pure

To wrap up the Microsoft NYC Open House this week, we got to play with some of the latest and greatest Windows phones featuring Windows Mobile 6.5.  It was all the usual suspects if you will: AT&T Touch Pro 2 (aka Tilt 2), Pure; Verizon Imagio. (Toshiba TG01, Sprint Intrepid & the LG GM750 were covered elsewhere).

All in all we came away very impressed. All the manufacturers present have really stepped up their game and we think customers win out in the end with this years crop of WM6.5 phones.

Read on for some great photos and our thoughts on these three devices.

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26

Windows phone 7 Series

What you see above is the Microsoft sign at Mobile World Congress. At first there was nothing special except for a large sticker covering...something.

The savvy cats at Engadget decided to use the "X-ray filter" in Photoshop and lo and behold, beneath the sticker it says: 7 Series.

Seven?  Series? Sounds like that might be hinting at the rumored Business and Multimedia editions that we mentioned a few weeks ago.

While we don't know all of the details about what Microsoft has in mind for Monday, we're still surmising that the overall strategy (and what we've talked about during the podcast #88, #89) is thus:

  • Pink/Zune/Turtle/Pure phones = Feature phones; not full Wp7
  • Business Edition = The true upgrade path for WM6.5 --> Wp7; customizable 
  • Media Edition = Combine the Pink & Business edition for one high end smartphone

Call us crazy, but we think this three-pronged approach (with only two being 'true' Windows phone 7 devices) is what Microsoft is attempting.  Mind you, according to the WSJ, we might not even hear about Pink/Zune/Turtle/Pure at Mobile World Congress. That actually makes sense as those devices are not true Windows phone 7 series nor would they want to scare off their OEMs.

It's also becoming more clear that last week's "rumors" were probably more about Project Pink than Windows phone 7, which we strongly suggested ;-)

So, what do you think? Sound off below!

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1

AT&T Pure price cuts

While the HTC Pure from AT&T hasn't been as successful as planned, it's still a very good Windows Phone.  And lately, it looks like you can pick one up for a steal of a price.

AT&T is offering refurbished Pure's for free (with the obligatory two-year contract) on their main website.  It's an AT&T web-exclusive and not available through retail stores.

For the AT&T Premiere Customers (available through many employers) you can pick one up for $39.99.  You'll need to hurry on this one because the sale ends tonight at midnight (PDT).  Oh...and the same sale has the Tilt2 going for $74.99.

While the new Windows Phone 7 is due out in a few months, these price cuts should help if you're looking for an inexpensive way to get into a Windows Mobile Phone.

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See that thing there on the table? No, not the laptop. The other thing. That reportedly is one of them newfangled, non-Windows Mobile "Project Pink" phones that we're betting will be unveiled by Verizon tomorrow. Not much to see, mind you, though it looks like it's inside some sort of charging cocoon. Anyhoo, check it out, and speculate all you want in the comments. [YouTube] Thanks to everyone who sent this in..

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As if we needed more confirmation that on Monday, Microsoft is set to unveil their Project Pink phones (Turtle and Pure) which will be sold in partnership with Verizon, we have this little nugget seen above.

The language and timing is more than obvious: "It's time to share" and "Lets get social" are right from Microsoft's own invite and it sure is a coincidence that it's the same day as Redmond's big reveal.

At least we now know that it is a Verizon exclusive, at least for some time. The only real interesting thing here is we guess those detailed rumors saying that Project Pink was beyond dead and terrible mismanaged were...a bit off? [Berry Scoop via Android Central]

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So evidently Microsoft has sent out invites for a big announcement on April 12th in San Francisco. What is it revealing that day? Courier? Natal? Project Pink? More Windows Phone 7 information?

Not much is known outside of the theme "It's Time to Share," a green motif and some younger folks featured. Actually, if we had to bet we'd go with those 'Project Pink' phones Turtle and Pure.

Reasoning?

Although it would be amazingly awesome if Microsoft were to drop the Courier, even a teaser, so soon after the iPad (btw, played with one today, not impressed), alas we'll have to settle for these high-end feature phones which will probably not be on your carrier.

More info as it comes in ...

[via Engadget]

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9

First look at the Project Pink/Pure phone

Looks like the folks at Gizmodo got their hands on our favorite traditional "blurry cam" shots of the new Pink-Pure phone, which looks to be coming to Verizon sometime soon. (More info on the Pure and Turtle here)

The Pure is thought to be running the same core OS as Windows Phone 7, but with a different UI on top. As we've previously speculated, the Pink phones appear to be high-end feature phones, where as the WP7S is more in the traditional smartphone category.

The source who leaked the images also said it was very intuitive and better than Android.

Besides those two images, Conflipper has been leaking out some actual screen shots from said Pink device, specifically of the dialer/lock screen. While nothing special, it does hint that these phones may be a good deal for the masses, who want a centralized social-media device without any learning curve and more limited power.

   

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So now the info has dropped on Windows Phone 7 Series and without rehashing all that information, it seems to have raised more questions than answered.

One of these is where does 'Turtle' and 'Pure' fit into all of this new strategy?  Are they the first phones to run WP7? Are they just next-gen Sidekicks? 

While we can't answer all of those now, we do know from the FCC documents that the 'Turtle' is at least real and probably the 'Pure' too.

Conflipper, famous for his in-depth knowledge of all things Microsoft and Windows Mobile, has managed to get his hands on the firmware for said device(s).

While he can't run any of those files for obvious reasons, a good ol' Hex editor can reveal a lot and indeed this is what he has found thus far ....after the break!

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Those of you looking to upgrade to the latest and greatest HTC from AT&T on the cheap should get your pocketbooks ready. Refurbished models of the HTC Pure and HTC Tilt 2 are now offered through AT&T online. Prices with a 2 year contract (including a $30 per month data plan) are down to $149.99 for the Tilt2 and $99 for the Pure.

What is your opinion on refurbished devices? Is a savings of $50 worth not getting a brand new device? Any success/horror stories to share? What say you?

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8

AT&T Tilt 2 and Pure get hotfixes

We've stumbled across two hotfixes for the AT&T Tilt 2 and Pure. The first fix addresses inconsistent caller id functions and the second where the Windows phone freezes in the SMS application.

Both fixes are not ROM updates and will not cause you to lose your data. HTC notes that these fixes will survive a hard reset and will only need to be installed once. Do note that the fixes might not load if you're running a custom ROM. Stock AT&T only, it looks like.

The fixes for the Tilt 2 can be found here and for the Pure here. It appears that these issues are present only in the AT&T models so Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile users need not worry.

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17

Head to Head: AT&T Pure and Tilt 2

AT&T might have been slow to get to the party but, it definitely turned heads when it walked through the door. While T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon had already released their versions of the HTC Touch Pro 2, some wondered what was causing the delay with AT&T.

To the surprise of some, AT&T first released their version of the Touch Diamond 2 (the Pure) and a week later phased in its version of the Touch Pro 2, aka the Tilt 2. While AT&T was the final major U.S. wireless carrier to introduce the Touch Pro 2, it was the first to do so with Windows Mobile 6.5 and the first to introduce the U.S. version of the Touch Diamond 2.

Both phones are impressive, quality Windows phones. But how do they compare head to head? Does the tilting screen and slide-out keyboard have an advantage over the thinner, lighter form factor? Can you live without the physical keyboard and do just fine with the on-screen keyboard? And does .4 inches really matter with screen size?

Follow the break to see how the AT&T Tilt 2 and Pure compare head to head.

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31

Review: AT&T Pure

 

AT&T has a habit of occasionally pulling rabbits out of hats. The Samsung Jack came out of left field with very little advanced notice, and it appears AT&T has followed the same tradition by pushing out the AT&T Pure with a mere three days' advance notice.

The Pure is AT&T's version of HTC's Touch Diamond 2.  We've already looked at the European version of the Touch Diamond 2 and we were interest to see how well AT&T adapted this Windows phone to the U.S. market. The Pure is an impressive Windows phone but some already have written it off because of one missing feature.

Follow the break to see what the AT&T Pure has offer and if it can overcome that one missing feature.

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On the eve of the biggest concerted launch we've seen from Microsoft's mobile side since, well, ever, comes a bit of less than optimistic rumor about the fabled "Pink" project. Mobile Crunch cites an anonymous source that spells out major trouble in the Pink camp.

Supposedly:

  • A good chunk of the original Sidekick team picked up in the Danger acquisition has been fired or left.
  • Third-party support is next to nil.
  • There's much dissent in the ranks, including rampant iPhone use.
  • The project is two years behind schedule.
  • The Turtle is a piece of junk. (our words, their sentiment)
  • Microsoft didn't develop the UI, and the team is struggling to replicate it.
  • Mobile Crunch's source says the project “is near death and probably will be canceled.”

So basically what this source is saying is that things were in shambles (now there's something new for Windows Mobile) and that the Sidekick was bought out and is going the way of the dinosaur. We discussed Project Pink at length on the WMExperts Podcast a couple of weeks ago and kept coming to the same conclusion: If Windows Mobile 7 is going to be as Zuneriffic (my word ... Don't worry, it'll catch on) and consumer-friendly as we hope, does Microsoft really need to split its lines again with whatever the Turtle and Pure were/are going to be? This could well be Microsoft converging ideas, and sour grapes over somebody being left out.

And another thing: We're discussing a pair of unannounced, leaked devices that are part of an unannounced, highly rumored project. This isn't like Palm killing the Foleo.

The death of the Sidekick line would be a bummer to a lot of people (save for Perez Hilton). But if Windows Mobile 7 turns out anything like we've been dreaming about (and we mean that more literally for, erm, some of us), we have a feeling that in due time, nobody will remember a couple of unannounced devices that might not see the light of day anyway.

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We've seen the official announcement for the AT&T Pure and Tilt 2, now we have an official AT&T unboxing video for the two new Windows Phones. While the Pure is available now, still no word when the Tilt2 will be available, just in "coming weeks."

A couple of notes from the video on the Tilt 2, it appears not to have a 3.5mm jack and while Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon dropped that pesky Push-to-talk button, AT&T has chosen to keep it around.  Fortunately, it does look like it's been reduced in size.

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There's nothing like closing the barn door after the horse is out, but AT&T has officially announced the HTC Pure, which actually hit stores Sunday. Also announced, finally, was the Tilt 2, the Touch Pro 2 follow up to the Fuze or the original Tilt, depending on how you want to look at it. Both of the phones have (or will have, for the Tilt 2) Windows Mobile 6.5 on board from the get-go.

 

The Pure is available now, as we said, for $149.99 after contract and rebate. The Tilt Pro 2 "will be available in the coming weeks" — we've seen that Oct. 18 rumor floating around — for $299.99 after contract and rebate.

Full presser after the break.

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The rumors were true. Despite Tuesday being the official Oct. 6 Super Duper Windows Mobile 6.5 launch day, the AT&T Pure is on sale right now, in stores, for the low, low price of $149.99 after two-year contract and rebate. [via Tilt Mobility] And Windows Mobile 6.5 is already on board the variant of the HTC Touch Pro 2.

We sneaked over to our closest store, and there it was. We're obviously not going to do a full-on review while the device is shackled to the AT&T store, but a quick run-through had the UI running fairly smooth, including TouchFLO 3D. Opera Mobile 9.5 was on board, and the WinMo 6.5 build definitely was not one of the newer ones we've seen floating around.

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