Tag Archives: Nokia

Nokia One-Ups Windows Phone OEMs With NFC & LTE 4G

It’s a day of mixed feelings for Nokia. On one hand the company announced poor outlook for 2012, on the other, they’re all set to be the first Windows Phone OEM to introduce NFC in their handsets.

Nokia is the first OEM to have LTE based 4G Windows Phones as well. (The current HSPA+ implementation by AT&T and T-Mobile is NOT technically 4G, so they’re HSPA+ phones don’t count.) And in a second, Nokia is the first to implement NFC in their Windows Phone handsets. Passed by the FCC and announced by Nokia, meet the Nokia Lumia 610. The phone’s numbering is absurd. Nokia has a Lumia 710 and 610 which has NFC, in other terms a newer phone with more features has backward numbering. (The company went from Lumia 800 to 900 and not 700.) I’m sure Nokia has a plausible reasoning for the numbers but that explanation would only make sense to the people within Nokia. Not to the buyer, unless explained. Anyway, back to the Lumia 610, here’s what we know:

  • Phone is being targeted as an “affordable phone,” no frills feature rich phone
  • Certified for contactless payments with MasterCard
  • Compatible with Nokia’s other NFC accessories

In the blog post on Conversations by Nokia,  Heidi Lemmetyinen mentions Nokia’s NFC bluetooth headset and not the Nokia Play 360—their NFC capable speakers, which are far more cooler and part of Nokia’s super-expensive Lumia 800 bundle in the US. That aside, Nokia said they have sold 2 Million Windows Phone devices that is a decent number for starters. The Lumia 610 looks a lot like the 710:

AT&T And Nokia Offer $100 Credit, Fix For Lumia 900 Data Issue

Yesterday, users flooded the Nokia and WPCentral forums with reports of an annoying data connectivity bug plaguing the Nokia Lumia 900. Basically, the device would lose 3G/4G connectivity randomly, mostly with no cause. Some users stated that it occurred when they did something which obstructed connectivity — such as enable airplane mode — and were then unable to reconnect to the data network.

On Tuesday, AT&T and Nokia acknowledged the bug, and, much to the relief of users has confirmed that it’s a software issue and nothing hardware-related. That being said, phones with updated software that will hopefully remedy the issue are en route to stores as we speak, and should arrive within a few days. Nokia is offering users affected by the issue the ability to either exchange their device for a newer unit or update your existing device using the Zune client around Monday, April 16th.

On top of this, people who purchase the Lumia 900 from launch day through to midnight on April 21st will be eligible for a $100 credit on their AT&T bill. This was handled beautifully, so props to Nokia and AT&T for that. They are of course lucky that it isn’t some sort of hardware defect that requires new devices; this could have been worse. Let’s just hope that the reports of this issue don’t care prospective consumers away from what otherwise is a pretty awesome phone.

Microsoft Office Apps Released On Symbian

One of the key features in Windows Phone that Microsoft often brags about are the Office apps — or rather, the Office hub — which provides a pretty solid mobile Office experience. There has been much discussion (and rumor) lately about how Microsoft needs to bring the Office suite to iOS, and while they are yet to do so, they are introducing it to a slightly less major player in the mobile ecosystem: Symbian.

Yes, Nokia’s mobile OS which really should be retired in lieu of Windows Phone will be receiving the full Office Mobile app. Starting today, the Nokia 701, Nokia 700, Nokia 603, Nokia E7, Nokia X7, Nokia C7, Nokia Oro, and Nokia C6-01 will receive the Office suite, which can be obtained via the Nokia Software Update tool on your phone, or the Nokia Suite on the PC.

While you probably won’t be typing up entire essays, or creating complete presentations from scratch on your Symbian device, it’s always good to have Office in your pocket for quick adjustments on the go. And, Microsoft touts that, as they developed the apps, the experience and functionality is as close as it can be to the PC. For example, in Word, you can save or send documents while preserving tables, SmartArt and charts, and you can use pinch/zoom to easily navigate through your document.

And in PowerPoint, you can edit presentation text and speaker notes, and use the Outline view to browse slides. Finally, in Excel, you can create charts, insert formulas, and view charts on your device. Through Office Mobile, you’ll also get a single view to documents, whether stored locally, as email attachments, or on a SharePoint server.

So, if you are still using Symbian, this is pretty good news for you.

AT&T Might Not Have Spent $150 Million On The Lumia 900

I had just penned a post covering a report from AdAge which stated that AT&T will be spending around $150 million over the next few months to promote the Lumia 900, which, according to a few sources, is AT&T’s next “hero” flagship device which it will heavily promote. However, The Verge reports that the $150 million number is a bit off the mark, and that the carrier is actually spending less on the Lumia 900 (and by less, they mean the amount that AT&T would normally spend for a major flagship device release anyway.)

The Verge is also reporting that the internal attitude towards the Lumia 900 is a bit different than initially reported; they’re claiming that it isn’t being heavily promoted due to the threat of the loss of iPhone exclusivity to rival carriers Verizon and Sprint. Alex Wilhelm suggests something that could possibly be true: The $150 million may be the collective amount being invested in Lumia 900 advertising by Nokia, Microsoft, and AT&T. If I remember correctly, there was some speculation that all three companies are investing a total of 150 to 200 million in promoting the device.

Nevertheless, both this and the initial AdAge report should be taken with a grain of salt. No advertising costs have been released by AT&T — or Microsoft and Nokia — on the record. However, we do have two conflicting reports from two very credible publications. Neat.

AT&T Is Spending $150 Million To Advertise The Lumia 900

We knew that the Lumia 900 was going to be a big launch advertising-wise, with it essentially becoming the flagship AT&T device. Internally referred to by the carrier as a “hero” phone, it ‘s expected to be more heavily marketed and promoted than Apple’s iPhone was from 2007 onwards by the company. So, with that being said, just how much is being spent on promoting the Lumia 900?

According to a report from AdAge, AT&T will be spending around $150 million over the next few months to spread the word about the Lumia 900. This is quite a lot, though it’s coming from a company which, according to AdAge spent $3 billion in advertising back in 2010.One of the main perks of being an AT&T subscriber over the past few years has been, well, the iPhone. And now that AT&T no longer has iPhone exclusivity with it now being sold by Verizon and Sprint as well, the company seems to be looking for a fresh, new device to be its main selling point.

But, what I wonder is, if AT&T alone will be spending $150 million on promoting the Lumia 900, how much will Microsoft and Nokia be spending? How much will they all be spending collectively? There were reports of Nokia paying AT&T up to $25 million to get the Lumia 900 in the hands of its employees. Nevertheless, there’s surely a crazy amount being spent on this phone by all three companies; definitely has to be over $200 million.

Nokia Lumia 900 vs iPhone 4S vs Galaxy Nexus vs Galaxy S2 – How Does The Best Windows Phone Stack Up Against Its Competition?

The Lumia 900 is finally up for sale in the United States, and it has already sold out in quite a few online stores. The Lumia 900 is the biggest handset launch from Nokia in the recent years in the United States, and the handset will have a key role in determining the future on WP7 and the Nokia-MS partnership.

However, how does the Lumia 900 stack up against some of the best phones up for sale today including the iPhone 4S, Galaxy Nexus and the Galaxy S2? Read our comparison post below to find out!

Display

The Galaxy Nexus has the biggest display among all these 4 handsets and comes with a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED HD screen with a whopping 720p screen, but has a PenTile display. The Galaxy S2 and Lumia 900 come with a 4.3-inch display with WVGA (480*800) resolution. While the Galaxy S2 uses a Super-AMOLED Plus display, the Lumia 900 has a (AMOLED) ClearBlack Display. The iPhone 4S has the smallest display among its competitors with a relatively small 3.5-inch IPS LCD display with 640*960 resolution. The iPhone 4S has the highest pixel density here with a Retina busting 326ppi, while the Galaxy Nexus comes in a second close with a ppi of 316. The Galaxy S2 and the Lumia 900 both have a disappointingly low ppi of 218.

The iPhone 4S and the Galaxy Nexus both trump the Lumia 900 in terms of display quality as well as resolution, while the Lumia 900 manages to tie it with the Galaxy S2 display. However, considering the Lumia 900 is being released in 2012, and all of its competitors were launched in 2011, the former should have had packed in a higher resolution screen. Sadly, since Windows Phone does not support resolutions higher than WVGA, there is nothing much the OEMs can do about it, except for wait for Windows Phone 8.

Read: Galaxy S2 vs. Galaxy Nexus vs. iPhone 4S – Which is the best smartphone of 2011?

Processing Power

Except for the Lumia 900, the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S2 and the iPhone 4S, all have a dual-core processor. The A5 SoC used inside the iPhone 4S is an absolute beast and manages to trump every other mobile CPU + GPU combination easily. The Exynos SoC found inside the Galaxy S2 comes in second with two powerful Cortex-A9 cores running at 1.2GHz, along with an ARM Mali-400MP GPU. The Galaxy Nexus also packs in two 1.2GHz Cortex-A9 processor, and a PowerVR SGX 540 GPU, which struggles to keep up with the HD resolution on the handset.

A Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 processor clocked at 1.4GHz along with an Adreno 205 GPU powers the Lumia 900. While the OS on the handset itself runs very smooth, third party apps and browsing on the handset take a toll due to the limited CPU power.

Camera 

The iPhone 4S, Galaxy S2 and the Lumia 900 pack in an 8MP camera with an LED flash, while the Galaxy Nexus houses a 5MP camera aided by an LED flash. The 8MP snapper on the iPhone 4S can take some absolutely stunning pictures, and is a clear winner here. The Galaxy S2 and the Lumia 900 come in a close second, with the former struggling in low-light conditions quite heavily. The Galaxy Nexus with its poor, but with Instant capture feature, 5MP cam does not even stand a chance.

While the Lumia 900 may have come second in the camera shoot-out, we should not forget that the Galaxy S2 was released nearly a year ago. The Galaxy S3 is just around the corner, and chances are it will trump the Lumia 900 in camera performance easily.

Apps

While the iPhone App Store has more than 450,000+ apps, there are roughly around 300,000 apps in the Google Play Store. In comparison to this, the Windows Phone Marketplace has around 70,000+ apps. Sadly, there is a very serious lack of quality applications in the WP Marketplace. There is still no official Dropbox client available for the OS, which might be a bummer for quite a few people out there. There are still no graphically intensive games available for the OS. Most developers still prefer to launch an iOS version of their app first, followed by an Android version.

However, most developers who have released a WP7 version of their app have been seriously impressed with the SDK tools available for the platform, and actually prefer coding apps for WP rather than Android. So hopefully it is just a matter of time, and possibly few more APIs from Microsoft, before we see some quality apps hit the Windows Phone marketplace.

P.S. – I can’t comment on the battery life of the handsets since I have not used them long enough. However, I am sure the iPhone 4S will be a clear winner here just because it has a smaller screen, and lacks support for LTE networks. Lumia 900 should provide users with the same battery life as the Galaxy S2 and the Galaxy Nexus, if not worse.

Also Read: Some must have apps for the Nokia Lumia 900 and 800

Must Have Apps For Nokia Lumia 800 and Lumia 900

Late last year, Nokia released the first real Windows Phone, the Lumia 800. The device while impressive an impressive Windows Phone running handset, lacked a front-facing camera and the 3.7-inch screen was just too small. Earlier this year at MWC, Nokia announced a bigger brother of the Lumia 800, the Lumia 900, which comes with a bigger screen (4.3-inch) and a front-facing camera. The Lumia 900 is mainly targeted towards the United States, and was launched recently with a huge marketing campaign from Nokia and AT&T. In fact, this is the biggest handset launch from Nokia in the States in the last few years.

With the launch of new phones, bigger marketing campaigns and Microsoft’s money, the Windows Phone ecosystem has grown considerably in the last few months. The Windows Phone Marketplace now contains more than 70,000 apps, which is pretty decent for an OS, which is hardly 2 years old. I frankly don’t care about the number of apps an OS has. I want quality over quantity, and the WP7 marketplace is lacking in this department. Nevertheless, here is my list of the best apps currently available in the Windows Phone marketplace, which will take full advantage of your brand new Lumia 800 or 900 -:

Pulse – If you have owned an iOS or Android phone previously, chances are you already know about Pulse. Pulse is a beautiful RSS reader, with a very unique UI. Its unique UI and its price tag – free – is the main reason behind the app being a hit across all the major mobile platforms.

Skydrive – Dropbox has been my on-the-go cloud storage service for quite sometime now. However, there is no official Dropbox client available in the Windows Phone Marketplace, which is quite a bummer. Thankfully, a few months ago, Microsoft filled that gap by releasing the official Skydrive app for WP7, which allows users to access their files stored on Skydrive right from their phone. Considering that Skydrive comes with 25GB of free storage, and will be tightly integrated with Windows 8, moving to Skydrive as your primary cloud storage service does seem useful for all Windows users.

Flashlight X – What’s the use of the LED flash in your phone if you cannot use it as a Torch in those dark situations? With nearly every Windows Phone coming equipped with a LED flash, Flashlight X is a must have app.

YouTube Pro – The default YouTube client for Windows Phone is sadly just a bookmark to the official YouTube mobile homepage. Looking at the OS market share, Google does not seem to be much interested in releasing a decent YouTube client for WP7 as well. Thankfully, YouTube Pro is a decent alternative to fulfill all your YouTube-ing needs. The app allows you to view videos in HQ or HD quality over Wi-Fi or 3G along with the ability to download them as well.

Rowi – If you own a Windows Phone, and use Twitter frequently, Rowi is the MUST have app for you. It is without a doubt the best Twitter client available in the Windows Phone marketplace. The folks behind Rowi recently released v2.0 which includes tons of new features including Readability integration, performance improvements, a new context menu for easier access to frequently used options, toast notifications for messages and mentions and most importantly, Fast app switching support.

Evernote – Evernote is another must have app for me irrespective of the OS I use. Thankfully, there is an official Evernote client for WP7 and its pretty good. The app allows users to pin any specific note or a shortcut to a new note for quick access.

Skype – Back at MWC, the Skype/MS team finally released a beta version of Skype for Windows Phone. Considering that MS now owns Skype, the app was under development for quite sometime and the beta version is pretty basic as well. Anyways, chances are Windows Phone 8 will feature a very tight integration with Skype, so until then the Skype app should be capable of fulfilling all your needs.

Don’t agree with my list of the best apps for your brand new Lumia 800 or Lumia 900? Drop in a comment and let us know!

The Problem with Reviewing the Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia Lumia 900 Reviews

Last night (April 3, 2012) the embargo was lifted, and Nokia Lumia 900 reviews started flowing in. At first glance, one would think the reviews were mixed, or even that the device was being slammed. Lots of good words, but bottom line being negative. I went through most of the top reviews, and as you unpeel the onion you see that generally, everyone agrees that this phone definitely has the chops to compete with the top smartphones on other platforms. The issues that have been brought up are actually a problem Nokia and Microsoft will have to tackle somehow. These are, generally speaking, issues faced by techies, but since techies control the message nowadays, it is a situation that needs to be addressed.

First though, the key selling points for the device: fantastic design, great screen (ClearBlack AMOLED), LTE, low price, good camera and a fresh (compared to iOS and its poor clone, Android) operating system. Some reviewers contradicted each other on some of the features (like The Verge’s Josh Topolsky and PC Mag’s Sascha Segan criticizing the camera but Engadget’s Joseph Volpe and PC World’s Ginny Mies claiming it was great and versatile), and of course different reviewers rated the “good” on different levels of the spectrum based on their preferences and experience.

The Problem(s)

However, I saw some of the issues that the reviewers brought up in their reviews, and Nokia and Microsoft both have to be concerned. First is that expectations are sky-high for Nokia. They are known to make excellent devices and after putting all their eggs in the Windows Phone basket, a lot is expected of them. Also, with RIM imploding, there is nobody else to take the 3rd spot behind iOS and Android, so the anticipation is heightened. As a result, even a minor issue will get amplified.

Vote on Nano-SIM Standard Delayed Due to Disagreements

Earlier this week, we reported that Apple was willing to offer a royalty-free licensing for its proposed next-generation “nano-SIM” cards for use in devices connecting to cellular networks. In addition, it was reported that a decision would occur last week.

Apple nano-SIM

Now, FOSS Patents notes that the European Telecommunications Standards Institutes (ETSI) has postponed any vote on selecting a standard due to various companies proposing designs as they continue to debate over the issue.

Apparently, Apple is also taking heat from other companies in the negotiations, with Research in Motion accusing Apple of hiding its efforts to gather the voting panel by having at least three of its employees re-register for voting purposes as representatives of various carriers. However, Apple’s proposal is supported by most of the carriers.

If Apple’s proposal is passed, this would supposedly allow the company to create even small and thinner devices. Apple’s prototype design, which is made by SIM maker Oberthur Technologies, looks similar to the existing micro-SIM card minus most of the plastic edging. The contacts are in the same configuration as current cards and potentially could be used in existing hardware if connected with an adapter.

Nokia Lumia 900 Up For Pre-Order At AT&T For $99.99

Earlier this year, Nokia announced the much-awaited Lumia 900 smartphone at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 in Las Vegas. This handset will be exclusively available for the AT&T subscribers in the US. The Nokia Lumia 900 runs on the Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) Operating System.

Last week, Nokia announced the price and availability of this device. This handset will go on sale from April 8 in the US. If you can’t wait for the next few days, then you can go ahead and pre-order this device. AT&T has already started taking the pre-orders of the Lumia 900 smartphone at their retail as well as online stores. Currently, you can pre-orders only for the black and cyan blue variants, since the white Lumia 900 will be available from April 22.

nokia lumia 900

Nokia Lumia 900 features a 4.3 inch ClearBlack display, sporting a resoulution of 800 x 480 pixels, 1.4 GHz Snapdragon processor, Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) OS, 8 megapixel rear camera with f2.2/28mm Carl Zeiss lens and dual LED flash, auto-focus and HD (720p) video recording, 1 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls, 512 MB RAM, 16 GB internal memory, 14.5 GB user memory and more.

It also comes with a 3.5mm headset jack, SkyDrive, Wi-Fi Internet Sharing for up to 5 devices, AT&T Radio, Office 365, Xbox Live, Windows Marketplace, A-GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, USB 2.0, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, Nokia Drive, Nokia Maps, Bing Maps, 4G LTE – up to 50 Mbps down/ 25 Mbps up, IE9 with HTML 5 support, AT&T Navigator, Zune, up to 60 hours of music playback in offline mode, up to 7 hours of talk-time, up to 300 hours of stand-by time and a 1830 mAh battery.

The Nokia Lumia 900 will be available for just $99.99. If you are a new AT&T subscriber, then you can get this device for free with the usual 2 year service agreement and a $100 mail-in rebate. On the other hand, Walmart is also taking the pre-orders for the black and cyan blue variant at their online store for just $50, instead of the regular $99.99 price set by the carrier. What are you waiting for? Go ahead and get the Nokia Lumia 900 from AT&T or Walmart.