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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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Nokia's Amazing Windows Phone Deliveries

Some interesting videos have surfaced with Nokia making some amazing Windows Phone deliveries in Hungary. The Lumia 800s were ordered through T-Mobile's web site and Nokia did their best to make the delivery special.

The deliveries included an Apollo Astronaut, dancers, Michael Jackson, and a bunch of circus performers. It's a nice promotion and does make our friendly UPS truck look rather dull.

Nokia has held some very nice promotions over seas for their Lumia Windows Phones.  It will be interesting to see what they have in store next month when the Lumia line hits full swing here in the States.  Hit the jump to catch the other three special deliveries by Nokia and T-Mobile.

Source: YouTube; Thanks, Ellis, for the tip!

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Nokia Lumia Crown

This certainly wont be surprising to our readers (since we cover the global Nokia marketing campaign regularly) or anyone else who's in the loop when it comes to Windows Phone, but it would appear as though Nokia has grabbed the #1 spot for platform manufacturer marketshare according to Strategy Analytics, which runs alongside developers publishing statistics indication a climb in Lumia 800 usage.

The Finnish handset maker achieved the number one position with 33% marketshare in just four months, since the launch of the Lumia 800 in Europe. The Lumia family of Windows Phones has not only taken the platform by storm but also the world, and to illustrate this design appreciation the 800 received a number of awards at CES 2012.

Check out the chart below for an approximation for Windows Phone OEM marketshare.

WP Central

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The Windows Phone version of Gerbil Physics was officially unveiled on Wednesday as part of a big batch of upcoming Xbox Live titles. Now WPCentral is pleased to bring you this exclusive preview of Pencel Games’ Gerbil Physics.

Gerbil Physics is a physics puzzler. In each level, players are presented with one or more stacks of gerbils and an allotment of bombs. The goal is to use careful bomb placement in order to knock the gerbils below a yellow line. If a gerbil remains above the line when you run out of bombs, you’ll fail the level and have to try again. Some levels throw addition kinks into the mix, like structures that must not be knocked over.

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MS says bye-bye to Zune and Windows Live

Though they had a good run, it appears Microsoft's Zune and Windows Live brands are going the way of the Dodo.  The Windows 8 Consumer Preview shows that the Windows Live group of applications have been replaced by a pre-installed "Windows Communications" group. "Windows Live ID," the current all-in-one login for Microsoft services, will be replaced with the generic "Microsoft Account." [Edit: It's actually called "Microsoft Your Account", see below] The "Zune" name is also glaringly absent in the Windows Store and in relation to music and movie apps.  Zune Pass, however, still works.

The new multimedia branding in Windows 8 will be called "Xbox Live for Windows" and will include apps for music, movies and games.  Rumor is that Zune will officially be gone by the summer, and may even be replaced by a music service that resembles Spotify via Xbox Live.  Throw in the demise of the Zune desktop client for Windows Phone, and voila!, bye-bye Zune.

Microsoft Your Account

The overall simplification of Microsoft's branding goes like this:

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From the WPCentral Forums...weekly roundup

WP Central

This week in the forums we have been keeping ourselves busy trying to keep our mind off of Mobile World Congress which is just around the corner. You would think that all this waiting would lead to slow times in the forums but that's not the case. Windows Phone Central Editor George Ponder kicks things off with a give away in this thread "WPCentral Nokia Lumia 710 Giveaway!" That's right, we are giving away a Lumia 710. Now you have a reason to register in our forums that way you can join the discussions--you might even win that Lumia 710. A quick look through our most popular threads might help you find something interesting to discuss.

Forums Member rabit1 wants to know what is the best of the best WP phone? Everyone has an opinion on this one and it's not just a "what's your favorite phone discussion", you'll need to have good reason why your device is better than the others.

In this thread "Windows Phone Questions" Forums Member Spiify Is thinking about getting a Windows Phone and as the title suggests he has questions. It seems like every answer leads to another question in this thread, so join the discussion and let's see if we can get all the answers together for Spiify.

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Windows Phone App Review: MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal for Windows Phone

MyFitnessPal is a neat app for your Windows Phone to helps you track your workouts and diet as you work towards an established weight goal. It's a rather simple tracking app that taps into a healthy amount of resources. MyFitnessPal boasts the largest food database with over 1.2 million items and based on using the app over the past few days, I believe it.

The interface is easy to pick up on and a bar code scanner just in case your meal isn't listed in the database, MyFitnessPal is an impressive fitness and health app for your Windows Phone.

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Mobile Nations Fitness Month hits the home stretch!

Mobile Nations Fitness Month Week 3

The Mobile Nations Fitness month is entering the home stretch with Week Four!

If you're joining us while we're already in progress, it's never too late and you can go read all about Mobile Nations Fitness Month in our first WPCentral Forums installment for weeks one and two.  You can pick up on the week three and four discussions here in the WPCentral Forums as well as who is our latest weekly prize winner!

We will keep week three's goals in play for the home stretch.  Feel free to chime in about your progress and any tips you might have to offer for getting fit.  We've covered a decent selection of Windows Phone apps to help you achieve your fitness and health goals.  You can find all our Fitness Month coverage here.  We've got a few more apps to share and if you have a favorite Windows Phone fitness/health app, feel free to suggest it for review through our tip line.

Remember we have one more weekly prize drawing to give out and when all is said and done, we will randomly select one reader to take home a Xbox 360 and Kinect!  Oh... and just in.... we're adding a runner up prize.  The Nokia Luna BT Headset!

Good luck with it and let us know in the forums how it's going.

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We saw an early release of it back at CES in January and now the official CNN application for Windows Phone is live on the Marketplace. Of course, only Nokia-branded devices need apply at this point as they have an exclusive on the app for a few months, so we've heard.

CNN

The app itself is fantastic with gorgeous transitions, breaking news alerts, built in video, plenty of sharing options and pinnable sub-sections. The iReport feature is also pretty impressive, reportedly allowing you to submit news stories through the application itself it could very well improve "breaking news" moments.

So for all of those with Nokia Windows Phones, here's your Marketplace link. Enjoy! Thanks, Benjamin C., for the link!

QR: CNN

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WP Central

Never ones to back down from a challenge the Dark Forces Team (DFT) have created a neat little utility to allow one to transfer files between phones or devices using just Bluetooth. You can even send over XAP files for installation of Windows Phone apps giving users yet another option for file distribution.

WP CentralThe bad news is you'll need a fully-unlocked phone meaning dev and interop devices need not apply. That also limits this currently to Gen 1 devices (as you can see initialization fails on the Titan for obvious reasons).

Still, it's an impressive piece of work and hopefully it will lay the ground work for future hacks, assuming Microsoft doesn't give us the function first.

Source: XDA; via Facebook (Bazaar)

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Nokia has taken "The Amazing Everyday" to Cinema City venues in eight cities in Poland, giving away a Lumia 800 to 64 lucky winners of the events. In certain screenings the Finnish manufacturer hid coupons under certain seats and when the Lumia advertisements came on (always being aired last) a Polish celebrity urged viewers to check where they sat.

64 Lumia 800 winners, from 64 film screenings, in 8 cities. Nokia never fails to impress with their marketing campaign, regardless as to what country its taking place in.

Source: YouTube, thanks Ellis for the tip!

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Fitness Month: Windows Phone for vegans and vegetarians

Windows Phone for vegans and vegetarians

Over the past few years, as consumers have become more concerned with how and what they eat, the number of people choosing to lead a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle has increased dramatically.  And while being vegetarian has become much easier since I first started over 13 years ago, it can still be a challenging road to navigate, be it grocery shopping, traveling, or just trying to keep things new and different when cooking at home.  Thankfully, with Windows Phone it's that much easier, whether you are a seasoned veggie veteran or just starting out.  With February being Fitness Month here at WPCentral and Mobile Nations, we thought we take a look at several vegetarian apps.

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Smoked by Windows Phone goes digital

Ben Rudolph and his Smoked By Windows phone movement is picking up speed. He successfully smoked the competition at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, traveled to California and we've even seen similar promotions in Hong Kong and pitting the Windows Phone against a zip line.  So far, Windows Phone has about a 95% winning percentage over a wide range of smartphones.

The Smoked By Windows Phone is even topping the charts on Microsoft's Windows Phone suggestion page requesting Smoked By Windows Phone become a featured ad campaign.  So who's Microsoft to ignore the voice of the people?

Starting today, Smoked By Windows Phone is the companies latest digital ad series. You'll see 15-30 second spots (such as the one above) scattered about the web of Windows Phones taking on the competition. You will also have a new tab on the Windows Phone Facebook page showing all the ads.

I wonder if Ben has his reservations for the 2012 Mobile World Congress?

Source: windowsteamblog; thanks to eveyone who tipped us on this!

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WP Central

Telus and Rogers both have Nokia's Windows Phones (the Lumia 800 and 710 respectively) on their shelves and product list pages, but what about HTC Mango handsets? We've just caught wind (pun non-intended) of Wind Mobile offering the HTC Radar 4G (our review) from just $99 on their WINDtab+ service.

WINDtab+, which is where a 'tab' is created that the customer pays off 10% of of their bill per month (e.g.: monthly bill of $40, $4 extra will be charged a month to go towards the tab to pay for the handset), provides consumers a convenient way to afford and wield smartphones. 

This is superb news for Canadians, who (not so long ago) were cursing at both Microsoft and carriers for not having a good selection of Windows Phones for consumers. As you can see in the above photo, Wind Mobile is advertising the HTC Radar in newspapers illustrating the attractive price. 

Head on over to Wind Mobile's website to check out plan pricing and other details. It should be noted that Wind Mobile operates their service on AWS bands, though the carrier does hold a roaming arrangement with Rogers for areas outside its coverage, as well as T-Mobile for the U.S.

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