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We managed to spend some near and dear time with the recently announced HTC 8X and the HTC 8S. What can we say besides that we love the new look for HTC--bold colors, smooth designs, excellent screens--we see a bright and popular future for the new HTC series.

The HTC 8X features a 4.3" 720p display with a whopping 344ppi and a dual-core 1.5GHz, meanwhile the 8S features a more modest WVGA resolution but in an also outstanding design.

Don't believe us? Watch the video above and decide for yourself.

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Last week the Verge ran a story noting that poplar photo-sharing service Instagram was headed to Windows Phone this fall.  Later, VentureBeat squashed those rumors saying that ‘no’ in fact Instagram is not being developed for Windows Phone, either 7 or 8.

An eagle-eyed viewer started the controversy seeing what looked like an Instagram-like Live Tile pop up during a Nokia promo video. Later, the Verge backtracked noting that instead it may be Vimeo (who do have an updated, Nokia-focused version on the way).

But a new explanation has come forth: Molome.

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An inside source says Nokia is trying to get to the bottom of the ad fiasco

As the fallout continues from the misleading video ad for the Lumia 920’s OIS camera, Nokia is evidently conducting and internal investigation on the matter.

The Finnish news site Helsingin Sanomat, one of that country’s major subscription papers and news outlet, is quoting an anonymous Nokia employee that the company is looking into what happened with the botched ad for the Lumia 920.

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Nokia walked us through the capabilities of the Lumia 920 camera, which lead to some impressive results. Implementing PureView technology into the Lumia Windows Phone, Nokia has been able to create something special for when moments occur that require a quick shot of a camera.

The f2.0 aperture lens ensures enough light passes through to the sensor and floating lens technology provides image stabilisation with the shutter being open for longer. We're eagerly awaiting the release of the Lumia 920 to finally venture outside and snap some shots.

Source: YouTube

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Image from the WSJ Live interview with Nokia CEO Stephen Elop

In an online video interview just posted to WSJ Live, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop discusses Nokia’s strategy going forward with Windows Phone, their regular phone business and what to expect tomorrow.

While no specifics were revealed, it has been confirmed that Nokia will be showing off a fully-functional Windows Phone 8 OS on their new devices—rubbing the point home that Samsung was unable to do this just a week ago. From the interview..

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You have to give Nokia credit—not only do they appear to be getting to release some innovative and boundary pushing phones, they’re creating a great ecosystem to go with it.

Such is the case with the super-expensive Purity Pro Wireless headphones made in conjunction with Monster (the company behind Beats). The headset features NFC pairing, Bluetooth streaming, 24-hour battery life for calls and music and is made from polycarbonate plastic (like the Lumia) for sturdiness.

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We reported a few days ago that some developers at XDA Forums have managed to get those pesky video-out drivers working on their Windows Phone 7 devices. The drivers, often used by Microsoft during press and developer events for demonstration purposes, have never been released publicly and that won’t change for WP7 anytime soon.

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Although we like to have our Nokia events here in the States, we cannot forget our good friends across the pond and neither can Nokia.

With Nokia World kicking off at the same time as the New York event, it seems Nokia Italy has a new teaser video foretelling that “things are going to change” next week for Europe as well.

Should we speculate about this video too? It’s simple enough with a bewhiskered Italian answering his Lumia 800 and then entering in the September 5th date. Nothing odd there although we would also note that the video is not exactly high-end HD level that you would expect, lending credence to the idea that this too is perhaps filmed on a new Nokia Lumia device.

Guess we’ll just have to wait until next week!

Source: Nokia Italy (YouTube); via Plaffo.com

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With Samsung’s huge press conference just wrapping up, we’re going through all the news. Of course the big story of the day for our audience is the ATIV-S, the new Windows Phone 8 device coming this fall.

For those of you who missed the unofficial unveiling, you can watch that segment of the conference right here at Windows Phone Central. It's even in glorious 720P, thanks to our Rafael Rivera.

And when done, head over to our poll to voice your opinion on the Samsung’s new flagship Windows Phone!

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We've continuously seen Microsoft make use of video output from a Windows Phone when demonstrating features and functionality at past events. This is a feature we'd all like to see at consumer level for somewhat obvious reasons To make use of the big screen using nothing more than a USB cable would be handy in certain situations. While the likes of SmartGlass is on the horizon, it would be beneficial for Windows Phone owners to be able to make use of supposedly supported video output.

The folks over at XDA Developers Forum have since decided to investigate and see whether it's possible to get video output working on Windows Phone. Marsrogers heads up the team, which was formed back in 2011, and the progress made in the designated thread looked as though the project wouldn't pick up and would eventually stop dead in its tracks. Marsrogers has continued to publish updates to the thread and keep readers up-to-date with progress and findings regardless.

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This morning in Boston, Microsoft dropped the curtain on their latest store at the Prudential Center to a massive crowd, loudly celebrating the grand opening. 

Considered to be one of their new flagship stores (located very closely Apple), the Boston Microsoft Store managed to garner a large crowd who cheered the countdown and opening--certainly exciting to see. In addition to the new store, Microsoft of course also showed their new company logo.

Windows Phone developer Lance McCarthy was on hand to video the unveiling and it is certainly thrilling to see. It looks like Microsoft has some fans, after all. Thanks, Lance, for the video!

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The Lazyworm team has released an update to the highly rated YouTube Windows Phone app, MetroTube. Featuring a heavily Metro-influenced design and feel, the app really is the unofficial home of YouTube on the mobile platform. It disappeared for a number of months at the beginning of the year due to API issues with Google, which couldn't be resolved even after consulting with Microsoft.

Luckily the third-party YouTube app is back in action, and returned to the Marketplace earlier this month. Today version 3.3 of MetroTube passed certification so it should be with us shortly. So, what's new in this release? 

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We’ve previously reported that Windows Phone 8 should be bringing native screenshot functionality to the masses. The function was rumored to work by holding the Start key and the Camera button at the same time and sure enough, that combo works in the Windows Phone 8 emulator from the leaked SDK.

The Windows Phone 7.5 (7.1 SDK) emulator did have native screenshot functionality for developers to take screenshots of their apps but it was not native to the OS itself. At first we were a bit cautious that this may be that function but seeing as this is enabled by simulating the Start-Camera combo (F7 + F2 keys) it seems like this is the real deal for regular users as evidence by the video made by WP7app.de. We have not been able to verify this ourselves yet, so we'll leave a little wiggle room in case it proves otherwise.

Native screenshot ability will be a much appreciated feature for developers who can more easily share shots of their app, consumers who want to report bugs or share moments on Windows Phone with friends and even viral-marketing. That last one may not seem obvious but the more screenshots of Windows Phone float around on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit etc., the more the OS will resonate with the masses.

In Windows Phone 7.x the only way to do screenshots was to have a developer unlocked device and to load a 'homebrew' solution. While effective, such an app was limited to developers only and not regular consumers.

Head past the break to see the video of the screenshot function in action...

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Although the day is winding down, we’re still going through the leaked Windows Phone 8 SDK from early this morning. We’re finding some smaller nuggets which aren’t ‘wow’ worthy in of themselves but they are certainly worth a mention, especially since they do add some significant new features to the Windows Phone experience.

We must stress—these are still not the new ‘consumer’ features for Windows Phone 8 which Microsoft has yet to reveal. These are simply more tools for developers to give them more options and features for their apps. These APIs take a long time to write and document which is why SDKs take time to build before going public.

So what are some of these new options for devs?

  • Background location-tracking for apps
  • More refined search for apps in the Marketplace
  • Custom contact store with cloud sync
  • Media library access for devs
  • Networking enhancements
  • Right to Left (RTL) language support
  • Media codec support and stats

Head past the break for some more details including snippets from the SDK itself…

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A new video purporedly shows limited NFC functionality on the Lumia 800

A video has appeared today (which we have been unable to verify for legitimacy) that reportedly shows a Nokia Lumia 800 making brief near-field communication (NFC) contact with a Nokia Play 360 (which supports NFC pairing). The phenomenon happens when toggling WiFi on and off, suggesting the powering of the NFC is connected somehow to WiFi.

The question naturally presents itself: does the Nokia Lumia 800 in fact support NFC? And will it get an update to enable this if so? The answer is a bit messy but we’ll just be brief here and say “no” and “no”.

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This morning Nokia and EA Games teamed up and finally released the long awaited ‘Mirrors Edge exclusively for Lumia Windows Phones. Coming in at 131 MB, the port is so far behaving nicely.

While the game is somewhat old (it came out years ago on iOS after being on consoles previously) it was quite the hit at the time and for good reason--featuring an interesting backstory, excellent graphics and relatively simple gameplay the traditional horizontal runner became a quick game for many people.

And that title is now available on Lumia Windows Phones via the Nokia Collection. What’s more, this is an exclusive Xbox LIVE offering meaning you get the whole package including achievements. The game itself ported nicely with smooth graphics, great sound and features un-lockable wallpapers which you can download for later use.

Fetching for $2.99 the game is well done and should provide Lumia owners’ hours of frustrating jumping. What’s more, Nokia and EA have many more games in the pipeline meaning Lumia owners will soon have a nice advantage over their non-Lumia counterparts. You can see that list here. Fear not though as these games will go to all Windows Phones once their “exclusive” restriction runs out--when that will happen, we're not sure (we're working on finding out).

Pick up Mirrors Edge here in the Nokia Collection for $2.99.

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Can we expect changes in the Windows Phone 8 Lock screen? 

Back at the Summit a few weeks ago, Microsoft was very clear that they were not showing all of Windows Phone 8, in fact we were only getting a peek. The reason for that is multifaceted but their official position is they don’t want to show consumer features to consumers when we’re still months from release. Then there’s the whole idea of trying to prevent an Osborne effect i.e. hurting current sales by enticing customers to wait for new phones this fall.

One tiny area of interest was an observation today from a reader (erichon99) in the new Start screen video by Microsoft. At about the 2:15 mark (snapshot below) you can see some icons on the Lock screen: 1 Missed Call/Voicemail, 4 text messages and presumably 13 new Hotmail/Live mail messages.

What caught our reader’s attention was the new Hotmail/Live mail icon which ironically is the old Windows flag logo (yet the new logo is clearly used for the capacitive button). To be honest, we think this is just a mockup oversight and we have no idea if Hotmail/Live mail would use the old logo though we’re leaning towards ‘no’ on that one--in other words, nothing to see here. However...

In Microsoft's video there's an apparent oversight in logo-matching 

...this brings back to the beginning—what are those new features in Windows Phone 8? We don’t want to ruin Microsoft’s surprise but we can tell you that looking at the Lock screen for notification changes is a good start.

One area many have complained about in Windows Phone 7 is the lack of a “notification-center”. More accurately if a notification comes in for a 3rd party app and you miss it, well, you missed it. Sure you can use the app's Live Tile but that assumes (a) You've pinned it to your Start screen and (b) You've scrolled down to check it at some point. But can the OS be even more "glance and go"? The answer is 'yes'.

We’re not sure if Microsoft will have an actual notification-center on board (ala Android's "drawer") but we do know they solved this problem another way in Windows Phone 8—by giving developer access to the Lock screen with the added ability to have custom notifications. There are actually four options for developers to choose from with one of them being extremely creative as it will give you a fresh look to your Lock screen numerous times a day. We won’t say much more on the matter for fear of raising Microsoft’s ire but hopefully this tease will get you excited for what’s coming in Windows Phone 8.  

Microsoft is once again not copying the competition, they're doing it their way and in a few weeks, you can judge for yourself.

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