Nokia EOS to be announced on July 11th: Zoom Reinvented

Just when I got a brand new Nokia Lumia 925 the Finnish mobile giant is now announcing a event to be held in NYC on July 11th entitled Zoom Reinvented. This will be the launch stage for the company’s next flagship Windows Phone 8 handset codenamed EOS.

Based on the recent leaks the Nokia EOS will feature a design similar to the Nokia Lumia 920 but with a gigantic PureView 41MP camera on the back like it’s grand father the Nokia 808. This camera module will also feature active OIS, a mechanical shutter and also mechanical focus. The rest of the specification is still a mystery (besides the screen size which will be 4.5 and the lack of wireless charging embedded in the handset) especially the SoC powering it.

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Watch the Nokia Lumia EOS camera’s mechanical shutter and OIS in action

Yesterday’s Nokia EOS leak wasn’t the last as you can see in the short video below of the phone’s PureView camera’s mechanical shutter, focus and Optical Image Stabilization in action. You can clearly see the shutter opening/closing and the lens moving back and forth to adjust the focus in addition to up/donw to compensate for the camera movement.

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Nokia EOS finally shows up in real life

The Nokia Unicorn aka Nokia EOS Windows Phone 8 handset long rumored to pack the same 41MP camera sensor introduced with the Nokia 808 has finally shown its face today in a series of leaks that stormed web a few hours ago. As you can see in the pictures posted below the Nokia EOS is a nearly identical design to the Nokia Lumia 920 with one big difference being the huge camera module with xenon flash which replaces the 8.7MP sensor of the 920. The EOS also doesn’t natively feature wireless charging and will require a add-on cover like the Nokia Lumia 925.

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EA Games releases 4 Nokia Lumia exclusives titles plus more Windows Phone games

EA Games has just made available 4 of their mobile games which were previously released on Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows Phone 8 exclusively on Nokia Lumia handsets: Parking Mania, Trivial Pursuit, The Game Of Life & SPY Mouse. But today’s bigger news is that 4 new Nokia Lumia “timed” exclusive EA titles have also been released: Mass Effect: Infiltrator, Tiger Woods 12, Real Racing 2 and NBA: Jam.

Only Mass Effect: Infiltrator is Windows Phone 8 only and that shows because Real Racing 2 and Tiger Woods which are WP7.5 compatible aren’t really super optimized (not running native code) and are rendered at a lower screen resolution and then upscaled to 720/768P. Mass Effect on the other hand is perfectly smooth and seems to be rendered at a fairly good resolution. Even the game tiles of the Windows Phone 7.5 compatible games are super low-res as you can see in the screen shot above. Simply scan or hit the links below to at least try them all out before shelling out the cash.

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Nokia Lumia 925 announced: full specifications and Smart Camera lens

Nokia has just unveiled the Nokia Lumia 925 Windows Phone 8 handset today. Before going further I will just make it clear from the get go and tell you right now that the Nokia Lumia 925 is just a small update to the Lumia 920 similar to the Lumia 928. The only real significant update is the material of the body and a 6th glass element to the lens in the camera assembly to improve sharpness of the pictures (finally!).

The Nokia Lumia 925 has basically the same internal specifications as the Nokia Lumia 920 and 928: It has the same Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Dual Core SoC, 1GB of RAM 16GB of internal memory (32GB version is exclusive to Vodafone), only two HAAC mics like the 920 (the 928 has three of them), the same 4.5 AMOLED WXGA screen as on the 928 etc. Here are the full specs:

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Nokia Lumia 928 announced. Hitting Verizon on May 16th

The time has come for Verizon to have its own variant of the Nokia Lumia 920 and May 16th is the date.  The Nokia Lumia 928 is everything you can expect from a 920 but in a much lighter redesigned package (162g vs 185g). We all have different tastes but I have to say that the Lumia 928 looks quite a bit better than the 920 to me.

In addition to the Xenon Flash the 928 also surprisingly features an AMOLED screen instead of the IPS LCD found on the 920. I say “surprisingly” because one has to wonder why Nokia invested so much in the PureMotion HD+ tech if the plan was to only use it in one product and move to an AMOLED panel which totally negates the use of said tech (OLED’s have 0ms of response time..). The AMOLED screen should also fix my main gripe with the Lumia 920: crappy viewing angles because of the huge air gap between the glass and the LCD panel.

Last but not least; the Nokia Lumia 928 now feature three HAAC microphones (instead of 2 in the Lumia 920) and a new more powerful speaker. Unfortunately the device still records in mono unlike the Nokia 808 (or most of HTC’s latest handsets).

Everything else is identical to the Lumia 920 (same camera, same SoC but with WCDMA radio, same amount of RAM, Storage etc.). The most important change is IMO the AMOLED screen which should come in handy with the new lock screen that Nokia is going to implement in the GDR2 Windows Phone 8. I’m personally eager to see the sub-pixel arrangement which is hopefully RGB (wishful thinking) but most probably a form of Pen-tile close to the one found in the Samsung Galaxy Note II (and not the Galaxy S4 knowing that Samsung keeps exclusivity of its latest panel technology for 12 months).

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Should Nokia launch a new flagship Lumia smartphone this soon?

Nokia is having a press event next Tuesday May 14th to unveiled “what’s next” in the Lumia story. It has now been all but confirmed that the Finnish company is going to announce what looks like a new flagship Lumia product thanks to Vodafone UK who just posted on its blog the following:

There’s something big, bold and beautiful coming just around the corner. Nokia has invited the tech press to a gathering in London on May 14th to ‘see what’s next’ from Lumia, acting as the stage for the unveiling of a brand new Lumia product. The Vodafone team will be there in attendance, which can only mean one thing… Yep, that’s right: we’re proud to be able to say that (even though our lips are firmly sealed ahead of the launch) Vodafone UK will be stocking the next chapter in the Lumia story.

Now unless Nokia decides to surprise us all and announce a Lumia branded Windows 8 / RT tablet there’s a relatively big chance that the product in question is going to be a smartphone. Most probably the recently leaked Nokia Catwalk aluminum device which frankly doesn’t really look that nice in the early pictures we saw. My main beef though, is that I’m really questioning if Nokia should release a new flagship Windows Phone 8 handset this soon when there’s frankly no real need to do so especially if the device packs nearly the same hardware specifications as the Nokia Lumia 920 or even the soon to be released Nokia Lumia 928.

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Nokia Lumia 928 officially confirmed

Nokia’s Verizon bound Lumia 928 has just popped up on the company’s website at the following url . The same add also appears in the latest issue of Vanity Fair as seen in the picture below. The main difference being that the Verizon logo doesn’t show up in the web adverts which could be a hint that the Nokia Lumia 928 may be available carrier free in other regions of the word.

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Nokia Catwalk Windows Phone shows up in pictures: Looks ugly as sin

As you have probably already heard Nokia is apparently working on a new Windows phone handset featuring an aluminum body set to be released later this year. The Nokia Catwalk device (this is what it is being called right now) just showed up in 2 pictures originating from China. As you can see the handset has been slapped with the ugly stick and looks like a step back in terms of overall design compared to Nokia current range of Lumia handsets. Let’s hope that this is simply an early prototype and not the final design. Don’t you love the ugly back cover apparently made of plastic and the oddly placed micro-usb port on the top of the device?

Anyway, check out another shot of it after the break:

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Verizon Nokia Lumia 928 picture leaked

Verizon’s variant of the Nokia Lumia 920 which has yet to be announced has just showed up earlier today in the form of PR image. The Nokia Lumia 928 seems to sport a polycarbonate body similar to the 920 and not an aluminum one like some of the rumors where claiming. The back features the same 8.7Mp PureView camera but this time coupled with a single LED flash for the Auto-Focus Assist and a Xenon Flash right next to it.

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Nokia Music for Windows 8 and RT released

Nokia has just released it’s first Windows 8 / RT Metro / Modern application today. This first (probably not last) Windows 8 application is Nokia Music and mimics the synonymous application already available on Nokia’s Lumia Windows Phones. The main difference though is that users can only listen to 30s song samples instead of the unlimited streaming found on Lumia Windows Phones.

Ironically Nokia Music technically craps all over Microsoft’s own Xbox Music app on the platform. It’s faster, smoother, has a better UI/UX etc… It is lightning fast on my Surface RT compared to the bloody mess that is Xbox Music and Video. Microsoft is once again being one-upped by Nokia similarly to what is often happening on the company’s mobile platform. Hit the break to watch the application in action and download it.

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Photosynth for Windows Phone 8 finally released

At last! Photosynth for Windows Phone 8 has been released today after being delayed for several months. This new version now includes a couple of new handy features:

- Lens integration – Quickly capture and view panoramas by launching Photosynth directly from the camera.
-Ability to view shared panoramas—New sharing capabilities let other Windows Phone 8 users view your panoramas on their phone, and as always you can show off your panoramas by email, Facebook and Twitter.
-More camera controls – Adjust for various lighting conditions by using new exposure and white balance locking options.

You can downloaded now directly from the Windows Store by hitting the link here or searching for in using Bing (not the Store search) on your Windows Phone 8 handset.

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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HTC ONE: An awesome but also confused smartphone ?

The new HTC ONE is here and for the most part looks like the most powerful, well build smartphone that will hit the market this year. Sure it’s an Android handset but us Windows Phone users should expect to see this same hardware later this year as long as Microsoft update’s its WP8.X chassis specs to add support for Qualcomm’s new line of Snapdragon S400 / S600 & S800 SoC and 1080P screen resolution support.

Don’t get caught by the insane PR that HTC’s been pushing because the HTC ONE is definitely not going to revolutionize anything. A closer look at the specifications and features will give you the distinct feeling the Taiwanese manufacturer has been taking a really close look at what the competition has been doing (especially Nokia) and simply implementing hardware and software scenarios already available elsewhere but with its own touch.

Much of the buzz has been about the new camera sensor packed in the HTC ONE which for better or worst has been named the “HTC UltraPixel Camera”, a branding reminiscent of Nokia’s own PureView cameras. Before taking a closer look at this fancy offering let’s just check the HTC ONE hardware specification below:

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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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Windows Phone 7.8 update rollout started for Nokia handsets but others can also update now manually

Nokia has just started its Windows Phone 7.8 update roll out today for the Lumia 900, Lumia 800, 710, 610 and 510. Other manufacturers have yet to announced any date but as it’s usually the case you can already update your trusty Samsung, HTC, LG E900 or even Dell Venue Pro right now if you aren’t afraid to do it all by yourself. To do so simply follow the instructions below and grab the correct packages after the break:

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Nokia City Lens with SightLine for Windows Phone 8 released

Nokia has finally updated the Nokia City Lens for Windows Phone 8 with the SightLine building occlusion feature that was introduced back in December 1st 2012 in the Windows Phone 7 version of the application. Here are the new features introduced in the WP8 version:

  • See just what’s in front of you. Normally, City Lens shows you all the places nearby—even around the corner or a block away. In crowded areas, that can be a lot to take in. Our new Sightline features lets you switch your view to only what’s in your direct line of sight, making it easier to spot great places that are right in front of you.
  • Quick info– Get information while you look. Now you can quickly view a place’s address without leaving your camera view. Just tap to view the information overlaid on your display while you keep scanning. When you’re ready to learn more about the place, another tap pulls up its complete information.
  • Pause your view. When scanning your surroundings in camera view, you can now freeze your view and study your options without having to keep your phone pointed at the target.
  • Pin categories to start– Your most common searches with a tap. City Lens now lets you pin favorite categories to your home screen. Now wherever you are, you can find something you love nearby with just a tap.
  • Create Live Tiles– What you want at a glance. City Lens lets you search for your favorite things whether it’s books or sushi and lets you pin your favorite searches to your home screen.

You can grab it right now from the marketplace.

HTC and Nokia working on Windows RT tablets

News has just broke (or should I say “rumor”) that HTC is working on two Windows RT tablets that should launch in 2013. A 12inch and another 7inch device powered by a Qualcomm SoC which will probably be a SnapDragon S4 Pro (Quad-Core with Adreno 320). This story follows up recent rumors that Nokia is also hard at work on a similar device with the same Qualcomm chipset.

Talk about a Nokia Windows 8 tablet surfaced last summer (and here) but the Finnish company apparently decided not to take too much risk and wait for Microsoft Surface release to see if this whole endeavor is worth it. Unfortunately all of these rumors ,which should be taken with a pinch of salt, only make my decision to get a Surface RT even harder given that they will most probably be powered my a much faster SoC.

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Windows Phone 7.8 roll out started for Nokia Lumia 800 handsets

Nokia has apparently started to roll out Windows Phone 7.8 for the Nokia Lumia 800 in select regions today with more to come. As with all previous Windows Phone 7.X updates the update availability will depend on your region, hardware number and carrier and the full roll-out should probably take several weeks. As you can see in the pictures my Nokia Lumia 800 is already running Windows Phone 7.8 which I have manually flashed a few days ago. Those of you following on Twitter probably already know that because this particular handset tenured into a brick during the flashing process.

But a miracle happened last night when I decided to plug the charger into it one more time just in case… Boom it came back to life!. Don’t ask me how or why because I frankly can’t answer you. Suffice to say that I quite happy to have it back on its feet though.

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