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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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HTC HD7 Windows Phone 7 still going strong and proving the OS has great features


The HTC HD7 Windows Phone 7 smartphone was one of the first mobile phones to receive the mobile handset version of the popular Windows 7 PC operating system. Unlike Android operating systems, and much like Apple iOS software, the Windows Phone 7 operating system mimics a system many PC users are already familiar with using on their laptops and desktop computers. Also, compatibility between a mobile handset and any software or applications that handset owner may be using on their PC is guaranteed because the operating systems are basically one and the same.

Aside from being one of the very few phones which don’t employ Android or iOS software, the HTC HD7 is familiar in many regards. Physically, HTC employs the same basic form factor as most mobile handsets today, with a rectangular, black slab appearance. One way it stands out in design is with its handy kickstand which props the phone up for hands-free viewing of movies, videos and other content.

The 4.3 inch capacitive touchscreen LCD display offers 480 x 800 pixel resolution, and supports multitouch gesture navigation. A light sensor and a proximity sensor are built into the screen, and a protective layer of anti-scratch Corning Gorilla Glass overlays the display. Talk time runs to 6.3 hours on a single charge, 5.3 hours when operating on 3G, and standby time is 13 days.

The HTC HD7 offers a rear facing camcorder for recording video and still shots, and records in 1280 x 720 pixel resolution, which translates to 720P HD. The rear facing camcorder also features a dual LED flash, autofocus and several preprogrammed scenes. The HTC HD7 has an FM radio built into the handset, and video and audio players as well. The audio player supports MP3, WMA, M4A (Apple lossless) and M4B, while the video player can handle MPEG4, WMV, 3GP and 3G2 file formats.

On the software side, a Facebook app is preloaded, HTML web browsing is supported and the HTC HD7 is equipped to handle Adobe Flash media player videos and web pages. As we mentioned above, Windows phone 7 is the operating system on board the HTC HD7, and the processor is a 1.0 GHz chip with 576 MB of RAM and 512 MB of ROM memory supporting it.

Source: http://www.mobilebloom.com/htc-hd7-windows-phone-7-still-going-strong-and-proving-the-os-has-great-features/225293/

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2011 in Android, Apple, iOS, Windows Phone 7

 

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Android Already As Profitable for Microsoft as Windows Phone 7


Microsoft makes almost as much money licensing patents to HTC, Samsung and other companies as it does selling Windows Phone 7 devices.

Yes, you read that right, Microsoft makes almost as much from Android sales as they do through sales of their own Windows Phone devices. That’s more than Google makes from the Android, which the company gives away to manufacturers. It is worth noting that Android users generate ad revenue for Google, which could add up to $1.3 billion in 2012.

Goldman Sachs estimates Microsoft will make $444 million annually from Android patent settlements for the current fiscal year. This is just slightly less than the estimated $600 million that Microsoft makes annually from the Windows Phone business.

Goldman Sachs pegs Microsoft’s earnings per Android sold at $3 to $6 per device. For comparison, Microsoft is estimated to take in about $15 per Windows Phone 7 device sold by HTC. This comes from settlements with Samsung and from a settlement with HTC made earlier this year, and match up with those from a Citi analyst earlier this year. Estimates suggest that over this same period, Google will earn about $10 per Android users in the form of ad revenue.

As Business Insider points out, this $444 million is a drop in the bucket, when you compare it to the estimated $75 billion in revenue for the same fiscal year. Unfortunately for Microsoft, patent settlements aren’t adding to the bottom line, and they aren’t slowing down Android either.

Nielsen’s analysis of smartphone purchases in the last 3 months showed that Android took 56% of the purchases, iPhone had 28% and RIM had 9%. Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 didn’t even make the list, aside from being lumped into 6% of other smartphone purchases.

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Despite dire beginnings, Windows Phone 7 has a chance at coming back in 2012. Windows Phone 7.5, better known as Windows Phone Mango, has been released and will being many improvements to the Windows Phone devices. If we can get a helping of high end Windows Phone 7 devices with 4G LTE in early 2012, Microsoft might be able to get out of this slump.

Source: http://www.gottabemobile.com/2011/09/29/android-already-as-profitable-for-microsoft-as-windows-phone-7/

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2011 in Android, Google, IDC, Microsoft, Samsung, Windows Phone

 

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Windows Phone 7 Mango Update Next Week?


Windows Phone 7.5 adds long-awaited features like multitasking and native 4G support to Microsoft’s mobile platform.

A Microsoft official said the company may begin distributing the widely-anticipated Mango update for Windows Phone 7 as early as next week.

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“For months, we and dozens of partner companies have been laying the groundwork for the Windows Phone 7.5 update–and making solid progress. As a result, we now expect to start rolling it out in the next week or two,” said Eric Hautala, general manager for Customer Experience Engineering in Microsoft’s Windows Phone group.

Mango is officially known as Windows Phone 7.5. It adds more than 500 new features to the Windows Phone platform, including multitasking and 4G support. For those who can’t wait to get their hands on the official update, Hautala cautioned against downloading and installing pre-release versions that have been circulating on the Web.

“During the official Windows Phone 7.5 update process, every Windows Phone will also receive software from the handset manufacturer,” Hautala said, in a blog post. “This matched and paired firmware has been painstakingly tuned so your phone–and apps–work with all the new features of Windows Phone 7.5. Since your phone requires the proper firmware to function as designed my advice is simple: steer clear of bootleg updates and homebrew tools.”

Users of the current version of Windows Phone 7 will need to update their devices through their personal computers. Windows PC users will need to install the latest version of the Zune software for PCs, while Mac users, if there are any that use Windows Phone, will need Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac. Windows Phone devices are available from HTC, Dell, Samsung, and LG. Nokia will join the group later this year as Microsoft’s go-to partner for Windows Phone under a strategic alliance.

Mango adds numerous improvements to Windows Phone, from new end-user features to transparent back-end services, according to Microsoft.

A feature called Threads lets users glide between text, Windows Live Messenger, and Facebook chat within the same “conversation.” Groups lets users receive and send messages from predefined social or business circles directly to and from the Smart Tiles home screen. Contact Cards have been enhanced to include feeds from Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as previously supported networks.

Local Scout, which is integrated with Bing, yields hyper-local search results for dining, shopping, and entertainment. Mango also adds long-awaited multitasking capability, which lets users move freely between applications and pick up and resume where they left off. 4G wireless support is embedded.

For security-conscious enterprise customers, Mango adds support for various rights management technologies. For example, it lets authorized users open emails tagged with restrictions such as “do not forward” or “do not copy.” Additionally, it beefs up integration with authoring and collaboration tools like Lync and Office 365.

In the U.S., Windows Phone is available on the AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile networks.

Source: http://www.informationweek.com/news/windows/microsoft_news/231601976

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2011 in AT&T, Dell, HTC, Mango, Microsoft, Samsung, Windows Phone 7

 

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Microsoft CEO admits Windows Phone 7 sales are slower than expected


SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 (WP7) hasn’t got off to the best start.

According to data from Kantar Worldpanel Comtech, Microsoft’s WP7 mobile operating system has just 1.7 per cent of the market.

It was therefore no surprise when Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer admitted that WP7 sales have been slower than expected.

“We haven’t sold quite as many as I would have liked in the first year,” Ballmer said at the company’s financial analyst meeting.

He still thinks there is room for growth though. “I’m not saying I love where we are but I am very optimistic on where we can be,” added Ballmer. “We’ve just got to kick this thing to the next level.”

How Ballmer will kick things to the next level we have yet to see, but there’s a lot of pressure on the Windows Phone 7.1 Mango update to be successful.

Finnish phone maker Nokia was expected to be the first to market with WP7.1 Mango, but it has already been pipped to the post by HTC and others.

Source: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2109880/microsoft-ceo-admits-windows-phone-sales-slower-expected

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2011 in HTC, Nokia, Windows Phone 7, WP7

 

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Motorola wants Nokia-style deal on Windows Phone 7


Motorola Mobility would consider adding Windows Phone 7 to its OS roster, CEO Sanjay Jha has revealed, but only if Microsoft could deliver a similar deal to which it agreed with Nokia. Speaking at the at the Oppenheimer Technology & Communications Conference this week, FierceWireless reports, Jha reiterated earlier comments that the company was still evaluating Windows Phone’s long-term viability, and suggested that he did not believe that it, webOS and BlackBerry would all survive.

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“Clearly, all of our focus today is on Android” Jha pointed out, going on to address concerns regarding the patent struggle facing many OEMs using the Google platform. While Samsung may have been blocked from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Europe, and HTC found guilty of copying Apple technology in its range of phones, Jha says Motorola’s “very large IP portfolio” will protect it. “I think in the long term as things settle down, you will see meaningful difference in positions in Android players both in terms of avoidance of royalties and the ability to collect royalties” he suggested.

Microsoft agreed to pay Nokia several billion dollars and support the company’s R&D efforts and marketing, as well as give the Finnish company unique flexibility in modifying the Windows Phone platform, in return for Nokia bypassing Android. The uncertain legal situation around Android has led to reports that would-be OEMs are considering adopting Windows Phone or MeeGo in an attempt to hedge bets on which platforms may eventually make the cut.

Source: http://www.slashgear.com/motorola-wants-nokia-style-deal-on-windows-phone-7-10170743/

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2011 in Android, Motorola, Samsung, Windows Phone 7

 

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HTC 7 Pro (U.S. Cellular)


While HTC’s Android cell phones have stolen the show, the company originally made its name here in the United States on deluxe, full-featured Windows Mobile phones. The HTC 7 Pro on U.S. Cellular continues that tradition, albeit with Microsoft’s vastly improved Windows Phone 7 OS. The HTC 7 Pro is a solid smartphone, and a good choice if you text or email more than the average person, although it lacks the battery life and third-party app catalog of other models.

Design, Call Quality, and Apps
The HTC 7 Pro measures 4.6 by 2.3 by 0.6 inches (HWD) and weighs a substantial 6.5 ounces. It’s made of a complex mix of matte plastic, glass, soft touch rubber, and aluminum surfaces; the effect is bulky, but handsome. The front panel slides back and tilts up at a 45-degree angle, which is great for watching movies or using the phone as a very tiny laptop computer.

The 3.6-inch capacitive touch screen is on the small side for such a bulky phone, but its 480-by-800-pixel resolution looks sharp. The display lacks the vibrancy of HTC and Samsung’s newer panels, though. The slide-out, five-row QWERTY keyboard is an absolute gem. It features large rectangular keys that are well-raised and separated. They exhibit just the right texture and resistance for fast, near-silent typing.

The HTC 7 Pro is a dual-band EV-DO Rev. A (850/1900MHz) device with 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi; the phone connected to my WPA2-encrypted network without a problem in tests. There’s no Wi-Fi hotspot mode, though. Voice quality was fine overall, with a clear if somewhat brittle tone in the earpiece, and plenty of available gain. Callers uniformly said I sounded good through the microphone. Reception seemed about average. Thankfully, the HTC 7 Pro doesn’t suffer from the same horrid background hiss as the HD7S ($199.99, 2.5 stars), even though the wide earpiece speaker looks identical on both handsets.

Calls sounded clear through an Aliph Jawbone Era Bluetooth headset ($129, 4 stars) and the TellMe-powered voice dialing worked flawlessly over Bluetooth. The speakerphone was excellent, with plenty of gain for use outdoors, albeit with a touch of distortion at the highest volume setting. Battery life was short, though, at just over four hours of talk time.

By now it’s clear that Windows Phone 7 is a beautiful smartphone OS that’s fun to use. It features smoothly sliding home screen tiles; tight integration with Microsoft Office, Exchange, and Outlook; XBox Live compatibility; and it works just like a standalone Zune for music and video playback. Regardless of the task, the 7 Pro’s 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU keeps things moving at a good clip. That said, while the Windows Marketplace offers a decent selection of apps and games, it’s nowhere near what’s available for Android and iOS devices. Keep an eye out for news on the upcoming “Mango” version of Windows Phone 7, which adds many new features to the OS.

Multimedia, Camera, and Conclusions
There is a standard size 3.5mm headphone jack, plus 16GB of internal storage for media files, with about 13.7GB free. There’s no microSD card slot or USB mass storage mode, though; you must sync the phone with a PC or Mac using dedicated Microsoft apps in each case.

Music tracks sounded clear and full through Samsung Modus HM6450 Bluetooth headphones ($99, 4 stars). The Zune-like music app was fun to use, with large album art, clear fonts, and smooth animations and responses—much like the rest of the OS. There’s also an FM radio that uses the bundled, tinny-sounding wired stereo earbuds as an antenna. Standalone videos played smoothly in full screen mode, but audio only played through the phone’s speaker, not over stereo Bluetooth.

The 5-megapixel auto-focus camera has an LED flash. Test photos were okay but not great, with well balanced in bright outdoor sunlight but only modest detail and muted colors. Indoors, some shots exhibited slight graininess and a softer focus, but they weren’t too bad. The HTC 7 Pro’s auto-focus works before you press the button, not after; let the phone focus automatically first, then snap the photo, and you’re golden. The camcorder recorded crisp 640-by-480-pixel videos at a smooth 27 frames per second. But 720p files (1280 by 720 pixel) looked soft and not as detailed, with a more uneven frame rate that averaged 19 frames per second.

U.S. Cellular still trails the four major U.S. carriers in terms of network coverage and high-end smartphones, but it’s beginning to rectify the latter problem in earnest. The HTC 7 Pro is a fine choice if you like Microsoft’s clean slate, Zune HD-influenced mobile OS. But with a paucity of third-party apps, it’s still a niche player next to Android phones like the HTC Merge ($149, 4 stars), our current Editors’ Choice smartphone on U.S. Cellular, and the LG Genesis ($149, 3 stars). Both of those handsets are $50 less expensive up front, offer more features like free, Google-powered GPS navigation and a mobile hotspot mode, and work with a vast selection of third-party apps in the Android market.

Source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2388650,00.asp

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2011 in HTC

 

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