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May 11, 2012

The Wrap: Samsung Omnia M, sunny Lumia news, et tu Siri?

Here are my favorite Windows Phone stories of the week. What about you? Drop me a comment and let me know what’s on your mind.

Samsung launching Omnia M in Europe

Samsung has been busy lately. On Monday they unveiled the Focus 2, a $50 Windows Phone headed to AT&T on May 20 (check out Ben Rudolph’s hands-on review of this slick-looking phone). But it wasn’t Samsung’s final Windows Phone surprise this week.

Today the company also announced the Omnia M, a new Windows Phone initially headed for Europe. The Omnia M sports a four-inch AMOLED display and a “minimalist, compact” design. As CNET reports, it also comes with some neat social features including Family Story, a cloud-based service that lets families swap messages, videos, and photos, and ChatON, a cross-platform chat and messaging app.

The new Omnia M from Samsung will be launching first in Europe.

Can you see me now?

Cell phone call quality understandably gets a lot of attention from engineers and shoppers alike. But the reality is that many people these days spend more time looking at their smartphone than talking on it. That raises the question: Which smartphone screen is easiest on the eyes, especially outdoors?

The folks at DisplayMate Technologies, a firm specializing in measuring and calibrating display screens, decided to investigate. Their conclusion? As The Verge reported this week, the Nokia Lumia 900’s screen was the most legible in strong indirect sunlight, edging out the iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy S, and other popular models. Chalk it up to Nokia’s ClearBlack Display technology. If you’re curious how that works, check out this nice explainer on Nokia Conversations, the company’s official blog.

The Lumia 900's ClearBlack Display screen is the easiest to see in strong indirect sunlight, according to a new study.

Looking for the perfect Mom’s Day gift? Try Windows Phone, says People

Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Graduation Day are all just around the corner, and you know what that means: Yep, it’s gift guide season. And we’ve noticed that Windows Phone is showing up on many of them. People magazine featured Nokia’s Lumia 900—a phone mom-to-be Kourtney Kardashian has taken a shine to—in its Mother’s Day gift guide. Family Circle, meanwhile, recommended the Lumia 710 as the perfect choice for dads and grads. Playboy magazine this month also singled out Windows Phone and the Lumia 900 as one of its hot buys of the spring—but you’ll have to go look that one up yourself.

Hot apps: Gerbil Physics, Home Depot, iStunt 2, WeeMee, SniperBoy

Microsoft’s Laura Foy yesterday posted her latest Marketplace favorites—including the Xbox LIVE title iStunt 2, my current addiction. Take a look.


New apps on the way for Lumia phones

Here’s one more reason to pick up one of Nokia’s  award-winning Lumia handsets: The company announced this week that a slew of hot new apps are on the way for the phone, including Angry Birds Space. Nokia Conversations has the full story on the title lineup, some of which will be exclusive to the phone. Which ones are you most excited about?

New exclusive titles on the way for Nokia Lumia handsets.


And finally: Et tu Siri?

Last month Apple’s beloved co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak heaped praise on Windows Phone, calling his new cyan Nokia Lumia 900 “beautiful” and his second-favorite phone after his iPhone (c’mon, what did you expect the guy to say?).

Well, now the iPhone itself has weighed in. As WMPowerUser reports today, if you ask Siri, the iPhone’s built-in “intelligent personal assistant,” what the best cell phone ever is, this is her data-driven reply.

According to WMPowerUser, here's what happens when you ask the iPhone's Siri what the best cell phone is.