Monday, March 25, 2013

T-Mobile Budget Nokia Device Clears FCC

The Nokia Lumia 521 has made its way through the FCC and should be T-Mobile bound in the very near future. The 521 sets a 1Ghz dual-core processor to work with 512MB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. It is MicroSD expandable and features a 5MP rear camera.

No word on pricing or release date yet, but loom for this to be in the under $350 range at retail with a two year contract price of $50 or less.

Sent from my Nokia Lumia 810
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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pandora Radio Comes To Windows Phone

Great news Pandora listeners, the new Pandora App is now live in the Windows Phone Store. For those that aren't aware of Pandora Radio, it is one of the oldest online streaming radio clients on the planet. It offers music by genre, artist and even custom stations.

Pandora is free to Windows Phone users and offers a free "Pandora One" membership to all WP users through the end of the year. So head on over to the store and grab it now!

Check out "Pandora" for Windows Phone

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Going Non-Contract With Windows Phone

Today we are taking a peek at the bevy of Windows Phone devices that are available for users at rock bottom prices, in both new and used forms. Sure, you might want to avoid some of those first generation devices, but there are quite a few good options available in the new/used bins at places like or Take for instance, the Samsung ATIV for Verizon Wireless at $299.99 off contract or the powerhouse HTC 8x for $499.99 without that 2 year agreement. If neither one of those are your cup of tea, even the monstrous Nokia Lumia 920 can be had for a non-bank breaking $529.99 while skipping that 24 month agreement.

Now, why on earth would I be talking about these astronomical prices for devices that you can snag for $50-100 on contract? Well, it's simple... Prepaid plans are cheaper in the long run and buying a device at full price allows you to use these state of the art gadgets on those cheaper plans. For example, the 2 year contract price on that new Lumia 920 on AT&T will set you back nearly $3000. For the same package on Red Pocket Mobile, a very strong MVNO that uses Ma Bell's backbone, you would be looking at a total bill of just under $2000. This means you will pocket an extra $1000 over the life of that 24 month period.

For those that wonder, just check out the Wiki listing for MVNO's and see what network they operate on. While you might lose some roaming agreements, some data speed and a chunk of customer service, the cash saved will quickly balance that out. When you think that a $3300 Verizon plan can be replaced by a $2000 Page Plus plan or a $2800 Sprint plan that is replaced by a $1500 Virgin Mobile plan. Even the $2900 T-Mobile plan that is replaced by a $1900 Spot Mobile plan can result in an extra vacation a year.

So, before you renew that next contract to get that low cost device, make sure you do some math. Watch the savings add up with the Non-Contract options that are available today. The carriers have opened their networks for many new options, so maybe you should too? Check out the Smartphone Report's 2013 Best Value In Wireless article to see how much you can save.

The New Barrage Of Android Devices



I have to admit to being a bit addicted to tech blogs. I love them, BGR, Engadget, TechCrunch... They are all on my Twitter Feed and I love to scope them out when I have time. What's funny is the attention that HTC and Samsung have both gotten for their new devices. What these new 'superphones' have in common are some, for lack of a better term, CRAZY-ASS specs. Coming out with Ultrapixels, Octo-core Processors and 2GB of RAM, these things are more powerful than the Toshiba Thrive Tablet that I am writing this blog from right now. It's scary to think that a device needs to have this much power to run.  Lets take a quick look at the two newbies on the block and see what my little Nokia Lumia 810 and HTC Titan have to offer in comparison.
At first look, the Samsung Galaxy S 4 is not much more than a basic update to the Galaxy S 3. Still a cream of the crop device, the S4 adds that Octo-core processor, an extra GB of RAM and that 13MP rear shooter. I'm sure that it will come in those tasty 32 and 64GB models and have plenty of fun customized apps and abilities, but honestly, it's not that impressive and only keeps the Galaxy line going, not growing. While the camera is impressive and the software tweaks are nice, the bottom line is that the Galaxy S4 is still a clunky TouchWiz driven device with a big screen and performance that should keep Android users happy until the next update gets delayed.
On the flipside to the S4 is the HTC One. The one is a true work of art in design and software. With innovative features like HTC Zoe, BoomSound and the Ultrapixel, the One is a serious piece of hardware. HTC has been brilliant in rolling off the Megapixel measurement and moving towards a better sensor. Instead of continuing to climb the Megapixel ladder like many, HTC has taken a page from Nokia's PureView idea of smaller and cleaner images by using lower Megapixels and better software to process the image. The Ultrapixel, which I am guessing will eventually become the new standard in imaging, is a simple concept. We will use the 16MP camera found on the Titan 2 for this simple exercise as it makes it easy to divide. Basically, you have a fixed amount of space for those pixels on that small sensor. Each pixel captures light, which the software turns into colors. By placing so many pixels on a small sensor, the pixels aren't able to absorb as much information. By increasing the physical size of the pixel, the pixel has more square footage to record more information. What this means to the end user is a fantastic camera experience that will record more information in a photo that will print beautifully at 8x10 and under.
Comparing these two monsters, it's safe to say that the HTC One is the only contender to replace a Windows Phone in my pocket. As much as I love my Lumia 810, the camera often leaves me feeling a bit bummed. The Titan features what I still consider the top camera I have ever used on a smartphone. The 8MP shooter is flat out perfect for me and the customisable settings of Windows Phone allow me to create amazing photos with that stock camera. Unfortunately, the Titan is stuck in the past on an ancient version of Windows Phone 7.5 and won't ever see the magic of Windows Phone 8. Of course, in my perfect world, the Titan III will come along in the body of the HTC One and I will become the happiest man on the planet, for at least a week... Until then, I'll continue carrying my Lumia 810 and enjoying the most trouble free platform available today.