Following reports of a Windows Phone developer evangelist claiming that every Windows Phone 7.5 device currently on the market will receive an upgrade to Microsoft’s next-generation Windows Phone 8 operating system, doubt has been cast over the accuracy of his claims. In an interview with Portuguese technology news site Zwame, Microsoft developer evangelist Nuno Silva stated that all current devices would eventually be updated to the ”next major version” of Microsoft’s mobile platform. A subsequent report from The Verge contradicts Silva’s claims, however, and cites an anonymous source in stating that devices running Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” will not be upgraded to Windows Phone 8 “Apollo.” Microsoft would not clarify its upgrade plans. ”We have stated publicly that all apps in our Marketplace today will run on the next version of Windows Phone,” a Microsoft spokesperson said. “Beyond that, we have nothing to share about future releases.” More →
BGR exclusively reported this past January that the Nokia Lumia 900 will retail for a mind-blowing $99.99 with two-year agreement when it launches on AT&T. We also reported that the sleek smartphone was slated for a March 18th release, but we noted that the Lumia 900 hadn’t yet received technical acceptance so the launch date could slide. We have now been told by a trusted source that the launch has indeed been delayed, and AT&T is now aiming to make the Lumia 900 available online and in stores on April 22nd. The handset’s amazing price point remains unchanged, however, so Windows Phone fans can look forward to seeing Nokia’s flagship smartphone launch next month for less than $100.
Nokia proved it was back in the smartphone game when it launched the Lumia 800 last year. But can its Lumia 710 gain the attention of U.S. consumers? Many would argue that Nokia should have decided to launch the Lumia 800 to make a bigger splash in a market that has long forgotten the Finnish smartphone maker. But the Lumia 710 is affordable — it only costs $50 with a new two-year contract — and it’s also powerful. It’s not as feature-rich as the Lumia 800, but can it still compete with other smartphones in its price range? My full review follows after the break.
Microsoft has reportedly pushed the launch of its Windows Phone operating system in China to the first half of 2012. Microsoft’s China communications director Yang Tanyang had originally said the Redmond-based company’s vendor partners planned to deploy handsets in the country before the end of the year, IDG News explained Monday. The most recent reports suggested Microsoft gave Chinese retailer Suning an exclusive offer to sell Windows Phone and Windows 8 devices in more than 700 of its retail stores. China’s Windows Phone launch will be key for Microsoft’s goals to boost its mobile operating system’s global market share. IDC and Gartner both predict Windows Phone will have the second largest operating system share in the world by 2015. More →
Nokia’s stock took a hit this week as Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette cut his sales forecast for Nokia’s first two Microsoft-powered smartphones. Having initially estimated that fourth-quarter sales of Nokia’s Windows Phones would approach 2 million units, the analyst dropped his expectations to just 500,000 devices, saying early checks indicated lower than expected sell-through. Bernstein Research analyst Pierre Ferragu piled on, writing in a note this week that Nokia’s new phones offer no “breakthrough innovation” or price advantage that might draw attention away from the competition. Just one day after Faucette shared his new estimates, however, Nokia confirmed that its hotly anticipated Lumia 800 smartphone has been a big seller across the United Kingdom. Read on for more.
Nokia’s upcoming flagship Windows Phone, the Lumia 900, has been revealed in a leaked promotional video aimed at developers. First discovered by Netherlands-based All About Phones, the video was accidentally posted to Nokia’s public YouTube channel before being marked private. The video offers very little in the way of details, though it does show an image of the sleek Windows Phone next to the text, “When you bring together Nokia’s stunning new hardware and a dynamic Microsoft OS you get amazing every day.” Nokia’s Lumia 900, code-named Ace, is expected to feature a 4.3-inch ClearBlack AMOLED display, a 1.4GHz processor and an 8-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics. Nokia France boss Paul Amsellem on Wednesday alluded to the device while speaking with a French newspaper, but Nokia responded to reports by saying it had nothing to announce at this time. Nokia’s full promotional video follows below. More →
Tango, the popular cross-platform video calling application for PC, Android and iPhone, launched on Wednesday as the first video-chat application for Windows Phone 7.5 devices. You will need a front-facing camera to take advantage of the face-to-face chat feature, which means you’ll also need to own one of the newer Windows Phone 7.5 devices such as the Samsung Focus S, Samsung Focus Flash or HTC Titan. We installed the application this morning and gave it a quick test over a 3G network. The video quality was poor, but we were alerted that this was because of a weak 3G signal. Still, we loved the user interface on Windows Phone 7.5 and found it much cleaner than the Tango application for Android. In addition, it automatically filters out your address book to show only contacts that have Tango installed, which was a nice touch. The application is free and is available in the Windows Phone Marketplace now. A video of the application follows after the break. More →
AT&T announced on Wednesday that it will launch the HTC Titan Windows Phone on November 20th for $199.99 on contract. The carrier touted the Titan as “the largest screen in our smartphone portfolio” alongside launch details in a post on its Facebook page. HTC’s Titan features Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone operating system, Mango, along with a massive 4.7-inch display, a 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor and a gorgeous unibody aluminum design. BGR reviewed the Titan last month, and we called it a class-leading handset in terms of hardware, though it was a bit too large for our taste. We very much enjoyed the snappy combination of Windows Phone 7.5 and Qualcomm’s 1.5GHz Snapdragon chipset, however, and the new 8-megapixel camera surprised us with images that can compete with the best camera phones on the market.
During an event in New York City on Monday, Microsoft announced that the popular music service Spotify will launch for Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) devices sometime during the day. Spotify allows users to stream free ad-supported music from a computer, but access to the service from mobile devices requires a $9.99 monthly subscription option. The monthly fee also gets rid of ads and allows users to store playlists on a mobile device for offline playback. Spotify is already available on Android and iOS, and the service has been very successful in the U.S. since launching this past July.
Samsung’s Focus Flash will soon join the Samsung Focus S on AT&T’s shelves as the South Korea-based company’s second and third Windows Phone devices in the United States. The Focus Flash is a budget-friendly $50 handset and, despite its low price point, it offers a number of enhancements over the original Focus. Is the Focus Flash a worthy successor to the Focus? Can Mango tango with other entry-level handsets in the sub-$50 smartphone space? Hit the break for my full Focus Flash review to find out.
We stopped by Samsung’s offices in New York City recently to check out its brand new high-end Focus S Windows Phone. It is powered by Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, the latest iteration of the operating system, and packs a number of features that put the phone on a par with the Galaxy S II. It offers a stellar 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus screen, a 1.4GHz processor, support for AT&T’s HSPA+ network, an 8-megapixel camera and a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera or video chat. We loved how thin the device was at just 8.5-millimeters and, thanks to its plastic body, it looks a bit like the Galaxy S II from afar. AT&T will launch the Focus S sometime this fall for $199.99 this fall. We’ll be bringing you a review as soon as we can but in the meantime you can get a closer look at the phone by checking out our gallery below.
We met up with Samsung recently to check out the Focus Flash, a brand new Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) device that will be available on AT&T shortly for $49.99 with a new contract. The Focus Flash isn’t as high-end as the Focus S, but it does offer a number of compelling hardware features that make it a worthy upgrade over the original Focus. It is equipped with a 1.4GHz processor, a 5-megapixel camera, a front-facing camera for video chat and support for AT&T’s HSPA+ data network. We’re a little turned off that the Focus Flash doesn’t support microSD cards and that it has a smaller 3.7-inch display than the original Focus. Its Super AMOLED display was nice and bright, though, and it was noticeably faster than the Focus when we opened and closed apps with both phones side by side. We’ll be bringing you a full review soon, but in the meantime check out our gallery below.
AT&T on Friday announced that Samsung’s Focus S and Focus Flash smartphones will become available for purchase on November 6th. First announced last month, the Focus S and Focus Flash are two-thirds of AT&T’s Windows Phone lineup going into the holidays, with the HTC Titan filling out the carrier’s arsenal. The Samsung Focus Flash is an entry-level smartphone that will retail for $49.99 on contract. It features a 3.7-inch Super AMOLED screen, a 1.4GHz processor, a 5-megapixel camera and a forward-facing camera. The high-end Focus S features a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, a 1.4GHz processor, HSPA+, an 8-megapixel camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, and it will retail for $199.99 on contract. AT&T has not yet announced launch details for the HTC Titan. More →