Walmart to be exclusive retailer, selling W1 as prepaid smartphone
Huawei will be putting its first Windows Phone 8 device on sale in the United States as a prepaid device in the near future. The Huawei Ascend W1, renamed the Huawei W1 for the US market, will be made available in Walmart stores and Walmart.com later this month, and retains the same specifications and feature set that Electronista saw at Mobile World Congress in February.
Lumia, Windows Phone portrayed as being above the fray
In a new TV ad that vaguely recalls the Tareyton cigarette slogan "I'd rather fight than switch" from the 1960s, a new commercial for the Nokia Lumia 920 and its Windows Phone 8 OS pokes fun at the war between Apple and Samsung (and their respective users) in an amusing manner, portraying Nokia's offering as being outside the fray and a fresh alternative. The ad features a brawl breaking out at a wedding between iPhone and Galaxy users and features a number of witty moments, including the Siri signature sound and man with an Apple tattoo.
Windows Phone 8 smartphone uses 8MP camera, 1.5GHz processor
Details relating to the Huawei Ascend W2 specifications have reportedly appeared online. The high-end Windows Phone 8 device is alleged to have a Qualcomm S4 processor running at 1.5GHz supported by 1GB of RAM, along with an image showing a slightly more rounded design compared to its predecessor, the Ascend W1.
Windows Phone 8 smartphone includes Cinemagraph, Here apps
T-Mobile will be bringing the Nokia Lumia 521 to the United States, sometime in May. The entry-level Windows Phone 8 handset, bearing more than a passing resemblance to the Lumia 520 unveiled by the manufacturer at Mobile World Congress in February, will be able to connect to T-Mobile's 4G network.
Update period could be extended past initial 18 months
Microsoft will stop supporting Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.8 in mid-2014, according to a product support lifecycle table. Updates, including those to help secure the mobile operating systems, will last until July 8, 2014 for Windows Phone 8, while Windows Phone 7.8 users will see its life cycle support continue until the 9th of September.
Latest midrange Windows Phone
Verizon has offered only a few choices for Windows Phone devices, recently adding Samsung's Ativ Odyssey as the fourth option. With a $50 subsidized price tag, the handset sits between HTC's Windows Phone 8X and Nokia's Lumia 822. In our full review, we try to determine if the Odyssey represents a viable competitor among its close peers and in the broader smartphone market.
Downloadable albums, revamped music library
Music service Rhapsody has updated its application for Windows Phone 8, adding a number of new features. The revised software includes a number of changes to work fully with the operating system as well as some cosmetic alterations, and now offers subscribers an option to listen to downloaded music offline.
App required complete rebuild from Windows Phone 7 version
Streaming music service Spotify is now available to use on Windows Phone 8 devices. Now downloadable from the Windows Phone Store, the new Windows Phone 8-specific app is launching in beta, and offers new users a free trial lasting for 30 days, before requiring the premium service subscription of $10 per month.
Five Nokia, HTC handsets with WP8 go on sale
British carrier Vodafone has started to offer a number of Windows Phone 8 devices on it's network in the United Kingdom. The Nokia Lumia 920, Lumia 820, and Lumia 620 is joined by the HTC 8X and 8s for the carrier's WP8 launch, with only the Samsung Ativ S making a notable absence from the device roster.
Mid-range Samsung ATIV Odyssey gets January 24 debut on Verizon
The previously leaked Samsung ATIV Odyssey Windows Phone 8 smartphone has been pegged for a January 24 launch on Verizon. Although appearing similar to the flagship 4.8-inch ATIV S, the ATIV Odyssey will sit beneath that handset with a 4-inch display. It will carry a 4G LTE radio, along with standard Windows Phone 8 specifications.
Ascend D1 LTE bound for Japanese market
If you're familiar at all with astrophysics, you'll understand how the gravitational pull of Huawei's Ascend Mate phablet drew us back to the Chinese manufacturer's booth for the second day in a row. This time, we crossed the event horizon in order to check out Huawei's other offerings, namely the Ascend D1 LTE and Huawei's Windows Phone offering, the Ascend W1. Huawei also had a few tablet offerings on display that we'll get to later, but for the moment these two actual hand-friendly handsets were our targets for handling.
Lack of support for high-resolution screens cited as cause
HTC is reportedly scrapping its plans to build a five-inch Windows Phone 8 handset, with software restrictions said to be to blame. It is said that a Microsoft-enforced limitation on screen resolutions, was the primary cause for the change of plans, along with a limitation for what processors could be used on WP8 devices.
No Gmail or Drive apps for MS; Google to focus on Android, iOS
Google won't be rolling out apps for its Gmail or Google Drive apps for Microsoft's Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 platforms in the near future. This according to the product management director at Google Apps, who says that the company has not seen any indication of interest in apps for the new generation of Windows. Instead, Google is committed to continually growing and improving its app suite on iOS and Android.
Leak places Samsung ATIV S for mid-December launch
A tipster has handed Mobile Syrup a screenshot from what appears to be a Bell Canada inventory showing that the Samsung ATIV S could be set for sale on December 14. The long-awaited Windows Phone 8 flagship handset is expected retail for $80 on a three-year plan or off-contract for $600. The ATIV S was the first major Windows Phone 8 handset to be unveiled earlier this year, however it has been subject to delay with speculation surrounding the short supply of its 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display.
Microsoft details the art of making a smartphone soft keyboard work
Microsoft has published a blog explaining the enhancements it has made to the soft keyboard in Windows Phone 8. Among the improvements over the keyboard in Windows Phone 7, Microsoft has introduced a feature it calls Word Flow that it has designed to reflect how people talk to each other. To get the auto-correct and predictive text function working with 94 percent accuracy out of the box, it says it reviewed over 2.5 billlion words from which it picked the 600,000 most common.
Budget handset keeps NFC, adds dual-shot back covers
Nokia has added a new Windows Phone 8 handset to its range, joining the Lumia 820 and Lumia 920. The Lumia 620 is the company's "third and most affordable" in its Windows 8 handset range, and is the first to use a new dual-shot color technique to its case design, namely adding a second layer of polycarbonate to create "secondary color blends and depth effects."
Lumia 920 surges in Europe off LTE capability
Early indicators seem to have Nokia's Lumia 920 giving the Finnish company a much needed sales boost, as some analysts have the 920 grabbing the number three spot among smartphones in the United States. Meanwhile, in Europe, the 920's ability to connect to more 4G LTE networks than Apple's iPhone may be helping Nokia's ability to compete in that market. The Lumia 920, which runs Microsoft's Windows Phone 8, is widely regarded as a must-win handset for Nokia, as the smartphone maker's fortunes have suffered badly in the face of stiff competition from Apple, Samsung, and others.
Windows Phone update expected globally shortly after
Microsoft is set to launch Windows Phone 7.8 for the Chinese market in the "coming weeks." The comments of the Greater China Vice President of Microsoft made the comments, suggesting that a release of the upgrade for older handsets will be taking place in the rest of the world in the not too distant future.
Preview includes always-on background service, full video chat
Microsoft has released a preview version of Skype for Windows Phone 8. Announced during the recent Windows Phone 8 event, the preview version includes the ability for the app to run as a background service, saving on battery power and processing, and for incoming Skype calls to come through to the handset in the same style as a normal phone call.
API calls, Windows 8 integration features will not work
Microsoft has explained the difference between the mobile and desktop versions of Internet Explorer 10. While the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 do share the same core programming, there are some browser-based functions that the mobile version cannot do as of yet, something that web developers will need to look out for.
Windows Phone 8 handsets to debut on Verizon
An announcement from Verizon today tipped customers off to the availability of Windows Phone 8 handsets on the nation's largest carrier, with the Lumia 822 from Nokia and HTC's Windows Phone 8X going up for pre-order November 9 at 1 a.m. EST. The two new smartphones will be the first Windows Phone 8 models to appear on the nation's largest carrier. They'll both come with a number of built-in Verizon apps, such as VZ Navigator, Backup Assistant Plus, and a number of sports apps.
Monitored list of 11 million hotspots to help mobile users
Microsoft is using a crowdsourced "curated" hotspot system in Windows Phone 8, in an effort to help its mobile users manage their mobile data costs. DeviceScape is providing the technology behind the Data Sense Wi-Fi map, including data for over 11 million hotspots that have been tested for speed and connection quality.
Behind-the-scenes explain choices in Windows Phone UI
Microsoft has explained its thinking behind the Windows Phone 8 Lock screen and the home screen. Two company blog posts explain the processes behind the two screens, why the changes from what were established in Windows Phone 7.5 were made, as well as some other behind-the-scenes commentary.
On-demand streams of keynotes, sessions available
Microsoft has now put all of the session videos online from Build 2012. The conference, which took place at the Microsoft campus, was attended by Windows developers that were looking to build apps for the recently-released Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Phone 8 operating systems.
New Microsoft Windows Phone could be called Surface as well
Fresh rumors have surfaced that Microsoft is developing its own Windows Phone 8 smartphone. According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft is said to be ‘testing’ is own Windows Phone 8 hardware with a device bearing a screen “between four and five inches. A similar rumor emerged in early October, with the China Times also claiming that if it pushes ahead, Microsoft will reuse the Surface brand name on the handset.
Year of ad-free Pandora, data management system added to WP8
In a media event today, Microsoft officially revealed the newest version of Windows for mobile phones, Windows Phone 8. Joe Belfiore, Microsoft's Windows Phone Program manager, took the stage early to explore the OS' new features, as well as to explore how Windows Phone 8 would help users manage their data plans, control access for whole families, and manage their social media activities. Belfiore also made certain to highlight the app ecosystem for the new OS, as well as how Microsoft has tailored its platform to allow users to personalize their devices with a range of apps and features.
New Windows Phone 8 handsets available for preorder
Best Buy and AT&T have begun releasing pricing information on the two best-known Windows Phone 8 models, the Lumia 920 Nokia and HTC's Windows Phone 8X. Best Buy is pricing the 8X at $100, while Nokia's flagship sells for $149; both prices are contingent upon a two-year contract. AT&T has announced that it will be stocking both devices, and pre-orders for the two handsets began today.
Nokia, a victim of its own success and poor choices
How does a company that was the leading mobile handset maker in the world for 15 years, and $11 Billion in cash just five years ago become an also ran? That’s a question many at Nokia must have asked themselves as they watched it lose control of its own destiny and instead become highly reliant on a strategic alliance with Microsoft to survive. A former manager with the Finnish phone giant spoke with Electronista about the company's unraveling over the past five years, which he traced to Nokia's decision to pursue both Symbian OS and Maemo OS as two distinct development initiatives.
Cross-platform music service starts on Xbox 360
Microsoft is launching its Xbox Music service far earlier than anticipated. The cross-platform music service will roll out onto Xbox 360 consoles from tomorrow, with Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Phone 8 receiving it on the 26th. Despite the multi-platform nature of the service, it will not appear on Windows 7 or handsets running earlier versions of Windows Phone.
Colorful midrange Windows Phone
As the world awaits the official Windows Phone 8 launch, HTC is showing off its forthcoming Windows Phone 8X and 8S handsets. Electronista last week checked out the flagship 8X, and HTC brought the midrange 8S to the MobileCon expo so we could take an early look at the full range of colorful Windows Phone offerings.
Windows Phone 8 smartphone to be T-Mobile exclusive
Nokia's Lumia 810, a new Windows Phone 8 smartphone, will launch as an exclusive to T-Mobile's network in the coming weeks. The news came today in a joint announcement from Nokia and T-Mobile, one noting that the Lumia 810 -- not to be confused with the Lumia 820 -- will feature compatibility with T-Mobile's 4G network and would have many of the Nokia-specific apps that have come to characterize smartphones from the Finnish manufacturer. The announcement gave no date certain for the 810's availability, but it is expected to launch shortly after the full unveiling of Windows Phone 8 at the end of this month.
HTC's Windows Phone flagship gets a brief look over
Electronista recently got to spend a bit of time checking out the new smartphones due out this fall from HTC. The Taiwanese manufacturer had both Android and Windows Phone 8 devices on hand, but we took a special interest in the Windows Phone 8X, HTC's flagship model for Microsoft's forthcoming Windows Phone 8. Admittedly, we took such an interest due in part to the fact that we hadn't had much luck poking around WP8 with other manufacturers' models, and we were hoping HTC might be a bit more forthcoming. No such luck, but we did get to check out the build quality of the device.
Elop: Nokia has WP8 rights beyond others, even Microsoft
Even with rumors of a Microsoft smartphone surfacing again, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop believes the Finnish smartphone maker will be able to distinguish its Lumia line of Windows Phone 8 devices and provide a WP8 experience that no other manufacturers can match, including Microsoft. Elop's comments came as part of an interview with GigaOM, one in which the Nokia CEO noted that Nokia's bet on the Windows Phone platform had netted the phone maker some permissions particular to Nokia. Those permissions, as well as Nokia's years of research into smartphone technologies, give Elop confidence that, should Microsoft roll out its own smartphone, Nokia's position in the WP8 segment will be largely unaffected.
Microsoft phone said to be in testing already
Microsoft is said to be working on its own branded smartphone, a device different in some manner from Nokia's Lumia 920 and HTC's Windows Phone 8X, as well as other models from Microsoft's hardware partners. Rumors of the new device began emerging earlier this week, but now WPcentral cites reliable -- though unnamed -- sources affirming that the software giant is working on and testing its own Windows Phone 8 hardware. Should a Microsoft smartphone materialize, it would represent the second major foray by the company into the making of mobile hardware, after this summer's introduction of the company's Surface tablets.
HTC 8X promo highlights WP8 features, new hardware tweaks
HTC’s first promo video for its upcoming Windows Phone 8 smartphone, the 8X, has hit YouTube. The commercial aims to promote the particular strengths of the Windows Phone 8 OS, as well as the new hardware features HTC has introduced with the handset. Unlike HTC’s One X+ Android flagship that carries a large 4.7-inch display, the 8X keeps its size to a more manageable 4.3-inches.
Windows Phone 8 handsets to launch in November
At a media event today in New York, HTC officially revealed its new Windows Phone 8 lineup, the Windows Phone 8X and the Windows Phone 8S. The two new handsets, available in an array of colors, and representatives from both HTC and Microsoft have been stressing the new handsets as the result of an intense focus on form-meeting-function with regard to the interaction of hardware and software. The 8X and 8S feature a clean, squarish design, with a 4-inch screen for the 8S and a 4.3-inch screen for the higher-end 8X.
Sony considering a Windows Mobile reprise
Sony is said to be mulling the possibility of introducing Xperia devices powered by Windows Phone 8. While Sony has offered Windows Mobile devices in the past, it opted to steer clear of Windows Phone 7 while it sought to gain a foothold in the Android space currently dominated by Samsung. It currently has an Android smartphone portfolio exceeding 20 devices, however a European Sony Mobile boss has indicated that the Japanese company is in talks with Microsoft.
HTC Accord to be called Windows Phone 8X
HTC’s mid-range ‘Accord’ Windows Phone 8 handset has had its official specs leak out, as well as press shot of the device thanks to Paul O-Brien. Also confirmed is that the device will be known as the Windows Phone 8X when it goes on sale in October. It will run a 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor matched with 1GB of RAM, instead of the previously rumored 1.5 GHz processor.
Nokia’s procession of integrated accessories for its just-announced Windows Phone 8 devices, the Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 keep rolling out. The latest accessory to surface is the new Luna Bluetooth headset that comes in the same colorful colors as Nokia’s new handsets. In addition to supporting Qi wireless charging, the devices also include NFC technology quick and settings-free device pairing.
Wireless charging, 32GB storage said confirmed
While images of Nokia's forthcoming Lumia 920 have already leaked, the specifications of the device are now said to have been revealed ahead of its expected launch this week. Sources close to Nokia have spoken with The Verge, revealing that the new handset will support wireless charging, among other features. The sources also revealed that, while the phone will feature PureView branding, it will not have a camera on par with the one seen in the 808 PureView.
Nokia September 5 launch event spoiled with Lumia 920, 820 leaks
Nokia’s September 5 Windows Phone 8 launch plans have been spoiled by what appears to be an authentic press shot of its next-generation flagship handset. The Lumia 920 is set to be the standard bearer for the Finnish smartphone maker and is said to sport a dual-core processor centered on a large 4.5-inch display. However, helping to greatly boost its appeal, the device also appears to sport Nokia’s vaunted PureView camera technology.
Device may be a low-end Lumia model
A recent patent filing appears to have revealed the design of a forthcoming Windows Phone 8 device from Nokia. Nokiapoweruser first spotted the filing, which was filed on August 21. The drawings show off a frame that looks similar to Nokia parts that leaked earlier in the year, and observers believe they may describe the Nokia "Arrow," a mid-range handset due to be unveiled early in September.
Nokia sales chief calls out Samsung by name in tweet
Nokia's sales chief Chris Weber has taken to Twitter directly calling out Samsung. Of its upcoming Windows Phone 8 handsets due to be unveiled on September 5, Weber tweeted, "Samsung take note, next generation Lumia coming soon." With the Finnish handset maker struggling to gain traction with its current Windows Phone 7 line up, Weber could either be trying to build hype, or could be very confident that Nokia has got it right with its latest smartphones.
Nokia's first Windows 8 handset continues current Lumia look
A Weibo user has posted, then deleted, images of what could be Nokia's first Windows 8 device, reports BGR. Following in the footsteps of the Lumia 800 and 900, the latest design follows the same unibody polycarbonate approach. The device also bears similarities to the rumored Lumia 910, that is thought to be the first Nokia device to ship with the new OS. With Windows Phone 8 just around the corner, it is unlikely that Nokia would launch a new handset running a soon to be superseded OS lending further credibility to the leak.
Codenamed Samsung phones listed in Apple trial filing
Samsung may be preparing two or more handsets for Windows Phone 8, according to court documents. Filed as part of the ongoing Apple vs Samsung trial, two handsets labeled “Marco” and “Odyssey” are listed as running WP8 and using Qualcomm's MSM8960 dual-core 1.5Ghz system-on-chip, which Microsoft is using in tests of its mobile operating system, according to The Verge.
Customization, camera shown off in leak
A new video obtained by The Verge demonstrates a few features Microsoft didn't highlight when it showed off Windows Phone 8 earlier this year. The video shows a Software Development Kit version of Microsoft's forthcoming mobile OS, and it highlights a number of customization options that will be available for Windows Phone 8 users, as well as some of the OS' other functions.
Offers revenue split, handset support to networks
Nokia is reportedly considering offering an exclusive Windows Phone 8 smartphone launch to European carriers in exchange for a revenue split. The offer, if accepted by phone networks, would see Nokia offering not only Windows Phone 8 handsets but also a support service, in a move mirroring Apple's exclusivity deals when it first released the iPhone in June 2007.
Lumia 900 gets reduced to just $50 subsidized
Nokia and AT&T have slashed the price of the Lumia 900 Windows Phone 7 flagship handset to just $50 on a two-year plan. With most flagship handsets costing anywhere up to $199 on a two year contract, the Lumia 900 had debuted in April at an already thrifty $99. A recent analysis of Lumia 900 sales in the US suggests that Nokia has managed just 330,000 sales since its debut, while news that the smartphone won't be upgradeable to Windows Phone 8 may also be behind the price cut.
Nokia phones also bound for Verizon
The imaging technology powering Nokia's 808 PureView will soon be making its way into the company's Lumia line of Windows handsets. This according to Nokia Vice President of Worldwide Developer Relations Richard Kerris. Kerris spoke recently with Neowin, revealing that the company is working to bring novel technologies to its handsets and to expand the number of carriers supporting Nokia smartphones.
Same app that tipped the Lumia 910
The same service that tipped the existence of the Nokia Lumia 910 has now revealed that Nokia may also have a Lumia 1001 in the works. A writer at TechCrunch explored the workings of Nokia's Remote Device Access program and found the unrevealed device's name among testable units listed in the program. The higher numbering of the device's name would seem to indicate that it is an evolution of the Nokia line and could possibly run Windows Phone 8.