Pokemon Red Windows Phone 7 Wallpaper

I created this retro pokemon red lock screen wallpaper for Windows Phone 7 and the dialog ox size fits around the time, date and upcoming appointment notes on the lock screen

Enjoy with a helping of Pokemon ringtone, if you can find one or make one, I used an app called Nintendo Ringtones which appears to have been removed from the marketplace


Samsung galaxy S II HD LTE

I got a hold of a Galaxy S II HD to review, on Bell Mobility. Unfortunately LTE isn’t available in my home town but it is available where I work in Trenton Ontario.

It didn’t blow me away, HD videos from YouTube did Even though they buffered a lot!

Lots of apps, most of them useless, I installed like 20 apps while I had it, but only used foursquare, and each other app like twice. There were too many bell “crapware” apps, having to remove them was a waste of time, and not removing them would have been a waste of space. The phone was very light, and thin which was nice for carrying around in my pocket, and the screen was a great size, I find the size nice not to big or small, anything over 45 and a half is almost too big for a phone.

Unfortunately the flow of the operating system did hold me, I found myself constantly picking up my old phone. It was fast, with dual core processing (Samsung’s website doesn’t list the speed) it was very fast, but I had to jump all over. I try to carry every phone I review for the whole two week period to use it as my regular phone but I couldn’t with this one. Perhaps Android 4.0 would have been easier and better to use, but this phone comes with Android 2.3, which is pretty old by now.

The camera took some great photos it has an 8MP sensor and the flash was amazing in low light situations.

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The front facing camera is great for self portraits and video calls, which I did none of because, no one makes video calls on smart phones therefore I had no one to call…

Call quality was good, and signal strength also good. The speakers were pretty loud but clear. Battery performance was not great, the phone hardly makes it though half the day before complaining of low battery.

A touch screen keyboard needs to be large to use well and this phone has a large screen but I still found myself making a lot of mistakes without the physical keyboard I am used to, and error correction made almost as many mistakes as I did.


Final Fantasy for Xbox live hits Windows Phone 7

I just noticed final fantasy 1 is on the windows phone marketplace, I want it, and I will review it when I get a WiFi connection, it looks like the playstation snes-ish remake from the late 90′s or early 2000′s but with Xbox achievements. Stay tuned!


Ammyy called me today….

So Ammyy called me today to tell me I was infected with some malwares and spywares…so I played along for a bit, and then had some fun of my own…


Nokia Lumia 800

This week I had the pleasure of reviewing the Nokia Lumia 800, available from Telus Mobility for $0 on a 3 year contract. A sleek unibody design and super strong Gorilla Glass house a 1.4 Single Core Snapdragon Processor, 512MB of Ram, and 16Gb of internal storage. It has a micro USB port and 3.5mm headphone jack and uses a micro SIM.

     

I was struck first by the packaging for the device, I have owned a number of smartphones, none with packaging as appealing as this.   Colorful and simple, with nice metro logos detailing what’s in the box. The lid slides up or conversely the inside slides out from the bottom. Inside is of course, the phone, and also: headphone, a micro USB cable, a USB wall power plug and a rubber bumper case.

The second thing that got me was the screen, because the first thing I did was pull out the phone and turn it on. The screen is AMAZING, very deep blacks, bright and sharp, the  3.7″ AMOLED ClearBlack display blew me away, I had heard about how nice it was but you have to see it in person to appreciate it. Like all windows Phone 7 and 7.5 devices the resolution is 480 x 800 pixels. Comparing the screen on this phone with my current windows phone was like night and day, colors were richer, everything was brighter, and even in direct sunlight I could see things pretty clearly.

    

One thing Nokia has done to try and make their devices more appealing is add Nokia specific apps: Drive (Nokia’s GPS Navigation app), Maps, Music and Contacts Transfer.  Drive didn’t work as well as I’d expected, it may just be lack of up to date address information (perhaps specific to Canada), but it was unable to find a few locations, including the Ottawa Convention Hall where Ottawa Comic Con was a couple weeks ago, I opened the Microsoft Maps application and used it’s turn-by-turn navigation which worked superbly, and luckily it is also built into every Windows Phone device. Drive actually downloaded the maps to the device which I would think would save your data connection a bit not having to download the maps each time, but also means they are a little out of date. Contact transfer is a great idea, setting up a new phone can be kind of annoying and time consuming, easily transferring all your contacts makes the whole process a little smoother. All the Nokia apps look great, and work well for the most part.

The camera took great photos and the camera app had a few surprise settings such as ISO. The 8MP sensor, dual LED flash and Carl Zeiss Optics combine to take great daytime/outdoor shots and decent indoor/low light shots. I have a few attached below.

           

The GPS worked well and apps like foursquare which rely on it, were snappy which is nice when you’re in line at McDonalds and just have to check-in before your order is up.

Comparing my current phone with the Lumia 800 I found that the Lumia also had better signal strength at various locations in south eastern Ontario, on 3G, I had sometimes equal but usually 1 – 2 bars more coverage, and call quality was very good. One thing I (and even my less than tech savvy wife) noticed was how quickly the screen went off and on when the proximity sensor was covered, she particularly liked this because she says she could end the call quickly or press numbers on screen when doing things like listening to voicemail.

Having set strict standards for device specs, has made Windows Phone 7 and 7.5 run very smoothly and every device, and the same is true on the Nokia Lumia 800, I give it 4.5 out of 5. Unfortunately it falls short of a 5 because of the experience I had with the Nokia apps which could have set it apart if they were just a little better (here’s hoping they get updated often), a smallish screen which may be fine for most users and no front facing camera. but this is still a great device for someone looking to start with their first Windows Phone at a low price for a great device.


What lies may come (or my visit to the Bell store)

My wife is moving into the non-blackberry smartphone world. Recently her Bell Mobility 3 year contract ended and she was given a $100 credit towards a new phone, SOOOO we ventured to the local Bell store.  I am a very big fan of my phone (a Windows Phone 7 device, which I bought from Bell, that never leaves my side). I am not entirely opposed to the other 2 big mobile operating systems (android and iOS) as I own an HP touchpad that I have loaded android on and have used an iPad and iPhone but I personally think WP7 is better.

That is a different story anyways, we enter the store and are greeted promptly after 15-20 mins of standing around by a friendly employee.

My wife was given a list of devices by one the over the phone customer service agents that had touch screens AND slide out keyboards, which was a must for her. I took a look at the list when I got home that day and broke the bad news to her that only 1 of those phones had a slide out keyboard. Thus we chose the LG Eclypse android phone.

I jokingly said to the nice gentleman that I had been trying to convince my wife to get a windows phone like mine to which he replied “we don’t carry any now, android is dominating the market”

Now I know android is doing well, but dominating? anyway he proceeded to educate me about the only real benefit of a windows phone, the Microsoft office apps built in… “oh”, I nodded.

“Besides” he continued “android has like 8 times the apps windows phone has and they are all free”, ‘WHAT? How could he lie so openly’ I wondered. Surely with android dominating the market as it is, it would be common knowledge that this was untrue. But I let him go on.

I was sure he would mention the fact that this device was not going to receive any operating system updates past its current version of 2.3!

I would like to point out that windows phone marketplace has reached (and surpassed) the 80,000 app milestone and quicker than android did I might add.

Another great benefit to windows phone are the live tiles that you can pin to your home screen, which update and display useful information at a glance. And being able to pin a shortcut directly to a certain page within an app, like a foursquare checkin so I dont have to open foursquare, search nearby places and then I i can simply click McDonald’s on my home screen and easily maintain my mayorship while waiting for my coffee at the drive thru (with my engine off of course, no driving and texting here)

Speaking of driving and texting another great I have yet to see in any other platform is handsfree reading and replying to texts (AND FACEBOOK CHATS). I can be driving along when I receive a text from my wife, “you have received a text message from [insert contact name here], you can say read it or ignore” then without looking to picking up the phone.e I say, “read it”. IT DOES! “you can say reply call or I’m done” and I can. If I say call, it calls them, if I say reply it says “say your message…” and I do and it sends it after confirming to me that it heard me correctly, and I never had to pick up the device, the option can be set to headphones only, bluetooth only or always which will broadcast the alert through the speaker.

This isn’t a post against android it’s a post against the mobile carriers and thier employees who are uneducated, this is not to say they are stupid or whatever but they don’t know about the product they are selling, so do yourself a favour and research what you want before you go to the store and research multiple carriers because apparently not everyone carries every option as I found out. My wife did take the android phone and she does like it despite me having to take it and set up things she can’t find or doesn’t understand because some of the menu labels are pretty technical and not very well explained.


Sudoku comes to Windows Phone Canadian Zune Marketplace

Today while browsing for new games I noticed the previously U.S. Only Sudoku for Windows Phone 7, with Xbox live support, its the same Sudoku we all know and love/hate but with some small twists, powerups and Xbox live achievements . (more to come after I play a few rounds!)

Sudoku for windows phone 7 is very similar in style to minesweeper on the same platform, both being released simultaneously in the U.S. Marketplace with staggered releases in Canada. And its FREEEEEEEEEE!

In Sudoku the aim is to fill a 9×9 grid with numbers from 1-9 without repeating numbers in a single row. Luckily this game will start you off in training if you wish to teach you the ropes, powerups help as you go, but you must level up to attain your first one.

Completing puzzles ranging from training to expert, or any of the speed challenge puzzles from gentle to intense, will earn you experience points. Leveling up unlocks new powerups and extra power up slots. What power ups could you need or use in Sudoku you might ask…

Gimme – fills in the correct answer for a single selected square

Lock – checks current answers and locks in the correct ones

There are plenty more but they cost points which only regenerate over time, or after clearing a puzzle (I think). So use them sparingly and wisely.

apart from the way the custom backgrounds look in behind the main menu, and my Xbox avatar being a static image, I have nothing bad to say about this game.

Sudoku on WP7 brings a nice twist to an old classic, helpful powerups and achievements, which to me are a welcome addition to any games, along with easy to learn controls and challenging puzzles scores Sudoku a 4.5 out of 5. Any puzzle lover should download this free game from the marketplace.


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