New Nokia Lumia 920 firmware adds new Storage management feature to Windows Phone 8

Those of you following me on Twitter must be aware that a new Nokia Lumia 920 firmware 1232.5957.1308.0004 popped up on Nokia’s server last night. I quickly grabbed it and flashed my handset late last night so I didn’t have much time to take a deep dive in it to see if there was anything new in there.

My first target today was to check out the camera to see if Nokia made any improvements in this sector. I personally can’t see much difference here besides better noise-reduction and sharpening in some select cases (the camera is already awesome but the algorithms can still some tweaks).

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Nokia Lumia 520 hardware specifications and price: the cheapest Windows Phone 8 to date

Nokia has just launched the cheapest Windows Phone 8 handset to date and probably also one of the most stylish one. The Nokia Lumia 520 the company’s lowest-end WP8 device but ironically one of it’s best looking one too. It looks a hell of lot like a smaller HTC 8X… So what’s inside this neat little piece of hardware? Well it’s pretty similar to what you will have in the Lumia 620 and the newly released Lumia 720 but it lacks any NFC feature and there’s no Front Facing camera but it does feature the same super-sensitive screen that was first introduced with the Lumia 920.Head over after the break for the hardware specs:

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Nokia Lumia 720 Specifications and Price announced

Nokia has officially introduced two new Lumia devices today at MWC. The first one is the Nokia Lumia 720 which will slot directly between the Lumia 820 and 620 in terms of hardware specifications and price. The Finnish company has decided to retain its signature colorful polycarbonate body design on of its line of Lumia handsets and the 720 is no exception. The handset definitely not groundbreaking in terms of hardware or design but does have new 6.7MP camera sensor with a F/1.9 aperture which is a world’s first. Jump after the break to check out the Nokia Lumia 720 hardware specifications:

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Verizon’s Nokia Lumia 920 hits the FCC

Verizon should finally be getting it’s own variant of the Nokia Lumia 920 later this year although it’s not known if the handset’s overall design will be identical to its WCDMA/GSM cousin. Not much else is know besides its RM-860 product name which positively puts it in the CDMA part of the family given that the China Telecom version is the RM-867. The Label/ID shot you see above unfortunately hints at a more boxy hardware design compared to the original 920. More info of this particular handset alongside the Lumia 720 and Lumia 520 should be revealed next week during MWC.

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Nokia Lumia 520 and Lumia 720 to be announced at MWC next week

Nokia is going to unveil at least two new Windows Phone 8 handsets next week in Barcelona during MWC. Both devices are on the lower end- of the spectrum are far from the often rumored (and probably fake?) Nokia EOS. The first one will be the Nokia Lumia 520 pictured above which is meant to be the company’s cheapest WP8 device. Yes even cheaper than the currently universally acclaimed Lumia 620. The second one pictured below is the Nokia Lumia 720 which will slot between the Lumia 820 and Lumia 620.

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HTC UltraPixels vs Nokia Pureview and more ramblings

Numerous leaks, rumors or simply outright totally made up story are now starting to fill up the tubes as we get closer to Mobile World Congress later this month.

Let’s start with HTC who’s been a relatively bad spot lately while bleeding money. Ok, they are not really in such a bad financial shape but their shipments / sales and margins have been down in the past 24months with no signs of uptake. To get things back in line HTC has decided to somewhat mimic Nokia’s strategy by increasing its focus on lower-end smartphones aimed at “emerging” markets like China and also differentiates it’s higher-end handsets with top-notch camera optics.

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Nokia Drive + now available to all Windows Phone 8 devices for US UK and Canada users

As I previously hinted at in my Nokia Lumia 920 software video tour (and by Nokia a few months ago); Nokia and Microsoft have just announced that Nokia Drive + Beta is now available for free for all windows Phone 8 devices from HTC, Samsung in addition to Nokia’s handset. This is really a big plus for the platform given that Nokia Drive is in my opinion the best navigation software on any platform thanks to it’s offline maps and its price it’s totally free!

Head over here to grab it and check out my handset on video on the Nokia Lumia 920 after the break:

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Living with Windows Phone 8 and the Nokia Lumia 920: the good and the ugly

It has been nearly two months since I’ve been using Windows Phone 8 with a Nokia Lumia 920 phone as my daily driver so I thought that now should be a good time to share my thoughts and experience about the platform and the hardware powering it. Is it good, is it bad, how does it compare to the competition? I’ll try to answer all of these questions and hopefully give you a good idea of Microsoft’s (and Nokia) uphill battle to get a nice share of the mobile industry. Follow me after the break.

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First Windows Phone 8 update 8.0.10211.204 OTA roll out is a go for Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 alongside PR1.1

Microsoft and Nokia have just started to roll out the first Windows Phone 8 OTA update (build 8.0.10211.204) to Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 devices in the US (AT&T) and Canada (Rogers). The OTA (Over The Air) update is currently only aimed at North American users as there’s unfortunately no date for other regions besides oOkia statement which says that the global roll out is set to February 2013 (this sounds insane and definitely wrong given that the full PR1.1 firmware has just appeared on Nokia’s Server for severs EU models and carriers). The 8.0.10211.204 OS update contains the following enhancements and fixes:

Messaging improvements. A great messaging experience is now even better. You can now add multiple recipients at the same time when you send a text message and automatically save unsent text messages as drafts. You can even edit received text messages before you forward them.

Text replies to incoming calls. Can’t take a call? Now you can send a prewritten text reply to a caller directly from the call answer screen. It’s a nice way to let people know that you’re not ignoring them.

Internet Explorer improvements. You can now change your settings to prevent pictures from downloading automatically—an easy way to help keep data usage low. You can also delete selected sites from your browsing history and leave the rest intact.

Wi-Fi connectivity. Got a favorite Wi-Fi network? Windows Phone 8 will now prioritize Wi-Fi connections based on your connection history.

Other improvements. Includes many other improvements to Windows Phone.

Nokia Lumia 920 users will also get the PR1.1 FW update alongside the OS update which will fix the camera softness issues and several other annoying bugs:

 

  • Enhancements in Messaging
  • More efficient and reliable Bluetooth connectivity
  • More efficient and reliable start-up sequence
  • Enhancements in imaging performance and battery management
  • Additional platform updates and enhancements

 

HTC users should be seeing this update really soon if they haven’t got it already.

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Nokia Maps for Windows Phone 8 updated with improved traffic layer

Nokia Maps for Windows Phone 8 has just received an update to its traffic layer display bringing it back to how it was in previous WP7.X versions and Bing Maps. The WP8 version had a new display mode which only rendered a traffic layer when there was actually something going on and leaving the maps free of anything when the road was clear (see video here). This apparently confused the majority of the users so we are now to how it was before as you can see in the screen shot above.

This newest version also has better Nokia Transit support which doesn’t seem to perfectly work right now though (it always sends me to the Marketplace to download the app even-though its already installed on my phone.

UPDATE: Nokia Transit / Transport has also been updated today to work with the updated version of Nokia Maps.

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Nokia Lumia 920 PR1.1 update to improve camera alongside first Windows Phone 8 OS update

One of the main advantage of choosing a Nokia handset over competing devices is peace of mind knowing that the company will rapidly try to fix and roll out updates to eradicate most of the issues reported on their devices (HTC is good at it too but not as reactive as NOK). The Nokia Lumia 920 isn’t immune to bugs and issue which means that Nokia’s software teams have been hard at work seen the commercial launch of the product a few weeks ago.

One of the most noticeable problem is the strangely configured camera processing software causing day-time shots to look like a layer of Vaseline has been applied to them. Given that this doesn’t affect videos or even shoots with the front facing camera it was safe to assume that Nokia would be able to correct this with a software update. The good news is that the Lumia’s first FW update unsurprisingly labeled PR1.1 (FW: 1232.5951.1249 ) will include, among several other fixes / improvements , a new image processing algorithm that should result in sharper photos as seen in the cropped image below which was supplied to Engadget by Nokia.

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Nokia Drive + Beta updated with new Battery saver mode

Nokia has just issued an update to Nokia Drive + Beta for its Windows Phone 8 device today to partially fix one of the most annoying issue plaguing the app: extreme battery drain when the app is running in the back ground because the software was constantly updating it’s position via GPS even when navigation was stopped. As you can see in the screenshot above this is now a thing of the past thanks to a new Battery Saving feature.

There’s also a new new back to my position feature which is really handy and a welcome UX change. Check out my hands on video with the previous version after the break:

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Nokia Lumia 920 hands on videos: Hardware and Software tour

Better late than never right? Here are my first videos of my Nokia Lumia 920 in action that I shot a week ago (sorry didn’t have much time to post them earlier). The first one is a simple hardware tour of the device followed by a software tour with a short performance comparison against the Nokia Lumia 800. Finally, the third video is a demo showing Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive and Nokia Transit / Transport integration in the Windows Phone 8. Hit the break to watch them:

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Nokia Lumia 920T for China Mobile and Nokia Lumia 620 Windows Phone 8 phones announced

Nokia has just announced two new Windows Phone 8 handsets today. The first one was expected to arrive sooner rather than later but the second one comes as a really surprise. The China Mobile bound Nokia Lumia 920T is the Chinese variant of the 920 but incorporates a TD-SCDMA radio and powered by the recently announced MSM8226 / MSM8626 which incorporate an Adreno 305 GPU.

The surprise Windows Phone 8 handsets is the Nokia Lumia 620 which is the company’s new low-end WP8 device feature a 3.8 inch WVGA LCD screen, a 1Ghz Dual Core Snapdragon S4 Plus SoC, 512MB of Ram, 8GB of storage extendable with the Micro-SD slot, 5Mpix camera, interchangeable back-cover with NFC all for the super low price of $249 / €199 (available in Q1 2013).

Nokia Lumia 620 Specifications:

  • Networks: WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100
    GSM/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
  • Display: 3.8” TFT WVGA 800×480, ClearBlack
  • Memory: 512MB RAM (8GB internal memory, Micro SD support up to 64GB)
  • Camera: 5Mpix autofocus, LED flash; Video capture: HD 720p@30fps; VGA front camera
  • Size & weight: 115.4 x 61.1 x 11.02 mm; 127g (including battery)
  • Connectivity: NFC, WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4Ghz + 5Ghz, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS/A-GPS, Glonass, micro-USB, 3.5mm audio connector (AHJ + WP Controls)
  • Processor: 1 GHz Dual Core Snapdragon (TM) S4
  • Battery Talk time: (GSM/WCDMA) Up to 14.6 h/ up to 9.9 h; Standby time: Up to 330 h

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Nokia Ringtone marker for Windows Phone 8 released

Nokia has recently released a Ringtone Maker application for its Windows Phone 8 devices (Lumia 920 and 82X) finally enabling Windows Phone user to create their ringtone with their own music directly on their phones. No need for some outside cloud-service or mp3 database or gigantic app which contains tons of music files to choose from. The Nokia Ringtone maker application will directly access the phone’s music library on the go. There are reports of crash on Lumia 920 handsets but your mileage may vary (I’ve yet to see the app crash on me). You can download the app directly from the Nokia Collection in the Windows Phone Store.

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4 times more Windows Phones being sold this year compared to last one

Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer announced today during the annual Share Holder meeting that Windows Phone sales are 4 times more than at this time last year. Now, given that we don’t know exactly how many Windows Phones were being sold exactly one year ago this doesn’t really mean much for the time being. The only real number we have was that Nokia sold around 1 Million Lumia handsets in November and December (US not included because they were only available principally in EU) so don’t expect this year’s number to be extraordinary.

Microsoft finds cause of Windows Phone 8 rebooting issue. OTA fix to be pushed out next month

Many users have been reporting strange phone reboots with their new HTC or Nokia Windows Phone 8 handsets ever since they got them a few weeks ago. The good news is that Microsoft has apparently found the cause of the problem and is going to push an OTA (Over The Air) fix/update next month to all Windows Phone 8 devices. The cause of the problem has not been made public yet but from what I have seen reported on forums it may partially be Bluetooth related (this may be why I have never encountered it because I never have BT on on my devices). Anyway here’s the official word from Redmond:

“We’re continuing to investigate some reports of phones rebooting and have identified a cause with our partners,” Microsoft said in a statement on Tuesday. “We are working to get an over-the-air update out in December.”

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Nokia Lumia 920 FREE on contract with AT&T


Just a friendly heads up if you are in the market for a Nokia Lumia 920 in the US. Amazon is still taking orders for the Nokia Lumia 920 at exactly $0.01 with a 2y AT&T contract. (in Black cause all other colors are out of stock). The Lumia 920 is either selling like hot cakes or in extremely short supply given that it’s seems to be out of stocks nearly every where right now (same as the HTC 8X and Lumia 820 in the US). Just hit the Amazon link below to grab yours.

Nokia’s imaging Guru, Damian Dinning leaves the company (UPDATED)

This ones should definitely comes as a surprise to everybody who hasn’t seen Damian’s last mysterious tweet a few days ago. Word is that he is now effectively leaving the Finnish mobile giant on November 30th to pursue other responsibilities somewhere else. This obviously should be seen as a disappointment to all Nokia/Windows phone or even the company’ itself given Damian big role in the development of Nokia’s latest imaging technology found in the PureView 808 or the new Lumia 920.

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