Earlier this week, I published my extensive review of Nokia’s Lumia 720. If you haven’t read and watched it already, I’d sincerely recommend that you check it out, but today I’m bringing a new option of consuming our written word to the table. Alex, the lovely robot found within iTunes on Mac OS X, has made an audio version of my post which sounds remarkably good for one of these text-to-speech things. The concept of audio reviews is something I’ve been considering for a while now, so if you think it’s worth us continuing (even if we have to replace Alex with a human or alternative robot voice) give us a shout in the comments or on Twitter.
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.
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.
Samsung’s Unpacked event will be held at IFA in Berlin tonight, and the rumour mill is in full swing. We already know that the successor to the Galaxy Note will be shown off, and sources seem to suggest that an Android based camera and convertible Windows 8 tablet will also appear. Needless to say it’ll be a busy night, and we’ll have all the news on this page as it happens, so join us on a fantastic journey!