New Windows Phones hit U.S. stores; Revealing our big NYC surprise

New Windows Phones hit U.S. stores; Revealing our big NYC surprise

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Two new sleek and stylish Windows Phones hit AT&T stores across the U.S. today—the Samsung Focus S and Focus Flash. They join the white HTC Radar 4G introduced last week by T-Mobile.

The Big Windows Phone in Herald Squre, NYCTo celebrate the debut of our new U.S. lineup and highlight our different approach to design, we’ve done something a little crazy: We’ve constructed a 6-story Windows Phone smack in the middle of New York’s busy Herald Square.

The Big Windows Phone will feature 8 hours of live performance and digital entertainment projected on giant LED screens. The Live Tiles will be very much alive:  You’ll see games in the Games Hub, music in the Music + Video Hub, people in the People Hub. Besides just seeming like a cool thing to do, the supersized smartphone underscores our people-centered approach to building phones.

Meet our new phones

If you’ve been waiting to get a new Windows Phone, now’s the time. We have a great lineup hitting U.S. stores—all of which are capable of 4G speeds, have front- and rear-facing cameras, and come in a range of prices. Here’s the rundown:

  • HTC Radar 4G: Crafted from a single piece of polished aluminum, the HTC Radar is the only white handset in the Windows Phone lineup. $99 after $50 mail-in rebate. Learn more.
  • Samsung Focus S: Successor to the award-winning Samsung Focus, the Focus S features a brilliant 4.3” Super AMOLED Plus display—the brightest screen in the lineup—a thin 8.55-millimeter profile, and an 8-megapixel camera. $199. Learn more
  • Samsung Focus Flash: The fast and lightweight Samsung Focus Flash features a 3.7” Super AMOLED screen and 5-megapixel camera. $49. Learn more
  • HTC Titan: Coming soon from AT&T, the  HTC Titan sports a 4.7” screen—the largest in the Windows Phone lineup—an ultra-thin 9.9-millimeter design, and an 8-megapixel camera with dual LED flash.

As an added bonus, anyone who buys a phone also gets a free $25 prepaid card for shopping in the Windows Phone Marketplace, which now has more than 30,000 apps and games. So you can stock up on great apps right out of the box.

The Big Windows Phone

The celebration in New York City, meanwhile, officially kicks off at noon with a live performance—in the Music + Video tile, natch—from Far East Movement. The band, which melds elements of hip-hop, pop, electro, and dance, should make for a sweet show.

There are lots of other surprises planned throughout the day. I’ll be back later today with a full recap. Can’t wait? Ben “the PC guy” Rudolph is roaming the streets of New York with his Windows Phone (several of them, probably) providing live, on-the-scene dispatches via his Twitter account.

The official Windows Phone Facebook and Twitter channels, meanwhile, will also have updates and photos throughout the day. And you can help! If you’re in the area, give Windows Phone fans around the world a taste of what’s happening by tweeting or uploading pictures and videos to our Facebook page. The hashtags for the event are #bigwindowsphone and #wpnyc.

I’ll leave you with a video showing how the supersize smartphone was built—6 stories in 60 seconds. Back later!

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  • Wow. this is amazing. We need to get one here in Huntsville too.

  • OK, so I jsut ordered the Focus S for myself and the Focus Flash for my wife. How do I get the $25 Marketplace Card?

  • This is so cool!  How exciting to have a 6 story cell phone built right in New York.  I have AT&T and planning on going down to my nearest AT&T store to check these bad boys out.

    www.geekchoice.com

  • cm3763
    37 Posts

    Funny how you guys can mange to get events together and introduce new phones but yet you still cant get the current phones an update. No matter what you do word of mouth gets around, and the thousands of people stuck without an update are talking wp7 down. Anytime someone ask me how I like my phone, I tell them exactly what I have been through as a customer of WP7.  Waited months to receive NoDo update while everyone else got it and now the same for this update. You might want to treat your current customers right before trying to market to others. Because WE are not helping your business.

  • purevibz
    14 Posts

    how about my update this is getting crazy

  • pedah
    6 Posts

    I had a hard time signing in here on my Windows Phone, Great event, how about sending the phones to carriers world wide as well. We don't get news of them here, if you ask at a carrier shop they're like blank faced. Want to make an impact, get the phones where people can get their hands on them.

    Sent from my rare as hens teeth Windows Phone

  • Verizon where are you???? And not a lame version this time! Give us a full suite of phones to work with!

  • @ SixO-Goat

    Well at least we know they're coming. Just hang in there, and whatever you do don't settle for Android or iDroid.

  • Kwan
    1 Posts

    You need bigger place, occupy the time square plazza and set up some phone kiosk to let people try the phone. This is a great event, spread the word.

  • PeteJS
    2 Posts

    Is there a Skype App?  Is there an updated Bing Maps with Voice turn-by-turn Navigation?

  • Sheeds
    205 Posts

    Nice time to visit NYC! Wish we could get some local AUS promotion or buzz re: GEN2 handsets.  We don't even have info on who or what will be coming Down Under.  :(

    I discuss / muse over this more at Windows Phone Down Under:  www.wpdownunder.com "Editorial: One year on…Windows Phone in Australia. Quick, someone shut the gate!"

    Also - I'm not a 100% sold on a single new handset yet...and compare features for my ideal GEN2 device here in this little comparison: www.wpdownunder.com "What’s my ideal Season 2 Mango look and taste like?"

    Either way. the NYC bash looks like fun.....and there were the night-out functions with WP too....Maybe we can have an Aussie BBQ WP7 day or something :)

    Sheeds.

  • Thanks Rodney - despite my religioius daily searches for any news.  I had missed that story.  Unfortunately, it's more of the same from Sprint - absolutely nothing.

  • @ SixO -Goat

    You might want to check this out...  www.pcmag.com/.../0,2817,2395983,00.asp

  • Seriously, what is wrong with Sprint?  It is inconceivable that the Arrive is their only offering of Windows Phone.  My patience is wearing thin - I have been waiting for Windows Phone for almost 2 years, and didn't want to back track (in form factor) from my EVO to something similar in size and function to the Touch Pro 2, which I previously carried.  Help!  Does anyone know anything about this?  MS staffers, you may be my only hope - when...?

  • I meant  "Doesn't mean that they aren't looking for a high end device and aren't able to decipher smartphone specifications".

  • @ scuba,

    Also, I agree that Windows Phone would be appealing to new users who aren't comparing specs, or care about specs, and a interested more in the user experience. What I said earlier was people who aren't sold into any specific platform, but ARE actually comparing specifications side by side. In other words those who are concerned more about the hardware specifications. That's a large amount of people. :)

    And, I'm not saying that you do, but a lot of us fail to remember that just because someone doesn't have smartphone yet means that they aren't looking for a high end device and aren't able to decipher smartphone specifications. Ya know what I mean? :)

  • @ Scuba

    Every little purchase makes your bill higher and higher. Some people say "Oh it's just a buck, but I actually appreciate every dollar. And, I set a budget for everything the same way, based on necessity. But, My spending habits aren't the point. It's about finding ways to make the platform more functional for everyone. The way I think is to give ideas and let MS figure out how to implement them. That's what they are going to do anyways. The specific details at this point aren't important.

    Also, yes I feel the same way about specifications, but it's like you said, the store employees have people rapped up in dual this and quad that. Nobody's interested in how efficient WP is because MS doesn't tell anyone. So, it's about what the majority wants right now. We will only get what the majority gets because MS isn't going to be able to make devices based on individual needs. Android has it so WP Better get it if they want to increase market share, and is t's going to be hard to do this with the WP doesn't need this and that attitude because we want to be different. We should be for low end devices middle end devices and high end devices, and ideas of all kinds so that WP works for everyone, not just what suits us.

  • SPRINT NEEDS A REAL MANGO PHONE ....   Help guys, I need a new rig and the Arrive just ain't going to cut it.

  • @Rodney, I'm not entirely sold on the idea that most shop by specs, particularly new users.  What I DO believe, is that they are SOLD by specs.  In other words, the dweebs working at the carrier stores--who are some of the most ignorant, talentless people in retail, as far as I'm concerned--champion specs as if they are the solitary determinant of actual performance and satisfactory user experience.  The fact that Android REQUIRES all high-end specs to perform worth a darn is completely lost on most consumers.  Now, with some exception, I think there are specific FEATURES that people either look for or are convinced by the salesperson they need....like Siri.  I've seen a pretty significant number of reviews or other comments by folks in the industry who say that Siri messes up too much and is, frankly, a gimmick rather than useful.  When it comes down to it, they end up actually using it to the same extent that WP7.5 implements voice commands.  Usually, the big question from consumers is "will I be able to do <insert capability here>?"  The features, then, would need to be able to support the capability I seek.  If I want to be able to do Skype video calls (which are coming very soon, apparently, along with Tango [the app, not the update]) then having a front facing camera is a must.  If I want to be able to create a wifi hotspot, then internet sharing needs to be a feature (which is apparently coming to some legacy device and comes with the Focus S and the Flash).  If I want to be able to store huge amounts of media, then larger storage needs to be a feature....which, alas, doesn't exist in ANY new devices except the Fujitsu.  So, when I say that I'M disappointed with the Focus S and other new phones, it's not because of what those devices HAVE (because, honestly, they're awesome), but what they don't have that directly impacts my user experience.  Not having a dual core processor simply doesn't impact my user experience.  What most don't realize is that the way WP7 leverages the power of the GPU (much more significantly than any other OS) it is almost LIKE having a dual core, which is why it's so fast.  

    Now, in other news, I LOVE your idea for the shopping cart.  I'm not sure I see a great need for "recent" if you have the shopping cart.  Seems a bit redundant.  I'm curious why you "budget" downloads, though.  With few exceptions, most apps are free or extremely cheap ($5), and unless you've got a device with expanded memory you wouldn't be able to store THAT many apps over time anyway.

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts

    @Scuba

    The smartphone market has been made incredibly complicated by cheap android devices.  So I will say this, should my phone go belly up, I'm glad that for $50 I can basically get a replacement that's as good as/better than my Gen 1 Focus.

    I understand a few clarifications are in order: Yes I know the screen will be smaller, and yes I know there's likely to be a storage crunch, but first I only have 16gigs in my focus (I'm not as big of a space user as you) but overall it'd a decent replacement.

    I also realize this means that basically the gen 2 phones are cheaper versions of their gen 1 counterparts (although the Focus S does offer several improvements.)  It could be argued that MS needs to start getting OEMs to make phones that run the gambit from the Focus Flash to a superphone with a big screen, tons of storage, big processor (although for WP7 this one is debatable), and a huge price tag to match.  As the flash basically would meet my needs for a smart phone, I abstain from that discussion persay.

  • @ Entegy

    Do you know how fast your opinion get's lost in that forum? And there seems to be almost no feedback from the guys running it. Then, when you run out of votes it's useless. Well I have and will continue to come up with ideas and opinions, and this blog has been a real good tool towards getting the message out to the moderators. Sometimes they respond and sometimes they don't but we know that they are reading the postings. I'm just not interested in putting my opinion on some database for it to be set aside because 4,000 others don't have full access to Zune in their country. I would rather share it with you and together we can stir the pot and attract attention to our ideas.

    And, I like the Idea of the suggestion forum, I just think there needs to be separate forums for specific markets. Sure we need a consistent user experience, but you can't tailor the perfect experience and have it perfectly adapted to someone like myself who grew up in Arlington, TX and someone who's from somewhere in the middle east for example. That's just my opinion.

    So, right now you can help by telling us your viewpoint about my idea for the marketplace. ???. Anyways, thanks for looking out bro.

  • Entegy
    42 Posts

    Rodney, use windowsphone.uservoice.com for suggestions. :)

  • !! Marketplace Suggestion !!

    It would be nice if we had a "Recent" search and a "Shopping Cart" section. This would enable the user to remember what they searched for, and be able to save apps for purchase at a later date. It will also make it to where we don't have to start the search process from the very beginning every time after exiting the app. It would also benefit the developers and MS with more app downloads.

    To have the recent search, well, that's just a no brainier and it just has to be implemented.

    Personally, I set a budget for myself on the amount I download each month, and I never remember what I was searching for or what I wanted previously the next month. I should be able to go strait to my shopping cart and hit purchase that way I never miss a thing.

    Who is with me on this???

  • McHale
    29 Posts

    Leave it to AT&T to blow a perfect opportunity to promote Windows Phone. Today, New Yorker's are seeing the world's largest Windows Phone. AT&T should have said "And on Month, Day, you will be able to buy the second largest Windows Phone." or something catchy like that.  Way to go AT&T for NOT communicating the most anticipated Windows Phone in your lineup.

  • drankurn
    42 Posts

    micheal,

    we did not get any news about the focus 1.4 last week, what's going on ?

  • @ ScubaDog2011

    Yes I agree. What really was a kick in the pant's yesterday morning was that right along side the release of the Focus S&F were the new Galaxy S II Skyrocket and HTC Vivid devices which are LTE capable. So, in essence the new devices were once again given the back seat, only this time they didn't even get one day to shine.

    Now, don't you agree that most consumers, if comparing the specifications side by side, would chose the Galaxy S II Skyrocket over the Focus S? I mean most consumers who are new smartphone users.

  • Now, if only that gets featured on all the big morning shows.  And, making it a road show might be cool.  Unfortunately, for those who already have a Windows Phone the new devices aren't necessarily impressive enough to upgrade, particularly if you're on contract.  If you're going from a feature phone, I think definitely that's the market.  On the upside, that speaks of how great the OS is, that it performs so well that there's little compelling reason to put current devices down for a newer model.  I love the Focus, and understand why it was (and still is, in my opinion) the flagship.  The Nokia devices are nice looking enough, but I just don't buy into all that "unibody" crap---just doesn't impress me.  Sadly, in their desire to kick devices out the door, Nokia mostly went with first-gen specs.  And as much as I was drooling over the prospects of the Focus S, that 16GB storage stopped me dead in my tracks.  I definitely like the FFC and gyro sensor.  But, in the aggregate, I'm not enticed to spend $500 for some small steps forward and one huge step back.

  • cmwind
    71 Posts

    cool stuff... hope it is there for a long time... by long time i mean like several months... i know this is supposed to be viral BUT... needs exposure longer than a week or even two... People of NYC should be using it as a landmark or reference point... thats how viral is done... not by having it for a few days so a couple people can post some pics on fb/twitter... anyways cool idea. when is the titan coming out?

  • @ kakaharoo

    What? Please clarify. :)

  • kakaharoo
    12 Posts

    I heard there might be variants of of the Samsung Focus S & Flash that will not receive their updates in a timely fashion with the all the other new Mango devices due to a hardware changes made mid production by Samsung.  I think everyone should hold of purchasing one of these models until it is straightened out.

  • tsrblke
    327 Posts

    Clever, when you mean "in the live tile" you actually man the tiles are stages.

    Interesting.  My only hope is that people don't think that this is all the start screen realestate you get.  But I don't think that's a huge problem.

    Also this explains why not Times Square (as was asked before).  All those tents and tables in front of it wouldn't have gone over well ;).

  • Check this out!!!!  www.youtube.com/watch

  • @ taboolexicon

    ATL would be a great spot!  We got to remember this, If Android and iPhone commercials are in every living room, everyday across the country, and, MS refuses to use commercials, then they are going to have to make about 40,000,000 of these big boys.....Seriously!

    I hope they do come to ATL!

  • Wow... that sure is some 'Big' news. Hope you make this into a tour and travel the world

  • Also, this would be a great commercial opportunity. You guys could gather clips from passerbys opinions of the big phone. Talk about word of mouth advertising, this is the biggest yet. I hope the camera crew is onsite and ready.

  • I agree.  I'd love to see a nationwide/worldwide tour of this bad boy.  I'm from a small town, but I'll throw my vote in for Atlanta, GA.

  • OK. Great! lets get one of those huge phones set up here in Dallas. Dallas has a real open minded market and plenty of people that have not yet decided what smartphone to get yet. We need to keep this kind of support up, And I promise to support you guys verbally, and physically along the way.