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.
Yesterday’sNokia 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.
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.
The Halo franchise is finally headed to Windows Phone as an exclusive first party game from Microsoft’s 343 Industries Studio in collaboration with Vanguard Studios. Halo: Spartan Assault is a top-down arcade shooter game which will be exclusive to Windows Phone 8, Windows 8 and Windows RT. The game’s story line is set between Halo 3 and Halo 4 and will focus on the Halo: Spartan Ops team’s first mission against the Covenant forces.
The development and released of this exclusive title was only a matter a time given the different OS’ share core and APIs and is a definitive sign of Microsoft flexing it’s muscle to pushed it’s ecosystem further ahead of the Xbox One launch later this year. Still thinking that MS doesn’t really care about Windows Phone? Well this and the flood of high quality applications hitting the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 Store in the past months is a clear sign the Redmond is finally “getting it”.
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.
Anyone who downloaded the newest Windows Phone 8 YouTube application released last week and developed by Microsoft saw this one coming a mile away. This particular application allows users to download/pre-cache videos, doesn’t display ads and can also playback restricted videos. Three consecutive strakes that are forbidden by Google’s Terms of Services. It only took the Mountain view company more than a week to send Microsoft a cease and desist letter asking for the removal of the application before May 22 (read the whole letter after the break).
Unfortunately for the search giant this was nothing more than a clever trap set by Microsoft aimed at putting Google’s hypocrisy in the spotlight as seen in Microsoft’s answer to the C&D letter:
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:
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).
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.
Nokia’s Verizon bound Lumia 928 has just popped up on the company’s website at the following url http://www.nokia.com/lumia928 . 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.
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:
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.
Pandora is finally available on Windows Phone 8! It is unfortunately still a US only service so the rest of the world will have to wait until next week to get another hotly anticipated Windows Phone 8 app according to Joe Belfiore. Anyway, the Windows Phone 8 Pandora app will be add-free and feature unlimited streaming until December 31 2013 so grab it while it’s hot if you are lucky enough to live in the US. Check all of the app features below with a direct link to the App:
Skype for Windows Phone 8 has been updated today bringing back the People Hub integration that was drop out of the app in the latest update and new features like HD Video chat with the back facing and front facing camera, portrait / landscape video chat support and finally the ability to sign in/out to switch Skype accounts on the fly (yes this was impossible before…).
- Face-to-face video calls look better than ever with high definition video support.
- Show your smile or just what’s around you – with front and rear camera support.
- Video calls in portrait or landscape, whichever feels best.
- Call friends and family with free Skype to Skype voice calls over 3G* or WiFi.
- Make free video calls to anyone else on Skype as well as low cost calls to mobiles and landline around the world.
- Send instant messages to friends on Skype, as well as friends on Messenger if you sign in with your Microsoft account.
- Stay in touch even when the app is closed, with call and message notifications.
- See all your Skype contacts in the People Hub**.
Nokia has just released the first beta of Place Tag for its Windows Phone 8 Lumia phones. So what is Place Tag? It is a camera Lens app that allows you to take pictures with POIs integrated in them. Think of City Lens but with ability to snap a shot.
Nokia Place Tag takes more than a photo. It reveals info about the places within your photo, such as museums and famous buildings, which you can then share as a digital postcard with your friends.
Wish you were here?
You can also use Place Tag to get interesting background info about the places tagged in the photo. And if you need directions, that’s also easily available too.
I personally don’t find the whole thing really that useful especially as a separate application. Adding a camera feature to City Lens would have been more logical IMO… You can download Place Tag by scanning the QR code below.
Is this the beginning of a new trend? Today saw the release of one of the first high profile exclusive application for Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8. Disqus, the comments services / community used by the vast majority of the top blogs and websites on the web (yes even here on MobileTechWorld) now has a mobile application exclusively available only on Windows Phone.
The app still has a few tiny bugs that seem to be mostly cloud related but other than that the whole package is pretty much perfect from a UI and feature point of you. Here’s what’s included:
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).
The BBC has just announced that iPlayer support will finally be coming to Windows Phone 7.X and Windows Phone 8 in the coming weeks. But there’s a catch: this isn’t going to be a full blown app but simply a link/shortcut (similar to the “official” Youtube one) to a modified website compatible with IE9/IE10Mobile.
We will be releasing a shortcut to BBC iPlayer in the near future which will be available in the Windows Phone Store, enabling the BBC iPlayer website to work on Windows Phone 7.5 and 8 via a live tile.
This shortcut will wrap the BBC iPlayer mobile website together with our media player. Hopefully these and other developments will help to expand our online reach further. Our latest figures show that over 650 different device types can access BBC iPlayer.
Better than nothing I guess….and obviously only applies to UK users.