Here's a bold prediction for you. The biggest selling Windows Phone device in 2013 will run Windows Phone 7. I wouldn't put my house on it, but I'll give you good odds on it happening. Hold on a moment, Microsoft are gearing up to release Windows Phone 8, there's a bundle of new handsets on the way that are cutting edge (such as the 8X and the Lumia 920), why would the world need Windows Phone 7 devices?
Earlier this year we looked at how many apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace were incompatible with devices with 256MB RAM, such as the Nokia Lumia 610. At the time of writing, in late May, 1.6% of apps were incompatible, but that figure rose to 4.6% for the top 10,000 apps. Four months on, we've crunched the numbers again, and found that the proportion of incompatible apps being added to the Marketplace has fallen significantly.
Now, there's an element of guesswork in what follows, but I did want to address the issue of camera phone design, specifically the use of PureView 'phase 2' for the new Nokia Lumia 920, using Optical Image Stabilisation, large F2.0 lens and faster, brighter LED flash instead of simply using a proper 'Xenon' flash. Using back of envelope-style calculations, I try to draw some conclusions, though one thought keeps popping up in my head: if I was heading to a party or down the pub, I think I'd get better snaps from my 2007 Nokia N82 than the (late) 2012 Nokia Lumia 920. Controversial, me?
Supersizing is the new trend in the mobile world. The adage of 'bigger is better' seems to be the guiding principle in this era of phone design. The Android market has seen larger and larger devices, resulting in the likes of the Dell Streak and Samsung Galaxy Note. Apple isn't immune either; with the release of its iPhone 5, we see the familiar iPhone 4 design stretched to accommodate a four inch screen. The current crop of Windows Phone 8 announcements have all been four inch or greater displays too. Isn't there a need for smaller devices too?
Battery technology underpins all of our mobile devices, yet we take it for granted. Matters are made worse for the curious souls who try to find out more because the information available online about Lithium Ion based batteries is vague at best. If you're curious about Lithium Ion batteries and the difference between them and Lithium Polymer, here's our guide on how they work and how they differ.
The launch of the HTC 8X and 8S set tongues wagging, with CEO Peter Chou proclaiming the 8X as "the signature Windows Phone 8 device". Surely the Nokia Lumia 920 was going to be the flagship? Has Microsoft given up on Nokia? Far from it. Microsoft made the best move possible for Windows Phone 8, and its long term success.
OK, there's a slight element of interpolation in this head to head in that one of the devices (the Lumia 920) isn't publicly available yet, but the press has had hands-on time, at least. In any case, with the iPhone 5 now available across the world, it's the perfect time to produce a full head-to-head, trying to assess areas of each smartphone, with one flagship from each of the four major mobile operating systems, which win out.
Qualified design listings for the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 have been posted to the website of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. The listings show that Nokia's two Windows Phone 8 products have support for Bluetooth 4.0, including the ability to act as a Low Energy Controller. In this feature we explain the implications and offer some additional detail on the new Lumia's Bluetooth hardware.
HTC became the third manufacturer to launch their Windows Phone 8 range today with the announcement of the HTC 8X and the HTC 8S. Just as Samsung and Nokia were limited in what parts of Microsoft's Operating System they could show off, HTC focused on the hardware, the design, and the custom software that would differentiate their handsets on the market. Their chosen battleground? Music.
HTC has been the strongest Windows Phone supporter over the last two years. Nokia may have joined the party a year ago, but with today's announcements it is clear that HTC is going to be making a major push with its Windows Phone 8 handsets. In this preview we take a look at the flagship device - the Windows Phone 8X by HTC - looking at the overall design and key user experiences.