Nokia's first NFC enabled Windows Phone smartphone, the Nokia Lumia 610 NFC, was announced today at the WIMA conference in Monaco. It is an NFC variant of the Lumia 610, which will launch first on Orange's European networks during Q3 2012. The NFC functionality allows for seamless pairing with NFC enabled Bluetooth accessories and the reading of NFC tags with a single tap. The handset has also been certified for contactless payments with both Mastercard's PayPass and Visa's payWave solutions.
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Following on from the widespread release of Nokia's big '12070' update for the Lumia 800, I latched onto one particular item in the changelog: 'White balance issues with the Lumia 800 camera have been fixed, along with other camera performance tweaks'. Colour issues were at the heart of my criticisms of the original Lumia 800 firmware, so I was keen to see how much things have improved.
The roll out of the third software update for the Nokia Lumia 800 has now commenced. The update, firmware revision number 1600.2487.8107.12070, delivers significantly improved battery life, improves audio quality and fixes a number of bugs. As is standard for Windows Phone, updates have to be done via Zune Desktop on the PC or the Windows Phone Connector on the Mac.
Following on from Micosoft's official launch of Windows Phone in China, Nokia held its own launch event today to announce the Nokia Lumia 800C, a CDMA variant of the Lumia 800, which will be available through exclusive launch partner China Telecom this April with an unsubsidised price of 3599 RMB (£360). Also announced was the Nokia Lumia 610C, a CDMA variant of Nokia's cheapest Windows Phone device, which will go on sale later in Q2.
Microsoft held an event in Beijing today to formally mark the arrival of Windows Phone in China. Windows Phone was shown running a Chinese-language interface, with support for both simplified and traditional Chinese and it was announced there are now more than 2,000 Chinese language apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Chinese smartphone manufacturer ZTE has announced their second Windows Phone at Mobile World Congress today in Barcelona. The ZTE Orbit is "based on the latest version of Windows Phone" and continues the ZTE ethos of providing lower specification devices while still delivering high quality experiences. With 4GB of memory, and a 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash, we're expecting to see the Orbit rebranded by network operators as an entry level Windows Phone device in the pay monthly market, or as a smartly priced pay as you go handset. Availability is expected in Q2, there's no word yet on expected prices, but something around the 150 Euro mark would be our estimate.
Today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nokia announced the Nokia Lumia 610, the first Tango powered Windows Phone targeted towards the lower end of the market. With 256MB of RAM and "the new software release from Microsoft" that supports lower memory and processor specs, the Lumia 610 is looking to have an impact with the younger generation. The Nokia Lumia 610 will retail for 189 Euros before taxes and subsidies, and will be available in Q2.
If you've been looking at the Nokia Lumia 900 and wondering if it's going to be available outside of America, then that wait is almost over. Rogers in Canada will be the first to pick up an LTE version, while a "world style" phone with Dual Carrier HSPA support is expected to retail for 480 Euros before taxes and subsidies, with availability during Q2 of this year.
At CES 2012, Nokia announced its third Windows Phone device, the Nokia Lumia 900, which will be available on the largest US operator, AT&T. Key features include LTE connectivity, a 4.3 inch ClearBlack Display AMOLED screen, a unibody polycarbonate body and an eight megapixel camera.
HTC today revealed the HTC TITAN II, an LTE variant of its big screen Windows Phone device. The device will be available shortly on the AT&T network in the US. The standout feature is, of course, LTE connectivity, which brings support for faster cellular data connections. Other key specifications include a 16 megapixel camera, 4.7" SUPER LCD screen, 16GB of memory, a 1.5GHz processor and 512MB of RAM.