Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nokia Lumia 719 image leaks, coming soon to Asia and America

What we have today is the first picture of the upcoming Nokia Lumia 719. The phone is destined for the Asian and American markets and as can be deduced from the name will be placed above the current Nokia Lumia 710.

The Lumia 719 has a very basic design. Although it's hard to tell, the phone seems to be much thinner than the Lumia 710 and keeps the physical keys below the display. The phone is said to have a 3.7-inch, AMOLED display with Nokia's Clear Black technology, 5 megapixel camera and HD video recording, the last two being par for the course for a Windows Phone device.
We are expecting the device to be officially announced in China on March 28, which is when Nokia will be holding its Lumia event there.

Nokia Lumia 610 to get Wi-Fi hotspot functionality

Unwired View has uncovered an interesting feature in the upcoming Nokia Lumia 610 and that is the ability to use the phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Now, on its own, the feature isn't particularly new and this functionality was in fact added in Windows Phone with the Mango update. But the reason it is interesting on the Lumia 610 is because it is the only Lumia phone as of now that can boast of this feature, with neither the Lumia 800 nor the 710 having it on-board, despite being more expensive.
It makes us wonder why Nokia would want to keep this feature on its cheaper device and away from those who paid more money for its more expensive handsets.

Nokia Lumia 900 has camera and audio improvements over the 800

A Q&A posted on Nokia Connects answers a lot of interesting questions about the Nokia Lumia lineup. The Nokia Lumia 900, for example, will launch with improvements to the camera and sound systems, which will trickle down to the Lumia 800.
Nokia claim they've optimized focus and color balance on the Nokia Lumia 900 compared to what we saw on the 800, but since the two use the same camera module, the improvements will be made available to the Lumia 800 as well. They will possibly be a part of the major camera update that brings the native panorama app.
The Nokia WP7 top dog also features improved audio as a result of hardware and software changes. The software side of things will be made available to the Lumia 800 too.
There were plenty of questions about connectivity - tethering, for example, will be available on the Lumia 610 and 900 at launch and come as an update to the 710 and 800.
The Lumia phones don't have penta-band 3G (like Nokia's Symbian, uh, "Nokia OS" phones). An AT&T Lumia 900 will work in Europe though.
The dual HSPA+ on the Lumia 900 shouldn't affect the battery life as the 900's battery is "optimised for HSPA+ and LTE" whatever that means.
One thing the Lumia 900 has that its smaller sibling, the 800, won't get is GLONASS support, which often improves accuracy of the positioning services.
Nokia are aware of some of the limited customization options of the Windows Phone platform and are working with Microsoft to fix them.
There no plans for supporting Lumia phones in the Nokia Suite software, however, Zune works just fine they say.
You can read the full Q&A for some more info about the Lumia 900 here.

Nokia Lumia 900 to hit AT&T on April 8, promo videos today

An employee at an AT&T store in California revealed the Lumia 900 release date – April 8. There is still no official confirmation on this, but some previous rumors also suggested the second week of April as the release time frame.
The rumored price of the Lumia 900 is attractive at $99 (with a two-year contract, of course) and you might get a $25 gift card to use in the Marketplace as well.
Nokia and Microsoft are preparing a huge marketing (digital and TV) campaign for the Lumia 900, so it seems with the Lumia series failure is not an option for neither the companies.
Nokia has also uploaded a few new promo videos of the Lumia 900 too.

Windows Phone Tango minimum hardware limitations outlined

Offerings from both Nokia and ZTE debuted the next major build of Windows Phone last week at MWC, dubbed "Tango". The new Nokia Lumia 610 and ZTE Orbit both took to their respective stands to show off the new lower-end capabilities of Microsoft's mobile OS.
Despite the latest iteration (excluding Apollo) of Windows Phone having made it to these devices on the floor at MWC, Microsoft had been particularly vague about just what the limitations were for devices employing lower-tiered hardware, until now.

Both the Lumia 610 and Orbit employ 256MB of RAM and this means that there are certain implications which consumers will need to bear in mind when choosing a Windows Phone device, these are as follows:
Windows Phone Marketplace app restrictions – Some processor-intensive apps have particular memory requirements, and won’t work on phones with 256MB of RAM.
Podcast/Video Podcast Subscriptions – Managing podcast subscriptions or watching video podcasts on a device with 256MB of RAM will not be possible.
Bing Local Scout – Bing Local Scout won't feature on a device with only 256MB of RAM.
Fast app/Task switching – The feature differs on Windows Phones with 256MB of RAM in that if a single application uses over 90MB, it will be killed on exit and thus not appear in the task switcher, besides this the functionality will remain unchanged.
SkyDrive automatic photo upload – 256MB of RAM means no auto-upload option, but users will still be able to upload their photos manually.
HD video playback – Some compressed videos will be unable to play due to a lack of codec support on devices with 256MB of RAM.
Background agents – To free up RAM for the foreground on such devices, generic background agents (PeriodicTasks/ResourceIntensiveTasks) will be disabled.
As well as informing prospective buyers of these new more competitively priced Windows Phones what they'll be missing out on, Microsoft have also made a point of appealing to Windows Phone developers who will need to take into account the limitations of devices using the new minimum hardware requirements.
Speed seems to be key with a message of optimizing app start times and reducing an apps' memory footprint being pushed to developers. All this being said, Microsoft are adding features to Windows Phone 7.5 too, including a new location alert, MMS enhancements and improved SIM contact management.
Windows Phone "Tango" should be arriving on 256MB of RAM-endowed Windows Phone devices come Q2 this year.
Source | Via

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Skype for Windows Phone mobile app has arrived!

Nokia Lumia 800 software update available on Zune

Nokia Lumia 800 users, here's a reason to smile today - a new software update is available through Zune and it brings quite a punch. Marked with version number 1600.2487.8107.12070, the update brings better battery life and fixes backlight issues haunting some Lumia 800 owners.
Battery life sees improvement, according to many users with already updated devices. Some of them also report a backlight issue being fixed by the firmware update.
According to some reports, currently only Lumia 800 owners in Singapore can benefit from the update, but a global release is imminent, so don't be discouraged and try updating your device via Zune.

Nokia Lumia 800 battery life gets a threefold improvement

The battery life on the Nokia Lumia 800 has been much criticized ever since the phone launched four months ago. Since then Nokia has released a couple of updates for the device aiming to improve the battery life but they didn't really help, with the last update merely dimming the display instead of providing any real improvement to the battery life.

However, they finally might be on to something with that last update we wrote about yesterday. According to WPCentral the new update provides up to three times the battery life compared to before, although they did not mention three times of what type of particular usage.
Besides the other improvements we already listed, one particular new change caught our attention. The update is supposed to bring an increase in bass response to improve the audio quality.
That's interesting because if you read our Lumia 800 review, we specifically mentioned the poor bass response of the device when it is connected to a pair of headphones.
If you have received this update, do let us know what improvements you are seeing, especially to the battery life of the phone.

Nokia 808 PureView to skip the North American Market

In a move that should surprise no one, Nokia will not be releasing the Nokia 808 PureView in the North American market. This information comes from Nokia's developer website, which lists the availability of the 808 as 'Global', with a footnote than excludes North America.

Nokia has mentioned in the past that once their Windows Phone devices hit the North American market, they will no longer launch new Symbian and Series 40 handsets anymore. So all you North Americans out there who wish to get their hands on this 41-megapixel monster will just have to import it when the device hits the shelves everywhere else in the world.

Nokia shuts down its Ovi Share service

Nokia has sent out mails to all its Ovi Share users informing them about the sad demise of the service. For those who haven't heard of it before, Ovi Share was Nokia's version of Dropbox, which allowed those with an Ovi account to upload content such as images and videos from their phones onto Nokia's servers.

Unfortunately, this service is now shutting down. After March 13, users will no longer will be able to upload files and the last date to download any files that you may have uploaded is May 30. On May 31, the service will shut down completely.
According to Nokia the Ovi Store shutdown is "part of Nokia's revised services mission to focus on mobile and location based services". However, you will still be able to access Nokia's other services with your account.
Unfortunately for Symbian users, none of the major online storage services have a native app that can be used for storing your files online. Hopefully, Microsoft will release a Symbian version of their SkyDrive app, although we won't advise holding your breath for it.

Nokia World 2012 to be held in Finland this time

Nokia World is going to be held in Nokia’s home country Finland for the first time in the show's history. It will take place on September 25-26 in Helsinki.
The interest for the show is expected to be tremendous, so you should probably follow the news closely if you want a spot. You can get more information right here.

This will be probably the most interesting Nokia World to date. There is a lot going on inside Nokia – Meltemi, PureView, perhaps a tablet? This is also close to the expected Windows Phone Apollo release, so new powerful Lumia phones are expected as well.

Monday, March 5, 2012

A PureView camera headed to the Lumia lineup soon

A few days ago the Nokia 808 PureView caused a lot of jaws to drop, only to be raised back up again to ask "wait, Symbian?" However, when you take into account that the PureView project started 5 years ago the things become clear - Windows Phone just didn’t exist back then.
Jo Harlow, Executive Vice President of smart devices at Nokia, spoke to a Finnish newspaper saying that the PureView technology is heading to a future Lumia phone. According to her, it shouldn't be too long before such a phone materializes.
Performance shouldn't be an issue - the Nokia 808 uses a single-core 1.3GHz processor with 512MB and it's a custom chip that does all the heavy lifting. That's well within reach of current WP7 phones though they'll have to adjust the processing for a Qualcomm platform.
But, of course, that doesn’t mean a Nokia Lumia PureView phone is just around the corner.
Either way, this phone can't come soon enough. Until then, you can have a look at the camera samples and check out our blog post on how PureView works. There's also our interview with Nokia's imaging guru, Damian Dinning.
Source (in Finnish)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Nokia 808 PureView wins Best New Device at MWC

The winner for one last category of the Global Mobile Awards - the Best New Mobile Handset, Device or Tablet at Mobile World Congress 2012 award - was left to be announced and looking at the photo of smiling Nokia execs makes it easy to guess which device took that award home.
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The Nokia 808 PureView, which arguably caused the biggest splash with its 41MP camera sensor, was voted worthy of the award by a panel of journalists and analysts attending the show.
Here's what Jo Harlow, Executive Vice President of smart devices at Nokia, had to say about the award:
It’s a fantastic award because it signifies that consumer experience counts. It’s about tech, but it’s about how tech is used to make a consumer have a fantastic experience. The imaging is fantastic; the audio is fantastic; the navigation technology is fantastic.
These are first signals that we are executing against our strategy. That we’re back. That we’re bringing great products to our consumers – and that this is just the beginning. There’s lot more to come.
We have a lot of work ahead of us. We’re still a challenger, and we are going to operate as we have done in this last year to deliver these great results.
You can also check out our interview with Damian Dinning who shared a lot of interesting details on the PureView camera on the Nokia 808 at length.


Nokia 701, 700 and 603 to get Belle FP1, same as 808 PureView

Nokia revealed that the Nokia 808 PureView runs Nokia Belle OS Feature Pack 1, which brings a number of improvements. Also, they have some good news and some bad news for owners of current Belle devices too, depending on what device you have.
The good news is that if you have Nokia 701, 700 or 603, then you'll be getting the feature pack soon. The bad news is that other devices (like the older ones that launched with Symbian^3 or the Nokia 500) are not invited to the party.
Here's some more good news/bad news - the 701 and 700 will both have their CPUs bumped to 1.3GHz by the update, matching the 808 PureView. The Nokia 603 will remain on 1GHz.
The Belle Feature Pack 1 update also brings a new, faster, HTML5-capable web browser, the Microsoft Apps and the latest version of Nokia Maps.
Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Headphone will enhance the audio experience for both music and videos.
Belle FP1 will also improve the user interface though details on that are scarce - the multitasking bar has been updated and the notification bar is "even better". There are 20 new widgets included too.
The release for Belle Feature Pack 1 is planned for sometime in the next few months.