Saturday, December 31, 2011

How To Access Windows Phone Marketplace On Not Supported Countries

Hi all. This tutorial is for the Windows Phone users there that lives on a country not currently being supported on the Windows Phone Marketplace. This is the case for me here in the Philippines. So without any further ado, here's the steps.

1. If you haven't created a Windows Live account, click here to create one. If you already have an account, click here (sign-in required) and follow the next steps.
2. Choose "United States" on the Country/region field.
3. Set-up your profile, account info, and any other stuffs that you want to add.
4. Once you have your Windows Phone, turn it on for the first time, and set-up everything.
5. If you're not asked to add your Windows Live account in the first time set-up, open Settings, then tap email+accounts, and then add your Windows Live account.
6. Launch Marketplace. Now this is where the very important step comes in. When you're asked to select your country, choose "United States"! If you have skipped this step then you will not have an access to the Marketplace!
7. The country that you will choose will be locked permanently on your Windows Live account, that's why I asked you to also choose "United States" when creating a Windows Live account.
8. That's it! Enjoy the Windows Live services on your Windows Phone. :)

By the way, even if the country is set to United States, you can go and try buying an app on your phone using your credit/debit card issued here in the Philippines. According to some sources, it works.

With this tutorial, you will also have access to other Windows Phone features that is only available at the supported countries.

Microsoft, please expand your services to many more countries! Windows Phones are now officially available here in the Philippines but the services are not! That sucks, ya know?

Nokia Ace for AT&T Windows Phone Pictures Surfaces strikes again with another leak! It says that one of Microsoft's partners, I wonder who is it, has got to excited and seems to have included the yet to be announced Nokia Ace that is headed on AT&T. The photos does not revealed too much info about the device, but we can see a front-facing camera on the top of the device, just beside the earpiece, which seems to be much wider than the one found on the Lumia 800.

The Nokia Ace is just one of the Windows Phone devices that is expected to land on the US on AT&T. The Samsung Mandel and HTC Radiant is among those devices, possibly preloaded with Windows Phone Tango.

Source: PocketNow

Friday, December 30, 2011

T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 710 Appears On eBay Ahead Official Launch

I saw an eBay listing just this morning on a T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 710 but I ignored it because it was already 5AM here and I'm already on the couch lying down. So, here's the story...

There's still 12 days left before the Nokia Lumia 710 arrives on T-Mobile. But that has not stopped an eBay seller to put up an auction on the said device. The seller claims that he/she just won the device from Nokia, or probably from T-Mobile. Right now, the current bid is at $355 and there's still 5 days left before the bidding ends. So, if you want to be the first owner of the Lumia 710 on the US of A, head on to eBay and place your bids now. The seller is also a trusted one, with 100% feedback. Another glance on the packaging below.

Smart to Launch Galaxy Nexus In the Philippines On 2012

Heya Android fans! Google's latest flagship phone, the Galaxy Nexus, will be coming here in the Philippines on 2012! Smart has just announced the news in a tweet that real demo units are now being displayed at Jump Experience Center at SM Megamall. If you don't know, the Jump Experience Center is the place to go if you want to experience the newest and latest technology.

My guess is Smart will offer plans for the Galaxy Nexus at around the same level as with the iPhone 4S.

P.S. - I'm sure the hashtag for this on Twitter will be #SmartGalaxyNexus. ;)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Get a ZTE V9 Tablet With Smart Bro

After getting your aguinaldo last Christmas, maybe you're wondering what to do, and what to get. If you want an affordable tablet for the new coming year, then you may want to check out Smart's best offering for now. You can get a ZTE V9 tablet for only P200 per month! Yes, what you only have to do is subscribe to Smart Bro Plan 999 and the ZTE V9 is yours!

The ZTE V9 is an 7-inch tablet that runs on Android 2.2, it has a 3 Megapixels camera, WiFi b/g, a 2GB microSD card preloaded that is expandable up to 32GB in case you need more space, and a 3400 mAh battery capacity.
Technical Specifications:
  • 3G UMTS - 900/1900/2100 MHz
  • GSM - 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • Battery Capacity - 3400mAh
  • Talk Time - 1200 minutes
  • Standby time - 500 hours
  • Weight - 403g
  • Size - 192mm x 110mm x 12.6mm
  • Internal Storage - 110MB user space
  • Expandable Memory-  up to 32GB microSD
  • Display - 7", 800 x 480 pixels, resistive touch.
  • Plan and Pricing Details
    Monthly fee: P999 for the postpaid plan and P200/month for the device
    Inclusive internet hours: Unlimited
    Connection: Smart Bro SIM Card
    Speed: Up to 5 Mbps
    Lock-in period: 24 months
    Application requirements: Subscriber application form, Proof of identification, Proof of address, Proof of income

    To know more about the ZTE V9 tablet on Smart, please click here. Full press release below.

    Get a ZTE V9 Tablet with Smart Bro 

    Can’t decide what to buy with your Christmas Aguinaldo? Then check out Smart Bro’s best bundle yet. For only P200 a month, you can now get your very own ZTE V9 Android tablet when you avail of a Smart Bro postpaid Plan 999.

    Tip-top tablet
    The ZTE V9 Tablet is easily the most feature-packed tablet in its class. Powered by Google’s Android mobile operating system (version 2.2 “FroYo”), this affordable slate is a great mobile Internet device that lets you view full versions of websites on its 7-inch screen. And with full WiFi and 3G connectivity plus a Smart Bro SIM, you can stream high quality videos much like you would on a laptop or your home PC.
    The ZTE V9 is also a great multimedia tablet thanks to its zippy processor and its capacitive multi-touch 480x800-pixel display. With it, you can swipe across your photo album, play games and navigate with ease.

    App the ante!
    With nearly 400,000 mobile applications or “apps” available in the Android Market, the ZTE V9 is one portable that will never get old. Choose from a variety of programs and software that will let you keep your tablet updated, such as Smart’s very own Smart Services app which includes all of Smart’s prepaid and postpaid packages.

    If you want to avail of more goodies and freebies, you can also install the “Games for Smart”, “Movies for Smart”, and “Music for Smart” apps for free. Choose from thousands of soundtracks, video clips, and online games all available on demand.

    Get the ZTE V9 today on Smart Bro Plan 999 with unlimited surfing at any Smart Store or visit for more information.
    Smart Broadband, Inc. (Smart Bro) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart).

    About Smart
    Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) is the Philippines' leading wireless services provider with 47.7 million subscribers on its GSM network as of end-September 2011. Smart has built a reputation for innovation, having introduced world-first wireless data services, such as Smart Money, Smart Load, Smart Padala and the Netphone . Smart also offers 3G and HSPA services. Its Smart Link service provides communications to the global maritime industry. Smart Broadband, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary, offers a wireless broadband service, Smart BRO, with over 1.5 million subscribers as of end-September 2011. Smart is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Philippines' leading telecommunications carrier, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company. For more information, visit

    Tuesday, December 27, 2011

    Untethered iOS 5.0.1 Jailbreak is Out!

    Hurrah! This is a great holiday gift for iOS fans out there! If you own a non-A5 device, be it an iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad, then you may now jailbreak your device on iOS 5.0.1, untethered! The Chronic Dev Team and the iPhone Dev Team has just released the untethered jailbreak for those devices, based on pod2g's work.

    So what are you waiting for? Update your device now to iOS 5.0.1 and don't forget to save your SHSH blobs! If you have un iPhone and need it unlocked, please use a custom IPSW or else it might update your baseband and you will loose the unlock!

    Compatible With:
    iPhone3GS, iPhone4, iPhone4-CDMA, iPad1, iPod touch 3G, iPod touch 4G
    redsnow 0.9.10b1 for OS X
    redsnow 0.9.10b1 for Windows

    Alternate Links:
    redsnow 0.9.10b1 for OS X
    redsnow 0.9.10b1 for Windows

    Links are not yet permanent. I will update this post once the permalinks are out!

    UPDATE: The iPhone Dev Team has provided alternate links that can support much higher bandwidths!

    Sources: (1) pod2g (2) iPhone Dev Team

    Monday, December 26, 2011

    Review: Nokia 500 - Affordable With a But

    After using the Nokia 500 for a few weeks, I'm coming up with my personal review. I'll focus on the hardware part of this device, and some key aspects on the software side on the Nokia 500.

    PART 1: Hardware

    Nokia 500's design is somewhat similar to that of the Nokia X6. It has the straight sides but also has the curvy bottoms. The screen size hasn't also changed at all. Still at 3.2-inches with 640x480 resolution, things look crisp and sharp on it. The screen is not an AMOLED one, it's just the LCD type same as on the E6. The brightness is good, but the sunlight legibility is bad. However, that's not unusual on the LCD family.

    Below the screen you will find the three buttons - the answer key, menu key, and the end call key that also serves as the power button. All three keys are under a single plastic pane. Just above the end call key is the microphone. It could have been placed below instead, it looks odd. On the top is the earpiece, and the usual Nokia logo. The bezel surrounding the screen is a little bit large, but then, the phone could have been more smaller if the bezel is also small, which will make handling much hard.

    Turning on the back, you will find the large cover in matte finish. It basically covers the whole back part of the phone itself. Just slide it out, and you can access the battery, sim card slot, and the memory card slot.You will also find the 5 Megapixels camera, and the loudspeaker. Sadly, there is no glass cover on the camera part, the back case has a hole over that part, which makes it vulnerable to scratches and dusts. The loudspeaker of the Nokia 500 is surprisingly good. It's loud, it's clear. It's a bit louder than the N9 and Lumia 800.

    On the top end of the Nokia 500, there's the 3.5 millimeter headphone jack, the microUSB port, and the 2 millimeter charging port. You can also charge the Nokia 500 using the microUSB port, which is not new to Nokia devices.

    On the bottom of the phone you'll only find the lanyard hole.

    On the right side of the phone you'll find the volume rocker, and the lock button. The buttons on the side are a little bit tiny, but they are pretty easy to reach with one-handed operation.

    On the other hand, the left side of the Nokia 500 is completely bare.

    The Nokia 500 does include a user-removable battery, a BL-4U model rated at 1110 mAh. Further inside the phone is the sim card slot and the memory card slot. Unfortunately, the memory card slot is not hot-swappable, Nokia could have just placed it on the left side of the phone.

    Again, the screen of the Nokia 500 is an LCD type. In this photo it shows how bright it is when indoors, and also how bad is the sunlight legibility when outdoors. The screen reflects too much light on it, making things displayed on it hard to see.

    PART 2: Software

    Before you read the details below, you may want to take a look at my Symbian Anna review on the E6. It's still basically the same. Below is just some additional things to note about the Nokia 500 in terms of software part.

    Software... The Nokia 500 has a lot of drawbacks in the software side. Let's take them one-by-one.

    Sluggish Performance
    Despite having a 1GHz processor, the OS feels really slow on the Nokia 500. I don't know if the firmware or the processor itself has to do with this. What's more is that the Nokia 500 is stuck on a 256MB of RAM. You will also notice some lags when playing videos.

    No GPU
    Another major setback for the Nokia 500 is the absence of the 3D hardware accelerator. That means HD games is off of your list in here. Sorry, you can't play Angry Birds or other HD games on the Nokia 500. The Gravity, a Twitter client, even lags when scrolling up and down.

    Limited Apps Availability
    No I'm not talking about the lack of paid apps here in the Philippines, that issue is now solved and you can now buy apps here. What I am talking about is the limited availability of apps, mostly games, for the Nokia 500. This is well because of the lack of GPU.

    PART 3: Camera

    The 5 Megapixels camera of the Nokia 500 is not on the good side. It's an EDoF camera, with no LED flash. Photos taken on this device is not that good when shooting in the night time. However, I found one rather interesting option on the Nokia 500's camera interface. Tap on the "self portrait" icon on the side and it will make the virtual shutter key waaaay bigger, so you can easily capture self portraits. Pretty nifty feature for the girls out there eh? :)

    Anyway, I'll get the Nokia 500 sample photos on my Flickr account. Just visit this set and I'll upload them there.

    PART 4: Users' Questions

    I relied on Facebook on getting user's feedback/questions regarding the Nokia 500 so they can decide on whether to get a Nokia 500 or not. Here's some of the questions.

    Does it have TV-out support?
    Nope. The Nokia 500 does not support the TV-out functionality, probably because of the lack of the GPU that will provide extra powers that is needed to mirror on what is displayed on the screen.

    Does it have a close-up (macro) mode on camera?
    Another no. The Nokia 500 does not have an auto-focus camera that is required in taking close-up (macro) photos. It only has an EDoF camera similar on what is found on Nokia 701, 700, 603, E7, X7, C7, and C6-01.

    Does it support USB on-the-go?
    Not again. The shape of the USB on-the-go plug does not fit in the Nokia 500's microUSB port.

    Does it have subtitle support on the video player?
    I just tried loading a small video along with a subtitle on the Nokia 500, but subtitles seem to be not supported. I'm not sure if future updates will enable that feature.

    Does it have GPU? Can you play HD games on it?
    Yes. As I have already stated in the Part 2 of my review, the Nokia 500 does not have any GPU on board. Thus, no HD games available. I tried installing Angry Birds to verify this one, and yes, it does not launch.

    Will it receive the Nokia (Symbian) Belle update?
    Yes. Nokia has already confirmed that the Nokia 500 users will get the Nokia (Symbian) Belle update by Februray 2012. [source]

    Is the speaker loud enough?
    Yes the speaker of the Nokia 500 is loud, even louder than what's on the Nokia N9 and Lumia 800.

    PART 5: Others / Summary

    Now that you've read my review for the Nokia 500. It's your time to decide. Let me help you on that.

    - Symbian Anna OS with Nokia (Symbian) Belle update due on February 2012
    - Affordable at sub P10k
    - Small and compact, easy to carry
    - Loud and good speaker
    - Full connectivity suite, 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth
    - Bright screen
    - Good battery life, can last up to 1 - 1.5 days of light to moderate use

    - Bad sunlight legibility for the screen
    - No Gorilla Glass display, so this is a no-scratch-proof one
    - Memory card is not hot-swappable
    - Bad camera performance when indoors
    - No GPU
    - Limited RAM
    - Limited apps and games can be installed
    - Noticeable lag on the OS

    So should I recommend this thing? Sort of. At the same price range, there are many competitors out there with almost the same or even better specs. But if you're really up for this one, go ahead. :)

    If you want to know more about the Nokia 500, please click here. The Nokia 500 retails for P8,850 at Nokia Stores nationwide.

    Thank you Nokia Philippines for providing us this review unit. Happy New Year! :)

    Nokia Carmode Now Available at Nokia Store

    Nokia Carmode was announced last September for Nokia Belle devices. It makes using phone features much easier, like calling, playing music, and of course, navigation!

    Yesterday, it was made available at Nokia Store for free. At the moment, Nokia Carmode is only available for Nokia Belle devices, no MeeGo version this time.

    The Car Mode application reduces driver distraction by making available the most relevant applications for in-car usage, such as making calls, using navigation and listening to music. 

    Nokia Store Link:
    Price: FREE

    Saturday, December 24, 2011

    The Pinoy Siri: Introducing VANGIE

    Are you an iPhone 4S user? Do you love Siri? Or do you hate Siri because she doesn't support some features? Or you just hate here because she doesn't understand you? Well... meet Vangie - The Pinoy Siri, by MacApuno Systems.

    Vangie will understand you, from asking "Vangie, ano weather today?", to asking her "Vangie call my girlfriend." and she will reply with usually quirky and funny notes. I just hope that Vangie is real. But I see no reasons for it to be fake. Let's just watch the video below.

    I would love to see Vangie on Cydia soon... Vangie has already gone viral on Facebook and Twitter today. At the time of writing, Vangie is the 4th trending topic on Twiter.

    Vangie, kailan ka namin puwedeng madownload sa Cydia?

    Friday, December 23, 2011

    Unboxing: Nokia Lumia 800; First Impressions

    I just got my hands on the twin of the Nokia N9... Introducing, the Nokia Lumia 800! Welcome to the Philippines! You don't know how much I am excited to get my hands on this! And now, just as what I do when I receive a phone, the unboxing!

    The shape of the box of the Nokia Lumia 800 is just almost the same on the retail box of the N9 and X7. But the design of Lumia 800's box is quite different. It has a panoramic image of the device spread on the sides of it. Let's just take at the photos, they'll speak for themselves, shall we? :)

    Fun thing to note here. This sticker usually contains the IMEI, and many other 'numeric' stuffs here, but I stumbled upon a text that reads "NOKIA WORLD 2011". I think Nokia wants people to remember on when did this phone was announced. Nokia World 2011 is probably a milestone for them. :D

    Pretty much the same with the N9 and X7, the device will greet you first once you've slide it open.

    The Lumia 800... Yum! The Lumia 800 has the same design as the N9. When I say the same, it is exactly similar.

    Whilst the N9 did not have a physical camera shutter key, Microsoft lists it as a requirement. So Nokia has added one. The volume keys, power key, and the camera key is not as lousy as the ones on the N9. I wonder what happened on the N9. Or maybe it's just on my review unit.

    Another difference between the Lumia 800 and the N9 is the relocated dual-LED flash. The LED flash of the Lumia 800 has been moved to the top of the metal strip that houses the camera module.

    Also same with the N9, the Lumia 800 comes with a matte case.

    Bunch of papers here. Well it's just the User Manual and the Product and Safety Information, just in different languages.

    This is the what you will see inside the box of the iPh... I mean the Lumia 800... A charger, a USB cable, and the headset.

    The Nokia Fast Charger AC-16, but just a different variant as on what I got with the N9. Silly me. LOL.

    The Nokia Charging and Data Cable CA-185CD. Just hook it up with the charger and you're good to go.

    The Nokia Stereo Headset WH-902. The number has been bumped by 1 from the headset of the N9.

    First boot! I love the ClearBlack display! Blacks are black! And the glass is curved as on the N9. Excellent job Nokia!

    And, an overview of what's inside the box. I can't believe everything fits in that small box.

    I will be reviewing the Lumia 800 in the coming weeks along with the N9, 700, and 500. Watch out for my reviews!

    The Nokia Lumia 800 is not yet available here in the Philippines, but it is expected to be released here early next year. To know more about the Nokia Lumia 800, please click here.

    A special shout-out and thank you to Nokia for providing us this review unit! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! :D
    UPDATE: Widget City is now selling the Nokia Lumia 800 for only P23,500, just in case you're itching to get one early.

    Wednesday, December 21, 2011

    Review: Windows Phone 7.5 Mango

    So yeah, I'm going to start my 2012 with the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango review. I've been using a Nokia Lumia 800 in the past weeks, and before I can write a proper review for that, let's take a look first at Windows Phone. Take note that I will be only reviewing the Windows Phone OS itself, I will review the Lumia 800 along with the apps the Nokia has added on it, i.e. Nokia Music and etc.

    The Metro UI

    On the first boot of the Windows Phone, you will be directly presented with the Start screen. The Start screen contains the live tiles that acts as 'widgets'. The live tiles are dynamic. They show any notifications, if available, or other latest information that is associated with an application. For example, on the People tile, it shows the thumbnails of your contacts, if synced on your social networks, or if you've manually added a photo. Swipe to the left and you will see the list of the apps. You can scroll up or down there, the list will continuously scroll. The scrolling as almost the same is on Symbian OS. There is no pagination effect here unlike on iOS.


    The Phone app/section contains all the basic phone functionality. There's the History tab where all your incoming and outgoing calls are logged. There's also a voice mail support here, though I haven't tested it because Globe Telecom does not support voice mail anymore. You can also tap the Search icon (not to be confused with the Search button, which launches Bing search) below to sort out names if the call history gets pretty long. The phone dialer is pretty basic. There's no smart dialing here, hopefully yet. The only options available is call and save.


    The People app is basically the contacts app - evolved. I said evolved because there has been tons of new features than the usual contacts app that we see! For example, you can now sync your contacts list with your Facebook or Twitter account. Although I did't synced mine because you know, I have a lot of friends on Facebook of whom I don't personally know. :D

    Tapping a contact, here I have Nokia Care, will show you the info associated with that contact. I used to only have the phone number for Nokia Care (in the Philippines) and I'm surprised that it easily pulled out all other info, i.e. Twitter handle, website, etc. Swipe to the left and you'll see "what's new". On that section you will see the latest updates of that particular contact, in this case the Twitter updates of Nokia Care. It will also show the Facebook statuses if you have it synced with the contact. And, you can also easily pin a contact on your Start screen for easy 1-click access. :)

    Apart from those, you can also view contacts that you've recently interacted with. And, last but not the least, an integrated Twitter and Facebook feeds! Hooray for this social integration!


    Windows Phone's calendar is nothing out-of-extraordinary but it works well anyway. Once you have your Facebook, Windows Live, or other email accounts set-up, it will pull in all of your calendar entries and put it there. I was surprised to see all of my Facebook friends' birthdays showing up on my homescreen. You can also turn them off in the Settings.


    I'll be only talking about the Camera app here, not the camera performance of the device I am using.

    The camera UI is pretty neat and simple. On the viewfinder mode, there's only 5 icons available, the arrow  icon which will take you to the photos you've taken, the settings icon, the zoom in/out icons, and then the video recording icon.

    The settings available for imaging mode include scenes, white balance, exposure value, ISO, metering mode, effects, contrast, saturation, focus mode, and resolution. It may look basic, it lacks some other features that we can find on Symbian such as grids, and face detection. I don't like how tap-to-focus works here because when you tap on an area on the viewfinder, it will focus there, and will immediately take a photo. On the other hand, the settings available for video mode is scenes, white balance, exposure value, effects, contrast, saturation, auto focus toggle, and the resolution. Continuous auto-focus is available, but no tap-to-focus.

    Games - Xbox Live

    The Xbox Live Hub on Windows Phone is a pretty cool feature. It works much like the Game Center on iOS, but as you know, this will be more appealing that Game Center because hey... it's Xbox that we're talking about here! There's the collection screen where you will see all of your games that you've downloaded from the Marketplace, be it an XBL title or not, it will sort it out for you. And then you can also view your Xbox Live profile if you have it. You can edit your profile, view your achievements, your friends list, and your messages. There is also the requests section, this is where you will see your invitations for multiplayer games. Finally, there's the spotlight section in which you will see the latest promotions, upcoming games, and other Xbox stuffs that you'll find interesting.


    Coming to the browser, Windows Phone obviously has the Internet Explorer 9 mobile. All you will see on the browser is the url bar on the bottom, along with the refresh/stop icon, and the more icon that will show you other options. The browser is not that good for me. It has no Adobe Flash support, and HTML 5 capability is not at it's best. Tab switching also requires three taps when it can be reduced to two. Bookmarks are called favorites, you can also pin a webpage to your Start screen that will also serve as a bookmark. Microsoft can improve the browser by moving the url bar on the top and make it go away when the user starts to scroll the page up, and a quick-access toolbar on the bottom. Sharing of webpages is also available, thru SMS, email, or on Twitter and Facebook. Default search engine is also set to Bing. An option to add more search engines are welcome.


    Oh my maps! Bing Maps is the maps service provider for Windows Phone, and... it sucks. It bloody sucks, to tell you Microsoft. No need to explain further here, just look at the images below and compare them. Bing Maps is like a work of a child. Seriously.


    The Windows Phone Marketplace maybe not as good as the App Store, but give it time. It has just started last year. The Marketplace now has over 50,000 applications available. Anyway, coming back to the Marketplace app itself, the home section of the app lists 5 categories. One for the manufacturer shop, in this case, Nokia collection, apps, games, music, and podcasts. Think of App Store + iTunes, it's Marketplace. It has everything here, not just apps but also music. There's a special section if you flick the screen to the right, sort of app of the day I think. Another cool thing on the Marketplace is that you can try an app before you can buy it. This is good to see if the app is worthy to buy, don't it? By the way, there is no carrier billing option available for Marketplace, I hope Microsoft will add such option.

    Music and Videos

    Up next is the music and videos part of the Windows Phone.

    Music and videos are all integrated on the Zune Hub. Your music, videos, podcats, radio, and the music store are there. Zune also saves all of the history of the songs and videos that you played. It even remembers the videos that you played from YouTube! :)

    There's also a section for your new music and videos that you have recently bought or synced from your computer. I do only have one rant about the music player though, there's no scrubbing support on it. Silly Microsoft.

    And lastly, you can also see the apps that have an integration to Zune Hub.


    Microsoft got it right for the email client on Windows Phone. The interface is clean, intuitive, and easy to use. There's message grouping that groups all of your sent and received mails from a single contact, there's also an unread section so you can easily go through your unread emails, and also an urgent section for the emails that needs immediate attention. There is also a very useful feature here, called Linked Inbox. If you have many email accounts to manage, Linked Inbox will come very hand for you for sure. It puts all of your emails together in one inbox. Syncing is also a breeze, it supports POP and IMAP emails.


     Another great feature of Windows Phone is the built-in Microsoft Office integration. Notes is not a separate app on Windows Phone unike on Symbian and iOS where there is a dedicated Notes app. OneNote is coming to the rescue here. Create a note on your phone and it will instantly appear on your PC or other devices such as the iPhone if you have OneNote installed on it. This comes useful if you're working on-the-go and want to resume working on it once you get home. There is also a support for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, although you can only create Word and Excel documents at the moment, with pre-loaded templates also available.


    This section is almost self-explanatory. There's the usual settings that will allow you to customize how the phone works according to your preferences. There's just room for more improvements, like better category sorting i.e. in connectivity, device settings, etc. The settings are just cluttered this time.

    Microsoft has also included all of the settings for each built-in application. There's also a dedicated settings for the background tasks handling, as you know, Windows Phone 7.5 currently does not have the real multitasking.

    Bing Search

    Windows Phone has 3 mandatory buttons for each and every phone. That's the back button, the Windows button (or Start button), and the search button. The search button works in a quite different way. When you press it, the Bing search will appear. You can search the web using the search field on it, or try searching in other ways using the 3 icons below. There's the Bing music search that works similarly to Shazam which will identify the song that's currently playing. 

    There's also the Bing Vision search, the works in a similar way to Google Goggles. It can look for QR codes, DVDs and CDs, books, and Microsoft Tags. It can also scan and search texts.


    For my wrap-up, I can say that Windows Phone is good. But not good enough - yet - to compete with the Android phones out there and the iPhone. It needs many improvements that I will try to list below.

    What Windows Phone Needs:
    - Real multitasking support: The current implementation of multitasking is not good, not even par on iOS' way of multitasking, and more over not par with Symbian's.
    - Proper screen orientation settings: Windows Phone is primarily aimed for a portrait use. But some apps just rotate landscape and it's very annoying! For example, when I'm on the People app's main view, it does not rotate sideways, but when I start to select contacts and open them, it will rotate unknowingly!!
    - Better integration with PCs: This is a Windows Phone. It's made by Microsoft. When I connect it to a Windows PC, there is no drop and drag. What the hell??! And the fact the it needs Zune to sync photos, music and videos is not really good. I don't like it. Why not make syncing of Windows Phones a built-in feature on the next Windows version, the Windows 8? Drop the need for Zune, and make all operations buttery smooth. Take a look on iTunes and Mac.
    - Developers, developers, developers: I want Instagram on Windows Phone. That means Microsoft needs to attract more developers for the Windows Phone Marketplace. It currently has about 50,000 apps but not all of them are quality ones.
    - Slightly more open access: You know it - sideloading of homebrew apps, etc etc.