We have had our fair share of news from HTC recently – including a video of the launch of the new devices with Steve Ballmer.

The latest teaser video is below – it still doesn’t contain a release date, though:

What do you think?

Even though Nokia got most of the media attention via its Lumia series, Microsoft’s long-term partner HTC is the one who will be allowed to call his devices “Windows Phone 8*”.

UK retailer MobileFun has now sent us the following bits of information:

The new Windows Phone 8 HTC phones are looking really smart and we’re going to be stocking them when they’re available in November. Personally I’m really looking forward to the release of the Sim Free HTC 8X – it looks great, feels great and runs some top notch software. It continues the trend of HTC handsets running Beats Software too and is the new flagship HTC/Windows phones. We’ll be selling this for £407.95.

The Sim Free HTC 8S on the other hand is the lower end version – a bit like the One S. Again it’s boldly coloured and runs Windows Phone 8 software but details like the processor and camera aren’t as good as the 8X. This is reflected in the price though as the HTC 8S is only £224.95.

Find out more via the URLs below:
http://www.mobilefun.co.uk/sim-free-htc-8x-black-p36363.htm
http://www.mobilefun.co.uk/sim-free-htc-8s-black-white-p36368.htm

When it comes to Windows Phone 7 updates, Microsoft has a much closer regime on the process than Google exhibits with its Android device partners.

Nevertheless, carriers are able to block the process to at least some extent. Fortunately, Engadget now reports the following happy news for the owners of Verizon-branded HTC Tropy handsets:

Meanwhile, a leaked tidbit courtesy of AndroidGuys suggests that we may see the refresh come as soon as tomorrow. Whether the specific date pans out remains to be seen, but whenever Tango actually arrives,

Please give us a ping when the update drops!

Even though Samsung’s Omnia W did not get too much attention at Samsung’s MWC booth this year, the device nevertheless is well on its way to the UK.
mwc bada omnia Samsung Omnia W arrives in London via Phones4U

In regards to pricing, the following information was given:

Available free on contract from £20.50 a month or SIM Free from £289.95, the Samsung Omnia M will be available from Phones 4u from 1st August. Customers can order the Samsung Omnia M from Phones 4u online now for delivery by 1st August.

All thiose of you interested can find out more at the URL below – keep in mind that the device is unlikely to get a Windows 8 upgrade, and can possibly be had much cheaper if imported from Germany or Austria:
http://www.phones4u.co.uk/shop/shop_contract_details.asp?ItemKey=615945

So far, Samsung has been mum on plans for Windows Phone 8 handsets – rumors and leaks have largely circled around Nokia, which is likely to be Microsoft’s primary partner.

The Verge has now posted the following image of two devices which are said to run Windows Phone 8:
samsung windows 8 phones Samsung leaks two Windows Phone 8 handsets

As seen in the slide above, Samsung is planning two devices named Odyssey and Marco. The Verge goes on to claim that both of them will use a 1.5GhZ dual core from QualComm (MSM8960), will have LTE radios and will launch in Q4 2012.

The Odyssey is said to come with a 4.65inch Super AMOLED screen with HD resolution, an 8MP camera and NFC. On the Marco, we shall expect a 4” WVGA Super Amoled and a 5MP camera.

Stay tuned for info as we get it…

Some time ago, Fujitsu captured the attention of the press by demoing a dual screen phone concept. Sadly, we never heard again from this handset.

However, the booth of the Japanese ACME company NEC contained the following surprise:
1 NEC Medias W – double screen phones never die

It is described as following:
2 NEC Medias W – double screen phones never die

Given that NEC handsets almost never make it to Europe, I am not too positive re ever getting this handset into my hands – stay tuned for further info as we get it!

Last year, dual core smartphones were all the rage – after LG dropped its Optimus 2X, 60 million devices followed suite.

At the MWC, we now see the first quad core handsets. As all of them run on Android, please visit our sister site to find out more:
http://tamsandroid.tamoggemon.com/2012/02/quad-core-parade-mobile-world-congress-2012/

So far, all Windows Phone 7 devices had to have 512 MB of RAM – with the Tango update, Microsoft has scaled this down to 256MB.

ZTE has used this opportunity for its Orbit device:
orbit2 ZTE Orbit   Windows Phone Tango, 256MB

In the About screen, a warning is displayed about the low memory available:
orbit3 ZTE Orbit   Windows Phone Tango, 256MB

In addition, the build data:
orbit4 ZTE Orbit   Windows Phone Tango, 256MB

I have been able to play around a bit with the device, and have to report that the GUI looked stable and still fast enough to me – but, of course, one cannot see really much in but one minute:

Not much more to add here…

In desktop computing, it is now difficult to find a single-core processor. In smartphones, the situation is not quite as strict – but dual core CPUs are catching on fast.

Berg Insight has sent us the following, interesting bit of data:

Preliminary data from Berg Insight show that sales of high-end smartphones equipped with dual-core application processors reached 60 million units worldwide in 2011. The first smartphones with dual-core processors were unveiled at the beginning of 2011 with sales starting in February 2011. One year later, at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, several handset vendors are expected to announce their first smartphones with quad-core processors. As quad-core processors gradually find their way into high-end devices, adoption of dual-core processors will accelerate in the mid-range smartphone segment.

Looking back at the time of the introduction of HT-capable CPUs, quite a few applications experienced race conditions due to the new “paralellism”. So, definitely test your app on a dual core phone…

In the good old days of the Palm OS, the main issue faced by Palm was the odd resultion: a base resolution of 160×160 made scaling to more “common” resolutions was difficult.

Apple has had a similar problem with its 480×320 resolution, but managed to follow it up. Samsung is now at 800×480, and the question is what will follow next (and what is technically possible).

A PR company has now sent me the following:

MicroOLED, a maker of highly power-efficient superior image quality microdisplays for near-to-eye applications, today introduced a new 5.4 million pixel density 0.61 inch diagonal, low power consumption OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Display) microdisplay on silicon for applications demanding high picture quality, such as professional camera and camcorder equipment, night vision systems and head-mounted displays used in surgery.

The ultra-compact 5.4 million-pixel microdisplay with a sub-pixel pitch of 4.7 micrometres by 4.7 micrometres is the highest pixel density OLED microdisplay available today. By doubling the pixel density of comparable products, MicroOLED has eliminated the gap between pixels. With no black matrix present, the resulting image resolution is of the highest quality. This makes the 5.4 million-pixel 0.61 inch diagonal microdisplay most suitable for defense, medical and professional camera applications that demand sharp images with very smooth transitional tones.

As of this writing, no data on availability is given – but it looks like the resolution war can continue!

Nokia’s long-announced Lumia 710 is now about to ship – the low-end device launches with a market price 20 EUR lower than the Acer’s.

The release statement reads as following:

The Nokia Lumia 710 will start selling today in Taiwan alongside the Nokia Lumia 800. The Nokia Lumia 710 will then reach stores in Singapore, Hong Kong, India and Russia in the next seven days and continue its global roll-out over the coming weeks.

Estimated retail price is 270 EUR, excluding taxes and subsidies and availability will be via operator partners, retailers and open channels depending on local situation.

Specs-wise, you get the following:

Can be personalized with white or black body design, five vibrant exchangeable back covers (black, white, cyan, fuchsia, and yellow) and thousands of apps
Best social networking experience provided by Windows Phone release 7.5
Best Internet browsing experience with Internet Explorer 9
3.7″ WVGA TFT, ClearBlack capacitive touch screen with pinch zoom, 800 x 480 pixels and 16 million colours
5 MP camera with auto focus, LED flash, high definition 720p video recording with 30FPS and one-touch image sharing
Nokia signature hubs: Nokia Drive, Nokia Music
1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 512MB program memory, 8GB internal user memory, and up to 7.6 hours of 3G talktime

Not much to add here – except that a review of its strongest competitor (Acer M310) in the low end will follow shortly (so stay tuned!).

Microsoft has been extraordinarily diligent when it comes to releasing updates for the Windows Phone 7 system – a reliable vendor like Samsung obviously does all it can to make life easier for its device owners.

The boys have just released another update, which can now be picked up via Zune:
omnia 7 update 7.10 Samsung Omnia 7 gets update to 7.10.7740.16

I have already installed it, and have seen no issues so far – let me know how it goes!

When it comes to surprises, Dr. Maritheres Paul from Hutchison is very similar to Nokia – with one difference: while the latter tend to disappoint, Maritheres often digs out interesting things.
Jil Sander Mobile Windows Phone 7 Hutchison Austria releases Jil Sander Mobile   a Windows Phone 7

Effective immediately, the Mango-powered Jil Sander Mobile can be had at Hutchison Stores all over Austria for a price not specified in the email she sent to me (read: unaffordable :-) ).

This probably insane stash of money gets you the following specs:

  • Mango
  • 1GhZ single core CPU
  • 3.8″ screen of unknown technology
  • 5MP camera with AF and LED flash
  • Jil Sander fashion news app

Not much to add here…except that I will most definitely stick to my Omnia 7.

P.S. I had to look it up, too – Jil Sander is a fashion house…

We have had our fair share of reports about Windows Phone 7 becoming cheaper in the past – an unified hardware architecture indeed has its benefits.

An article on BusinessWeek now contains the following gems:

Models using Mango to be introduced in the next few months will require as little as $220 to produce, before the cost falls further in 2012, Lees said.

“We are supporting componentry that will allow us to go below $200,” he said, referring to handset production costs.

Lower prices will mean less royalty revenue per phone because Microsoft offers tiered pricing, based on the manufacturing cost of the handset, he said.

Microsoft works exclusively with Qualcomm to develop chips … There is currently no plan to work with other semiconductor makers for Windows Phone 7 devices, he said.

Given that the main other mobile semicon maker is Samsung, this remains to become very interesting – I would not be surprised if Samsung would end up pulling the plug on its Windows Phone devices in retaliation at some future point in time…

After RIM intentionally leaked a few BlackBerry phones via its developer site, it is only logical that Nokia follows suit with its upcoming Nokia 710.

MyNokiaBlog.com archived the following screenshot:
nokia 710 Nokia 710 leaks

The screen resolution clearly points at Windows Phone – not much else to add here…

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