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Unfortunately the Samsung Omnia 7 won't be heading to the U.S. anytime soon (but it is going to Mexico, according to SPK), instead we'll have the similar and somewhat better Samsung Focus on AT&T (brief hands on). We say that the Focus is better now because it features removable/expandable storage, whereas the Omnia 7 does not. In fact, the Omnia 7 is basically the same phone in a lot of ways.

Still, the Omnia 7 is a quad-band GSM and tri-band 3G phone, so technically you can import one if you really want its squareness over the more svelte Focus. And in our conversation with Samsung yesterday, they said they are in talks with all U.S. carriers, so hope is in the air for some CDMA love in the spring.


In the meantime, take a look at GSM Arena's comprehensive review of the I8700 Omnia 7. They "...walk away impressed" with the hardware, reserving any criticism for the now familiar "limitations-of-the-OS" arguments. Getting back to the hardware they say this:


To summarize the review in one sentence – the hardware is perfect, it’s the software that lets the phone down on occasion.


Like all current Samsung devices (Galaxy S series), their strength is simply their screens featuring Super AMOLED, which really is quite impressive with it's "wet" blacks and rich contrast. That's the take away message of why Samsung's WP7 offerings may be a better choice for some of you.

Source: GSM Arena; Thanks, Olaf M, for the tip!

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Removable storage & Windows Phone 7 [Samsung Focus]

Okay, lets get some of this confusing stuff out of the way: the Samsung Focus has "only" 8GB of storage available. In talking with Samsung, their position was basically so much of this phone is "cloud based" that 8GB may be sufficient for most people. However, they're more than glad to suggest that 16GB and higher are probably on the horizon.

Having said that, the Focus does have removal storage (see the above shot), but it's tricky. Basically you can any size card you like, but you can't remove it without hard-resetting the phone and it's not clear that the card would be re-usable if you do remove it. So essentially, if you add a 16GB or 32GB card, that's it, you got your shot. This has to do with how WP7 uses memory--basically it mirrors/spreads it across any added memory.

But hey, our EVO came with a 16GB card and we've never removed it either. Seems like once you go that huge (or larger), you have little need to keep swapping. So to us, this sounds like a win-win situation, at least for what we're working with here.

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AT&T Samsung Focus

While Europe appears to be recieving the Samsung Omnia 7, U.S. markets will be getting the Samsung Focus from AT&T. We got to know this device, pre-launch, as the Samsung Cetus.

The Focus will sport a 4" WVGA Super AMOLED screen, 5mp camera, 8gb of storage and will only be 9mm thick. AT&T will offer this Windows Phone 7 device for $199 (presumably after contractual discounts) on November 8, 2010.

The Focus will join the HTC Surround and LG Quantum as AT&T's maiden Windows Phone 7 lineup.

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Samsung Omnia 7 Announced

Samsung has released the Samsung Omnia 7 which joins the AT&T Focus in Samsung's Windows Phone 7 lineup.

The Omnia 7, which is headed to European Carriers, sports a 4" super-AMOLED screen, 1ghz processor, a 5mp camera and either a 8gb or 16gb on board storage. The Omnia 7 is expected to be available by the holidays (just around the corner) on Orange, SFR, Moviestar and T-Mobile in Europe.

Hit the break for Samsung's Press Release on the Omnia 7.

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We're just a couple of hours away from the official launch of Windows Phone 7 -- and you will be joining us for the liveblog -- but that doesn't mean there's not already a bit of news about.

First up is the Samsung Omnia 7, which broke its cover on a Russian Sammy site before pulling its head back its shell. We've seen it before, but there it is, folks, in its officially rendered glory.

Then there's an update to the Zune desktop software, which you're going to need to rock a Windows Phone. (And besides that, it's just a killer multimedia contest system.) [Samsung via Slashgear]

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Engadget just got another AT&T leak, this time showing off some new names for some Windows Phone 7 devices: Samsung Focus and HTC Surround (which sounds like this guy, the T8788).

Should we guess that the former is a camera-featured phone while the latter is...ummm...sound/media specialized? Yeah, we like literal names for our devices. Of course, actual specifications and images are missing at this time.

Combined with the Samsung Cetus, LG C900 and GW910 that brings the number to FIVE, and yet according to Engadget AT&T will have a total of SIX Windows Phone 7 devices. Yowza.

Dell Lightning seems plausible or, alternatively that Asus phone with the AT&T name in the marketplace for that mystery sixth device.

Either way, AT&T customers will certainly have the largest selection of devices for nearly any OS out there. Perhaps they're insulating themselves against that Verizon iPhone rumor?

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Samsung joins forces with Microsoft

Samsung has announced today an agreement to use Windows Phone 7 as a key component of the Samsung smartphone line-up. While this isn't exactly earth shattering news, it should dis-spell any lingering rumors that circulated back when Samsung said it was prioritizing Android.

In the press release Samsung's Mobile Division head in the UK and Ireland, Simon Stanford, stated, "“The addition of Windows Phone 7 devices to Samsung’s smartphone portfolio is a significant milestone. Samsung’s new Windows Phone 7 based smartphones will play a key role in reinforcing Samsung’s leadership in the smartphone market and commitment to providing a range of devices across a variety of platforms.”

Samsung did add that plans exist to launch several Windows Phone 7 devices this year in Europe, the U.S. and Asia. There were no mention of how many devices is considered "several" or what additional devices we may see.  So far we have seen the Samsung Cetus, i8700 and the mystery Focus. Maybe we'll see Samsung move into the other chasis styles (sliding and front facing keyboards) later this year.

via: Pocket-Lint, Samsung

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A recently Broadband report over at DSLReports.com is generating two Windows Phone 7 rumors.

The first has the Samsung GT i8700 becoming part of the Omnia line as the Samsung Omnia 7. This isn't too far of a stretch seeing that Samsung has had good success with previous Omnia Windows Phones. 

The second rumor has an interesting twist. The HTC T8788 is rumored to be headed to AT&T (no surprise there) but the reports shows the phone on the provider myvzw.com, which is indicative of Verizon phones. Verizon fans shouldn't read too much into this. As many have already reported, this anomaly could easily be the T8788 piggy-backing on a Verizon hot-spot.

via: wmpoweruser.com

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Review: Samsung Hartmann Luxury Leather Case

While Samsung has built a reputation for quality electronics, they also offer some decent cases for your Windows Phones. The Hartmann Luxury Leather Case is a quality built, uniquely designed case for the Samsung Jack. It will also accommodate the Sprint Snap and Verizon Ozone.

What sets the Hartmann case apart from others is that lack of a case flap. It's more of a horizontal pouch than case. I have reservations about how secure the Samsung Jack would ride in the case.

Ease on past the break to see how well the Samsung Hartmann Luxury Leather Case measured up.

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Samsung GT-i8700 get GCF approval

While the Cetus may be the more visible Windows Phone 7 from Samsung, the GT-i8700 has recently received the Global Certification Forum's seal of approval.

No details on the phones specifications beyond it's radio bands. The i8700 supports GSM/GPRS/EDGE and UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA at 900/1900/2100mhz.  This will make it a European release and possibly one of the phones headed to shelves in late October.

via: the::unwired

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A Samsung Windows Phone 7 was recently caught up against an iPhone, giving us a little size comparison. What appears to be the Cetus is just a smidgen longer and wider than the iPhone and maybe even thicker.

What's a little confusing is that we've known the Cetus to be tagged the Samsung SGH-i917. The Windows Phone 7 device pictured is tagged the SGH-i916. The distinction is likely that the i916 is headed to the Canadian wireless provider Rogers, while the i917 is AT&T bound.

via: Engadget

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Samsung Cetus i917 caught on tape

The Samsung Cetus i917 was caught on tape recently during a Channel 9 "Inside Windows Phone" taping. Charles Kindel, Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 program manager, shows off the phone during the brief interview.

The Cetus is reported to have a 4", 800x480, AMOLED screen and looks really nice in the video. The Cetus is thin enough to be carried in your front pants pocket but does the phone looks small for a 4" screen?

While the appearance was brief, the video of the Cetus also reveals a home control system app that can control lights, thermostat settings and garage doors. 

You can catch the full video excerpt featuring the Cetus after the break and the full, seventeen minute video of Channel 9's "Inside Windows Phone" video here.

via: wmpoweruser.com

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Samsung GT-i8700 pics surface

Courtesy of Gizmodo, we give you the Samsung GT-i8700 Windows Phone 7. Samsung dropped the chrome trim we've seen on the developer's unit which gives is a cleaner, sleaker look. Beyond what little information is displayed on the screen shot, we don't know much about the specs of the GT-i8700.

The matte black backside adds to the clean look and the curved backing likely takes away any boxy feel the phone might have.  But I'm wondering what the two notches are in the upper left corner? Microphone? A place to attach a carry strap?

Another observation is that the GT-i8700 looks a lot like the Samsung prototype we ran across last month. If the GT-i8700 and the prototype are one in the same, how the heck does the Cetus SGH-i917 fit into the picture?

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Verizon has released a software upgrade for the Samsung Omnia II (SCH-i920). The upgrade contains a handful of enhancements including Windows Mobile AKU Update to 5.0.93, Qualcomm updates, Widgetplus updates, and Facebook app updates.

You can find the Upgrade Too here with step by step instructions. Remember, upgrading your Omnia II will erase any data you have on your Windows Phone. It is important to backup your data before upgrading.

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Sprint Samsung Intrepid hands-on

Here was the big surprise today! The Sprint Samsung Intrepid is basically the Jack but for CDMA.

The keyboard was pretty good on it, though there is no space between the keys, so it is a bit cramped. The screen is a bit odd at that resolution, but it seems to work. The Start menu has four rows, allowing it a lot to fit on the screen.

The device was speedy to use and seemed like a nice middle of the road front-facing QWERTY device. Will it beat out a Treo Pro? Tough call, but I do like the minimalist look of the Treo Pro better. Still, this seems like a compelling device and Samsung has been quite successful with this line so far.

This particular Windows phone will be available Oct. 11 on Sprint.

More pics after the jump!

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Sprint announces the Samsung Intrepid

Sprint this morning announced the addition of the Samsung Intrepid to its Windows Mobile lineup as a follow-up to the Ace. Here's what's we know thus far:

  • Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional.
  • 2.5-inch touchscreen at 320x240.
  • WiFi b/g.
  • 3.2MP camera.
  • World Phone.
  • Microsoft's Tell Me service is on board!

Other rumored specs were a 528MHz Qualcomm processor, with 512MB ROM/256MB RAM.

The Intrepid will be available Oct. 11 for $149.99 after contract and rebate.

Full presser after the break.

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When it's a slow news day and you have a quote from an official at a company, you can quickly make a mountain out of a molehill.

In an interview with Reuters, Samsung was quoted as saying

We are prioritizing our Android platform. Android is very open and flexible, and there is a consumer demand for it

Translation: Android is selling very well for us, we're going to continue to do that. We're not sure when it became news that a company who is having success with a 2+ year old mobile OS decided they will continue that path, but evidently that's the case.

Of course, the other half of the non-news news is what YH Lee, head of marketing at Samsung Mobile said about the upcoming Windows Phone 7, namely that "There is still some professional, specialized demand there", which is also not so controversial. Sure, it's not hurling accolades either, if anything it is sort of vacuous marketing speak that dominates 90% of business dialog.

Samsung is, for the first time in a long time, making big strides in the smartphone market, actually challenging HTC with their Android offerings (specifically the Galaxy S series). All of those silly iPhone knock offs that Sprint and other had, their mediocre Windows Mobile offerings, etc. never really paid them and now we're supposed to feign surprise that they want to keep with this Android thing? Feh.

And what of Windows Phone 7? It's an unreleased OS, not tested in the finicky, volatile market. Despite how good it may or may not be, how much money MS throws behind it, there are no guarantees and to think Samsung would put everything behind it and not the current money-maker Android is just bizarre. If WP7 is popular, Samsung will no doubt "prioritize" it. You know, follow the money.

This is capitalism 101, not news people.

[Reuters]

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WP7: What are the carriers up to?

Windows Phone 7 is, likely, just over a month away from hitting the store shelves in Europe and just over two months away from seeing the light of day in the States . We've seen manufacturer devices, app development, and (obviously) development of the OS itself over the past several months.

The one thing we haven't seen much from is the wireless providers. Who's getting what and how much is going to cost us when it gets there? While the "how much" is well in the shadows right now, we do have some idea on the "who" with respect to wireless providers. Here's how we see it breaking down.

AT&T: Billed as one of the "premiere launch partners", AT&T appears to be in a position to offer the largest selection of Windows Phone 7 devices. We've heard rumors of HTC (T8788 or HD7?), Samsung (Cetus), and LG (C900 and GW910) devices headed to AT&T. Our count shows as many as four Windows Phone 7 devices hitting AT&T's shelves this Fall.  Unless something changes over the next two months, AT&T will be at the forefront of Windows Phone 7.

T-Mobile: We are confident that T-Mobile will have a Windows Phone 7 device on the shelf at some point and the HTC Schubert has been quietly rumored to be that device. 

Verizon: Verizon and Microsoft may not be on good speaking terms these days after the KIN adventure. Rumors are that Verizon is simply not interested in Windows Phone 7 and a leaked "end of life" report has Verizon removing any existing Windows Phones from their line-up by March of 2011. Coupled with the signs that Verizon doesn't have any Windows Phones on their2010/2011 product road map, we won't be shocked if Verizon shifts their smartphone focus from Windows Phones to Android or Blackberry.

Sprint:  Listed as a launch partner when Windows Phone 7 was announced back in February (but that was a non-binding agreement), Sprint could go either way with Windows Phone 7.  They could keep everything under wraps and surprise everyone with a Windows Phone 7 or simply taking a "wait and see" approach (as they did with Android). Fared Adib, Sprint's Vice President of Product Development did say back in February, "Sprint and Microsoft have had a 15-year-plus relationship together. And we believe that the Windows Phone 7 Series will continue that relationship into a new decade." Our guess, Sprint will let Microsoft work out the kinks with Windows Phone 7 and eventually have a Windows Phone 7 device in their line up.  Maybe the Dell Streak Lightning?

Granted all this is speculation and the carriers still have plenty of time to throw in a few twists before Windows Phone 7 hits the shelves. 

We still have the nagging questions of "when will the carriers get these phones?" and "how much will they cost?". The OS was just released to manufacturers and best guess is still seeing mid-to-early November for availability. Pricing points are still anyone's guess. 

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In an interesting and somewhat unexpected decision, Intel has gone ahead and reportedly bought mobile-chip maker Infineon for $1.4 billion. Infineon makes mobile chips for all sorts of devices, including mobile phones. The latter business they got into after buying up LSI Corporation in 2007, with the Samsung Galaxy S series featuring their work.

The deal will let Intel use Infineon's mobile tech in "...Core processor-based laptops, and myriad of Intel Atom processor-based devices, including smartphones, netbooks, tablets and embedded computers". In addition, we can see Intel strengthening their "Wi-Fi and 4G WiMAX offerings".

All of this seems to set up Intel against Microsoft favorite Qualcomm, who's all-in-1 chipset solution seems to be very tempting for OEMs. The move, according to FastCompany, is due in part to off-set Apple's recent push in the mobile space with their A4 CPU which was developed in-house. Basically Intel is losing out in the mobile phone/slate area and is looking to cozy up with Microsoft through this purchase.

Of course, all of this is sort of funny knowing that Intel sold off their mobile division only a few years ago to Marvel for $600 million--while not 100% the same business, certainly Marvel and Infineon overlap quite a bit.

Will Intel succeed in cracking the mobile market and dislodge Qualcomm? Anyone want to ask Nvidia?

[Read Fast Company/Bloomberg]

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