For years, Nokia has known that the best way to expand market share is to saturate every corner of it with a device. After an initial launch of just two devices in late 2011, Lumia devices are now available at seemingly every price point from £99 to £499, and one of the latest devices to join the range, the Lumia 720, sits firmly in the middle of this vast expanse, priced at around £249 unlocked. It follows on from the Lumia 710, which I reviewed last year and felt was a bargain considering its low price and high quality, but the 720 faces fierce competition from a sea of Android-powered handsets including diminutive versions of the top-selling flagships from HTC and Samsung. As such, is this mid-range combination of Windows Phone 8 and Nokia’s trademark hardware design worth your attention? Read on to find out.
Vizileaks‘ recent flood of Nokia EOS leaks has made me very suspicious, and I believe that the only possible explanation for it all is that the leak is intentional and part of Nokia’s plan. Having spent some time analysing the images, tweets and blog posts from the user’s various online channels, I have expanded my theory and it’s not quite as far fetched as it may seem. Continue reading
You probably know what the Nokia Lumia 920 is. Last year you voted it your favourite smartphone and we also gave it our design award, so it’s fair to say that it went down pretty well. Aside from the complaints about its weight (which I thought were ridiculous, frankly), the only issue that people really had was with Windows Phone and its ecosystem or lack thereof. At an event in London today, Nokia unveiled the latest addition to the range of Windows Phone 8-powered Lumias, with the 925 joining the 520, 521, 620, 720, 810, 820, 822, 920 and 928 as the new flagship for everything that’s not Verizon, but what has changed? Apart from the shell, absolutely nothing.
When Windows Phone 8 was released way back in October last year, much was made of the relationship prospective Windows Phone 8 purchasers would have between their mobile and their PCs. Since then, nothing much to that side of things has materialised, but yesterday that all changed.
Galactic Reign was teased by Microsoft last October, but there was no mention of platforms, nor was there a release date, but yesterday the game quietly slipped into both the Windows 8 Store and the Windows Phone Store as an Xbox Live title. Microsoft used to always announce upcoming Windows Phone games well in advance, but they haven’t done so much of that recently, and it seems crazy that such a huge milestone for the OS was released with so little fanfare, but hey, at least it’s here now.
As you might have guessed from its name, the game is a sci-fi strategy number. You have to find the right balance between spaceships and weapons and hope your fleet is good enough to beat your opponents, and we won’t go into too much detail here, but there’s a single player mode with 60 challenges and a multiplayer side of things where you battle people online. There a bunch of Xbox achievements to aim for as well.
It’s great to finally see a game which bridges the Windows Phone 8/ Windows 8 divide. With the multiplayer game, you can play with different hardware to your opponent, i.e. it doesn’t matter whether you use a PC, Windows Phone or Surface. Galactic reign will cost $4.99 for Windows 8 or for Windows Phone 7 and 8. The best bit of all? You only need to purchase one version to have access to it on both platforms.
The Verge’s Tom Warren, a reliable writer with regard to Microsoft news, reported that Nokia will be releasing the first ‘true’ PureView Windows Phone handset late in 2013. The device, codenamed EOS, will feature a sensor closer to that which appeared on the Nokia 808 PureView which was released last year. As well as this, it is reported that the device will signal the start of a new design cycle for the Lumia range. The device will be made of aluminium and will have squared edges, contrasting with the rounded polycarbonate body found in the current Lumia range.
The device is believed to be in the pipeline for AT&T in the US, and is expected to be released alongside another device (codenamed Catwalk) which will also have an aluminium body. It is clear that Nokia is moving away from the polycarbonate which they have used in their previous Windows Phone handsets. This change means that they will be in a much better position to compete with phones such as the iPhone 5 when it comes to size and weight, something that they have been unable to do thus far with the Lumia range, however this is in no way Nokia’s first phone of aluminium construction. The Nokia N8, the precursor to the aforementioned 808 PureView, was constructed out of the lightweight metal and was indeed available in a number of colours. With MWC coming up in a few weeks, we can expect to see more information coming out of Finland with regard to these handsets and Nokia’s upcoming Windows RT tablet.
At an event in New York today, Nokia unveiled the Lumia 920, their first phone with the forthcoming Windows Phone 8 operating system. With a design that serves as a refinement to the Lumia 800 and 900 before it, the 4.5″ device has an 8.7MP PureView camera, a 1280 x 768 PureMotion HD+ display that Nokia claims to be its best ever, a 1.5GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor and a variety of polycarbonate body colours, including yellow, red, white, gray and black. While there is no sign of a cyan model, one that proved very popular with the 800 and 900, the 920 has a 2000mAh battery and will feature Qi wireless charging.
Windows Phone 8 has a native screenshot feature! Pressing the home and power buttons takes a shot and puts it in your pictures hub.
Kevin Shields demonstrated the device – and Windows Phone – with some gloves. We love him.
At Nokia’s Lumia unveil in New York today, The Verge got an interview with their CEO Stephen Elop. In the video below, Josh Topolsky probes Elop regarding their launch strategy for the 920 and 820, how Lumia 900 owners should feel after being told that their devices were obsolete and would not get Windows Phone 8 just months after launch and whether the PureView branding is being diluted with the 8.7MP sensor in the 920, compared to the 41MP 808 that pioneered the branding. Elop’s responses in the interview are intriguing, and you can watch the video below.