they include:

  • Cocktail Flow - A cocktail recipe app
  • Doodle God - A civilization creation game
  • Color Sprouts -A drawing/coloring app
  • Envision for Basecamp - Project management tool
  • Krashlander - A gaming app pitting you against robots
  • Colorize - An image manipulation tool
  • Weave - A very good RSS reader(here's our review)
  • Talking Ragdoll - Novelty app to transform your pictures into talking rag dolls
  • Mobile Sommelier - A wine and food pairing app
  • Mr. Hat and the Magic Cube - An interesting looking puzzle game

LG is also offering a network setup app to help users configure their network settings (similar to what Samsung did a while ago).

What's interesting about this offer is that these apps (save the network setup) are all openly available on the Marketplace.  All totaled, these apps would run you about $30 but if you access them through your LG Quantum, they are free.  I guess it is LG's way to say thanks for choosing our phone.

To take advantage of these free apps, simply go to your Marketplace App on your LG Windows Phone and they'll be listed in the LG App Store.

Source: PocketNow Thanks to Mike and Just Visiting for sending in this tip!

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ElektricForest has created an insightful chart (click the image to enlarge) that outlines the more frequently observed features of any mobile for Windows Phone 7. Thinking on switching to the Microsoft platform but are having difficulty with deciding which product would best suit your needs? Take a quick (or in-depth) look at the detail of this chart. Also, you may wish to admire the pretty colours used in presenting the data in an aesthetically pleasing style.

There have been a slight increase in the amount of discussions on our forums that are created about switching to Windows Phone 7, but not knowing which product is the best solution for that particular user. Hopefully this chart can shed some light on any poor soul who simply can't make his (or her) mind up.

I see it as this – why read a financial marketing book, when you have a children’s book about money with huge pictures right next-door on the shelf?

Source: ElektricForest; via Windows Phone Secrets

Update: I have added the updated image with corrected Dell data.

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Review: LG Quantum

LG has joined the party! The LG Quantum is available over at AT&T to complete the wireless provider's initial Windows Phone 7 lineup.

The Samsung Focus's main features would be the thin size and Super-AMOLED screen. The HTC Surround's key feature would be the slide out Yamaha speakers. The LG Quantum's key features, the slide-out keyboard and DLNA compatibility.

Can the physical keyboard and DLNA give the Quantum a leg up on the competition? Or will the smaller form factor dampen the impact of the LG Quantum?

Ease on past the break to find out.

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In what is becoming a regular occurrence these days, Windows Phone 7 got some major screen time on tonight's Hawaii Five-O (CBS).

Dano basically sneaks into the "bad guy's" house and breaks out his LG Optimus 7 to snap some photos as evidence. He then "shares" them with his partner (who looks to be using an iPhone; cat fight anyone?). Overall, a nice demonstration of the WP7 camera system, even if it annoyingly resets your settings after each launch.

Bonus/Hey that's no coincidence: Microsoft and AT&T premiered their new commercial tonight which also features the camera function of WP7. How odd! (New commercial after the break).

Previous coverage of WP7 on TV: 'Castle', 'Bones', 'Hawaii Five-0' & 'The Vampire Diaries'; Thanks, Joe T., for the tip!

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Yup, another week another product placement for Windows Phone 7. It's almost getting ridiculous at this point probably since we're documenting every instance. But we imagine for public perception, this will go a long way...

Last night on the show 'Castle', Richard Castle (the super awesome Nathan Fillion) pulls out his LG device in what has to be one of the more obvious product demos on TV. Ever. But still, it was a cool demo of Bing voice search, something we haven't seen yet on these ubiquitous TV spots. We also went the extra mile this time, getting the video clip you see above (you're welcome!).

See previous WP7 product placements: 'Bones', 'Hawaii Five-0' & 'The Vampire Diaries'

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LG Quantum lands at Amazon.com

Earlier we saw the LG Quantum show up online at AT&T and Microsoft. Now the latest Windows Phone has landed at Amazon.com.

The Quantum is running $469.99 out of contract and as low as $.01 with new service ($199.99 if you're upgrading). Amazon will also throw in free two day shipping on the Quantum.

The penny sale does have a catch. The fine print reads,

"When you purchase your device with service from AmazonWireless.com, we automatically pass along an instant discount from the carrier to you. This discount has been provided to you based on your agreement to (a) activate a new, or extend an existing, line of service for this device with the carrier, and (b) maintain this service in good standing for a minimum of 181 consecutive days. If you do not activate or extend a line of service in connection with this device, or if your service is canceled/disconnected before 181 consecutive days, AmazonWireless.com will charge you $250 per device, plus applicable taxes.".

Regardless of the fine print, it's a heck of a deal if you're looking for a Windows Phone 7 device that sports a slide-out keyboard.  You can check out all the purchase options over at AmazonWireless.

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Wow, so looks like that whole back and forth on whether Windows Phone 7 could tether is turning out to be settled: of course it can, they just hid it.

Much like the Samsung Focus and Omnia 7, the LG Optimus 7 has also been shown to be able to USB Tether as a modem. Once again, it's a bit tricky, requiring some drivers to download and tinkering with a diagnostic menu, but overall is pretty straightforward.

Directions are posted after the break.

There's a good chance that the LG Quantum will be able to do the same, seeing as they are essentially sister devices. Considering how cheap the Quantum is going for on Amazon Wireless (that'd be  1 cent), it might be a good investment.

Now we're all looking at HTC and Dell....fellas?

Source: SmartphoneFrance; via wmpoweruser

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Okay, not really. But WP7 did get another product placement last night when Dr. Temperance 'Bones' Brennan received an important text message during an interrogation.

Once again, it was LG that received the honor of placement, much like last week on The Vampire Diaries and earlier this week on Hawaii Five-0. We're not sure how they get all the promo spots, but hey, seems to work.

What show will our trusty new OS appear on next? Stay tuned!

Thanks, Jamie P, for the tip

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As supplies on the Samsung Focus and HTC Surround were flying off AT&T's shelves today, it appears that the LG Quantum will soon be joining the action.

AT&T is now accepting pre-orders for the LG Quantum with a expected ship date of November 15th with all orders processed on a first come, first served basis. Pricing is consistent with the other Windows Phones, $199.99 with contractual discounts or $499.99 out of contract. Of course you could also just pre-order it from LetsTalk for $99 and save yourself a bundle.

So, if you're holding out for a Windows Phone 7 device that has a side-sliding keyboard... now's your chance.

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It's nice to know with just 6 days left to launch, AT&T is starting to rev up the PR engines. In a just released a new "Mobile Minute" video, part of their continuing series, This time, AT&T focuses on the new LG Quantum which features that handsome sliding keyboard.

Nothing we don't already know is revealed in the video, so hardly a must-see. But if you're in the market for the Quantum, then you'll want to tease yourself. Indeed, that keyboard is quite awesome to type on. Full video after the break!

Bonus: HTC Surround video too.

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AT&T's Windows Phone 7 lineup is now appearing over at Amazon.com. While the phones aren't listed for pre-order, like we have seen with the T-Mobile HD7, but it's progress.

The Amazon pages for the Samsung Focus, LG Quantum, and HTC Surround list the phones as un-available (expected to be in stock soon) and ships with free two-day shipping. There is also a notation that the phones come with an AmazonWireless Instant Discount. Could the Amazon discount drop AT&T's prices down lower?

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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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LG Quantum hands-on [Windows Phone 7 launch]

The LG Quantum is the lone QWERTY slider on AT&T's initial Windows Phone 7 lineup. We dare say it feels a tad on the cheap side, but that's not really a fair assessment. The keys are nice and clicky, and very well space. It helps that it's only a four-row keyboard and they're not cramming too many in one space. The slider mechanism is stiff, but not too stiff, and has a good spring to it.

The 3.8-inch screen is a dandy. Not as bright as Super AMOLED that you'll see on the Samsung phones, but for most people (like 99 percent of them) it'll be more than adequate thanks to its size.

More pics after the break.

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