Developer edition of the Nokia Lumia 920 is a one of a kind pentaband

With BUILD 2012 now behind us, we can talk a little about those Lumia 920’s that were handed out en masse to all the developers in attendance (media did not get them nor the Surface).

Seeing as BUILD attracts developers from all over the world, it would be a bit inconsiderate to give out a phone with limited 3G/4G capabilities as some would get the full package, while others would be restricted to their network. The problem is multi-dimensional as 3G GSM and 4G LTE networks vary quite widely, not to mention the combination of the two often required for great performance.

Verizon's HTC 8X passing through FCC and beyond

The HTC 8X is well on its way to Verizon

We're aware that Verizon is most probably going to stock the HTC 8X - in fact, it's pretty much a certainty. Not only has the Windows Phone been confirmed to be heading to the US carrier by its own roadmap, but HTC also hinted in one of its press releases.

If that weren't enough, a HTC 8X video sports a Verizon 4G LTE logo on the rear panel of one of the featured models. Just to ensure there's little doubt left. Here's some more good news as today it has been reported that the FCC has cleared the HTC 8X for docking.

Nokia hands over 350 essential 2G, 3G, and 4G patents to IP bulldog

Nokia has recently sold 450 patents to Sisvel, an italian Intellectual property manager. Of those, 350 patents spanning across 33 families encapsulate key wireless technologies like GSM, UMTS/WCDMA, and LTE. Although Nokia nor Sisvel are going into details of the deal, it's expected that Nokia will retain the rights to use these patents, and likely collect on some of the ongoing royalties, but Sisvel will likely get a cut of royalties in exchange for actively protecting the patents in the courtroom. 

It might seem natural that Nokia hold onto these patents with an iron fist and squeeze every penny-worth of royalties out of them, but legal costs can add up; by incentivizing an outside source to do the trolling while possibly still getting some of the royalties themselves, Nokia will be able to focus their resources (both legal and monetary) on Windows Phone. It will be interesting to see how aggressive Sisvel is in protecting the patents, and if they're able to lock down any big licensing deals that Nokia wasn't able to. The last big case Nokia won was against Apple, so I have a hard time imagining that Nokia has left any stone unturned. 

Source: IntoMobile

Samsung Focus Flash/Omnia W lands at the FCC

The GT-i8350 aka Omnia W, which suspiciously looks a lot like the Focus Flash for AT&T, has taken its spot at the FCC and looks to have cleared any remaining hurdles for release here in the States.

The Flash is expected to hit shelves sometime in November but no release date or pricing has been revealed. The "mid range" device features a 3.7" Super AMOLED screen, 1.5GHz CPU and a 5MP rear camera. Although mid-range, it looks like a nice little device to us, especially for those who don't want a large phone.

Source: FCC; Thanks, bancza, for the heads up

HTC 7 Pro (GSM) gets reviewed: one of the best landscape keyboards, unremarkable screen

UK site ElectricPig got their hands on a GSM HTC 7 Pro, which just hit the market there. Putting it through its paces, EP concluded that the 7 Pro is "absolutely" the best Windows Phone 7 device out there, if you "prioritize email over anything else".

The review highlighted the outstanding keyboard, both in terms of flat out typing and its excellent hinge mechanism, an improvement of the "laggy" Touch Pro 2 of past. Battery life also was very good, allowing them to run it all day with WiFi, 3G and ample usage--which is great news for the device which sports 1500mah  of juice. Likewise, the camera was also received well with low noise demonstrated in photos taken (though video was not as smooth).

Some downfalls are the obvious: the LCD screen pales in comparison to AMOLED and is "unremarkable, if not its weakest aspect"--a common theme with HTC's latest LCD choices (contra CNet's findings). The other obvious criticism is size: coming in at 185g and 15.5mm thick, the device is quite chunky for the pocket, but we think it's a valued trade off with that great keyboard. Having said that, build quality was deemed "seriously sturdy, and the metal and plastic edges shrug off fingerprints".

Overall, EP seemed quite pleased with the phone, giving it rather high praises. What weakness were present (including rough landscape support in the OS) are sort of run of the mill for HTC these days. One area they need to obviously invest is in screen quality--if not AMOLED than something more impressive than their current supplier is offering. Regardless, we still can't wait till Sprint gets this bad boy, as EP notes, the 7 Pro is "the most productive Windows Phone 7 model yet". We like the sound of that.

Source: ElectricPig

HTC PD29130 with Windows Phone 7 also headed to AT&T [FCC]

While the Asus mystery device has been solved, a new one featuring HTC is now afoot. Called the HTC PD29130, the phone completed testing on November 10th but just received approval this morning.

Featuring AT&T 3G bands, it is more than likely headed to that carrier though the question remains: what is it? CellFanatic thinks it is the AT&T branded version of the HD7, which is certainly plausible. Another likely candidate is the 7 Pro, which although it is headed to Sprint soon also has a GSM variant.

Either way, it looks like AT&T is getting ready for that second wave by late winter/early spring. Sounds good to us.

Source: FCC; via Cellfanatic

[Tip] Enable call waiting on Windows Phone 7

We don't know if this is just restricted to Telstra in Australia or all GSM WP7 devices, but evidently on at least some Windows Phone 7 devices, call waiting is not enabled. Odd, eh?

Over at Chris Walsh's blog, he demonstrates how to enable this seemingly important feature and it's far from difficult:

Just type *43# into the dialer, then press "Call"

Of course there is nothing unique about that code per se, as they are just part of the GSM feature codes which are universal. Anyone else confirm whether or not this is disabled on their WP7 device?

Source: Chris Walsh (blog)

Samsung I8700 Omnia 7 gets reviewed; "...We walk away impressed"

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!

Toshiba's TG03 finally gets approved--will it run Windows Phone 7?

Going way back to April 2009, when the sky was the limit for Windows Mobile and 6.5 was our great hope, Toshiba was just ramping up their plans for devices. We had the monstrous (at the time) TG01 on the scene (though no U.S. 3G on board) and then came word of the TG02 and TG03.

While the TG02 eventually saw the light of day (for a refresh, see our hands on with video), the TG03 disappeared from the cosmos. Until today.

According to it looks like the TG03 has received that sweet Euro certification from the Global Certification Forum (GCF), clearing it for near-release status. It was signed off with quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE as well as triband UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA at 800/850/2100 MHz, so you know what that means...

The 2009 specs would still be solid for today, if they are unchanged: a 4.1 inch touchscreen, Snapdragon processor, a 5-megapixel camera, 5.1 (simulated) audio pumped out of two speakers, and "video box" mode to easily get video off the device. Then again, we'd find it difficult to believe that some of that wasn't upgraded in the last year and half.

But the million dollar question is: what OS? Unfortunately, we just don't know. While the original TG03 was a WM6.5 device, it makes sense with the timing that this would be Toshiba's push into WP7 territory--even if they're not named as a launch partner. Then again, that little damn droid bot has been stealing our thunder...

Hands On: AT&T Tilt 2, Pure and Verizon Imagio

To wrap up the Microsoft NYC Open House this week, we got to play with some of the latest and greatest Windows phones featuring Windows Mobile 6.5.  It was all the usual suspects if you will: AT&T Touch Pro 2 (aka Tilt 2), Pure; Verizon Imagio. (Toshiba TG01, Sprint Intrepid & the LG GM750 were covered elsewhere).

All in all we came away very impressed. All the manufacturers present have really stepped up their game and we think customers win out in the end with this years crop of WM6.5 phones.

Read on for some great photos and our thoughts on these three devices.

GSM Treo Pro now unlocked!

The CDMA (Sprint) version of the Palm Treo Pro has been unlocked for a while now, meaning you can load custom ROMs and, especially, Windows Mobile 6.5.

Uber-hacker cmnoex has released a version of her hardSPL tool for the GSM version of the phone. A slight word of warning, however, from cmonex herself:

OK right now I don't have time for the final tests (am still without a device) but I suppose it works. let me know if it does.

Grab the unlocker at ppcgeeks. Any brave souls out there willing to give it a go? Let us know (and let cmonex know) in the comments. (And don't forget to donate to your favorite chef!)

CDMA Touch Pro 2: ROM & GSM Unlocker Coming Soon; Watch out AT&T?

Not to stir up too much attention, but the unlocker (Hard SPL) for the CDMA Touch Pro 2 is expected to drop sometime this coming week.

Like the GSM version, this will allow users to flash the much coveted custom ROMs onto their phones.  The 'CDMA Rhodium Elite Team' has been hard at work cracking this latest HTC device and evidently it hasn't been an easy job, so give them some thanks when it drops.

What is even better news is the expectation that a separate SIM unlocker will be released at or near the same time as the Hard SPL.  The will allow the CDMA Touch Pro 2 to reportedly work on any U.S. GSM network (e.g. AT&T and T-Mobile) as well as for flashing of different radio firmwares.

The Sprint Touch Pro 2 is already SIM unlocked for oversea GSM carriers (unlike the Verizon and Telus versions), but all CDMA devices are barred from U.S. GSM networks, making this accomplishment, if accurate, truly astonishing.

The Hard SPL (for custom ROMs) will of course be free but the SIM unlocker is reportedly going to cost a license of €14 (~$21), which we suppose is fair for such a bonus feature.

We'll keep you posted as soon as either are released!

More evidence of a Touch Pro 2 world edition

We'd seen rumors that two of HTC's soon-to-be-released phones, the Touch Pro 2 and Snap, could well be sporting CDMA and GSM radios for some worldwide fun, and now we've got some official evidence to go with it.

Engadget spied a document in FCC testing of the Touch Pro 2 (aka Rhodium) that states there are in fact two radios on board, and that the GSM side "has been disabled by firmware and is SIM locked for all US operators."

So what's that mean? It's a world phone all right, but don't expect to be rocking dual CDMA/GSM in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Another item of note here is that there are two FCC IDs, the Rhodium 400 and the Rhodium 500, which very likely means versions for Sprint (which we just saw) and Verizon (which we don't expect to see anytime soon - see VZW Touch Diamond). Stay tuned.

Samsung GT-I8000 spotted

Back in February the WiFi Alliance outed a future Samsung Windows Mobile phone, the GT-i8000, which was sporting Windows Mobile 6.1. And that's about all that was known about it.

And we don't know too much more today, except that it's GSM-bound. The Unwired spied the above shot at the Global Certification Forum, which shows the radio frequencies it'll support. OK, that's not entirely true. As you can see, it'll have HSDPA, MMS and video telephony. Fairly standard stuff these days, huh?

Gentlemen, start your speculating engines.

(Updated) Unlocked HTC Touch Pro 2 on eBay

If you just got your tax return back, here's a quick way to blow it — and by blow it we mean buy one of the three phones we officially know will be running Windows Mobile 6.5 later this year.

An unlocked HTC Touch Pro 2 is up for auction on eBay. WMPowerUser spied it when it had a "But it now" price of $899, but it looks like it's been relisted and will now see how high the price will go by 11 p.m. EST March 27.

At the time of this writing, the top bid was $475. But before you throw your bid in the ring, do note that while this is an unlocked GSM phone, it only has the 3G radio bands used outside the U.S. So, no AT&T love for this guy. Otherwise, if everything is as advertised, it should work just fine.

So, how much would you pay to be the first on your block with a Touch Pro 2?

Update: And ... the auction's been called off. Can't say that's too surprising.

Pre-order the HTC Touch Diamond from Best Buy

Speaking of pre-orders, you can now drop $699.99 on Best Buy for your very own unlocked HTC Touch Diamond. [via]

And it looks like you shouldn't have to wait too long for delivery. A quick click on the "Estimate arrival time" link gives an estimated date of Sept. 29 - Oct. 4.

More good news: U.S. 3G bands are confirmed, with 850/900/1800/1900 MHz supported. Sorry, T-Mobile customers. That 1700 MHz band is turning out to be a real pain, isn't it?

This should be an interesting exercise. The GSM Touch ($499) and Touch Dual ($549) also are available unlocked at Best Buy, but there's definitely a psychological difference between $550 and $700. Does "unlocked" status mean that much (or anything?) to most U.S. smartphone consumers?

And with that other keyboardless GSM phone on AT&T, and Sprint reportedly launching the Diamond next week at $300 or less, just what kind of demand will Best Buy ultimately see? And will AT&T bother picking it up? (Our guess is no. Probably not enough room in that stable for two keyboardless phones of that caliber.)

Anyhoo, if the GSM Diamond's your thing, head on over to Best Buy's Web site and throw down your cash.

Motorola Q9 (insert letter here) "Napolean" for Verizon = Awesome

So though ol' Moto seems to be having problems, Dieter and I are at least pretty big fans of the Q9 series and leave it to Verizon to be readying the mother of all Q9s (hmm..perhaps Q9 Alpha?).

Get this: world phone version with Wifi.

BGR managed to not only scoop the details but take 6 million high quality photos of the darn thing, which has got to irk Verizon just a wee bit.

As Lord Vader would say, the specs are "...most impressive" (too dorky?)

  • Windows Mobile 6.1
  • EV-DO Rev. A
  • Quad-band EDGE (!)
  • Fingerprint scanner (!)
  • 2 megapixel camera with flash
  • Stereo speakers
  • 320

Windows Mobile Phones Running on GSM and CDMA

Looks like a little company named HKC (sounds familiar) is upping the anti when it comes to designing new Windows Mobile devices. I just caught wind that they are launching new Windows Mobile Pro handsets that work on the trusty GSM as well as the beloved CDMA. That would be the W1000, which covers GSM on 900 / 1800 / 1900 as well as CDMA. Note: that means no US GSM support. Or sales, likely.

They even whipped up what they claim is the first dual-SIM GSM handset. To me it sounds like a good investment if you

Asus M930i: In the Flesh

Not that we'll see this device in the U.S. officially anytime soon but here are some of the first live shots of the Nokia-esque Asus M930i, an interesting entry into the competitive WM6 Standard world. The features on the device aren't too shabby and while the design is certainly...interesting. Well, at least Asus is trying something different from the likes of HTC and Palm.

Check out the specs, a first opinion and some comparison shots (Treo 680 + iPod Touch) after the jump...

Of note is the bump to a quad-band for this fella as it was earlier reported to only be tri-band, so if you wants it here in the States, feel free to import. Also, looks like the camera, processor and memory were bumped downward. Dream high, shoot low.

  • Dual Display (2.6' & 2.0")
  • HSDPA (3.6 Mbps)/EDGE
  • 450mhz
  • WM6 Standard
  • 256mb Storage + 64mb RAM + microSD
  • Wifi
  • BT 2.0
  • Full KB
  • 2MP camera

But what is up with the 64mb of DDR RAM? Sure, reports on the DDR update to WM RAM has been positive (it's faster) but 64mb for WM6, even the Standard, is quite weak. And how does the device fair? Well according to Tam who had a hands-on:

From an usability standpoint, I dare to question the tradeoffs made in the M930i