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AT&T’s Windows Phone 7 lineup: HTC Titan, Samsung Focus S & Focus Flash (first look)


Summary: Will these Windows Phone 7 “Mango” phones from AT&T make it to a stocking near you this holiday?

Microsoft’s Phone President Andy Lees showed off  three AT&T-branded Windows Phone 7 (Mango) phones at the All Things Digital Asia conference in Hong Kong this morning.

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While you may be able to recite the features of Mango by heart, you probably couldn’t tell these WP7 handsets apart, especially when they’re all displaying the same ‘Metro’ home screen (see right). Well, consider this as your cheat sheet to AT&T’s upcoming WP7 offerings: the HTC Titan (left), Samsung Focus S (center) and Samsung Focus Flash (right).

HTC Titan

True to its name, the HTC Titan from AT&T has the biggest display of the bunch at 4.7 inches, which beats yesterday’s largest phone, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, by 0.05-inch. According to the Window Phone Blog, it has a 9.9-mm profile, a 1.5 GHz processor under the hood, an 8-megapixel rear camera with dual LED flash (plus a front cam), and offers a brushed aluminum back with the curves (and build) that HTC phones are known for.

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Samsung Focus S

The Samsung Focus S may be the middle child in AT&T’s WP7 portfolio but there is nothing middling about the phone. It serves up Samsung’s specialty: a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, powered by a 1.4 GHz CPU that is capable of 4G speeds, along with a 8-megapixel rear and 1.3-megapixel front camera, in a svelte 8.55-millimeters package. What’s not to like about these specs?

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Samsung Focus Flash

It’s easier to differentiate the Samsung Focus S from the Focus Flash as the latter has a more modest 3.7-inch Super AMOLED screen, sharper lines and a slightly slower 1.4 GHz processor under the display. It’ll likely be the most budget-friendly WP7 from AT&T so bargain hunters should keep their eye out on the Focus Flash rather than its flashier brothers.

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AT&T has yet to announce a ship date or pricing for these phones so no need to lineup at your local store for now. There’s still plenty of time until the holiday.

Source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/gadgetreviews/at-ts-windows-phone-7-lineup-htc-titan-samsung-focus-s-focus-flash-first-look/27934

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Posted by on October 20, 2011 in HTC, Mango, Samsung, Windows Phone 7, WP7

 

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Verizon Chief: There’s Only Room For 3 Mobile OSes


One of the tech industry’s favorite parlor games is speculating about what company will have the third-largest smartphone OS in the coming years behind Android and iOS.

Hairs tend to split between RIM’s BlackBerry, the ailing, but third-largest platform, and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7, the minuscule new player with almost nowhere to go but up. In August, comScore reported that Windows Phone had 5.7 percent of the U.S. smartphone market, compared to 41.8 percent on Android, 27 percent on iOS, and 21.7 percent on RIM. However, RIM’s market share has been on a continuous decline for months, while Windows Phone has grown at a snail-like pace.

Cell phone operators aren’t taking sides, but clearly see only three major operating systems in the future. According to InformationWeek, Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam thinks a tri-partate could form within a year.

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“The carriers are beginning to coalesce around the need for a third ecosystem,” McAdam said during a talk at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference. “Over the next 12 months I think it will coalesce and you will start to see one emerge as a legitimate third ecosystem.”

RIM’s disheartening third quarter earnings report sparked RIM obituaries and sent its stock plunging, but is the platform really doomed to go the way of Palm? Not necessarily; PCMag’s Sascha Segan offers the Canadian company Five Steps Back to BlackBerry Success.

Earlier this month Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and U.S. Cellular released the first slew of smartphones based on BlackBerry 7 OS, the latest revision of BlackBerry’s operating system before the company migrates fully to a ground-up OS called QNX.

But RIM users also aren’t as loyal as before, especially as companies begin allowing employees to use more than just BlackBerrys at work (a concept known as Bring Your Own Device, aka BYOD). On Friday, UBS Research, via GigaOm, reported that retention for RIM devices dropped from 62 percent to 33 percent in the last 18 months.

Earlier, NPD also said Windows Phone was the platform to beat.

Furthermore RIM hasn’t announced any other major new smartphones or OS revamps for the rest of 2011; Microsoft is gearing up to launch its first major OS revamp, Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, and a slew of supported smartphones on AT&T.

Updated on Sept. 27, 4pm ET: The updated version of this story omits a part of Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam’s quote, originally reported by Information Week. McAdam did not identify which platform he believed would take third place behind Android and iOS.

For more from Sara, follow her on Twitter @sarapyin.

Source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2393475,00.asp

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2011 in Android, Blackberry, iOS, Microsoft, Windows Phone 7

 

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Windows Phone 7 Has No Soul


I decided to visit both an AT&T store and a T-Mobile store to check out the Windows Phone 7 devices. I did this because nobody I know has one I can play with, and Microsoft doesn’t seem too keen on showing off the devices.

I noticed immediate differences between the AT&T and T-Mobile stores. The AT&T greeters and floor sales folks are extremely aggressive and helpful, and the store was nice and lively. The T-Mobile store was more laid back. Nobody even said hello. It’s as if the T-Mobile folks know that they are doomed and will gobbled up by AT&T at any minute.

Both stores have Windows Phone 7 well displayed. One $49 Samsung phone with an AMOLED screen at the AT&T store was a real gem.

I played with a couple of the devices to get a feel for the OS and upon some serious reflection I came to an interesting conclusion. The Windows Phone 7 OS and devices have no soul. It’s almost inexplicable, but saying this is the easiest way to describe it.

I now believe it’s because the folks at Microsoft have no understanding of the principles of Wabi-Sabi, a Japanese concept based on the premise that nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect. This is why many great artists from Eastern disciplines often damage or create flaws in what might otherwise be a perfect work.

Here is a description of Wabi-Sabi taken from the Wikipedia:

“Wabi-sabi is the most conspicuous and characteristic feature of traditional Japanese beauty and it occupies roughly the same position in the Japanese pantheon of aesthetic values as do the Greek ideals of beauty and perfection in the West.” “if an object or expression can bring about, within us, a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing, then that object could be said to be wabi-sabi.” “[Wabi-sabi] nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.”

I only bring this up to try and understand why Windows Phone 7 has no soul.

Let me begin by saying that Windows Phone 7 is incredibly slick. In fact, it’s impressive in every way. But there’s slick and then there’s contrived. This is both, which contribute to the lack of soul.

It’s like one of those over-produced annual company reports, with all of the same peculiarly lit photos of executives taken from some oblique angle. It’s as if Microsoft went way out of its way to make it perfect and modern. The problem is that there is nothing endearing or cute or personable. It’s just hyper-slick. The fonts are perfect. The colors are perfect. It’s like that perfect girl everyone knew in high school who had no personality.

I know I’m going to get blasted by someone for making these claims, but, really, why isn’t this OS and its devices—especially that $49.95 one—setting the world on fire?

In a recent column, I mentioned that it is apparent that too much of the Microsoft decision making seems to based on focus groups and audience reaction. This phone has to epitomize that process because it has amazing characteristics that only a committee would actually implement.

For example, go to the contact list. Details slide around in ways that are just too precious. When you play with the device, you are constantly reminded that windows are not just opening, they are debuting with fanfare. All that is missing is a trumpet bleep and a haughty voice to announce the scene.” Ladies and gentlemen, the contact page for Miss Jennifer Anthony. All rise!”

I dunno, maybe I’m making too much out of it, but I feel kind of bad for Windows Phone. To go through this much trouble to create what may be a masterpiece and get zero attention has got to be depressing for the developers. Apparently, perfection is not that attractive or fun. I hate to pile on, but there doesn’t seem to be much of a fun or playful element to the devices either.

So we perfection combined with no fun, no personality, and no soul.

How can you even manage accomplishing that? Windows Phone 7 devices have all of the charm of a dentist’s office. But for $49 on a decent plan, I’d get one. I’d have a conversation piece, at least.

Source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2389478,00.asp

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2011 in AT&T, Microsoft, T-Mobile, WP7

 

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AT&T cuts prices on Windows Phone 7 handsets, Samsung Captivate


AT&T has launched another major sale on Windows Phone 7 handsets, dropping the prices of the Samsung Focus and the LG Quantum down to a measly $50 on a new two-year contract. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2011 in AT&T, Blackberry, Samsung, Windows Phone 7, WP7

 

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ZTE Promises Windows Phone 7, More Smartphones


ORLANDO—ZTE is the world’s fourth-largest mobile phone manufacturer by units shipped according to research firm IDC, and you’re going to be hearing a lot more about them in 2011. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2011 in T-Mobile, Verizon, Windows Phone 7

 

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LG Thrill 3D Smartphone Coming to AT&T


AT&T said LG’s glasses-free 3D smartphone will arrive in the coming months.

Tuesday AT&T announced that the cool LG Thrill 4G smartphone is heading to its wireless network soon, offering consumers a mobile, glasses-free 3D experience on a 4.3-inch screen. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2011 in HTC, LG, Smartphone

 

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AT&T Announces HTC HD7S Windows Phone 7


The HTC HD7 was available on T-Mobile for about $199 with a new contract — we gave it a 3.5 out of 5 — but looks like AT&T has got it up its sleeve with the carrier announcing the HTC HD7S. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in HTC, T-Mobile, Windows Phone 7, WP7

 

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