With the upcoming release of Windows 8 and Office 2013, and this week’s announcement of the (seemingly) drool-worthy Surface tablets, the last few months of 2012 were already shaping up to be a busy time for Microsoft. But today the company took the wraps off yet another 2012 addition to its release lineup: Windows Phone 8. And, surprisingly, all of these products seem to have a coherent theme; for the first time I can remember Microsoft appears to be getting its act together, leveraging “Windows” and everything that entails to push other products that extend a user experience that hundreds of millions of people know and use.
Windows Phone 8, which is really version 2.0 of the Windows Phone OS, builds on WP7 and catches up, in many respects, to iOS and Android with new hardware support, new software, lots of new features, and an expanded ecosystem.
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There are few things that can render a smartphone more useless than stepping outside on a bright, sunny day; sunlight is not the friend of any modern display type, and is particularly disruptive to AMOLED screens.
Which is why it’s such a surprise that DisplayMate found in its tests that the Lumia 900 Windows Phone is the best sunlight performer; Nokia’s flagship Windows Phone has an AMOLED display.
But the Lumia 900’s AMOLED screen also uses a special technology Nokia calls ClearBlack, which employs filters that limit the amount of light reflected back to the user’s eyes.
Samsung’s Galaxy S (which one?) and Apple’s iPhone 4 tied for second in the DisplayMate tests. It should be noted that not all smartphones were included in the test, which limits its utility, but you can find all of the results here.
Nokia has identified a software-based memory management issue that can, in particular instances, keep a Lumia 900 Windows Phone from connecting to the internet. Some users began noting the problem shortly after the phone went on sale Sunday, and the company says they already have a fix.
If your Lumia 900 has been affected, Nokia is offering two options: You can either swap your handset at an AT&T store for a unit that has the software fix, or you can apply the update via Zune starting Monday, April 16th.
Even if you haven’t experienced this issue, it’s probably a good idea to check on April 16th to see if your particular Lumia 900 needs the update. And whether or not you’ve been affected, everyone who purchased the phone – or does so by April 21st – will receive $100 from Nokia on their AT&T bill, though the company didn’t say when this credit would be posted to users’ accounts.
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The Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone is now available for pre-order at AT&T for $99 with a two-year contract. The handset is available in either black or cyan.
Strangely, third-parties are also offering the Lumia 900 for pre-order, an unusual move to be sure. You can pre-order through Walmart.com for half AT&T’s up-front price, or head over to Amazon.com and reserve a Lumia for just $0.99.
The most anticipated Windows Phone, well… probably ever, will actually arrive in customers’ hands on April 8. Learn more about the Nokia Lumia 900…
Nokia’s Lumia 900 won’t be the only Windows Phone launching on AT&T April 8th; the HTC Titan II will also arrive on the second Sunday in April, but with a higher price.
The HTC Titan II is a Windows Phone 7.5 handset with a single-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon SoC. Features include 512MB of RAM, 16GB of onboard flash memory (no microSD memory slot), LTE support, and a 16MP primary camera. That’s not a typo: a 16 megapixel camera on a smartphone.
The phone has a large 4.7-inch Super LCD touchscreen display, among the largest screens available on any smartphone.
The Titan II will ship on April 8 for $199 on contract. We anticipate third-party retailers will undercut this price shortly after launch.