Nokia Lumia 800 and 710 Windows Phones in New Zealand

At Nokia World last night (New Zealand time), Stephen Elop and the Nokia team announced two new phones:

The phones will be available in November in Europe, with a rollout to other markets early next year. The Windows Phone Blog has all the juicy details, with the key numbers being €420 for the Lumia 800 and €270 for the Lumia 710.

Lumia for New Zealand?

Here’s some hard facts that help us speculate about New Zealand availability for these devices:

  • Vodafone Group will approve the 800 and 710 for their network. This normally means no further testing is required for Vodafone New Zealand.
  • The 3G bands on the Lumia 800 are fine for either Vodafone or Telecom.
  • The 3G bands on the Lumia 710 are specific to Vodafone only.
  • The N9 released in Europe at around €550 to €600, which translated to a New Zealand price of $999 off-plan.

What follows is rampant speculation, but based on the above, some history, and the N9, I think we can expect the following:

  • We won’t see these phones on official release in New Zealand until January at the earliest. More likely Feburary. Parallel importers will hopefully have them in December.
  • Vodafone will be first to market with the devices. I doubt Telecom will carry them at all.
  • Pricing will be high. Nokia smartphones have traditionally carried a premium in New Zealand – remember when Nokia priced the E7 at $1399?
  • I’d expect to see the 800 at around the same pricepoint as the N9 ($999) with the 710 priced around the $600-$700 mark.
  • I wouldn’t be entirely surprised to see ONLY the 710 in market. Vodafone have not brought in any “premium” Windows Phones, opting to sell only the HTC Trophy. They may do the same with Nokia, but I hope not.

So what do you think?

Unrelated

Here’s why we need Nokia Windows Phone (and their awesome mapping app) in New Zealand so badly:



Android Hates Users

Tested.com has a nice rundown of all the different button layouts and a discussion on what might constitute the best layout. One of the comments goes on to say:
[quote]I have the Droid 1 and my girlfriend has the Droid 2. The back button and menu button are switched on the two phones. Every single time she tries to use my phone she ends up exiting a program by accident for this reason.[/quote]

Lots of people call me an  Android hater. I have my reasons. Chief among them is Google’s utter disrespect for consistency and user experience.

Here I have a composite image of Google’s new “flagship” Nexus S (top) and the Samsung Galaxy on which the Nexus is based. Notice anything different?

I’ll help you out: every single hardware button is in a different place. Every. Single. Button.

But hey guess what! The Nexus S has Near Field Communications! NFC! You can use it right now for all sorts of cool stuff like … ummm … actually no, it’s of no use whatsoever.

The case of the mysterious backwards HTC Trophy

Check this out. Here is a normal looking, if a bit dirty HTC Trophy:

trophy-full

But, on close inspection, under the right light, you’ll shit bricks (click the images to embiggify):

trophy-backbutton trophy-searchbutton

Yes, that’s right, it appears the screen glass has been put on backwards, and the semi-transparent overlays for the hardware buttons are now back to front. It took me ages to capture these images (I had to carefully add fingerprints, and the lighting has to be perfect), and it’s something I only barely noticed in passing.

Very interesting. I wonder if this is one-in-a-million, like those inverted postage stamps? Does your Trophy look like this?

HTC Goes Forking Crazy: HTC Desire HD, new HTC Sense, and HTCSense.com

Android’s open approach allows OEMs to muck about with the UI and functionality, and the kings of muckings-about are HTC. They stick their indisputably sweet “Sense” UI over top of Android, and have just announced a brand new version of Sense, with a device and a website to back it up. The most interesting bit is perhaps HTCSense.com, a website that allows you to customise, contact, and access the content  on their phones via the web.

But hey, don’t listen to me, here’s the Australian PR company telling you all about it (no idea if/when it will be available in New Zealand):
[quote]

HTC UNVEILS HTC DESIRE HD WITH NEW HTC SENSE AND HTCSENSE.COM

Sydney, Australia – 27 October, 2010 – HTC Corporation, a global designer of smartphones, today unveiled a new HTC Sense experience with the new Android-based smartphone – HTC Desire HD. The HTC Desire HD will be available from early November 2010 exclusively on Vodafone and 3 mobile.

“The HTC Desire HD includes the new version of HTC Sense which introduces a number of key innovations including a series of connected services called HTCSense.com, that broadens a user’s mobile experience,” said Anthony Petts, Sales and Marketing Director ANZ, HTC Corporation. “The HTC Desire HD’s sleek unibody design offers a stunning visual experience and window to your news, friends, photos, favourite places, and video content. It’s perfect for those who want a great multimedia and web experience, interacting, connecting and sharing with friends.”

“The HTC Desire HD is one of the most highly anticipated Android smartphones this year, and will give customers an even simpler and more amazing experience,” said Ross Parker, General Manager Devices and Pricing, Vodafone. “Available to our Vodafone and 3 customers, we expect the HTC Desire HD, with its stunning features and multimedia performance, along with a competitive price point to be one of the hottest Android devices this Christmas.”

HTC Desire HD

The first smartphone to be powered by the new 1GHz Qualcomm 8255 Snapdragon processor, its bright 4.3” super LCD display, coupled with Dolby Mobile and SRS virtual sound, 720p HD video recording and an 8-megapixel camera with dual-flash, means the HTC Desire HD is designed for optimal enjoyment of outstanding multimedia content. Building on the unibody heritage of the HTC Legend, the HTC Desire HD is sculpted from a single block of solid aluminium and embodies the quality and innovation that HTC is known for. Busy professionals will also appreciate the new HTC Fast Boot feature that significantly cuts short the power-up sequence, allowing users to quickly respond to emails and calls the moment their planes touch down.

HTC Sense

The new HTC Sense experience offers a variety of enhancements that improve how people capture, create, share and access multimedia content. Shoot videos in HD, edit photos using a host of fun camera effects, and then share photos and videos directly to YouTube or to your big screen TV via DLNA. The new HTC Locations offers a differentiated online mapping experience that delivers instant, on-demand mapping without download delays.

HTC Sense also includes a new integrated online e-reading experience that comprises an e-book store powered by Koboä and a mobile-optimised e-reader which allows users to highlight, annotate and quickly search for definitions or translate unfamiliar terms.

HTCSense.com

With the new HTCSense.com service, people can simply manage their mobile phone experience from their HTC phone or personal computer. For example, people can easily locate a missing phone by triggering the handset to ring loudly, even if it is set to silent, or to flag its location on a map. If the phone has been lost or stolen, users can remotely lock the phone, forward calls and texts to another phone, send a message to the phone to arrange its return or even remotely wipe all personal data from it. HTCSense.com makes it easy to setup a new HTC phone or access archived mobile content such as contacts, text messages and call history from a PC browser. People can also customise their phones with exclusive HTC content like wallpapers, HTC scenes, sounds or plug-ins.

Availability and Pricing
HTC Desire HD will be available for $0 upfront on Vodafone’s $59 promo offer over 24 months (min total cost $1416)¹. The device will be available through Vodafone from early November and launch dates to follow soon on 3 mobile.

About HTC
HTC Corporation (HTC) is one of the fastest growing companies in the mobile phone industry. By putting people at the center of everything it does, HTC creates innovative smartphones that better serve the lives and needs of individuals. For more information about HTC, please visit www.htc.com.

About Vodafone Hutchison Australia
Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) is Australia’s fastest growing mobile provider, operating the Vodafone, 3, and Crazy Johns brands. Formed in June 2009 following a merger between Vodafone Australia and Hutchison 3G Australia, VHA provides mobile services to over 7.4 million customers in Australia. http://www.three.com.au & www.vodafone.com.au

¹: Approved customers only. Offer ends 25/11/2010 (unless extended). Offer available to new customers who sign up to a Vodafone $69 Contract Cap over 24 months. Minimum monthly spend is $59 for months 1-24. From month 25 onwards, if you remain on this Plan, minimum monthly spend is $69 per month. Early exit fee: $69 x months left on contract. Offer will be applied as a $10 credit to your Vodafone mobile bill each month for the first 24 months of your contract. $10 credit may be used towards included services only. Any charges for additional or excluded services will still apply. Not available with any other offer, not transferable and not redeemable for cash.”

# # #
The names of companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks
of their respective owners.[/quote]

Windows Phone 7 On Sale Tomorrow

If you want to be first in the world to buy a Windows Phone 7 phone, you can do so from 12:01am tomorrow (21st October 2010) on Vodafone’s website. The HTC Trophy will be your only option to start with.

If you can handle waiting a little bit longer, Vodafone and Microsoft will park a mobile showroom in Auckland’s Aotea Square from 7am. Phones will be on sale from 8am, and then in “selected” Vodafone stores from midday.

I’ll be there with bells on.