vodafone

It's common knowledge that Nokia mobile phones are built to last the ages. The brand is known for sturdy products and even the company's Lumia family of Windows Phones have not failed. We've covered numerous stories and reports of Nokia Windows Phones surviving rather severe experiences, but this isn't always the case. How does Nokia test and manufacture modern smartphones that are built to last?

Vodafone also wanted to find out and decided to go straight to Stefan Pannenbecker, head of product design at Nokia. Since Vodafone will be joining other UK mobile operators in stocking the Lumia 925 (check out our review), Pannenbecker lightly focused more on the techniques utilised in the construction of the Nokia Windows Phone, but covered all their mobile phones in general.

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The Nokia Lumia 925 is a nice variant of the Lumia 920. Its aluminum construction allows it to be thinner and lighter, but at the expense of wireless charging. Still, the camera is slightly improved from the Lumia 920 since the Lumia 925 packs 6 lenses versus 5. That allows for sharper images. And if you’re in Germany and hoping to get this device your pre-orders ship in the next two days.

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UK mobile operator Vodafone is set to wait until this coming September until the company looks to launch its 4G LTE upgrade, according to The Guardian. The newspaper states Vodafone will miss the original target window of summer to launch 4G services and compete with EE. It's believed the delay will be in place for a compatible iPhone, but we could also be witnessing support for Nokia's new flagship.

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The Lumia 925 is Nokia's latest Windows Phone, along with the Lumia 928 but many have been concerned that Vodafone appears to have the 32GB version of the Lumia 925, while everyone else has to deal with 16GB of internal storage. It's now come to light that T-Mobile will also be picking up the model with 32GB of storage, which will surely please many to know that it may not be that much of an exclusivity.

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Vodafone has today announced the launch and availability of the Nokia Lumia 720, which will be the first Windows Phone with Joyn pre-installed, according to WindowsPhoneApps.se. What's Joyn exactly? It's a service that provides instant messaging, file transfer, video calling and more. It will be launched and supported by multiple mobile operators, as opposed to being a third party service.

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Good news for those on Vodafone in Australia who own a Nokia Lumia 820, as tomorrow you’ll start to receive an over-the-air update to the 1308 firmware. What’s more, this just doesn’t improve device stability and performance but it also enables the 4G radio. Huzzah!

The rollout will be like others, meaning 25% will get the update in the first 5 days, followed by another 25% the next week and 100% of users by the end of the month.

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Microsoft is holding back on the Windows Phone 7.8 update, according to Vodafone Germany. A member of the community team responded in a thread on the mobile operator forum that the reason customers aren't receiving the update is because Microsoft has halted the process. Vodafone originally planned to release the update to consumers through February.

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The UK has a fever, and the only prescription is more Windows Phone. UK mobile operator Vodafone has announced a number of Windows Phones that will launch on the network this month. The company will also be looking at rolling out LTE on its network this year, which will complement the line-up of Windows Phone 8 hardware that has been highlighted.

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Vodafone UK has published a new entry on its blog detailing plans for Windows Phone 8. The carrier previously unveiled that it would be stocking a selection of Windows Phone 8 hardware in early 2013. More details have been revealed as the company has now confirmed that a new Windows Phone will be joining the Lumia 820, HTC 8X and HTC 8S. It would appear as though the Lumia 920 exclusivity deal with EE is drawing to an end.

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A Vodafone store located in Baden-Württemberg, Germany has confirmed on its Facebook page that both the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 will be available from November 1st. Being only 17 days away, there's still Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 event on October 29th to get through first, but it's good to know there's not much longer to wait out.

Nokia's Apollo hardware will not only be available from Vodafone in Germany on the first day of next month, but also Media Markt. The latter has already revealed November 1st as the release date, which we covered yesterday. It's good to see more than one source to look at when checking pricing to make the best investment.

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The UK is going LTE

UK mobile operators, communications regulator Ofcom, and the government have agreed to start rolling out LTE in early 2013. The goal is for high speed data connectivity to launch by spring, approximately six months earlier than originally planned, providing consumers with quicker speed while using Internet services on smartphones.

EE (Everything Everywhere) has already been given the green light in 'switching on' its LTE network at multiple locations across the country ahead of the competition. To the dismay of the other carriers, EE aims to have 16 cities with LTE speeds by this Christmas, providing 20 million customers with a significant increase in speeds.

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Bad news if you're on Vodafone and were yearning for that Windows Phone 7 Tango refresh. The update was originally due in July but that time has since come and gone with no update. Now Vodafone has confirmed in a blog post that Tango has been canceled:

"Roll out of this update has been canceled. We have now been advised that this update will not be rolling out to Vodafone customers globally. This is due to a critical WiFi issue identified during testing in an overseas market. We expect the fix for this issue to be included in a future update but do not have any information on delivery timeframes."

The good news is it sounds like whatever issue there is with WiFi in Tango will be addressed for the planned 7.8 update, which Vodafone will most likely roll out. On the other hand that update still months away for current users.

Source: Vodafone; Thanks, prodromos, for the tip

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In a somewhat surprising move, Nokia and Vodafone New Zealand have released the Lumia 610 for $449 (off-contract) and it is now available on that carrier for purchase.

The somewhat low-cost Lumia 610 features a 3.7” non-ClearBlack LCD display, 256MB of RAM and a 800Mhz CPU with 8GB of storage. While not the most exciting device in terms of specs, the build quality is quite high—at least higher than anything LG has put out recently (Quantum being the exception).

We say "somewhat low-cost" only because while the Lumia 610 is affordable (we bought ours unlocked for less than $300 US), some would argue that it’s still not cheap enough when up against some Android devices or even up against the superior Lumia 710.

But at least according to Nokia ANZ's sales director, Steve Lewis, the company was seeing "real momentum" with their Lumia phones. Of course Steve may be a little biased here and it’s certainly not enough to boost Nokia’s stock but hey, we kind of like the 610 and what Nokia is doing, so let’s hope it sells in New Zealand.

Head to Vodafone's page to grab it for $449 off-contract or free with a SmartData $90 plan.

Source: PCWorld; via Stuff; Thanks, CE7, for the heads up

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We've got some good news for those who reside in Australia and own either the Nokia Lumia 800 or HTC Trophy. Vodafone AU is rolling out Windows Phone "Tango" to their customers in a staged release, which will cover a 24-day period until the flood gates are opened for all to receive the upgrade.

Should you not see the update notification immediately fear not as you're probably sat in line for the next tier of the rollout. Peter Skitchen reports that the following represents the release schedule Vodafone AU (and Microsoft) is sticking to.

  • Day 1-6: Available to 10% of devices
  • Day 7-20: Available to 25% of devices
  • Day 21: Available to 40% of devices
  • Day 22: Available to 60% of devices
  • Day 23: Available to 80% of devices
  • Day 24: Available to 100% of devices

In other Australian Windows Phone news, the HTC TITAN on Telstra has received a firmware update after being available for just under a month. No word currently on what has been included in the minor update.

Source: Peter Skitchen; thanks, Peter, for the heads up!

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If you're on Vodafone Australia, you'll want to head to the Marketplace to pick up the the carrier's latest app which is geared towards managing your account.

The app, titled with the obvious "My Vodafone" is chock full of features including:

  • Account Usage checker.
  • View Bills and Payments (limited access to history)
  • Store Locator
  • View Network updates near you.
  • Contact Support and access the Vodafone Blog.

As WPDownUnder points out, Windows Phone has been on the carrier since 2010 so better late than never. Maybe perhaps they're seeing greater uptick in Windows Phone or see great things for Windows Phone 8. Either way, it's good for consumers.

Pick up My Vodafone here in the Windows Phone Marketplace; via: WPDownUnder

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