speed test

Here’s a little secret that many of you will be interested in: AT&T has evidently relaxed their policy on SIM unlocking phones, allowing users to take their device on to other carriers. Of course one would think that would be normal, but here in the U.S., SIM unlocking is a hit or miss endeavor.

In our forums, quite a few owners of the Nokia Lumia 1020 have had success in purchasing the device, mostly from Microsoft Stores, and getting AT&T to give them unlock codes. Indeed, we can verify this as we too were just granted an unlock pass from AT&T, making our Lumia 1020 a full-fledged international phone.

Perhaps the bigger story though is that this device contains the same LTE bands that T-Mobile uses. While that was known already from Nokia’s specs, we’re not sure many of you know it (or believe it). That means not only can you use this phone on T-Mobile’s more cost efficient network, but you can get some fairly crazy speeds as well.

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While Ben the PC Guy was busy smoking the competition at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show with his Windows Phone, Jimmy Lee over at Nokia Innovation was tackling a challenge of his own.

The challenge was to take a photo, upload it to Facebook and tag a friend with a Nokia Lumia 710. Simple task, right? Toss in that you have to do all this while riding a zip line down a mountain and finish the tasks before you reach the bottom and it gets interesting. The tasks were completed with time to spare.

The challenge not only demonstrates the speed of Windows Phone and the Lumia but also the ease in which you can accomplish tasks. I guess if you ever find yourself racing down a mountain on a zip line, you know you have plenty of time to snap a few shots and post them to Facebook.

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

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We've been using the Nokia Lumia 710 on T-Mobile (see our review) for a few days now and one thing we found is the device is fast. Now by fast we of course mean on T-Mobile "4G' HSPA+ network, which we're seeing quick downloads but also there's something else--the OS itself seems zippier. On WP Bench, we get around 88 for a score, which is high but far below the Titan and Focus S.

Upon closer inspection we noticed the screen rotation from portrait to landscape is very rapid. So rapid that while driving we saw it quickly toggle between the two modes when taking a sharp turn. That tells us that this is either a very sensitive accelerometer with perhaps a lower delay in the transition effect.

When compared to the Lumia 800, Samsung Focus S, etc. the Lumia 710 will always beat them in switching between landscape and portrait. We actually really like this as it makes the OS and device feel even faster (it's very useful for messaging apps where you need the keyboard). Anyways, we thought it was neat and we hope the Lumia 900 features the same type of OS modification too.

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Howdy folks, we're still rocking it here at CES and we figured we would catch up on a few things. First off, is LTE and Windows Phones--how's it work?

More specifically, is there a "toggle" to turn it on or off? Short answer is 'no', there is not. At least when we searched up and down the HTC TITAN II (see hands on) there was certainly no switch outside of the generic "data" toggle under the Phone settings. When we asked HTC about it, they said a few things:

  • You'll need a "LTE SIM card", meaning you'll have to have your account set up for this. (This is also the beginning of GSM carriers locking in people to their networks, by the way)
  • The phone will use LTE when it can and switch to 3G/HSPA+ when it can't. In keeping with the "simple" motif of Windows Phone, the user will not have to manage this
  • What about battery life? The TITAN II certainly has ample battery and since this is the 2nd generation of LTE chipsets, battery life should be significantly better than our current Android counterparts. Plus, Microsoft looks to have aggressively attacked this issue. Still, proof is in the pudding, so we'll see in a few weeks.
  • Is it fast? Hard to say at CES as all the networks are congested here today. We easily hit between 3-6Mbps which sounds not very impressive but when you consider how taxed the network is here, it's actually pretty good. In fact browsing the web was quite enjoyable. But we'll know more up on release, when we can test on a "normal" day
  • Oh and our initial impression of the TITAN II: we liked it, a lot. The new curvy, unibody design is really top notch. It actually feels nicer in the hand and that chin helps when typing in landscape. Plus the that 16MP camera.

Anyways, hope that answers some of your questions...

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We understand some folks on T-Mobile are a little miffed about not getting the Titan and instead have to "settle" for the Radar 4G. We disagree a little bit, having handled the Radar and knowing what a svelte device it is.  We also know that these second generation devices have better internal hardware, a faster CPU, newer more powerful GPU and better screens to name a few differences.

In this case, WP7.com.pl has put the HD7 next to the Radar for a side-by-side speed test. While it should be of no surprise that the Radar wins easily, it's still certainly interesting to see the margin of difference. Needless to say, a lot of us will enjoy that extra speed boost that the Radar gives, even if it still only has a 1GHz CPU (but newer build).

Source: WP7.com.pl

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We covered BandWidth back in January when it was v2.0. Written by XDA member microhaxo, the free app is a great little utility--sharp, to the point and it does its job well of nailing your upload and download speeds via 3G or WiFi. Allowing you to pick the server, file transfer size and more, the app has always been a staple in our tool belt for phone testing.

Version 3.0 is completely re-written and now Mango enabled, making it even more a must-have in our book:

  • Automatic server selection based on location (over 600 severs world wide).
  • Options to choose which file size you want for the server. (changes upload file size too!)
  • Option to pick how far out distance wise you want to load servers from (default 400 miles).
  • Ability to share your results on Twitter and Facebook! (text output at this point).
  • Option to turn off gps if not wanted (loads original static list)

Not a bad deal and since it's free, there aren't many reasons to not grab it (well, if you're not on Mango, we suppose). Small note: make sure you uninstall the previous version before you download/update to the new one--since the code is completely new, you can't just update the app. Pick it up here in the Marketplace.

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It's been a few weeks since we heard anything about the Nokia 'Sea Ray' aka Nokia's first foray into Windows Phone. Evidently, the phone has showed up on DSL Reports, the mobile speed testing site for broadband devices, coming in at 1211kbps which isn't too shabby.

What gives the device away of course is the user agent, here reported as Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 9.0; Windows Phone OS 7.5; Trident/5.0; IEMobile/9.0; Nokia; SeaRay). That's a pretty good give away, though not impossible to spoof either.

Still, we've heard from our own sources that engineering prototypes have been sent out to their respective testing facilities, which possibly explains it popping up here. We've also heard some things about a 3.7" screen, a Micro SIM card and a code name of "Sabre", for what it's worth. Perhaps that latter name, if true, is a carrier name for the Sea Ray.

At least we're getting closer!

Source: DSL Reports; via Blog of Mobile, Pocketnow

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The above video shows a task speed test between the iPhone and a Windows Phone 7 device (Samsung Focus), which included the following steps:

  1. Take a Picture
  2. Upload Picture to Facebook with Caption ("Check out my new hat!")
  3. Update Status ("I love weekends!")
  4. Find Directions to a Restaurant (Olive Garden)
  5. Get Movie Times ("Fast Five")
Unfortunately for our iOS friends, WP7 comes out tops due to it's simplicity and superb social integration. Does this remind everyone of the previous comparison adverts Microsoft released

Thanks James for the tip!

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During today's Microsoft keynote at MIX11, a phone browser speed test was given and for once, Windows Phone (Mango + IE9) trounced the competition. The competition here was the iPhone 4 and Nexus S. 

Is it us or has Microsoft really thrown their weight behind browsers lately? IE9 on Windows Phone 7.5 looks pretty incredible and to put this persepctive, Android Central's Phil Nickinson says he doesn't know how that got the Nexus S to be that fast in the above video--which means MS wasn't playing trickery here. 

Of course we're interested in seeing more than one site load and the devil's in the details. But hey, we like what we see.

via: GeekWire

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For those curious as to what their mobile speed is, you can give BandWidth a shot. Developed by microhaxo from XDA, the app hits the usual servers for your upload/download rates. Pros fo the program included the ability to select servers based on location (including international), data size (small or large) and history for future comparison.

The app is free, no ads and is pretty sharp looking. Only issue we had was with our upload over AT&T's 3G--for sometimes it didn't work (but it did fine over WiFi). Anyways, if you think it's your thing, you can grab it here in the Marketplace.

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As these new WP7 devices become more and more available, slight differences are starting to become evident. One of those differences appears to be load times for video games, with the Samsung clearly beating the HTC 7 Trophy out in a head-to-head.

Much speculation has been circulating that the reason for the difference is the memory: the Omnia 7 uses Samsung's NAND chips while HTC uses internal memory with expandable microSD, causing slower performance. While this was "theory" a few days ago, it appears now to be accurate and we agree with that this is the culprit (but are open to other ideas).

So that may be the trade off folks: expandable memory vs. faster speeds. Which do you prefer? It is worth noting for U.S. customers that the HD7, Samsung Focus and Surround all have microSD cards (and probably Dell Venue Pro), so there's really not much choice. Only the LG Optimus is unconfirmed for its memory configuration.

Source: YouTube; via wmpoweruser

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