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All posts tagged "cell phone"

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Illuminating the Lumia -- The Nokia Lumia 900

Posted by Don Tolson in "Nokia Windows Phones" @ 08:00 AM

Product Category: Windows Phone 7 Smartphone
Manufacturer: Nokia
Where to Buy: Expansys [affiliate]
Price: $765 USD (unlocked, no contract)
System Requirements: Comes with Windows Phone 7 Mango+ (8107) installed.
Specifications: 1.4Ghz single core CPU, 16Gb internal storage, 512Mb SDRAM; 4.3in WVGA (480 x 800) Super AMOLED screen; Quad band (850/900/1800/1900) GPRS, Tri band UTMS (900/1700/2100), HSPA+, LTE 700, 1700/2100; GPS; 8mp rear colour camera w/autofocus + LED flash, 1mp front-facing camera, 720p HD video recording; BT 2.1 EDR; 802.11b/g/n; 3.5mm stereo audio jack; microUSB 2.0; G-Sensor; 128mm (5.03in) x 69mm (2.7in) x 12mm (0.47in); 160g (5.6oz). Full specs are available at the Nokia site.


  • Rogers first LTE-capable WP7 phone!
  • Solid construction and feel;
  • Call quality is excellent.


  • No replaceable battery;
  • Access to the microSIM card is difficult.
  • Wi-Fi doesn't see the 5Ghz band;

Summary: There has been a lot of buzz (and sales activity) about Nokia's introduction of their premiere WP7 phone to the US marketplace, the Lumia 900. I was fortunate to pick one up the second day they came available through Rogers here in Canada. Now, after a week or two of working with it on a day-to-day basis, let's see how it stacks up. Read more...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Samsung's 2nd Gen Focus - the Focus S

Posted by Don Tolson in "Samsung Windows Phones" @ 08:00 AM

Product Category: Windows Phone 7 Smartphone
Manufacturer: Samsung
Where to Buy: Expansys [affiliate]
Price: $775 USD (unlocked, no contract)
System Requirements: Comes with Windows Phone 7 Mango (7720) installed.
Specifications: 1.4Ghz single core CPU, 16Gb internal storage, 1Gb RAM; 4.3in WVGA (480 x 800) Super AMOLED screen; Quad band (850/900/1800/1900) GPRS, Tri band UTMS (900/1700/2100), HSPA+; GPS; 8mp colour camera w/autofocus + LED flash, 720p HD video recording; BT 2.1 EDR & A2DP; 802.11b/g/n; 3.5mm stereo audio jack; microUSB 2.0; G-Sensor; 124mm (4.96in) x 66mm (2.6in) x 8.4mm (0.33in); 110g (3.9oz). Full specs are available at the Samsung site.


  • Large, bright screen with amazing contrast;
  • Light weight, but solidly built;
  • All round, an amazing phone!


  • Positioning of the power button makes it easy to 'accidentally' hit and turn it on/off when not intended;
  • A keyboard slider version of this phone would be a big bonus;
  • Sorry, it only comes in black :-).

Summary: The original Samsung Focus, despite some niggling flaws, multiple versions, and difficulties with upgrades, has been the Windows Phone 7 'phone to beat' almost from the day it arrived. While the HTC Titan and HD7 have been making inroads, the Focus still holds a significant portion of the Windows Phone 7 user community. Now, Samsung has issued the successor in two slightly different models - the Focus S with better specs and screen, and the more budget-minded Focus Flash. While not quite the massiveness of the HTC Titan, Samsung has again shown that it can 'lead the pack' in design and features with the Focus S. Read more...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Week with a Dell Venue Pro

Posted by Don Tolson in "Dell Windows Phones" @ 08:00 AM

Product Category: Windows Phone 7 Smartphone
Manufacturer: Dell
Where to Buy: Amazon [affiliate]
Price: $499 USD for T-Mobile with no contract
System Requirements: Windows Phone 7. You'll need a Windows Live or Hotmail account to take full advantage of the social media and marketplace.
Specifications: 1Ghz CPU, 8Gb internal storage; 4.1 WVGA (480 x 800) AMOLED screen; Quad band (850/900/1800/1900) GPRS; Tri band UTMS (900/1700/2100), GPS, 5mp colour camera w/autofocus + LED flash, 720p HD video recording; BT 2.1 EDR, 802.11b/g; 3.5mm stereo audio jack; microUSB 2.0; digital compass and G-Sensor; 120mm (4.8in) x 62mm (2.5in) x 13mm (0.5in); 190g (6.8 oz). Full specs are available at the Dell Site.


  • Large, bright screen with portrait sliding keyboard (no need to rotate the unit);
  • Solidly built.


  • Screen pixels seem to have 'space' between them, creating a pixelated look to some images;
  • Weight distribution is affected by sliding out the keyboard -- makes one-handed operation difficult;
  • Bluetooth seems to have difficulty re-establishing connections.

Summary: While the Dell Venue Pro has been out and about for a number of months now, we don't hear much about it in the press or in advertisements. There was a lot of initial buzz about the new look of Dell's first venture into Windows Phone 7 and the 'portrait' slider keyboard. But here in Canada, it's been very difficult to get a hold of one, since none of the major cellular suppliers (Rogers, Bell or Telus) support it on their networks. But never fear, we here at Windows Phone Thoughts don't let a little thing like network support stop us! We managed to snag one to play with for a week or so thought you might be interested in what we found. Read on.... Read more...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Be a Tattle Tale!

Posted by Nelson Ocampo in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 03:30 PM

"Microsoft has gone out of its way to build an awesome experience for the phone with Windows Phone 7. But the one experience they can't control is what happens when you walk into a retail store to buy one. And it's too bad, because the retail experience, as handle by carriers and their affiliates, is an abomination. It's pretty hard to try out a new device experience when the device is either broken, dead, or a plastic shell with a sticker for a home screen. Or when the response to 'Can I see a Windows Phone?' is met with 'Have you seen the AMOLED screen on the Samsung Charge?'" is a site where you could post your experiences when trying to purchase, or learn more about, Windows Phone 7. Many of use have heard stories, or have had personal experiences where you feel that retailers are not treating Windows Phone fairly. Perhaps they push a different product when you specifically ask about Windows Phone. Perhaps they just make the experience of trying to learn more about it tedious with non-working display models or some other inconvenience. Feel free to share your experiences and name the stores and salespeople that are the offenders.

Be a tattle tale!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Me Series Ad Campaign for Windows Phone

Posted by Nelson Ocampo in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 01:00 PM

"Curious how other people use their phones? This week we’re debuting a new collection of documentary-style shorts called the Me series. Each film essay explores a day in the life of someone interesting who owns a Windows Phone."

It looks like Microsoft is exploring a different kind of advertising for Windows Phone now.

One knock on the "Really?" advertisements was that it didn't show people actually making use of the phone's features. Perhaps this is Microsoft's answer to those criticisms.

Though, if it is, it's not starting off very well. The first video in the series (above) hardly shows Windows Phone at all. Sure, she's using it. But not in any way that emphasizes how special and different the OS is from the competition. It actually feels like an ad for the user's business, with a little bit of Windows Phone product placement thrown in.

Hopefully future videos will delve deeper into the Windows Phone OS's unique features and workflow.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Using 2-step Verification and Application Specific Passwords to Protect Your Gmail Accounts

Posted by Nelson Ocampo in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 10:00 PM

"Security is always a cause for concern, whether it be with online banking or simply ordering a Domino's pizza. Passwords used online for applications or services are no different, especially with the amount of cyber crime occuring since the boom of the world wide web. Google have published an article on their blog outlining recent attacks being made on Gmail accounts and how users can protect themselves further."

While the video only mentions a few mobile OS's by name, you should also be able to use this on other OS's like Windows Phone. You just won't have the ability to use the Google Authenticator App at this time.

Could New Features in Mango Win Over New Consumers?

Posted by Nelson Ocampo in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 07:00 PM

"Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 still faces a long catch-up game against Android OS and Apple's iOS, but a future update code-named 'Mango' with 500 new features that will give Microsoft a real chance of eventually capturing the most smartphone customers. In any case, Microsoft's aspirations around smartphone operating systems (OS) will never be laughed at again."

It's obvious that Microsoft needs to step up their game if they hope to compete with Apple and Google in the battle of mobile ecosystems. While the partnership with Nokia was a great strategic move, when all is said and done, what matters is the phone OS itself and the experience it gives to consumers.The linked article from Brighthand covers 5 Mango features that may end up being the main reason Windows Phone will be able to win over hearts. And as you'll read, it isn't necessarily the featurs themselves that may be winners, but also how those features are implemented in the OS. Mango takes features that may already exist on other platforms, but integrates it in such a way that it blurs the line between OS and app.Check it out to see if you agree.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Acer W4 - Really?

Posted by Nelson Ocampo in "Acer Windows Phones" @ 11:00 AM

"An Acer Windows Phone 7 handset was spotted at Computex '11, and looks vaguely similar to already available devices (LG in particular)."

When the wave of Mango devices finally make their ways to stores, let's hope that other phone manufacturers decide not to take Acer's lead.

Check the link for the specs. But be forewarned. There is absolutely nothing even remotely new or spectacular. It could have been a launch device.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mango Will Take Windows Phone's Zune Experience Up a Notch

Posted by Nelson Ocampo in "Windows Phone News" @ 08:00 PM

"It appears the leaks were true. Zune on Windows Phone Mango has received a nice update. Using the Mango emulator provided with the Windows Phone Developer Tools, we were able to access certain hidden features like Bing Vision, Bing Audio, Local Scout, and more."

picture from

In addition to some beautiful cosmetic changes, it appears that we'll also be seeing some key functionality improvements to bring it on par with the Zune HD device. My favorite improvement would be the visibility of the music playing controls on the lock screen. Sure, it's not that hard to press "power" and then "volume" to get to the controls right now, but this is a slight bit of streamlining that I surely will appreciate. The ability to have the artist's imagery on the lock screen when their music is playing is also a pretty nifty feature.Click the link to find out more about some other functionality and podcast support.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Achievements in a Non-Live Title? TapSplosion 2.0 Brings It.

Posted by Nelson Ocampo in "Windows Phone Software" @ 03:00 PM

"In a surprising approval by Microsoft, TapSplosion 2.0 just became available in the Marketplace. Why surprising? The developer wanted to add a bunch of Achievements to the game but was worried Microsoft may consider that term 'exclusive' for Xbox Live titles--which is not too far fetched--and deny approval."

The surprising part of the approval is the use of the word "Achievements" in the game description, where it reads, "TapSplosioin is the game that the Windows Phone 7 platform has been waiting for, and now it's even better with Achievements!"

There was concern that the use of the term might not be seen as generic. After all, Achievements are normally associated with XBOX LIVE titles. So a customer might expect that these Achievements would show up on XBOX LIVE. But they don't.

I think it's great that there is some sort of achievement system in a 3rd party game. But would you find this confusing?

Windows Phone Unleashed Hackathon to Coincide With Tech Ed

Posted by Nelson Ocampo in "Windows Phone Developer" @ 01:00 PM

"Attending TechEd 2011 in Atlanta? Why not check out the WP7 hackathon which will be hosted at the Omni Hotel on May 16th for 5 hours?"

If you're in the area and want to learn more about what makes Windows Phone tick, consider going to the Windows Phone Unleashed Hackathon. It is from 6:00pm to 11:00pm, so it shouldn't conflict with the things you're doing at Tech Ed. And you'll get the chance to learn "hands on" from expert developers.

They are only accepting 300 attendees, so sign up quickly here: Hackathon

Thursday, May 12, 2011

US Wireless Capacity To Hit A Wall In The Next 24-36 Months?

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 06:30 AM

"According to the FCC, the United States is facing an imminent spectrum crisis, in which exploding demand from smartphones will soon overwhelm the nation's wireless capacity. The problem, the FCC says, is the lack of new spectrum being made available to wireless data carriers. Smartphone data traffic is growing so fast, the FCC says, that--if nothing is done--we will use up our available spectrum by 2013."

Image: Federal Communications Commission

If you are in any way dependent on wireless services then you will probably want to take note of this article. The Business Insider has posted an article citing statistics produced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which indicate the US is quickly running out of wireless capacity. On the current course, and without an intervention of some kind, by some point in 2013 we will hit a spectrum deficit wall. The FCC does, though, have a plan to recover under used spectrum capacity from various sources. Hit the Read link for additional data and commentary by the Business Insider.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Possible OneNote Bug in Windows Phone

Posted by Nelson Ocampo in "Windows Phone Software" @ 11:30 AM

"The Windows Phone Nodo Update may have created a image scaling bug with OneNote. Images look clean and crisp when viewed from a computer but after being synced to OneNote, the note becomes distorted, washed out and pixelated."

This is a curious bug, considering Windows Phone has been pretty good and snappy when scaling images and text from within a browser. So we could assume that it's not related to the hardware.

Hit up the link for more information. Then let us know if you're experiencing the same, or similar, issues.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Little Under 700k Windows Phone 7 Handsets Sold by the End of 2010. How Much Does It Matter?

Posted by Nelson Ocampo in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 07:30 PM

"Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin has posted on his analysis of carrier chatter on Windows Phone 7 sales, and came to the conclusion that 674,000 Windows Phone 7 handsets ended up in the hands of consumers by the end of last year".

While Windows Phone 7 wasn't available for the full quarter, 674,000 is still a low number compared to the competition. I haven't seen to many other people with Windows Phones in my day to day dealings, but I'm sure that will be increasing as the operating system gets more and more robust.

The huge Mango update is expected to drop this Fall. Just in time for Microsoft to make a push for the last quarter of 2011. I'm betting that the growth will be huge. What do you think?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Win an LG Quantum Windows Phone 7

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Events" @ 10:00 AM

Just a quick reminder that we're running a free phone give-away: there's an unlocked LG Quantum up for grabs. It's fast and easy to enter; all you need is a YouTube account. Check out this post for more details.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Verizon Preparing for Windows Phone 7

Posted by Nelson Ocampo in "Windows Phone Mobile Operators" @ 08:30 PM

"Verizon may finally be preparing to start offering a Windows Phone 7 smartphone, following months of rumors about the launch date."

Is it finally happening? It appears so. Verizon has launched a discussion forum specifically for Windows Phone. Unfortunately, the exact date that Verizon will be launching their first Windows Phone device still remains up in the air.

So, other than Verizon customers now having a new venue where they could speak to each other about how long Verizon is taking, there isn't anything definitive.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Are Location Check Ins Coming in the Mango Update?

Posted by Nelson Ocampo in "Windows Phone News" @ 09:30 PM

"One thing we tried to push at MIX11, despite all the awesome news, was all that info was for developers, not consumers (though we tried to show why it mattered). The point being that Microsoft still has tricks up their sleeves for Mango/7.5 that we have yet to see and we're sure there will be plenty."

The tweet above suggests that @KADacey was testing a feature similar to Foursquare's check-ins. If you're unfamiliar with check-ins, it is basically a way for users to communicate their location to their friends in real time by checking in to specific places.

Don't bother going to Twitter to look for this tweet though. It's apparently been deleted. So I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this feature was probably not something that Microsoft wanted the public knowing about yet.

While we do know a few things that will be coming in the Mango update, the things we learned at MIX11 were aimed at the developer community. Perhaps this is just one tidbit of what we can expect when Microsoft announces Mango features targeted at consumers.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

SSL Certificates Patch Coming for Windows Phone

Posted by Nelson Ocampo in "Windows Phone News" @ 01:30 PM

"Back in March we reported on some fraudulent SSL certificates that could make WP7 users vulnerable to phishing/spoofing attacks, and the possibility that MS would be releasing a security update to fix it. According to SlashGear, sources have revealed that MS plans to roll out the update on May 3. It is still unknown whether the patch will come in the form of an OTA push or through Zune software updates."

It's good to see Microsoft responding quickly. I just hope the actual update makes it to phones by their target date. Check out the link to WPCentral for more info.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Is the Wait Finally Over for AT&T Customers?

Posted by Nelson Ocampo in "Windows Phone Mobile Operators" @ 10:00 PM

"Microsoft released the much anticipated NoDo update in March which includes copy and paste functionality. Globally most carriers and manufacturers released the update soon thereafter with one notable exception. AT&T has held up the update for its users, causing frustration among its users and much digital ink to be spilled in blogs by bloggers and on social networks by angry customers."

Is it true? After what may have seemed like forever for some of you, is the wait finally over for AT&T customers who want to update their Windows Phone devices? Well, yes and no. If you're the owner of an AT&T Samsung Focus or LQ Quantum, then congratulations. If you're the owner of an AT&T branded HTC Surround, well... I hear that patience is a virtue. And you're going to be some very virtuous people.

Also of note is that AT&T apparently has included some AT&T specific features as part of this update. But before you get too excited I feel the need to inform you that it's nothing to be excited about. Check out the link for more details. Then discuss it on the forums!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Get Ready to Skype From Your Windows Phone This Year

Posted by Nelson Ocampo in "Windows Phone Software" @ 11:00 PM

"You heard right -- Skype just went from 'nowhere near' Windows Phone 7, to 'on the roadmap,' to 'definitely coming this fall.'"

Microsoft's Joe Belifore confirmed at the Mix11 conference that Skype is coming to Windows Phone 7 in a few months. It wasn't too long ago that Skype seemed disinterested in developing an app for Windows Phone. But I guess a lot could change in a few months. Especially knowing that Microsoft is opening up key access to ports that Skype would likely be using.

Belifore mentioned that Microsoft has been working closely with Skype, and had a lot of praise to give them. That gives an indication that there is likely more involved than Skype simply deciding to create an app on their own.

It's clear that people at Microsoft do see what customers are asking for, and that they are actively pursuing ways to turn those wants into reality.

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