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‘Sea Ray’ surfaces as Nokia’s first WP7 phone in leaked video

Sea Ray 1Earlier this year, the first Nokia Windows Phone 7 model concept designs were leaked, giving us a look at what we could possibly expect in October. Apparently Nokia is doing a pretty bad job keeping the unit under wraps as a Hungarian tech site claims to have a video featuring what is internally known as “Sea Ray.”

To make what looks like a leak even more embarrassing, the video opens with CEO Stephen Elop asking everyone at the meeting to put away any recording devices, as the information present was “super-confidential…and we do not want to see out in the blogosphere.” Oops.

Elop then introduced Sea Ray, the first Windows Phone 7 from Nokia. It’s Mango-based and has a Gorilla Glass protected screen, pillow-shaped back, and an 8-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash that can be used via the right-side button. If the description and images remind you of something, they should: The phone is quite similar to the just-released N9. The N9, the first and last MeeGo phone, was introduced earlier this week and the two handsets have a lot of in common – of course, aside from their operating systems. Other subtle differences include LED light placement as well as one small hardware difference: the dedicated side button for photo-taking, a WP7 requirement.

Sea Ray 2Windows recently previewed its Mango update, which was enthusiastically received and addresses many of the early criticisms WP7 received. Despite the very early leak (Sea Ray isn’t set to officially launch until October), initial feedback has been positive, and resulted in some renewed hope for the Microsoft-RIM merger. It’s almost enough to make us question the “leak.” Either way, it’s a good sign for Nokia and WP7. Check out the video for yourself below.

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Molly McHugh
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Before coming to Digital Trends, Molly worked as a freelance writer, occasional photographer, and general technical lackey…
There is no hope for Windows Phone in 2011
there is no hope for windows phone in 2011 nokia lumia 710 fp

Today, Nokia unveiled its first Windows Phone 7.5 handsets: the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710. They look fantastic, and Nokia has a consistent marketing and advertising plan, but there's one problem: Neither of them will be coming to the United States this year. They're launching all over Europe and Asia, but not here.  The reason boils down to how much control wireless carriers exert in the U.S., but no matter the politics of it, Nokia's failure to secure placement spells out the future of Windows Phone in holiday 2011: not good.
Despite the fact that Windows Phone 7.5 is pretty great, Microsoft's platform has a lot of problems. It's possible that 2012 will mark a massive resurgence for Windows Phone, but this year is a goner. Here are a few reasons why.
No flagship handsets
Since Microsoft launched Windows Phone a year ago, one thing the platform has really lacked is a flagship device, or a handset that will drive consumer interest toward the platform. There are plenty of Windows Phone 7 handsets, but none of them have garnered much attention. No company has really made the WP7 platform a strategic focus like so many companies have done with Android. The first year of Windows Phones has been marked by decent, but uninteresting devices and a lack of momentum. Where are the Windows Phones that try to compete with Android on specs and features? Where is the Windows Phone that tries to go toe-to-toe with the iPhone? Where is a Windows Phone that has tried to do anything but sit quietly behind a window? Nokia is the first manufacturer to put real energy into the WP7 platform. Its Lumia 800 has some great exclusive apps like turn-by-turn navigation and defining features like NFC integration, but it wasn't able to get a U.S. release this year. Why? Well, read on. 

No dual-core or LTE support
A year ago, Microsoft's first batch of Windows Phones were powerful, and competed with Android devices on specs. They all had 1GHz processors and touchscreens, among other things. Unfortunately, a year has changed a lot. The first dual-core Android phones were unveiled last January at CES 2011 and began to pop up on carrier shelves throughout the first six months of the year. Verizon announced its first LTE phones at CES as well. It took until summertime, but now the hottest new trends in phones are dual-core processors and LTE technology. Yet, despite knowing all about these emerging technologies, Microsoft still doesn't support dual-core processors or LTE for Windows Phones.
Unlike Android, Microsoft controls the hardware specs of its devices, and it hasn't been keeping up with trends. Microsoft claims that it's waiting to make sure it gets the technologies right and delivers on battery life and performance, but while it's quietly whittling away at these technologies, Android partners are releasing cutting-edge phone after phone. Even Apple's new iPhone is dual-core. It's understandable to wait on LTE, since only one U.S. carrier currently supports it, but Microsoft needs to take a leadership position in introducing cutting-edge hardware and new features to phones if it hopes to steal any marketshare away from Android. Or, more importantly, keep its platform alive at all. Throughout 2011, Microsoft's smartphone marketshare actually shrunk.
When you're fourth place in a marketplace of four smartphone operating systems, you can't afford to sit on your hands. Microsoft claims it is setting itself up to "leap frog" the competition. While I hope it's right, how long will it be before Android leapfrogs right back? Redmond needs to pick up the pace.
No carrier support
A year after release, only AT&T has more than a single Windows Phone device on its network. There have been half a dozen new Windows Phone devices announced in the last few months, but only one of them is finally hitting a U.S. carrier. The HTC Radar will be released on T-Mobile soon. Fantastic, but where are the rest of the phones? Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) is an outstanding operating system and really brings the WP7 experience up to where it should be to compete with Android and iOS. But try as I might to get people interested in Windows Phone, there are no good handsets to choose from that aren't six months to a year old. If you're on Verizon, only the HTC Trophy is available and it doesn't support LTE, making it quite noncompetitive on that network. If you're on AT&T, you can choose between the old Samsung Focus or HTC HD7s. Both of these devices are mostly similar and neither is new. We know that Samsung has two new Focus phones ready. Where are they? Worst, on Sprint, only the HTC Arrive is available and it has a QWERTY keyboard. If you don't want a QWERTY keyboard or want a 4G phone, you're out of luck on that carrier.
There is no choice in the Windows Phone ecosystem right now, and the choice that exists is minimal. I don't think Microsoft needs to let handset manufacturers run hog wild with Windows Phone like they do with Android, but they need the ability to compete and keep up with Android devices, or at the very least, technologies like LTE that carriers are demanding.
Pray for 2012
Windows Phone is an awesome OS and if I find a way to get a hold of a Nokia Lumia 800, it may be my next phone. But my contract is up, as are millions of others who will be picking phones this holiday season. Google's ecosystem has pumped out several great choices for top handsets like the Galaxy S II, HTC Amaze 4G, Droid Razr, Atrix II, and Galaxy Nexus. Windows Phone has the HTC Radar 4G on T-Mobile and maybe two or three more stragglers coming to AT&T. That's it. I'm finding it hard to believe Microsoft when it says WP7 is going to have a good holiday season. I don't see how it can without a slate of solid new handset. When are the Samsung Focus Flash, Samsung Focus S, and HTC Titan coming out? And if all three of those handsets are destined for AT&T, where does that leave users on Sprint and Verizon?
2012 could be a great year for Windows Phone: Windows 8 is set to be released, the Xbox  360 is getting a Live Tile makeover, and Nokia claims it has more tricks up its sleeve. But without new phones and competitive features this holiday, Windows Phone will continue to languish. At this point, Microsoft is going to have to put some energy into its ecosystem or Windows Phone may not be a factor at all this time next year.  

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Pictures of Nokia’s Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 Windows Phones
Nokia Lumia 710 - colored backplates

Earlier today, Nokia revealed its first two Windows Phone 7.5 handsets: the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710. Both will run Windows Phone 7.5, and will come with a number of exclusive Nokia apps, like turn-by-turn directions, public transit, free music streaming, and ESPN sports. Read about all of the new features and both new phones in our What You Need To Know article. Since publication of that article, Nokia sent us links to bigger pictures of the new devices. You can find them all here. We have to say, these are good-looking phones. It's a shame that neither of them will hit the U.S. market until 2012. Quite a shame, indeed. 

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Nokia Lumia 800 and 710 unveiled with Windows Phone 7.5, turn-by-turn, free music – Everything you need to know

At 9 a.m. U.K. time this morning, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop kicked off Nokia World 2011 by unveiling six new phones including its first two Windows Phone 7.5 handsets: the Lumia 800 and the cheaper Lumia 710. Unfortunately for those of us in the States, they won't be coming to the U.S. until sometime in 2012. 
Below is a breakdown of each device and some of Nokia's additions to the Windows Phone platform. These devices are already shipping to France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and the U.K. for a November launch. Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan will get them before the end of the year. Those of us in the U.S., well, we may get it next year. 
Nokia Lumia 800

The Finnish phonemaker's flagship Windows Phone is an evolution of the N9 design, which Elop explained has been one of Nokia's most successful launches in some parts of the world (Russia) despite its MeeGo operating system. The Lumia 800 is the "first real Windows Phone," claims Elop, who said it embodies the intent and aspirations of Microsoft's Windows Phone platform like no other. 

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