In the middle of the (UK) night, Microsoft quietly launched its first Microsoft-branded Windows Phone, the Lumia 535, firmly hitting the low end 'affordable' sweet spot with a 5"-screened device that contains nothing surprising to AAWP readers but which should surprise plenty of newcomers to Windows Phone in the shops.
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Also announced today at IFA 2014 was the official name and contents for the next major Lumia software release - Denim. Based on Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, Denim also offers some Lumia-only features, quoted below.
At IFA 2014, as expected, Microsoft has launched the Lumia 730 and 735, with the former Dual SIM and nominally for Eastern and Asian markets, and the latter with LTE capability for Western markets. Highlights include a lower mid range starting price yet with 4.7" screen, wide angle 5MP front camera (for selfies) and 'Nokia' build quality.
Billed as an 'affordable flagship' at IFA 2014, Microsoft has launched the Lumia 830, with Lumia Denim software, 10MP 'PureView' camera and OIS, plus a replaceable battery and optional Qi wireless charging. Think of it as a cross between last year's 820 and the newer high end 930. News, plus some hands-on pics below.
Admittedly only on Verizon only at first, but launched today was a version of HTC's aluminium One (M8) design for Windows Phone - the M8 launched on Android earlier this year and was notable in its use of virtual controls. A factor which no doubt helped the reconfiguration of the handset for Windows Phone 8.1. Details below.
Another Windows Phone 8.1 handset just got announced this morning by Microsoft, the Nokia Lumia 530, coming in under the existing Lumia 630 (reviewed here). The 530 (available in single and dual SIM form) drops down specifications slightly, with 4" screen, Snapdragon 200, and 4GB of internal storage, but also comes in at an initial estimated High Street price of under 100 Euros, so I'm guessing about £60 on pay as you go.
Microsoft today announced that it has completed its acquisition of Nokia Devices and Services division, following approval by shareholders and governmental regulators and almost eight months on from the initial announcement. Microsoft is now a major mobile hardware manufacturer and will now begin the complex process of integration. Nokia continues to exist, primarily as a network infrastructure (NSN) business, coupled with the strategically important maps (HERE) and research and intellectual property (Advanced Technologies) businesses.
The Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview is now available for download, allowing any interested party to install the latest version of Microsoft's mobile platform onto any existing Windows Phone 8.0 device. Key features of the update include the introduction of Cortana (US only), the arrival of Action Centre (improved notification functionality), and a deeper and richer API set for developers.
Following misunderstandings and mistranslations on other sites, we have confirmed details of what will be in the upcoming Lumia Cyan update in the camera department - so at least let's put the record straight.
After surfacing in various rumours, the Samsung ATIV SE has appeared on the Verizon website, with little in the way of an official fanfare announcement. The handset, which is exclusive to the US network and becomes Samsung's flagship Windows Phone device, is scheduled to start shipping next week. At launch it will be running Windows Phone 8.0, but is likely to be one of the first devices to receive the Windows Phone 8.1 update over-the-air (May or June).