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Windows Phone 8

Microsoft scraps Nokia X Android line: what does it mean and is it the right call?

Well, that sure didn’t take long. The bizarre Nokia X, technically built on an underlying layer of Android code but really made to resemble a Windows Phone on the software front without actually running WP, is merely four months old. Five, if we count the timing of its formal introduction rather than the commercial launch.

nokia-x-rip

Meanwhile, the slightly beefier but just as experimental X2, powered by a Nokia X platform 2.0 UI which might as well be called Windroid, is yet to be released. Both handhelds, plus the first-generation X+ and XL that are even bigger flops than the X, have an impending expiration date as of yesterday.

Essentially, they’re dead in the water, although Microsoft insists it’ll continue to “sell and support existing Nokia products”. Newsflash, Redmond, you already abandoned the X “support”-wise when announcing there’ll be no OTA update to X platform 2.0.

Nokia X2

So cut the act. You’re killing off these poor little silly hybrids effective immediately, and that’s final. But how did we get here? Why? And should we even care?

Nokia X demise – death by obsoletion or “humane” execution?

Before getting into the whole “why” debate, and explore the sins that sent the X on the brink of extinction, let’s further probe the “how” part of the equation. As in, how will Microsoft exit the Android market?

Nokia X family

Now, it’s not yet clear if MS Exec VP of Devices & Services and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop was trying to be elegant and diplomatic about the family’s prospects, but he did point out in his “email to employees” that “select future Nokia X designs and products” will be shifted to “Windows Phone devices”. Erm, what? I’m no linguistics expert, but that must be the most convoluted, confusing phrase in the history of the written word.

Here’s what I think will happen. Scenario #1: MS treats the X as a bad dream it just woke up from, and chooses to never speak of the project. In which case the “shift” to Windows Phone simply means the resources so far wasted used on the X are transferred to low-end Lumias. This would be the obsoletion scheme.

Nokia X2 Android apps

Scenario #2: Microsoft wipes off any faint trace of Google code on existing Nokia X phones, and updates them over-the-air to Windows Phone. Sounds ludicrous? Maybe, but it’s not like the “X platform” is so much different from WP 8.

Nokia X future – hanging by a thread

Let’s say Elop, Satya Nadella & co. take the second route detailed above. Will we then see X2 heirs based on subsequent Windows Phone builds out the box? Let’s say they phase out current X models gradually. Will X branding stick around to bolster Microsoft’s efforts at the “lowest price ranges”?

Well, if you give Elop’s letter a thorough read, you may find some possible answers. For instance, the exec hints at a sort of resource restraint, planning “to run our phones business for maximum efficiency with a smaller team”.

Nokia-X

Also, he says, “we plan to drive Windows Phone volume by targeting the more affordable smartphone segments, which are the fastest growing segments of the market, with Lumia”. With Lumia. So yeah, it sounds like bye-bye, X.

But here’s a wild idea. What if the X series was to endure not as a Lumia little helper, but cheap alternative? Cheap-er, yeah, as in a sort of advanced Asha sub with Windows Phone. Not so wild after all, huh?

Nokia X gets the axe – deservedly so?

I’m sure you noticed by now I’m doing everything possible to avoid that part of the “why” discussion. You know, the “what was Nokia thinking when it set off on this risky fishing expedition in uncharted Android territory”? Was Microsoft against it from day one? Is that precisely why Nokia insisted with it, to show MS it had a conscience of its own… at that point?

nokia-microsoft-acquisition

Truth is I haven’t the slightest idea. For all I know, MS was behind the X debacle right off the bat, and carefully planned its failure, to once and for all silence Windows Phone detractors in general and Android fans in particular. See, they’d say, we tried it your way, ventured into Android land, but no one wanted to buy our gear. Now shut up and purchase a Lumia 530.

It’s a possibility, admit it, but at the end of the day, I think it’s more relevant for the big picture to tackle Nokia X’s market performance. Which between you and me, wasn’t that bad… for a device that was probably never meant to succeed.

Nokia X

Numerous reports suggested the first-gen 4 incher was big in Asia, and other underdeveloped, emerging markets may have followed suit with the right marketing tools. Besides, the X2 looked a lot better on paper, so there’s no reason to assume it would have done worse at the box-office. Bottom line, maybe the X line deserved a little extra time. Maybe that’s why Microsoft pulled the plug so abruptly, fearing, yes, fearing the “Android-based” family could become successful.

Of course, most of my rambling is speculation and guesswork, so don’t read too much into it. We’ll likely never know the logic behind either the initial X release or the experimental program’s so sudden cancelation. All we know is the X, in one form or another, is finished. So long, brave little soldier in the Android army. We hardly knew ye.

Windows Phone is dead, Tizen is dead, long live Android!

Look, there’s nothing wrong with competition. In fact, we all welcome it, regardless of personal preferences. Android geeks, Apple fanatics, Windows Phone aficionados, surviving BlackBerry supporters, we may argue all the time and each feel like we’re in possession of the universal truth, which we want bestowed on our clueless “enemies”.

android_king

But when all is said and done, you need little more than common sense to realize Android would be nothing without iOS. And vice versa. Windows Phone, BlackBerry? They look pretty pointless right now, but one dominated the mobile world for years in a row, forcing Android and iOS to evolve, progress and thrive, while the other seemed a big threat back in the day, also keeping the two top dogs on their toes.

Only today’s nearly saturated smartphone market appears incapable of at least sustaining the idea of competition. Three years and a half after debuting in the form of Windows Phone 7, the platform is still, well, a baby. BlackBerry? They’re on the verge of kicking off yet another comeback, albeit their market share circles invisibility.

iOS-vs-Android-vs-Windows-Phone

Tizen? A stillborn project, according to many. Firefox OS, Sailfish? Let’s face it, aside from people whose job is to keep tabs even on obvious tech flops, no one’s ever heard of them. Bottom line, like it or not, it’s a two-way fight for supremacy, and so it shall remain for years to come. Need more proof? Well, let’s see

Why we think Windows Phone is dead

The report that actually sparked the idea in my mind to do the piece you’re reading, and that also confirmed to me once and for all WP has no future, is this Recode story. Yes, I realize it’s unsubstantiated gossip… for now.

There’s a silver lining for Microsoft as well, since rumor has it no Windows Phones will be on display at next week’s Mobile World Congress because they’ll be saved for intros during April’s MS Build Developer Conference.

Android vs Windows

Yeah, right. Also, HTC’s M8 (or “All New One”) is to trump Samsung’s Galaxy S5 once it goes official at last. And unicorns poop rainbows. Jokes aside, no, MS did not put off fresh hardware announcements due to a grander “scheme”. They simply have nothing to showcase. At least not at the same event as the GS5.

Think about it, who of their partners is still supporting Windows Phone? Samsung? They weren’t committed in the first place, and the ATIV S was just something to test the waters for possible further investments. Needless to say it bombed at the box-office, so don’t expect any sequels.

HTC? They’re fully focused on Android, according to their own claims, not affording to gamble one penny on something other than the M8, mid-range Desires, and maybe wearables. Huawei? Puh-lease, they’re insignificant on the Western hemisphere.

Nokia X

Which only leaves Nokia, the OEM that actually unveiled a new WP8-based handheld last week. Clearly, whether the Finns want it or not, Windows Phone is their focal point.

But don’t you find it fitting, not to mention ironic, the past few weeks were probably the best in Nokia’s recent history in regards to media exposure? And no, it wasn’t due to the Lumia Icon, but a smaller, less technically impressive gizmo backed by a certain green robot.

Why we think Tizen is dead

In short, we think, nay we know Tizen is dead because everyone says so. Sure, all our mothers taught us not to trust strangers, yet in this business, there’s rarely smoke without fire. And boy, has there been a lot of smoke concerning Tizen’s precocious demise.

Samsung Tizen

What’s interesting is, at one point, Samsung stopped trying to convince us there was something to Tizen. And yes, some advanced prototypes, maybe even a “Zeke” handheld ready to see daylight, will probably visit Barcelona next week.

There’s also some rumble as to a Tizen-running Galaxy Gear smartwatch, though I personally doubt Samsung is that crazy and clueless. Unless they want to bury their wearables too.

tizen device

Either way, with or without Zeke, with or without Tizen Gear, this is going nowhere. Several hardware makers and carriers pulled the plug already, whereas Sammy likely used the platform to strong-arm Google into selling Motorola and nixing the Nexus family as we know it. Don’t believe they have that power? Oh, you are so naïve.

Who else could matter?

Short answer: nobody. Long answer: nobody in the BlackBerry – Firefox OS – Sailfish group. Not today, not tomorrow, not one or two years from now. Maybe in five or ten years, if Android or iOS drop the ball. But at that point, BB will no longer exist, Mozilla will have gone back to developing decent browsers people use when Chrome crashes, and Jolla… who the heck is Jolla anyway?

BlackBerry

Now, we could argue and debate whether the duopoly is good or bad for the mobile industry’s forward movement in the “post-PC era”. But let’s throw objectivity and gravity aside for a moment, and enjoy our favorite operating system’s moments of glory.

It’s a great time to be an Android aficionado, isn’t it? I mean, just look at Kantar’s Q4 2013 stats, or Gartner’s Q3 numbers. Now let me hear you all shout “viva Android”.

Nokia Normandy/X Rumor Roundup: Everything We Know About Nokia’s First Android Phone

Be honest, how many of you bought into the whole Nokia-made Android-running handheld story when it first surfaced? Not many, eh? And I bet there are still skeptics out and about who reckon either we’re looking at one of the most elaborate hoaxes in the history of mobile tech, or the launch will be canceled in the eleventh hour.

nokia-normandy-android

Well, I can’t claim to have a lot of sources “on the inside” or anything, but let me assure you the Nokia Normandy is very much real. I don’t know that, as I haven’t seen the thing with my own eyes, but every rational bone in my body says you can’t fabricate that many photos and so much “intelligence” without someone calling your bluff.

Will it ultimately see daylight? Ah, yes, now you’re asking the right questions, though I’m afraid Nokia officials are the only ones with the answer in their back pockets. Possibly, not even them, as rumor has it the plan at the moment is indeed to roll the “X” out as soon as next month, but between now and then Microsoft could try to hijack the release.

nokia-normandy-2

Why? Let’s not get into the politics of it and just call it fear on Redmond’s part. Fear of diversification, primarily. But that’s not the reason we’re here. Instead, we want to round up all the Normandy gossip floating around. Here goes:

Nokia Normandy – branding rumors

From day one, the phone was known as the “Normandy”. But from day one, it was obvious its final market name would have a different ring to it. The thing is the official moniker is still a tough nut to crack.

@EvLeaks suggested a mysterious, cool-sounding Nokia X nickname not long ago, but, despite the leak master’s proven track record, two arguments make it implausible. 1. It’s far too similar to the Moto X, and 2. It’s too unalike Lumia and Asha.

nokia_normandy

True, the device itself may not resemble Lumias and Ashas much, however a very different branding would mean fully acknowledging that. Which is unlikely when the whole point of the “Normandy” is to blur the lines between Android, Windows and Asha, and subsequently draw as many people as possible to the “dark side”.

Release date and pricing speculation

More than how severe Nokia ultimately intends to fork Android, more than the hardware, design and name, Normandy’s make-or-break elements will be timing and pricing. Also, availability, but I doubt its spread will be limited in any way to certain regions or countries.

Nokia MWC

So should we mark our calendars for February 24? Book flights to Barcelona and accomodation in Catalunya? Probably, as the Mobile World Congress seems the perfect venue for a glitzy yet not overly showy introduction. Besides, Nokia gave last month’s CES the cold shoulder and it can’t afford to do the same with the year’s second glamorous tech expo.

As for the financial aspect of the equation, pinpointing exact figures is difficult when, for all intents and purposes, we have nothing similar to compare the Normandy to. Let’s say somewhere between Ashas and Motorola’s Moto G. Soooo $120, possibly $150. Sub-$100 would be the dream though.

Design and build quality

Since a picture is worth a thousand words and half a dozen Normandy pics have so far surfaced online, it’s probably best to let them speak for themselves. Remember, they presumably depict pre-release, test prototypes, so some last-minute adjustments are definitely in the cards.

nokia-normandy-prototype

Nothing major however, so in the end, the 4-incher shall still look like a blocky, slightly more elegant, larger Asha 501.

Nokia Normandy – software rumors

What if Android (4.4 KitKat), Windows Phone 8 and the Asha software platform would one day decide to put their differences aside, fall in love and bear children? I’ll bet you 1,000 smackeroos that was the pitch of the guy who came up with the idea of this user interface.

nokia-normandy-android-interface

But is it the best of both all three worlds, or, on the contrary, a freakish Frankensteinian mutant? Frankly, I couldn’t care less. What are we, 10 year-old school girls to get hung up on the UI’s cute factor? At the end of the day, it all boils down to this: Google Play or GTFO.

Nokia Normandy UI

Skin, tweak, fork, customize all you want, Nokia, just don’t touch the Play Store. Preferably, also pre-load the Normandy with as many as Google’s other services as possible. You know, Gmail, Gmaps and so on. Oh, how I hope that Vietnamese online retailer got the list of features right.

Nokia Normandy – hardware roundup

Usually, I’d start my rumor recaps with the hardware part. Or at least get to it towards the middle of the post. Not this time. This time, I left it for the very end because it doesn’t make much of a difference. We all know the Normandy isn’t going to be a powerhouse, so whether it packs a 1 GHz or 1.2 GHz chip, it just doesn’t matter.

Alright, it matters a little. But make no mistake, if Nokia plays the rest of its cards right (design, software, pricing, availability), it’ll sell a million of these things in the first week regardless of “specs”.

Nokia Normandy Vietnam

Now, for all you spec war-crazed fellows out there, here’s what to expect from the Nokia X Normandy Asha Android whatever:

  • 4-inch FWVGA (854 x 480 pixels resolution) TFT display
  • Dual-core 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 SoC
  • Adreno 302 GPU
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 4 GB on-board storage space
  • MicroSD support for memory expansion with an additional 32 GB
  • 5 MP rear-facing camera
  • Dual SIM support (possibly optional)
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Hotspot, A-GPS, Bluetooth, 3G connectivity

All things considered, could Nokia interest you in an Asha clone with pre-loaded Android and the above listed hardware? How does the software need to look and how much are you willing to cough up for the “Normandy”? Sound off below.

Indian Import Data Confirms Galaxy S5 Model Number, Hints at High-End Samsung Windows Phone

You know the old saying it never rains but it pours? Apparently, it doesn’t only apply to bad things, as the Samsung Galaxy S5 rumor wheels have been truly set in motion roughly 24 hours ago and we already have fresh intel seemingly confirming a couple of tidbits about Android’s “next big thing”.

Galaxy S5

To recap the events of yesterday, what obviously looked like a Sam-concocted high-ender, with 2K display, Android 4.4 KitKat and 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU, made a quick benchmarking visit at GFX Bench.

Its identity was almost impossible to determine based solely on the odd model number, yet the test’s timing and revealed specs turned the SM-G900S into a prime GS5 candidate. Which brings us to today’s evidence supporting that exact same theory.

A Samsung handheld carrying a strikingly similar codename (SM-G900F) made its way to India a few days ago (i.e. on December 2) in three copies designed for R&D (research and development) purposes. That’s according to Zauba, a very meticulous local website which through God knows what methods tracks down all devices imported and exported out of India.

How reliable is their data? Very, since it helped pinpoint a few of Galaxy Note 3’s model numbers back in the day. Now, the truly interesting part about their reports is they also list the approximate value of gadgets in question.

SM-G900F

Case in point, the SM-G900F is worth Rs. 33,245, or $533. Not quite a price tag you’d expect a fancy phone like the S5 to be slapped with, but the GNote 3 for R&D purpose was evaluated at Rs. 31,967 ($513). Ergo, we’re dealing with a more advanced, costlier piece of technology than the Note 3.

Turning our attention back to GFX Bench for a second, let’s mention the SM-G900S was pulled from its database following our reporting from yesterday, which is more proof the beast’s identity wasn’t supposed to go public so early.

Finally, if we are to trust notorious Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin, a guy with more connections on Samsung’s inside than I can count on one hand, the Galaxy S5 ain’t slated for a Q1 2014 release after all. Instead, it should break cover in “late April”. Sounds kind of fishy to me, but I guess we shall live and see.

SM-W750V

But wait, there’s more. More top-shelf mobile technology prepped by Samsung, as a mysterious SM-W750V has also been caught red-handed by Zauba when trying to slip past India’s borders.

This thing apparently runs Windows Phone 8 (booo!) and is worth Rs. 31,967 for R&D and Rs. 33,245 for “testing and evaluation”. Translation: $512 and $533, so dangerously close to both the Note 3 and rumored S5.

Chances are we’re looking at some sort of ATIV S follow-up for Verizon, with a 5-inch Full HD screen, Snapdragon 800 SoC and all the hardware works of the Nokia Lumia 929 and 1520. Why is Samsung still beating the WP dead horse? Maybe they reckon they can revive it. I say no way. How about you?

Via [Ameblo] (1), (2), [Zauba] (1), (2), [Twitter]

Nokia World and Apple iPad Events: Should We Care? Spoiler Alert: Not Really

Say, all ye die-hard Android fans, do you by any chance know what’s set to go down come October 22, i.e. in 24 hours give or take?

Probably not Google’s Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KitKat grandiose unveilings, to the sheer desperation of Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts and amateur detectives trying to make heads or tails of incredibly cryptic (and random) teasers and hints.

Android vs iOS vs Windows

Instead, in the space of just a few hours, Nokia will try to convince the world it’s still alive and kicking and its products matter in the grand scheme of tech things, whereas Apple will do what it knows best: roll out “more of the same” and, courtesy of bitching marketing, convince everybody it has reinvented the wheel… again.

That’s all fine and dandy if you’re into retro (read fugly) designs and useless tiles on the one hand and overly simplistic software and overpriced hardware on the other. But why should Android enthusiasts give a damn about the latest installment in Nokia’s “World” press event series and however the hell Apple is nicknaming its tedious product announcements nowadays?

nokia-october22-event

Well, you know what they say. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Besides, unlike you know who, we Android aficionados always like to keep an open mind and give everyone a fair chance to impress us. So go ahead, Nokia, Apple, show us what you got and why we should care.

Nokia World – what it’s all about

Though rumor has it Nokia will have a bag full of new gizmos to announce in Abu Dhabi (of all places), I think it’s obvious for everyone meager Asha products don’t really count in the grand scheme of things. Which leaves the Finns with three or four aces up their sleeves.

Lumia-1520

Number one, the Lumia 1520. The first Windows Phone with Full HD and quad-core power (oh, welcome to the club) is said to leave all compromises behind and blend generous screen real estate (6 inches or so) with breezy multitasking (2 gigs of RAM), incredible raw speed and top-notch camera technology (20.6 MP PureView snapper).

Then there’s the 2520, Nokia’s first ever tablet, rumored to be quite impressive in the hardware department, but only run Windows RT on the software side of things. Number three, there’s a Lumia 929 for Verizon, which in a nutshell will be a 1520 in a more compact, 5-inch body. And then there’s a 1320 “Batman”, which some sources say will be the international flavor of the 929, while others a low-end, large screener.

Nokia-Lumia-2520

Finally, Nokia will bring forth the Lumia 525, an incremental upgrade for the 520, currently the best-selling Lumia in the world.

Why we should care

  • The 5-inch Lumia 929, if it comes with Full HD, 2 GB RAM, 20 MP camera and Snapdragon 800, sounds pretty darn impressive. A little late to the party, but impressive nevertheless.

Nokia Lumia 929

Why we shouldn’t care

  • Windows RT. Enough said
  • If real estate is all about location, location, location, mobile tech is all about timing, timing, timing. And the 929 and 1520, as impressive as they may be, are, or better yet, will be late. Just think about it. They won’t launch until mid-November, at best. And they’ll cost $250 with contracts, at best. Meanwhile, you have the GNote 3 out and about, Sony’s Xperia Z1, LG’s G2, HTC’s One max… Shall I carry on?
  • 4-inch Lumia 525? Possible 4.7-inch Lumia 1320 with dual-core CPU and 480 x 800 pix res panel? Puh-lease!

Apple iPad event – what it’s all about

Guess I don’t have to tell you Cupertino is not really a fan of the “putting as many eggs in as many baskets” strategy. As such, don’t expect an avalanche of new products from them. Just two. A “full-sized”, fifth-generation, 9.7-inch iPad and a second-gen 7.9-inch iPad Mini.

apple-october-22

Just like Nokia, Tim Cook and the gang have been incapable of keeping a tight lid on their unreleased products, so they’re as transparent as glass already, following a bundle of rumors and leaks.

Thus, if something stunning doesn’t happen in the eleventh hour, the iPad 5 is to resemble the new (and old) iPad mini on the outside, with a thinner than before profile, slimmer bezels and decreased weight. Yet the design philosophy will remain virtually the same.

New iPad

On the hardware front, both the new iPad and iPad Mini will be pushing the envelope Apple-style, meaning they’ll be ever so slightly zippier than their predecessors… in real life. But here’s the kicker. There’s a good shot the Mini won’t rock a Retina display this year either, while Touch ID fingerprint recognition technology may not find its way on either of the two tabs.

On the “bright” side, rumor has it the iPad 5 will feature an upgraded 8 MP rear-facing camera. Because hey, who doesn’t like to take bitching photos with a 10-inch slab?

iPad-mini-2

Why we should care

  • When all is said and done and as much as it pains me to admit it, the iOS tablet “ecosystem” remains superior to Google’s. Probably not for long, but right now, that’s just how things are, with far too few Android apps conceived specifically for slates.

Why we should absolutely not care

  • 1,024 x 768 pixels resolution for a late 2014 7.9-inch tablet? I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
  • Preposterous pricing is what will ultimately bring Apple’s demise and, if the non-Retina iPad Mini 2 starts at $300 or more, the end is one step closer. Not that the iPad 5 is set to be very budget-friendly, at $500 or so.

iPad

  • Cupertino has stopped innovating a looong time ago, but nowadays it seems like Cook’s employees, save maybe for the marketing team, are not even trying anymore. Seriously now, can anyone tell the difference between the iPhone 5 and 5s purely aesthetically? That’s exactly what will go down with the iPad Mini 2.
  • Let’s assume you’re in the market for a 10-incher right now. And aren’t willing to overlook Android’s crystal clear ecosystem shortcomings. No one will blame you for choosing the large-screen iPad. But why go for the “new”, overpriced one when last year’s is almost just as good and, in a month or two, probably much cheaper? Now that’s a puzzle.

Microsoft wants HTC to launch a dual boot Android/WP8 smartphone

Microsoft HTC One WP8

Microsoft HTC One WP8

HTC’s dismal run in the mobile industry is not news to us. The company has just posted a dismal Q3 financial earnings report with no signs of a revival anytime soon. And it seems like Microsoft has a plan to help HTC with its recovery. It is believed that Terry Myerson, the Executive VP of Microsoft’s OS division, will be heading over to Taiwan to discuss developing an Android smartphone which also boots into Windows Phone 8. So Microsoft basically wants HTC to launch a dual boot Android/WP8 smartphone.

Microsoft will allegedly drop its licensing fees for WP8 if HTC agrees to get into this deal. This could turn out to be a win-win for both companies as Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system is seeing a slow progress while HTC’s revenues are going down every month. By launching a dual boot smartphone like this, HTC could woo both Windows Phone and Android fans by providing them the choice to switch between the two major operating systems. We will follow this story closely and provide you with further details when there are any new developments.

Source: Bloomberg

Via: Android Central

Image Credit: Tech Radar

Samsung Not Ready To Ditch Windows Phone Yet, SGH-I187 With 720p Screen In The Works

While smartphone manufacturers such as HTC are reportedly planning to put all their eggs in the Android basket, it appears Samsung still sees a future not tied to our favorite mobile platform. Or at least not fully tied to Google’s OS, since Tizen rumors are again intensifying and a mysterious new Windows Phone has been spotted online.

Samsung-Ativ-S

This fellow is codenamed SGH-I187, which, after thorough documentation, we can say for sure is a model number in no way connected with existing Samsung handhelds. So what does that mean? Essentially that the device could be a significant drift from the ATIV S (aka GT-I8750 or SGH-T899M), both in terms of design and specs.

Then again, I wouldn’t get my hopes up for the SGH-I187 to be a game-changer. After all, GFXBench lists its display as sporting 1,280 x 720 pixels resolution, which has become run-of-the-mill nowadays.

Meanwhile, the processor is covered in mystery, but it is surely ARM-based and paired with an Adreno 305 GPU, which narrows the possibilities down a little. Namely, we could be looking at a spanking new Snapdragon 400 chip here (maybe the same exact unit that powers the Galaxy S4 Mini) or a slightly older S4 Play or S4 Plus (currently featured on the Nokia Lumia 520, 620, 625 and 720).

Samsung SGH-I187

To recap, we have Windows Phone 8, an HD screen and a secretive dual-core CPU likely manufactured by Qualcomm. Is there anything else we can speculate about the SGH-I187? As a matter of fact, there is.

Based on its model number, it’s likely being prepped for a US carrier (T-Mobile or AT&T), while based on its GFXBench test scores, it seems just a tad zippier than the ATIV S and HTC Windows Phone 8X and slightly slower than the Nokia Lumia 920.

Of course, one benchmark does not a summer make, so before getting too excited we should probably wait for the phone to become official. That goes double for hardcore Android fans, which don’t have real reason for concern… yet. Samsung is still very much focused on supplying us with neat gizmos running on Jelly Bean, Key Lime Pie and beyond. WP is just a little something on the side.

Via [GFX Bench]

Nokia Lumia 1020 will retail for $602 and come in three colours

nokia-lumia-1020

nokia-lumia-1020

The Nokia Lumia 1020 is still shrouded in mystery, especially regarding the name, with some stating Nokia will drop the Lumia tagline for EOS and other saying it may be named the Nokia Elvis.

However, a new leak seems to show what price the phone, which they are calling the Lumia 1020, will be at AT&T and what colours they will be getting. According to leak all the three colours will be priced at $602 and will be on AT&T.

The colour palette for this Nokia device will be white, black and yellow. We suspect Nokia has kept the yellow in with the high demand on the Lumia 920, although we found it a little off-putting.

The Lumia 1020 will be released at Nokia’s NYC event on July 11, it is set to sport a 41MP rear camera, full metal unibody design, quad-core processor and 1080p display.

WPCentral

Samsung Cronus outed as the next Windows Phone 8 device

samsung-cronus

samsung-cronus

The Samsung Cronus has been outed as the next Windows Phone 8 device from the South Korea mobile giant, the app Mobile Care references the Cronus as one of the many devices able to use the Samsung app.

We have heard previously about the Samsung Cronus, from a user on Reddit stating it could be either a smartphone or laptop, with an aluminium frame. It seems it will be a smartphone and Samsung is upping the class with aluminium, instead of plastic.

Samsung may be using the Cronus as a codename for the smartphone, with the end name likely to fit the ATIV line of devices currently being pumped out by Samsung on Windows Phone and Windows 8.

We have no details on internals for the Cronus, for now, it is just a name and an aluminium frame.

Via: PhoneArena

Source: Windows Phone

Leaked press photos of Nokia Lumia 1020 show Pro Cam and AT&T

nokia-lumia-1020

nokia-lumia-1020

A new press photo has been leaked by evleaks, who have been hammering the Windows Phone hard, spewing out tons of new images and new about the Nokia EOS and other Windows Phone devices.

The new image shows the Nokia Lumia 1020, previously codenamed the Nokia EOS, with a body similar to the Lumia 925 and coming with Nokia ‘Pro Cam’ and an AT&T app, possibly pointing at an exclusive release deal.

Other specs on the Nokia Lumia 1020 are already quite well known, with multiple leaks and Nokia basically confirming the 41MP rear camera, ready to take on the Galaxy S4 Zoom and Sony Honami. Other leaks include the 1080p screen and quad-core processor, apparently coming with the Windows GDR3 update.

We aren’t sure what we will see from Nokia, but the hope is this phone will match with top-line Android devices in terms of raw speed and components. Nokia has made great cameras and well built devices in the past, see the Nokia Lumia 925 as a great example.

Source: evleaks

Windows Phone 8 will get 1080p support soon

windows-phone-8-visual-studio-2013-screenshot

windows-phone-8-visual-studio-2013-screenshot

Windows Phone 8 has been gaining small market share in the past year, but comparing it to Android or iOS makes it feel miles away. This could be in part due to Microsoft’s slow advancement with technology allowed on Windows Phone 8.

For example, the recent version of Windows Phone 8, GDR2 update, still does not have 1080p or quad-core processing support, two features that have been available on Android for quite some time. However, with a new GDR3 update scheduled sometime this year, we may see both of these features come onto new Windows Phone 8 devices.

Nokia will be first to set the trend, according to recent reports on the Nokia EOS. This phone will have a full metal body, a 41MP camera, 1080p display and quad-core processor, although some of these features may not actually appear on the device at first.

Source: Justin Angel’s Twitter

Nokia Lumia 928 on sale for 99 cents at Amazon

nokia-lumia-928-amazon-sale

nokia-lumia-928-amazon-sale

It may not be the best time to purchase the Nokia Lumia 928, with the Nokia EOS (Lumia 1020) a month away from release. The Verizon exclusive does have some fancy specs and comes as an alternative to the Lumia 920.

Verizon has already offered out the Lumia 928 for $49.99 on a two year contract. Amazon has sweetened the deal twice and it now comes at 99 cents payment as long as the buyer gets locked into a two year contract with Verizon.

We do not believe there is any catch to the offer, the buyer can either get a single or family plan with the Verizon deal. The Lumia 928 is definitely a stellar device and if you want the Windows Phone 8 experience on a Verizon contract, there is nothing else out there to match.

Source: [easyazon-link asin=”B00CQAOIIC” locale=”us”]Amazon[/easyazon-link]

Nokia will release Amber update to other Lumia devices in August

lumia-amber-update

lumia-amber-update

On top of Windows Phone updates, Nokia patches their own phones with updates and the Lumia 925 came with the ‘Amber’ update, something other Lumia owners are still eagerly awaiting.

We are not sure if this will only come on Windows Phone 8 devices or if Nokia will extend the Amber update to Windows 7.8, 7.5 and 7. The previous updates have been patchy on different versions, so we may only see Lumia phones with Windows Phone 8.

Nokia Spain’s Twitter handle announced the Amber update will be coming sometime in August, although an official rollout date is not set. Nokia has a good foot in the Spanish market, especially with budget-end devices like the Lumia 520.

Source: PocketNow

Microsoft says Windows Phone is firmly in third place

nokia-lumia-925

nokia-lumia-925

Microsoft’s Build developer conference is well underway and while the main focus is on Windows 8.1, a small booth has been set up for Windows Phone and Microsoft officials now believe they are in a solid third place in the smartphone race.

BlackBerry has been stuck in the fourth spot since May this year, with Windows 8 slowly overtaking them. Microsoft believes Windows Phone is the fastest growing mobile OS, even though it is still far away from iOS and Android.

This is in part due to Nokia’s continued support of the Windows Phone platform, developing smartphones at different price points for different markets. We have seen the Lumia success explode in the past two years.

We believe Windows Phone has around 6 – 8% of the mobile OS market, BlackBerry is sinking to about 2 – 4% in the past year, iOS takes up about 20% and Android carves out an incredible 70% with thousands of different smartphones.

Source: The Verge