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ZTE Orbit to be unveiled at MWC

WP Central

So we're already had the predicted Lumia 610 and European 900 announced at MWC, but what about handsets from other manufacturers? We've had the Microsoft team work hard lowering the requirements for smartphones to run the OS, but still provide a butter smooth experience, and ZTE look set to announce a budget Windows Phone shortly - the ZTE Orbit.

The handset is set to sport similar specifications to the Lumia 610 by Nokia, and will also be launching in Q2 this year. We'll be keeping all eyes and ears prepped for anything surrounding the Orbit, while you can check out our latest MWC 2012 coverage.

Source: Windows Phone Team Blog, thanks to everyone who tipped us!

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Pure View

We've played with the Lumia 610 and now it's time for Symbian. But only because the Pure View 808 sports a whopping 41MP camera sensor allowing unprecedented photo taking (not to mention killer audio quality). Allowing you to save in 5, 8 or 38MP photos, it's really quite a technological feat that brought cheers from the crowd when announced.

No doubt, the phone is a bit chunky but what do you expect? To be honest, it's not that bad and we actually like the feel of it in our hands (the thin 2/3 of the body helps in holding it).

Pure View

While this isn't a Windows Phone, you can bet Nokia and Microsoft are itching to get this on a Lumia, something we'll be waiting for this fall.

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Hands on with the Nokia Lumia 610 [Video]

Nokia Lumia 610

We just got our grubby, tired hands on the Lumia 610. Truth be told, the 610 is a gorgeous phone that feels great in the hand. With "only" a 1GHz 800 MHz CPU, 256MB of RAM and 8GB of storage, the "low end" device sure retains that Nokia quality.

The phone is expected in Q2 for emerging and developing markets.

Nokia Lumia 610

Nokia Lumia 610

Nokia Lumia 610

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Introducing the Nokia Lumia 610 Windows Phone

It's official now. Nokia has introduced the company's fourth Lumia Windows Phone, the Lumia 610. The Lumia 610 will be Nokia's most affordable Windows Phone targeted to our younger audience.

The 610 will sport a 3.7" LCD display, 256mb RAM, 8GB of storage, and a 5mp rear camera. It will be available in white, cyan, magenta, and black. The Lumia 610 measures 119 x 62 x 12mm and weighs in at 131.5 grams.  It is also slated to run Windows Phone Mango.  Expect the Lumia 610 to hit markets sometime during the second quarter of 2012 at a pricing point of 189 Euros.

Oh..Nokia already has the Lumia 610's product page up and you can find it here at Nokia Europe.

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WP Central

Nokia just blew our minds with the Pure View announcement. A Symbian powered device, the 808 features an astonishing 41MP sensor allowing photos to be taken in 5MP, 8MP and 38MP variants.

WP Central

Photos can also be saved in special formats to allow easy sharing over social networks, email, etc. which will be important due to their potential size. The 808 is expected in May for an estimated 450 Euros.

WP Central

Of course the big news is Nokia obviously plans to eventually bring this kind of tech our way to Windows Phone. But the OS will need to support that and we bet it won't happen till Apollo this Fall. But you can bet that will be a killer Windows Phone. Kudos to Nokia for the technological leap here.

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Nokia Lumia 900 to go global

Nokia Lumia 900 goes global

While the Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone will launch in a few weeks in the U.S. on AT&T, shortly thereafter the 900 will hit global markets.  The International Lumia will not bear the "910" designation that was rumored earlier.  It will remain the Lumia 900 but an international model supporting dhcpa instead of the hspa+/LTE bands the AT&T version will handle.

The Lumia 900 will first hit Rogers of Canada in April and spread globally from there. Look for the Lumia 900 to hit European markets sometime in the second quarter.  While there wasn't a pricing point mentioned for the Rogers's release of the Lumia 900, look for the European release to run about 480 Euros.

It would appear that Nokia is still hitting on all cylinders with its partnership with Microsoft and Windows Phones. With the global release of the Lumia 900 and the pending release of the Lumia 610, Nokia will offer a full range of Windows Phones globally. Not too shabby.

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Skype Windows Phone app hits Beta!

Skype Beta for Windows Phone

We've heard rumors about a Windows Phone Skype app and now a Beta version of the Skype App has hit the Windows Phone Marketplace. The app will allow you to:

  • Make and receive voice/video calls and instant messages to anyone else using Skype, whether on a Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Android phone, Mac, PC or television.
  • Use your Skype account for free at home, at work, or on-the-go (WiFi connection or mobile data plan required).

There is a disclaimer pointing out that this is a pre-release product and you may come across occasional bugs and issues. You can find the Skype Windows Phone here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

QR: Skype

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Mobile World Congress: Nokia Press Event

Nokia 2012 Mobile World Congress Event

Nokia will be holding a Press Event on Monday, February 27, 2012, the first day of Mobile World Congress. The event is scheduled for 9:30am local time (that's 2:30am EST) and we are expecting Windows Phones to be on the agenda.  Look for more details on the Lumia 610 and 900 to be discussed and maybe even some of the other rumored Lumia numbers (719 maybe?).

If you're awake and would like to watch in, Nokia will have a live stream of the event that you can catch here.

If you're not able to watch the live stream, have no fear.  Our Dan Rubino will be in attendance taking notes and we will have all the details up on the site as quick as we can.

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HTC plans for Apollo and the Titan II

HTC Titan II

It looks like HTC is firmly on board with Windows Phone Apollo with plans to launch new devices when the Apollo update hits later this year.

Kouji Kodera, HTC's Chief Product Officer stated,

"For Windows Phone we haven't decided on the branding yet, but you will see a new range of Windows Phones from us when Microsoft release their new Apollo operating system."

Kodera also confirmed that the HTC Titan II, that is due on the AT&T network in March, will eventually find its way outside the U.S. Market. He didn't get too specific on where the Titan II would land or when but did note that Australia would be getting the 4.7" screened Windows Phone.

source: Pocket-lint; Thanks, Stuart, for the tip!

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Summary of the Week

Welcome to this week's Windows Phone news recap where we take a look at everything you may have missed throughout the week. Kicking us off is our forums where we've re-introduced the 'off-topic' section for all the general non-Windows Phone related banter. As well as the reminder of our non-serious forum, we've got a handful of hot threads that you may wish to engage in.

As you're more than likely already aware of, it's Mobile Nations Fitness Month and we're in the last leg of February, so you'll see an assignment published by each of us detailing how Windows Phones can help us remain healthy. Our Seth Brodeur takes a look at some cuisine apps for both vegans and vegetarians. Lastly, just a quick reminder: The Lumia 710 giveaway photo contest ends tomorrow, so be sure to enter for your chance to win. Head on past the break for the full summary.

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WP Central

We wrapping up what has turned out to be a somewhat busy day here in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress--well, for Android at least. And even though tomorrow it technically kicks off, lots of companies had their press events today with new device announcements. Surprisingly (or perhaps not), there were no new Windows Phones to be shown or announced. This comes by way of three companies:

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WP Central

PocketNow has published more images of the upcoming budget Windows Phone, the Lumia 610. The colour variations fit in with the colour selection process for the Lumia family of Nokia handsets, which was recently explained. Rumours are flying left, right and centre, but the specifications for the low-end device are set to sport a 3.2" display, 3/5MP camera, and 256MB RAM.

The 610 is rumoured to be available in magenta, cyan, black and white. We'll be sure to keep a watchful eye out for any lying around at MWC to get some hands-on action.

Via: PocketNow

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The 610?

Seems almost silly posting supposed renders of a phone that will be announced in less than 24 hours here at Mobile World Congress, but lets get on with it.

The latest stems around the Lumia 610, a low-end phone for emerging markets e.g. India which is expected to help push Nokia (and Windows Phone) deep into areas where Apple and even Android have trouble due to rising costs. The 610, according to BGR will have:

  • 3.2" screen
  • 3MP camera
  • Cost Rs 11,000 (Euro 175)
  • 256MB of RAM

Going further that image above is reportedly what it looks like. To which we all say "sure, why not?". Nokia is certainly capable of making this phone and "610" screams budget phone as the higher the numbers go, the more high end they are and vice versa for Nokia. All we can say is lets wait till tomorrow and we'll probably even see one in real life instead of shady Twitter accounts, m'kay?

Source: Twitter (@Nokia_N8); BGR

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Blue Tomato

Just days after we reported that Blue Tomato, the brand renaming of Sonic's Jewels, was submitted to the Marketplace, we're excited to announce that it's back and ready for downloading.

Blue Tomato is the Sega Game Gear and Master System emulator that first appeared on the Marketplace a few weeks ago. Since then, Sega appropriately exercised their copyright claim on "Sonic" and any Sega images from the emulator, causing the app to be pulled from the Marketplace. Now it's back with a new name, new graphics and even a sound engine on board making this in our opinion well worth the $1.99 $1.29 should you so desire this type of app.

Folks who previously bought Sonic Jewel's should be able to just "update" to this version with no new incurred costs. Hit us up in comments and let us know what you think. Grab Blue Tomato here in the Marketplace for $1.99 $1.29 with a free trial.

QR: Blue Tomato

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Nokia Lumia 800 Telstra launches March 13th?

Lumia 800 to Telstra

Nokia announced back in January that the Nokia Lumia 800 would land in Australia back in January.  Nokia did mention March but failed to make mention which day in March.  We are now seeing speculation is strong that the Lumia 800 will launch through Telstra on March 13, 2012. There's also a few rumors on pricing.

The outright price of the Lumia 800 is expected to be $672. Plans with no Mobile Repayment Option should start with the $59 Freedom Connect Plan and, if I understand the Telstra plans, there will be a $49 Freedom Connect Plan with a $10 MRO payment.

The Lumia 800 is expected to be offered in Black and White versions at launch.  Which is an interesting combination itself.

Granted Telstra hasn't made an official statement on the Lumia 800 and there's no mention of the Windows Phone on their website. The nice thing about it all is that we'll know in just a short time if these rumors hold true.

Source: wpdownunder; Thanks, Sheeds, for the tip!

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Mobile Nations Special: 2012 Mobile World Congress Kickoff

Mobile Nations Special: MWC 2012 kickoff

Phil, Simon, and Alex have splashed down in Barcelona and are ready to assault Mobile World Congress 2012, Mobile Nations style, and bring you back absolutely everything Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, (and even iPhone and iPad if they can find it!). Listen in!

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WP Central

Mobile World Congress starts on Monday February 27th and the Mobile Nations Team will be there. We are getting ready in our Forums for all of next weeks excitement. We have opened our Mobile World Congress Events Forum we put the forum right at the top of the Windows Phone Central forums so we can easily keep up with all of the news. You can get the breaking news on our Main Page then come join us in the forums for all the in depth discussions. 

Remember, the forums are more fun when you register, so sign up today.

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Tencent Nokia QQ Game Hall

Nokia has reached an agreement with Tencent, China's top online social portal / network, for the company to provide their multiplayer gaming service QQ Game Hall for Windows Phone "Tango" handsets, according to a report by the Shanghai Daily. This service will replace Microsoft's Xbox LIVE, enabling access for consumers to connect with friends and play online titles (think: Apple's Game Center).

"It will allow users to log in through their QQ accounts and find their QQ friends immediately."

The above quote is according to an unidentified source. Tencent's gaming platform, has recently surpassed 200 million registered users, but Microsoft hasn't released much information detailing "Tango", which makes MWC 2012 an event to look out for. While Chinese consumers aren't able to download apps and games from the Marketplace, developers are able (and encouraged) to submit content. 

Via: Eastday

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Live from Mobile World Congress 2012!

Mobile World Congress

OK, all you Windows Phone fanatics out there. We've got boots on the ground in surprisingly sunny Barcelona, Spain, for Mobile World Congress 2012. Microsoft doesn't have the in-your-face presence of years past since Windows Phone 7 no longer is the young upstart OS of years past. But as you can see from the clock on the Hotel Catalunya, just across the street from the Fira de Barcelona where we'll be spending a lot of time this week, the folks from Redmond are certainly letting us know they're here.

And we're here as well. So check back all next week for live coverage from the Mobile World Capital and your friends at Mobile Nations!

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Reminder: Nokia 710 Photo Contest ends tomorrow

WPCentral's giving away a Lumia 710

Just a quick reminder that the WPCentral Nokia Lumia 710 ends tomorrow at 5:00pm CST.

To enter, all you need to do is snap a photo with your Windows Phone, post it in this WPCentral Forums discussion and we'll select the best photo out of the bunch to take home the Lumia 710.

Here's the fine print.

Only one entry per reader and the photo must be taken by a Windows Phone camera (we'll stretch it to any smartphone camera). The photo theme - Black and White.  You can submit a photo of people, places or things but it needs to be presented in black and white (grayscale to some). You can use apps such as Thumba or Fhotoroom to convert the picture to black and white or use desktop software (e.g. Photoshop) to take care of things. Image size? Keep it around 5x7 at 72 dpi.

We've already received some fantastic entries and we'll sort things out over the next few days and announce the winner by Friday, March 2, 2012.  Again the grand prize winner will walk away with the Lumia 710 and one runner up will walk away with a $75 gift certificate to the WPCentral Store.

Good luck everyone!

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Lumia is king

It feels like it was just yesterday that we ran the story about Nokia stealing the top-spot with regards to Windows Phone market-share.

Analytic firms often throw around numbers, and for the most part we just believe them. This does of course make sense, as any reputable firm would much rather keep a good name, than make up random numbers. But it's always good to see actual data backing up what they tell us. Enter: app statistics!

So I thought now would be a good time to checkout the usage of my apps on a device level. My first app was published just 6 months ago, so obviously that is the furthest back I can see.

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Photosynth for Windows Phone coming soon?

Photosynth just around the corner?

One app sorely missing with Windows Phone is Photosynth. You already have a desktop application and, to the dismay of some, an iOS app for Photosynth. We've heard that Windows Phone was a top priority with Photosynth and it now looks as if a Windows Phone version is close to being released.

The website GEMIND has stumbled upon signs that Microsoft has been creating accounts on the Photosynth website to test the integration of a Windows Phone app. They have even stumbled on test photo sets on the Photosynth website that appear to be have taken with various Windows Phones.

Photosynth Test Sets

For those not familiar, Photosynth stitches together series of photographs to create panoramic images. Microsoft stalled on developing a Windows Phone version of the app due to camera API issues. Issues that should have been resolved with the Mango update.

No clue as to how close the development is but based on the dates of the test sets, a Photosynth Windows Phone app might be just around the corner.

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Yahoo Recommends 710

The Lumia 710, a budget low cost Windows Phone, has been featured in an article over at Yahoo! recommending good free smartphones (tied to carrier terms). There are six handsets in total: iPhone 3G, LG Phoenix, Droid Pro, LG Enlighten, LG Rumor Touch and the Nokia Lumia 710

As noted in the article, the 710 sports 4G connectivity, a 1.4Ghz chip, 3.7" screen, 5MP camera and the latest version of the Windows Phone OS. Looking at the other competitor handsets, it illustrates just how aggressive Nokia is with pricing their Lumia family of smartphones.

Soruce: Yahoo!thanks soulzero for the heads up!

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