“Vote for Me”

Dear friends,

If you have time, please vote for me on Microsoft Lumia’s latest ‪#‎LumiaChallenge‬! Please follow the link below and you’ll see the “Vote Now” button under my name/entry. If you’re on mobile, the “Vote Now” link appears after my “Entry Description” (below)

#LumiaChallenge: “A Day in the Life”

Thank you!


#Windows10: A true #ninja riding a T.Rex

A true ‪#‎ninja‬ riding a TRex! ‪#‎Windows10‬ ‪#‎Ninjacat‬ ‪#‎UpgradeYourWorld‬ ‪#‎UpgradeYourDay‬ ‪#‎BestWindowsEver‬ ‪#‎MicrosoftFanboy‬ ‪#‎Technology‬ ‪#‎Tech‬ ‪#‎TechToday‬ ‪#‎Naruto

A true ‪#‎ninja‬ riding a TRex! ‪#‎Windows10‬ ‪#‎Ninjacat‬ ‪#‎UpgradeYourWorld‬ ‪#‎UpgradeYourDay‬ ‪#‎BestWindowsEver‬ ‪#‎MicrosoftFanboy‬ ‪#‎Technology‬ ‪#‎Tech‬ ‪#‎TechToday‬ ‪#‎Naruto

Hands-on with the Nokia Lumia 925

Hands-on with the Nokia Lumia 925

Lock-screen automatically pulled-off from my Facebook cover. Another unique feature of Windows Phone 8 OS.

Ever think on making a switch but you are not familiar with the device well enough? Basically, walking inside on your local smartphone store would only allow you to have few swipes and taps on the device and that’s it – there was no real test.  That has been addressed by Nokia via their unique “Trial Programme” that is not present on their competitors.  They will let you trial the device of your choice (depending on the device’s availability) for 2 weeks and from there, they expect you to finally make a switch.  My first generation Samsung Focus Windows Phone died few weeks back and apparently there’s a Nokia Lumia 925 device available for trial so I was really happy and excited when friends from Nokia contacted me for the trial opportunity.

Getting Started with #MoWithLove and Nokia Refocus
You can laugh at me but the very first photo I’ve taken with the device was a “selfie” one for the #MoWithLove campaign of Nokia. This is not just a random thing though, if you are not familiar, “Movember” (a portmanteau of moustache and November), is an annual month-long event in which men around the world grow moustaches to raise awareness on men’s health issues such as prostate cancer, and other male cancers and associated charities. Quick note, apart from being a “Devices & Services” company, Nokia actively supports various social projects that covers education, sustainable environment and women empowerment projects among others and they too, recently responded to Haiyan victims. Back on the business, luck was on my side as the Nokia Refocus app was also released the day I received the device. I played around on the Refocus app but I opted to play more with the “Color Pop” sub-feature. What’s good about this app is that you can shoot your photo, save it then refocus everything later, the same principle applies to the color pop.

I’ve already heard so many good things about the low-light photos shot from Nokia Lumia with PureView Technology camera but having a first-hand experience is another thing. I was really impressed with the low-light photos I’ve taken from my Lumia 925 trial device. I suggests don’t ever use flash except on extremely dark places, let the LED flash handle everything. As pictured below, I was chasing Yuno, the cat to go into a dark place for this test and I succeed, he went into hiding under and then I had this innocent shot of him. More low-light photos after the break.

Sports Mode
I haven’t heard so much about the “Sports Mode” so this one is worth noting. I’m sure it happened to a lot of us when we are on the road and seen the beautiful sunset. It is not a problem when you are on your own car but what if you are travelling on a public transportation? You can’t just tell the driver to stop because you want to snap the sunset. This is where the “Sports Mode” comes in, and to make it even more exciting, I had it “reversed”. Technically speaking “Sports Mode” is meant for fast moving objects but in this case, I am the one that’s on the move while in a public bus. I nevertheless took the chance and I was blown away by the result. These photos were taken via “Sports Mode” and again, with flash off. At first, I was a bit hesitant with the LED flash since I’m taking shots through a glass window and it might reflect on the photos. Apparently, I was wrong, I’ve got outstanding photos.

Taking full advantage of the Nokia Camera
See the details of the ladders? And this was taken at night with just an 8.7MP shooter. Imagine if it’s the Nokia Lumia 1020 with 41MP shooter. Now, I played a little bit on the f-stop, exposure time and ISO speed to take fully advantage of the Nokia Camera app. The one on the left was set at f/2 stop; 1/14secs exposure time and ISO set at 800 respectively while the second picture was set at f/2 stop; 0.88secs exposure time and ISO to just 100. The first picture was fine and bright basically because of the ISO speed but the second image if not identical, was closer to the actual paint color of the tower.

That Fountain that Blows
Heck, I won’t let this trial end without trying this. If you’ve done this before via your beloved DSLR, then you can do it also here on Lumia 925, again, by taking advantage of the Nokia Camera app and full access to WB, f/stop; exposure time; focus and ISO speed. Achieving these shots however requires a lot of patience if you are new with this feature. The first few photos were taken daytime so I don’t have to tweak that much as I already knew what would be my shutter’s speed and all. But those shots at nightfall was really a challenge because you have to consider your surrounding and I guess these can be classified also as a “low-light” photos plus catching high speed images of running water.

Then Comes the Cinemagraph
This exclusive app for Lumia lines lets you capture photo and create movie-like animation. The latest update on the app bring HD support, cross-fading transitions and color pop features on your photo. Let’s see how it goes… (Click on the image for hires version)

Nokia Cinemagraph
NOKIA Cinemagraph! #Anilao @nokia @nokiaus @nokia_connects @nokiapilipinas #Lumia925

Oh Panorama!
You can basically take up to 5 photos then the app will put them together for you in a breath-taking panorama view! This requires a little bit of patience and if you’re shaky, don’t worry because of the OIS (optical image stabilization) feature (that’s also present on video recording) will help you stabilize your shots. Based on my experience and from the angle/position where I’m in when I took 5 photos max, it equates to almost 180-degrees turn. I will let the photos speaks for themselves!

Not just an “Action Shot”
“Action Shot” became an overnight hit when it launched on PureView-powered Lumia devices and the creativity (output) from different Lumia users was overwhelming with their stunning action shots. Now to differentiate from everybody else, I utilized the “action shot” to create an illusion that one may actually think that my subject (HA! Did I just called my sister a test subject?) are triplets. Whether you admit it or not and if I am totally stranger to you, and viewing my action shot photo outside of my Nokia review – you would think that they are indeed “triplets”. Well they’re not. I made it looked like the three of them are holding each other’s hand. And this is the beauty of “action shot” feature. There’s a lot to enjoy with this feature.

Favorite Photo
Ultimately, the sunset was my favorite shot throughout this 2-week trial period. Taking outdoor photos work like a charm too leaving the settings in to “Auto Mode”. Head past break for more photos!

But Nokia Lumia wasn’t all about (GREAT) photos
Indeed, HERE suite may arrived a little bit late from the party but it is one promising navigation app that is definitely “HERE” to stay for a long time. The beauty about this app is that it works even on offline mode (yep, you won’t be needing active data or wifi connection). One of the biggest question for me though was, yes, it works really well based on the review but these reviewers resides on “more developed/advanced” territories like the US/UK where “mapping technologies” are way advanced than ours. But that was immediately addressed when I took HERE Drive on road test on my way home. With HERE Drive on the go – it’s effortless! It will tell you turn-by-turn navigation with a voice command. The GPS was so accurate that when I took the flyover bridge, it exactly displays the same thing on HERE where I actually am — on the center of the intersection! Going to work the next day was a tricky one because obviously there are several routes that you can take depending on your preference. Initially, it displays the most common route; but the moment I took the flyover bridge and HERE realized this, the direction was immediately changed to the path that I am currently in, really impressive! I also used HERE Drive back in the province and the result was also commendable.

Final thoughts
The Nokia Lumia 925 is a very powerful device that can be at par or even surpass its competitors. Taking the full advantage of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 OS that features resizable and “Live Tiles”; intuitive UI design; built-in Office and cloud service via SkyDrive; the Nokia Lumia 925 also boasts an 8.7MP PureView; lens by Zeiss; dual-LED flash, Optical Image Stabilization and exclusive apps like City Lens (another cool and very reliable app!), Creative Studio, Cinemagraph, HERE suites and MixRadio. Popular apps like Vine, Waze, Mint, Flipboard and Instagram BETA are already available via the Windows Phone Store so don’t be an outsider and make the switch now! The Holiday Season is just around the corner so go visit your local store and get Lumia 925 for you, your family and friends, highly recommended!

Here’s hoping that friends from Nokia will let me review the beastie Lumia 1020 with 41MP PureView; the Lumia 1520 which was announced last October 22nd at Nokia World: Abu Dhabi along with their first ever tablet, the Lumia 2520. Special thanks to Paul, Laura, Denise and the whole Nokia Connects Team for making this trial possible.

More trial photos!

Instagram finally made its debut on Windows Phone

Instagram finally made its debut on Windows Phone

Instagram finally made its debut on Windows Phone

Widely popular photo sharing app Instagram finally made its much-awaited debut on Windows Phone. The (half-baked) app basically replicates the IU design present on iOS and Android. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to upload and play videos but Instagram was quick to note that the app is currently on BETA version.

Really? Who told them to release a half-baked app? I mean, the Windows Phone community already waited long enough for the official app. We wouldn’t mind waiting another month or so but give us the solid experience. I won’t even dwell on comparing Instagram and 6tag. I just can’t imagine the number of Instagram developers working on the app versus Rudy Huyn himself.

Nevertheless, it’s good news that the official app is now on Windows Phone. The app’s absence on Windows Phone is a deal breaker for some consumers and hopefully, this will finally close that gap.

Here’s my first post via the official app!

The official (and half-baked) @instragram app for @WindowsPhone is now available @nokia #smh #halfbaked

The official (and half-baked) @instragram app for@WindowsPhone is now available @nokia #smh#halfbaked

Microsoft launches next generation Surface tablets arrives on October 22

Next generation Surface tablets arrives on October 22

Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. Image (c) Microsoft

Microsoft on Monday announced their next generation Surface tablets – the Surface 2 (the second generation of the Surface RT) and Surface Pro 2. Armed with a Quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor, Surface 2 also improved its battery life by 25% (now up to 10hrs vs 8hrs of Surface RT). Camera resolution has also increased and improved for low-light performance with a 3.5 MP front camera and 5MP rear camera both capable of capturing 1080p video. It is also slightly thinner and lighter than Surface RT and runs Windows RT 8.1.

Powered by Windows Pro 8.1, Surface Pro 2 on the other hand, offers the portability and simplicity of a tablet when you want it and the power and flexibility of a laptop when you need it. Armed with 4th generation Intel® Core™ i5 Processor, the new Surface Pro 2 delivers increased performance and improvements with 60% 75% more battery life. Both tablets also features a deeper angle on its kickstand.

As a bonus, Microsoft is offering 200 GB of free SkyDrive storage for 2 years, and free Skype calls in more than 60 countries for one year to customers purchasing either Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2.

The Redmond-based company also announced new sets of accessories for these lovely devices. The all-new Type Cover 2 comes with new colors such as magenta, cyan, purple and black with quieter keys and is now backlit. The new Touch Cover 2 on the other hand is lighter, thinner and also comes with backlit keys. They also introduced a new keyboard – the Power Cover – it gives you the speed and comfort of a classic keyboard plus an extra boost on your battery life. Still counting? Well, another accessory is the Docking Station which enables you to have all those accessories linked. Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers on the other hand, was designed to connect any Surface tablet with the little help from Bluetooth so you can work on your Surface from a distance. They also announced the Arc Touch Mouse and Car Charger for Surface.

Surface 2’s starting price is US$499 while Surface Pro 2 sells at a hefty price tag of US$899. The next generation Surface arrives on October 22nd initially on 22 markets but you can now pre-order Surface here!

Introducing the Surface 2 series
Take a virtual tour of Microsoft’s new Surface 2 family, heading to retail stores Oct. 22.
Introducing Surface 2, Surface Pro 2 and new accessories
September 23, 2013
Take a virtual tour of Microsoft’s new Surface 2 family, heading to retail stores Oct. 22.
Image: Web | Print

Microsoft buys Nokia’s smartphone handset business

Microsoft buys Nokia's smartphone handset business

Microsoft buys Nokia’s smartphone handset business

Microsoft announced Monday night that it will acquire Nokia’s devices and services division. Everybody saw this news coming! It was 2011 when Nokia chose to partner with Microsoft to power up their Lumia handset devices with Windows Phone because they feared that Samsung would dominate Android. Since that partnership, rumors about Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia will likely happen — and it is happening now. Nokia on their part is the only manufacturer that fully relies on Windows Phone unlike Samsung and HTC. Nokia also accounted for a whopping 81% of all Windows devices shipped last quarter based on Kantar Worldpanel. On Microsoft’s side, they are transitioning from software to a “devices and services” company. This buyout deal will be beneficial for both companies in many ways.

Microsoft will pay 3.70 billion Euro for Nokia’s devices business ($5 billion U.S.). Microsoft will also pay an additional 1.65 billion Euro ($2.2 billion U.S.) for the rights to Nokia’s patents. All together, the deal will cost Microsoft about $7 billion U.S.

Microsoft will also take on about 32,000 Nokia employees. Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop will transfer to Microsoft too. (Elop used to work at Microsoft before becoming the Nokia CEO.)

Nokia will be hosting a live press conference at 10am CEST (4pm Manila time).

Press Release from Microsoft.
Joint Press Release from Steve Ballmer and Stephen Elop.

What do you of this buyout deal?

Nokia announces Lumia 1020 with 41MP Camera

Nokia Lumia 1020

Nokia Lumia 1020. Image (c) Nokia

Nokia announces Lumia 1020, the beastie device and undeniably the best smartphone camera yet in the market sporting a 41 megapixel (YEP) camera sensor. The Lumia 1020 allows you to simultaneously shoot both full-resolution capture (34MP to 38MP depending on aspect ratio) and an over-sampled version (5MP) that you can share on your favorite social media sites instantly.

Elop and Co. also revealed Nokia’s Pro Camera application. It offers manual control of zoom; ISO and shutter speed so you can shoot super high resolution photos, rotate, share and crop without losing quality. On the video side, you can capture sharp, detailed HD video and zoom in up to six times without sacrificing the quality and with Nokia’s Rich Recording; you can capture distortion-free, stereo sound so you can relieve the moment as if you were there again. The Pro Camera app is native to the Lumia 1020 but it will also be available for the PureView branded Lumia 920. 925 and 928 in the coming months.

While above mentioned items spells “innovations” to me, I think they could have push the game a little further by coming up with 5-inch device with Full HD 1920×1080 display; a quad-core processor and an expandable memory storage.

Nokia in 2011 chose to partner with Microsoft to power up their Lumia devices with Windows Phone OS (7.x, 8). Nokia is still struggling to make a comeback but these are testaments why the Finnish phone maker used to rule the mobile world.

Check the full specs here and see collection of trailers here. Nokia also offers a white paper that further explains the science of oversampling and is available here.

Check out this really cool info graph on “41 reasons why nothing else comes close” with the new Nokia Lumia 1020.

41 Reasons Why Nothing Else Comes Close

41 Reasons Why Nothing Else Comes Close. Infograph by Jing Zhang

Microsoft Office Mobile arrives on iOS

Microsoft Office Mobile for iOS

Microsoft Office Mobile for iOS

While people (literally) around the world awaits for the premiere of “Man of Steel”, folks at Redmond quietly launches Office Mobile for iOS. After years of speculation, Microsoft, yesterday released an Office version for iOS optimized for iPhone (ooops, sorry iPad).

The app requires a subscription license of Office through Office 365. Office Mobile is tied into SkyDrive associated with a user’s Office 365 credentials, so it is automatically in sync with your files in the cloud. Users can also open and edit file attachments from Mail and save them back to the cloud or mail them back. It also allows you to create new documents or open existing ones either by browsing folders in SkyDrive or by finding them through a recent files list which synchronizes with your recent files from desktop applications.

The app provides almost the same functionality as Office for Windows Phones devices which really comes in handy. There is no word yet for an Android version but it is safe to say that Microsoft is also leaning on that direction. And if you’re wondering where is the iPad version, that is unlikely to happen because of course, Office apps is one of the major sales push for Microsoft’s Surface tablets. It is also worth noting that Apple, as announced last week, will drop Google searches for Siri and will use Microsoft’s Bing instead for the next iOS 7 release.  Head past break for the images.

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FACEOFF: Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 at E3

Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's Playstation 4 consoles' comparison

Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s Playstation 4 consoles’ comparison

Sony came out on top on the first day of Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) Media and Entertainment Summit – the gaming industry’s annual US trade show, not by showing off a more impressive line-up of games, but by answering a few simple questions the right way

After being criticized last month that the Xbox One launch was skewed for entertainment rather than gaming, Microsoft was first to take the stage for their handful of updates including the next Halo franchise which is due next year and some titles that are exclusive to Xbox One. Xbox One will be available this November for $499. Microsoft also announced a new, slimmer version of Xbox 360 that went on sale today.

And then there’s Sony with their impressive press conference, both in terms games and hardware for their Playstation 4. While Microsoft certainly wins the number of game titles exclusive to them, Sony, otherwise, immediately won the hearts of the audience with their thunderous applause when they announced the market price for their next generation Playstation 4, which will sell for $399, a $100-dollars cheaper than the Xbox One. And to further hurt Microsoft, Sony announced that it won’t require offline gamer to “check in” online periodically and it won’t stop working if you haven’t authenticated in 24 hours. They will also impose no restrictions on DRM (Digital Rights Management) for used games, something that Microsoft has been largely criticized of.

We won’t see the “real” winner in this console battle until we see the sales figure later this year / early next year but people from Sony will definitely have a good night sleep. And of course, the show wouldn’t be complete without some live presentation hiccups *grin*. Head past break for the full presentations for both Microsoft and Sony.

Microsoft’s Xbox One Full Press Conference at E3

Sony’s Playstation 4 Full Press Conference at E3

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Man of Steel – Official Nokia Exclusive Trailer

Nokia and Warner Bros. Pictures have teamed up for a global co-marketing partnership with one of the year’s most eagerly anticipated movies: Man of Steel.

Man of Steel is presented by Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, and directed by Zack Snyder (“300”, “Watchmen”). The film stars Henry Cavill as Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Michael Shannon as General Zod, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, Kevin Costner and Diane Lane as Clark Kent’s adoptive parents, and Russell Crowe as his Kryptonian father. Man of Steel is produced by Charles Roven, Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas, and Deborah Snyder. The screenplay was written by David S. Goyer from a story by Goyer & Nolan, based upon Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster and published by DC Entertainment. Thomas Tull, Lloyd Phillips and Jon Peters are serving as executive producers.

Man of Steel, in theaters from June 14th.

©2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. MAN OF STEEL and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © DC Comics.

Sources: Nokia | MoS

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