Nokia Lumia 710: Is this a SMART choice?

Announced last year at the Nokia World in London, the Nokia Lumia 710 (codenamed ‘Sabre’) was one of the first two Lumias introduced by Nokia in partnership with Microsoft. This was categorized as a mid-range device due to its plastic construction, low-price point and limited features compared to its sibling, the Nokia Lumia 800. Given the “not so good looking but decent” built of this phone; it still follows the strict requirements of Microsoft for the Windows Phone platform. Learn more about the device after the break.

Nokia Lumia 710 was first released in the US and then followed by other countries until it was made available and launched here in the Philippines last April 19, 2012 by Nokia Philippines in partnership with Smart Communications. Available in black and white, it retails at Php 1,450.00 with a two year agreement including a monthly allocation of 500 SMS to all networks, 500 minutes to Smart and TNT and a 1 GB of data for mobile browsing. It was indeed an affordable device for those who are looking on the performance rather than the design.


Included in a pretty large slider box are the Nokia Lumia 710, documentations, a charger, a micro USB cable for data syncing, a headset and the battery pack. I was expecting for a free back cover but it’s not included.


At 119 x 62.4 x 12.5 mm and weighs only 126 grams, the Nokia Lumia 710 was designed to really fit in the hands and due to its plastic construction, it’s even lighter than the iPhone 4. The curve on the edge of the phone lets my thumb rest whenever I was holding it and even more relaxing when playing my favorite Xbox Live Games. It has a 3.7” WVGA screen with 480X800 pixels resolution and a pixel density of 252ppi using Nokia’s Clear Black Technology. The scratch-free display cover was also a plus feature on this device, thanks to the Corning Gorilla Glass.  In front, you will see the proximity sensor and just below the screen is the soft key button for back, menu and search. On top are the unprotected micro USB slot, a 3.5 mm headphone jack and the power/lock key. On the right, there are the volume rocker and the dedicated camera button which can be accessed even if the phone is locked. Nothing can be found on the adjacent side except for the latch to open up the back cover and access the battery and the micro sim. At the back, there is a 5MP AF camera with f2.2 lens that can shoot a video on 720p at 30 frames per second and the single LED flash. There is also a grill below at the back portion of the device for loudspeaker. At the bottom, you will just see a hole for a lanyard. Nokia Lumia 710 black variety has a matte finish back cover for easy handling (I guess the white has a glossy finish).


Equipped with 1.4 GHz single core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 512 MB of RAM, this device can compete on its classy sibling, the Nokia Lumia 800 and even the HTC Titan in terms of performance. The built in 8GB of storage seems to be small for a power user but Microsoft offers a free 25GB of storage through its SkyDrive. Nokia Lumia 710 runs on the latest Windows Phone 7.5 Operating System also known as “Mango”. Sweeter than its competitor, the OS offers a no compromise, consistent performance, and fast and fluid experience.


One of main feature I mostly like in Windows Phone is the integration of different social networking sites into one hub called the People Hub. At a single tap on the tile I can access and see updates on my all social networking sites. This prevents me from opening every social networking app like what I was doing on my other device (oh did I mentioned Android?).  I can also create a specific tile for my group for easy accessing; sending emails and see all their updates instantly.

Another cool feature is the Messaging Hub, wherein all my threads (text, messenger, facebook messages) are rolled into one place. It also lets me know if the user is already offline so that I can switch instantly on available media. Talking about emails, you can link all your emails into one live tile and access it in just a single tap.

Are you a gamer? Then you’ll going to love the Games Hub on Nokia Lumia 710. This is the place where you can access all your downloaded games. With Xbox Live as its core feature, it covers almost all features of the regular Xbox (you will notice it if you’re playing on an Xbox console), from the avatar to your profile to the achievements that you are earning. You can customize your own avatar, right on your phone. You can also view your friends’ credentials and compare your scores.

With Xbox Live on Windows 8

The Picture Hub is a one place for all your picture-related needs including photo and video effects. The hub has 4 options so that you can easily locate the photos that you need. These are camera roll, albums, date and people.  Nokia had made a pretty good job on this 5MP camera, although encountered some problems with half-pressing (maybe there’s no half-pressed at all), the colors are accurate and the video recording is very detailed both on high and low lighting conditions.
















Here are the sample photos and video taken from Nokia Lumia 710

Powered by Zune, the Music and Video Hub is where you can access all your entertainment needs. Starting the hub will deliver you to your previously played media. With the music and video hub, you can play music, videos, listen and watch to audio and video podcasts, listen to FM radio and even get an instant access to Marketplace. The sound quality on this device is quiet good.

Microsoft Office applications, Office 365, Sharepoint and SkyDrive are integrated in the hub called the Office Hub powered by Microsoft Office for mobile. And this is a no viewer; you can actually edit, comment and do calculations straight from the Windows Phone.

How Nokia Lumia with Windows Phone differs from other OEM is that they introduce their own native apps which is really of great addition to the user experience. Comes out of the box, are the Nokia Drive, a turn by turn navigation app, a Nokia Maps which shows detailed location, App Highlights and Nokia Music with almost the same functions as Windows Marketplace and Music + Video app respectively. There is also the Contact Transfer app to easily transfer your phone contacts from your other phone to your Nokia Lumia device. Still on work are the Nokia Transit and Reader.


Nokia Lumia 710 has a support for both quad band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and 3G with 14.4 Mbps HSDPA and 5.7 Mbps HSUPA. It also supports Wi-Fi b/g/n and stereo Bluetooth 2.1. The Bluetooth didn’t support file transfer and mass storage mode. In order to transfer files from PC to your Nokia Lumia 710, you will need Zune software (both available for Windows and Mac) and transfer files through USB cable or Wi-Fi.

Nokia Lumia 710 and other Windows Phone devices use the latest browser from Microsoft, Internet Explorer 9 with Bing. Windows Phone takes advantage of the HTML5 power of the browser. And like the other apps, you can share webpages instantly.


In Windows Phone 7.5, Microsoft adds a voice search feature called Tellme where you can “Find” a specific place and weather, “Call” anyone in the Contacts list, “Open” an application or games installed in the device or “Text” one of your friends without the hassle of touching the screen. I find it very useful especially when you’re carrying a lot of thing and you can’t afford to properly handle the phone. I made a quick video on how this feature works on the Nokia Lumia 710.


With Nokia Lumia 710 powered by Windows Phone, there are lot things that you can do in the smartphone. This is indeed a smart choice but not a perfect phone. So what are the downsides of this device?

  1. Internet Explorer 9 for mobile only used HTML5 so no support for Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight.
  2. No support for Mass Storage Mode
  3. Uses LCD instead of AMOLED display
  4. No front-facing camera (no video calling)
  5. With low capacity 1300mAh battery pack, you really need to monitor all your running apps.
  6. Limited 8GB of internal storage and the absence of external memory support
  7. Camera was reduced to 5MP


With a phone on-the-go, although lack some features, and a reasonable price of Php 1,450 under a two year contract from Smart including delicious packages, this is a must have for all the smartphone starters out there. You will not regret buying this phone. I almost forgot my Android device because of this. Till next time! Enjoy!


Windows 8 Release Preview due on First week of June

Confirming the rumors on the actual release date of the next preview version of Windows, Microsoft has just announced that the Release Preview of Windows 8 will ship on the first week of June of this year. The announcement has been made at the Windows 8 Developer Days conference in Japan but details of the next preview was not elaborated nor the final release of Windows 8 which was rumored to be available by October 2012.

Will we able to get more free and paid apps in this release? Lets wait and see.

Nokia Lumia 610: A Quick review of the first low-end handset running the latest Windows Phone Software

Announced last February 2012, the Nokia Lumia 610 is the first real low-end device that will ship running the latest Microsoft’s Windows Phone Operating System. The Nokia Lumia 610, unlike the other Lumias, is equipped with 800 Mhz Qualcomm MSM7225 (S1) System an a Chip (SoC) processor and 256 MB of RAM. The device has said to be running the updated version of Mango which is the Windows Phone Tango, a software designed to run on a low powered handset like the Nokia Lumia 610. Given the hardware specifications, the handset has a 3.7 inch WVGA (480×800) resolution TFT capacitive touchscreen coated with corning gorilla glass, a 5MP rear 2592х1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash camera and able to play a 720p video at 30 fps, 8 GB of internal storage and comes with both Windows Phone 7 and Nokia apps such as XBox Live games, Nokia Drive, Nokia Maps and the new Nokia Transport.


Nokia Lumia 610 is expected to arrive in the Q2 of this year as Smart Communications already posted it in their phone list along side with the high end Nokia Lumia 900 and the mid-range Nokia Lumia 710 (pre-order now). The phone will come in variety of colors (cyan, magenta, black and white) and estimated to have a price of Php 11,000.00.

More info of the device here



Knowing Windows 8 SKUs: Pro and Pro Pack

As Microsoft works on the Post-Beta builds, screenshots of the two (at least for now) Stock Keeping Units (SKU) revealed at In this post, we will actually discussed a minimal difference between the two versions of Windows 8 at this early stage, although still a lot of changes will be made in the future .

Windows 8 Pro

“Pro” is a short term for Professional. This version of Windows 8 doesn’t include the Windows Media Center. As I’ve mentioned above , changes will still be available until this SKU reaches Release to Manufacturing (RTM). Windows To Go, a feature that allows Windows 8 to boot and run from USB mass storage devices such as flash drives and external hard drives is present in this SKU. It also noticeable that the Windows Anytime Upgrade was visible in the apps list of Windows 8 Pro, which means that this version of Windows 8 can be upgraded. This will be discussed after the break.

Confidential branding on Windows 8 Pro

Windows 8 Pro Start screen (nothing new)

Windows Anytime Upgrade on Apps drawer

System Information and build watermark

Windows 8 Pro Winver


Windows 8 Pro Pack

This version of Windows 8 is also called ProfessionalWMC or Professional with Windows Media Center, an upgraded version of  Windows 8 Pro. This might also be the Windows 8 Professional Plus that has been rumored before. Family Safety feature is present in this SKU just like in Windows Live as well as Storage Spaces and Windows To Go. Let’s check in the screenshots below how does the upgrade will look like.

Choosing the upgrade method

Entering the upgrade key

Accepting the license terms and make their lawyers happy 😉

Upgrade process

Upgrading Windows 8 Pro

Windows 8 Pro Pack

Windows 8 Pro Pack Start Screen

No more upgrade (this version might be the Ultimate counterpart in Windows 7)

Windows logo was removed in the System Information

Windows 8 Pro Pack Winver

Family Safety now on Windows 8

This is a just a quick look on the progress of Windows 8 and more news will be coming up in a couple of days so stay tuned.

Oh by the way, did I mentioned that next build will not be called Released Candidate? 🙂 Many Thanks to Canouna

We will keep you posted.



Windows 8 towards Release Candidate

After the release of Consumer Preview of Windows 8 last month in Barcelona, Spain, the Windows Team is currently hard at work for the next milestone of Windows 8, the more stable Release Candidate build, which was rumored to be release sometime between the end of May or early June of this year. To date, the latest known build was 8307.0.winmain.120322-1820 that still carries the HB1 tag in the ISO which means that the build was still in the Post-Beta milestone. For now, Windows Consumer Preview can be upgraded to the latest build (personal files, apps and settings can be saved) but crashes when the actual app was opened in the Start Screen. The latest builds has some improvements in the UI that can be noticed in the charm bar, language menu, Desktop IE 10 and the recently reported 25 set color picker. There were also improvement in the Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE) and Out of the Box Experience (OOBE). The screenshots below are from

Windows Setup

Product key input screen

End User License Agreement placeholder

Microsoft uses the Developer Preview bootscreen in Post Beta builds

More colors to choose from in the Personalization Screen

Loading screen (notice the Windows Phone like bar which replaces the round loading indicator in the earlier builds)

Settings Screen (all items were disabled by default)

Start Screen (the core Windows apps names were replaced e.g Video: Microsoft.Zune.Video, Messaging: Microsoft.WindowsLive.Chat, etc.)


More colorful Windows 8

After releasing the Windows Consumer Preview, the final beta of the next version of Windows last month, Microsoft is currently working on the pre-Release Candidate builds of Windows 8 and a Chinese website has recently posted some screenshots of Windows 8 color picker. The color scheme started as a single color during the release of Windows Developer Preview which draws negative feedbacks from the end users. In the Windows Consumer Preview, the software giant add  additional eight (8) colors. With the newer builds, Microsoft is putting up more colors making it 25 different color selection. As for the images or the parallax design, Microsoft is still consistent on the designs that were present in the Windows Consumer Preview. Of course, we’re not still putting out the possibility of having a more personalized Start Screen wherein you can put any images as the Start Screen background.

Are you ready for the Windows Consumer Preview?

Official Windows Consumer Preview wallpaper

With just a few hours left before the official release of the beta of the next version of Windows, the Redmond based software giant was still hard at work towards the pre-Release Candidate (RC) builds of Windows 8, which according to our source, has reached the 8288.0.winmain.120223-1751. But with today’s release of Windows Consumer Preview in Barcelona, Spain. Microsoft will be rolling out the final beta build 8250.0.winmain_win8beta.120217-1520. Here are some the features that we might be seeing in the build which were not discussed previously:

  1. The new windows logo will be part of the charm bar and can be customized.
  2. The Show Desktop bar is not visible but still feature complete.
  3. New setup icon and installprep splash screen image.
  4. The new default coral lockscreen wallpaper and betta fish metro wallpaper and a lot of wallies inside

Microsoft earlier released PlayReady PC Runtime v.2.3 for Windows Consumer Preview for both x86/64 machines. To give you an overview of what does this application was all about, PlayReady Runtime allows PC based applications to access PlayReady content using the PlayReady PC Runtime API. Here are some the applications’ key features:

· Enabling Business Models for Digital Content
Microsoft PlayReady supports a wide range of business models for digital content providers, including:
– Subscription: Provides access to an entire catalog of content in exchange for a recurring fee.
– Purchase: Offers content for purchase and download.
– Pay Per View: Provides pay-per-view choices for all content types.
– Rental: Enables rental scenarios with time-based licenses.

· Enhanced Content Access Features
Microsoft PlayReady provides enhanced features designed to enable new consumer entertainment scenarios:
– Protection for many content types: Protects games, images, and ringtones, in addition to music and video. For audio and video content, Windows Media Audio (WMA), Windows Media Video (WMV), Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), AAC+, enhanced AAC+, and H.263 and H.264 codecs.
– Use of multiple devices in domains: Makes it easy for consumers to transfer and enjoy content on all of their supported devices.
Embedded licenses: Enables smoother transfer of content from device to device and from PC to device.
– Backward compatibility: Permits devices that support Microsoft PlayReady to play back content protected with Windows Media DRM (digital rights management technology).
– Rights visibility: Provides more information about content usage rights to your users.
– Error granularity: Provides clearer and more helpful error messages to users.
– Easier deployment: Rapidly develop support for Microsoft PlayReady in new mobile devices.

· Multiple Distribution Options
Microsoft PlayReady supports many different options for distributing content:
Basic and progressive downloads: Content can play while downloading.
Streaming: Content can be streamed to devices.
Side-loading: Content can be synced from a PC to a mobile device supporting Microsoft PlayReady.
Direct License Acquistion over the air: Content and license can be provided directly to a mobile handset over wireless networks.
Super-distribution: Content sent over user-to-user distribution channels, such as e-mail, multimedia messaging services (MMS), informal WiFi networks, and Bluetooth, can be monetized by providers.

PlayReady PC Runtime v2.3 (x86) Windows 8 Consumer Preview

PlayReady PC Runtime v2.3 (x64) Windows 8 Consumer Preview

You can later get the direct download and torrent links of Windows Consumer Preview on the Downloads page of this blog .

“Breaking News”: Skype Beta now available for Windows Phone

The long wait for Skype on Windows Phone is finally over. Just minutes ago, Microsoft announced the new Skype Beta app for Windows Phone. Skype app will be available on all leading smartphones running Windows Phone OS. According to Microsoft, the gold app will be available sometime in April.

Users can directly download the app and test it on Windows Phone. You can also get it at Windows Phone Marketplace for free.

Skype app for Windows Phone

You can watch the video here on how the Skype works on Windows Phone.

What’s in store in the Consumer Preview

Sources close to Microsoft confirms that Windows 8 Build 8250 is the final Consumer Preview that we will be getting at the end of this month. A Chinese website has recently posted some cool screenshots of the build.

PC Settings aka Control Panel



Picture Password


Windows Store

Games in the Store

Download progress

Category page

Category page

There are new additions on the list of games and applications that are present in the Consumer Preview but we didn’t know if the initial list of applications, which you can find here and here, will be included in the public build.

Stay tuned.


SkyDrive and Windows 8: Files, apps and devices integration in the Cloud

With a few days left before the much awaited Consumer Preview release, Microsoft, on their latest Windows 8 blog, showcase another feature on how our apps, files and documents can be accessed across Windows 8 PCs and phones. The software giant has made a big leap in improving its Cloud service we know as SkyDrive. This service exists as part of the Windows Live. With Windows 8, SkyDrive team will be focusing on the personal needs of the people using the service. The Windows Team has detailed major goals in developing the SkyDrive for Windows 8:

  • SkyDrive Metro style app on Windows 8
  • SkyDrive files integrated into Windows Explorer on the desktop, and
  • The ability to fetch remote files through

SkyDrive as a Metro-style app for Windows 8

SkyDrive will now be having a dedicated app in Windows 8, which according to Microsoft, will be included (as an early version) in the Consumer Preview. The Metro-style app of SkyDrive will serve as a file/photo picker across all Metro-style apps that requires the service and this will also be available via access in Share Charm and contracts.

SkyDrive Metro-style app

SkyDrive app will also be available via Share Charm and Contracts

SkyDrive on the desktop

The service will also be available on the desktop through Windows Explorer. Files and photos can be easily manage using the desktop app. Like the other apps on the desktop, users can easily drag and drop chosen files to their desired locations even offline.

SkyDrive on the desktop

SkyDrive can be easily accessed through Windows Explorer

Directly from

With the SkyDrive website, user can create his own private cloud. Files uploaded from and to SkyDrive Metro and desktop apps, can be accessed in the SkyDrive website. Most users are hesitant to use the cloud service for some security reasons. The team carefully considered this that’s why they introduce another layer of protection to make sure that files shared in the cloud will be safe and secure.

Here is the video from the Windows 8 Blog. You can read the full article here.