best buy

Windows Phone Central App Roundup: Shopping Apps

While the Holiday Shopping Season is in full swing our Windows Phone can help you survive the malls, crowds and cross-town treks.  The Windows Phone Store has plenty of apps to help you shop online and locally as well as save you a little money.

This week’s Windows Phone Central roundup focuses on a handful of the more highly rated shopping apps available in the Store.  We touch on popular apps for retailers, online merchants and deal finders.  We also throw in a rather simple shopping list app to help you keep track of who’s been naughty or nice.

As with any of our roundups, if we have overlooked your favorite shopping app let us know in the comments below.

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Best Buy has slowly been ramping up the support for their Windows Phone app. Regular support for a big name app is something we can always get behind. Even with online retailers like Amazon and Newegg seemingly owning e-commerce, brick and mortar shops still serve a pretty vital role for many when getting new electronics. So what’s new with Best Buy’s app for Windows Phone? Let’s find out.

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The US retail chain Best Buy is running a trade-in promotion for those who own a Microsoft Surface tablet. It's worth noting this promotion as you're guaranteed a gift card worth at least $200 when a full functional unit is traded in at a participating store. The most you'll be awarded is $350, so while it's not as lucrative as eBay you'll still be offloading your older model in time for Surface v2.

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Although the Sprint Samsung ATIV S Neo went officially on sale today, you won’t be able to run to your local store to pick one up. At least that’s what we’re hearing from colleagues and fellow readers like yourselves.

Evidently, customers who wander in to a Sprint store to pick up the latest and greatest Windows Phone 8 device will be told that it is “direct ship only” meaning no in store availability. This news was reportedly reiterated in the Sprint weekly newsletter sent out to customers today. In addition, Best Buy is now listing the phone for a $149 price tag too but it’s not available online (or in brick and mortar). We haven’t checked Microsoft Stores but so far, they only have the 8XT listed.

That’s all bad news if people were expecting to grab the phone for the weekend as it means you’ll have to get it shipped and wait. We've also confirmed that at least two stores do not even have dummy units in place, which makes sense since in-store point-of-sales cannot occur.

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If you weren’t already aware, it was announced back in early June that Microsoft would be opening Windows Stores within Best Buy locations. The new movement will reach 500 Best Buy locations across the United States and 100 other locations in Canada. You will begin to see the launch yourself throughout August and September of this year.

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Good news if you’ve been camping out for a chance to grab Microsoft’s Surface Pro; the famous Windows 8 tablet has received a price cut of $100 brining the unit down to a starting price of $799. According to The Verge, the price cut will be available to customers in Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the US from August 4th to August 29th.

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If you’re anxious to pick up the Nokia Lumia 1020 on AT&T, due in ten days, then you may want to consider Best Buy. The massive retailer has now posted the phone in all three colors (yellow, black and white) for a contract price of $299 and off-contract for a massive $749.

Of course the bargain for some of you may for those who have Best Buy gift cards or Rewards Zone offers to apply to this phone, reducing the overall price. Otherwise, heading to AT&T or even a Microsoft Store may yield a better price.

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Microsoft and US retail chain Best Buy have both announced today a strategic partnership to create a new Windows Store. The set-up stalls will be featured within 500 Best Buy brick and mortar stores across the US and in more than 100 stores located in Canada. The stores will range in size from 1,500 and 2,200 square foot and will include Windows-based tablets and PCs, as well as Windows Phones, Microsoft Office, Xbox and more.

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Just as was reported yesterday, Microsoft has begun to push their Surface RT into third party retailers—a move that was not suppose to occur until after the New Year.

Heading to Best Buy’s and Staples online stores we can see the Surface RT now available, with the Surface front and center on Best Buy's site. The popular retailers are carrying three version: 32GB with no keyboard, 32GB with black Touch Cover and a 64GB with black Touch Cover. No word on accessories or other colors for the Touch Cover being available, though perhaps they are in store. The prices are the same ranging from $499 up to $699.

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A lot of times we get asked which Windows Phone is the best. That’s a big decision since no phone can truly be the undisputed winner when there are so many variables to consider.

A Lumia 920 could be perfect for me, but if you Skype a lot you might prefer the 8X and the extra space in your pocket. That being said, Nokia does like to differentiate itself from other Windows Phone OEM’s with software exclusives and some great customer service. For example, Windows Phone Central forum member lsmachado received some stellar customer service from the Finnish company and has shared the experience with us.

This story should fill you with warmth and tide you over until you’ve been stuffed with Turkey...

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Best Buy is offering the Verizon Lumia 822 (a version of the Lumia 820) to new customers at just $49.99 when taken out with a 2 year plan. The price undercuts Verizon's own pricing at $150 with a $50 MIR (mail-in rebate). The retailer currently has the same handset priced at $99 online, but in-store (as can be seen above) the Windows Phone can be picked up for $50 off.

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Mega-retailer Best Buy has invested some serious time into training employees at their brick and mortar stores about Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 8. Speaking to Forbes, Best Buy's merchant vice president for computing, Jason Bonfig, said that they have dedicated over 50,000 hours to making sure certain blue-shirts, Geek Squad consultants and "Microsoft Advisors" all have a working knowledge of Windows 8, so they can help customers feel comfortable with what is surely a change in what they are used to seeing on a Windows computer.

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While we wait for more concrete details from Verizon we can at least see that Nokia’s next generation Windows Phone 8 handset has been priced up on the Best Buy’s website going for a neat $99.99 on contract.

The Nokia Lumia 822 which is a variant of the Lumia 820 is seen here in its rather fetching white attire along with the option to buy “unactivated” for $549.99 if that’s how you want to play it. Otherwise you can opt for a two year contract and stump up just $99.99.

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