Tag Archives: Nokia

Looking Forward to Windows Phone in 2015

windows-phones

As 2014 winds down, Windows Phone is at a crucial stage in its lifecycle. Again. Earlier in 2014, Microsoft closed the acquisition of Nokia’s hardware division and Windows 10 was launched in a Technical Preview form. Nokia’s acquisition, combined with the upcoming Windows 10-based version of the phone operating system, has perhaps resulted in a slight pause in release of true flagship devices that can compete with the latest versions of competing platforms, the iPhone and Android/Nexus lineup.

So, as we look forward to the early 2014 look at the combined Windows RT and Windows Phone OS based on Windows 10, what can Microsoft do to preserve and grow its share, both market share as well as mind share? Recently, some prominent writers have written in detail about why they are no longer using Windows Phone as their primary device. Key takeaways there were lack of proper support of the platform by the largest mobile network in the US, Verizon Wireless, as well as lack of key apps on the platform. Apps that include the likes of Slack, Trello, Snapchat, Tinder, etc.

I have my own reasons why I switched to using iPhone 5s as my primary device last year. I know Windows Phone 8.1 added Notification Center but many of the problems are still valid issues for those who care about top-end Windows Phone experience. For example, adding Action Center to store all notifications is a great start, but in order to take action on those notifications, you have to tap it which opens the app, and then you take action within the app. Android, and now even iOS to a certain extent, have actionable notifications and those need to be implemented on Windows Phone.

The broader issue with Windows Phone is that for the third year in a row, enthusiasts are made to wait for “the next version” for feature parity with iOS and Android. Meanwhile those two platforms, due to the incredible ecosystem which creates a great virtuous cycle, have implemented next-generation features that move the goal posts for Windows Phone. Also, this wait for the next version of Windows Phone only takes care of part of the problem plaguing the platform; app developers are still not flocking to the platform because in the US, where most of the innovative apps have been created in the recent past, Windows Phone is still languishing around the 3% market share. Forget Windows Phone, even choosing Android as the second platform to be supported by small developers, is hard (although that Android situation is changing slowly).

Here are some things to look forward to as yet another chapter opens for Windows phone (yes, the “p” is lower case, because rumors suggest that Windows Phone operating system will be merged with Windows RT and just called Windows 10):

Windows 10

There’s a lot of hope for Windows 10’s ARM-based OS version, the merger of Windows RT and Windows Phone. How will apps built for Windows Phone work on Windows 10? What about additional features in the OS which will create an unforeseen appetite both on the consumer side as well as on the developer side? Cortana has rightly won accolades for how well she works, but it has not moved the needle much for device sales. Granted, it is not fully launched yet, but still. Also, what else can Windows 10 do that iOS and Android don’t do, and more importantly, can Microsoft find something that Windows 10 can do which iOS and Android *won’t* be able to do?

Windows 10 Product Family
Windows 10 Product Family

Flagships

One of the issues I had with Windows Phone when I got my iPhone 5s was the increased (and justifiable) focus by Microsoft on the lower end. They see their best market potential in markets which haven’t achieved smartphone saturation yet. In those markets, Microsoft has been able to sell their entry-level devices quite well. So Microsoft making “affordable flagship” a term for mid-range devices with some high-end specifications is completely understandable.

However, many customers in the developed markets would love to get a true high-end phone that competes well with the flagship iPhone and Android devices. The Lumia 1020, for example, has no successor yet. Yes, the Lumia 1520 is a great phone but there needs to be a non-phablet version of that device to make it appealing to the larger customer base.

Lumia 1520
Lumia 1520
Lumia Icon
Lumia Icon

Updates

Yes, Microsoft did create a bypass of sorts by making it possible for any “developer” to get direct updates of the software from Microsoft. Pretty much anyone can sign up to be a “developer” by signing into App Studio online, thereby making sure any enthusiast who cares about latest OS versions, will get it directly from Microsoft. That has helped reduce the angst among the enthusiasts but it is only one part of the updates customers need; firmware that makes devices work better, is delivered by the OEMs and via the carriers. Carriers have no real urgency to complete (or in some cases, even start!) testing and delivering the firmware to Windows Phone devices.

Could Microsoft come up with a way to deliver even more firmware directly? I mean, Windows on PCs get all updates delivered directly, and if Windows 10’s mobile version is going to be like “big Windows”, then I am optimistic that most of the updates could be delivered directly by Microsoft. Having said that, could Microsoft find a way, Windows 10 or otherwise, to deliver it without the need for the device to be a developer device?

Mind share

This is a really tough nut for Microsoft to crack. Much of the mind share these days is delivery via the Microsoft-averse tech blogosphere which has settled down on Apple and Google as being the only two players worth caring about. In order to win them over, Microsoft has to climb a virtually impossible mountain but as we have seen in the enterprise/cloud space, it is not impossible. A few crucial strategic moves on the Azure/Visual Studio side have made Microsoft somewhat of a darling in the same tech press, and Microsoft has to find a similar set of moves to make on the consumer side in order to increase their mind share. I say this because even Windows Phone 8.1 is an excellent operating system and there is a lot to love there, but if the writers who write at prominent tech blogs don’t care to use it, and worse, dismiss it, it does not help. I am not sure what those strategic moves could be, but Microsoft does need to make those moves so that the tech press actually cares about writing about Windows devices.

I am optimistic about Windows 10. I like the fact that there will be one OS for phones and tablets and I look forward to seeing some of the well-established Windows Phone apps get upgraded to be Universal and work on small tablets as well. But most importantly, I want to see how Microsoft expands Windows 10 to work as one OS across phones, tablets and PCs. There are many interesting applications of having one OS work across devices of all form factors and I am curious to see how today’s excellent phone applications work on my Windows tablets. On the phone side, I am looking forward to some nice high-end devices and some marquee apps releasing their Universal versions soon.

Here’s looking forward to another exciting year for Microsoft and Windows!

Lumia Denim: Windows Phone 8.1.1 + Firmware Updates

Lumia_Camera

Among many other announcements at IFA 2014 on September 4, Microsoft announced the latest update to the Windows Phone OS. As is usually the case with Nokia’s Lumia updates, this update, called Lumia Denim, is essentially a combination of updates delivered via Windows Phone 8.1 Update (let’s just call it Windows Phone 8.1.1, shall we?) and firmware updates. These firmware updates add some new features and functionality and also improve the overall performance of Lumia devices and pre-loaded apps.

To start with, the newly announced Lumia 730, Lumia 735 and Lumia 830 will come pre-loaded with Lumia Denim. The other Windows Phone 8 Lumia devices will receive this update over the air in Q4 2014 after appropriate partner and carrier testing.

We have provided a brief overview of what’s delivered in the core OS update, but here are the features delivered via the firmware update include in Lumia Denim:

Moment Capture

4K-quality video recording at 24FPS now available on Lumia devices. You can invoke this by long pressing the camera button. Since each frame is 8.3 megapixels, each individual frame can be shared as a still image too.

Rich Capture

Auto-HDR and Dynamic Flash are now included in the images taken. This way, it will be possible to take a picture and then adjust the camera settings later, to get the perfection in the shot.

“Hey Cortana”

Cortana, the impressive personal digital assistant included first with Windows Phone 8.1, can now be invoked by just saying “Hey Cortana”. Similar to Google Now’s “OK Google”, this feature enables even quicker access to Cortana. As a side, this is enabled by the SensorCore technology, so it won’t be available on Lumia devices which do not have SensorCore.

Glance screen

Glance screen (on eligible devices) can now show additional information from Bing Health & Fitness and Bing Weather in addition to notifications, time and date, and application data.

Lumia Camera

Lumia Camera is the updated name of the application formerly known as Nokia Camera. Updates to this app make it faster and more intuitive.

Speed and improved image processing

It is now even faster to invoke the camera, and there have been speed improvements made in going from shot to shot. In addition, new image processing algorithms make lowlight images even better than before.

These non-core OS updates show again why Lumia devices are still the best bet if you want to own a Windows Phone. Unless and until we see such innovation come from HTC, Samsung and the others, it is hard to see why you would think of using a non-Lumia Windows Phone device.

Microsoft Announces Lumia 830 Smartphone With 10 MP PureView Camera

Along with the selfie phones, Microsoft has also announced the mid-range successor of its Lumia 825 smartphone at the IFA 2014 event in Berlin. The Lumia 830 packs a 5 inch HD Curved Glass Display, 1.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, Windows Phone 8.1 Operating System with Lumia Denim and so on.

The main highlight of this smartphone is the 10 megapixel PureView camera with ZEISS optics and thinnest Optical Image Stabilization system. Apart from that, the over-the-air Lumia Camera update will bring faster pocket to shot and shooting speeds, plus new capture features. this handset offers stand-by time for up to 22 days. However, this device comes with a disappointing 1 megapixel front facing camera.

nokia_lumia_830

The Lumia 830 will go on sale later this month with a price tag of 330 EUR (approx. INR 26,000) excluding taxes and subsidies. This handset will be available in orange, green, white and black colors. Check out the complete specs after the break.

Lumia 830 Specification:

  • 5 inch HD Curved Glass Display
  • 1280 x 720 pixels resolution
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • 1.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor
  • Windows Phone 8.1 Operating System with Lumia Denim
  • 10 megapixel PureView camera with ZEISS optics
  • Rich Recording and Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1 megapixel front-facing camera
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • WLAN IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 16 GB internal user memory
  • 128 GB expandable memory
  • Up to 14.8 hours of talk-time
  • Up to 22 days of stand-by time
  • 2200 mAh removable battery

Lumia 730 And Lumia 735 Selfie Phones Unveiled At IFA 2014

Microsoft finally unveiled its much talked about selfie phones at the IFA 2014 in Berlin. Lumia 730 and Lumia 735 features a Full-HD 5 megapixel wide-angle front-facing camera with a focal length of 24mm allowing you to take perfect group snaps with friends. It also comes pre-loaded with Nokia’s selfie app, which will help you to create original selfies.

Apart from that, it packs a 4.7 inch HD OLED display, 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 6.7 megapixel rear camera and more. These devices runs on the Windows Phones 8.1 Operating System with the latest Lumia Denim update which brings Live Folders, Apps Corner and more secure networking.

nokia_lumia_730

The Lumia 730 is a dual-SIM phone while the Lumia 735 is a single-SIM phone. These handsets will go on sale later this month. The 4G LTE variant is priced at 219 EUR (approx. INR 17,200), while the 3G dual SIM variant is priced at 199 EUR (approx. INR 15,600) excluding taxes and subsidies.

Lumia 730 and Lumia 735 Specifications:

  • 4.7 inch HD OLED display
  • 720 × 1280 pixels resolution
  • 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor
  • Windows Phone 8.1 Operating system with Lumia Denim
  • 6.7 megapixel rear camera with LED flash
  • 5 megapixel wide-angle front-facing camera with Full HD video
  • 8 GB internal memory
  • 128 GB expandable memory
  • HERE location services
  • Free global HERE Maps
  • HERE Drive+Free
  • HERE Transit
  • 4G LTE Connectivity
  • 2220 mAh battery
  • Wireless charging compatible

Lumia 530 Announced with a Dual SIM Variant

The budget segment has been the biggest area of strength for Windows Phone devices, with handsets like the Lumia 520 and the 620 doing brisk business. The Lumia 520 alone managed to capture over a third of the Windows Phone market. Now, this crucial low-end Windows Phone handset is receiving a refresh in the form of the Lumia 530. The Lumia 530 promises to deliver more for less. However, the competition has gotten a lot tougher over the past few months with the launch of well-built Android devices like the Moto E. Does the Lumia 530 have enough to put up a good fight?

Nokua Lumia 530 1

The Lumia 530 is identical to its predecessor in terms of size and weight. The display still measures in at 4 inches, but the pixel density has been marginally improved to 245 ppi with the change in resolution to 480 x 854 pixels. The bright and vibrant colors that we associate with Nokia’s Lumia series are still there, but the Lumia 530 eschews the sharp, rectangular design in favour of a more conventional curved appearance.

Nokua Lumia 530 2

Nokua Lumia 530 3

The Lumia 530 features a Qualcomm Snapgradon 200 with a quad-core 1.2 GHz CPU that Microsoft will undoubtedly pitch as an improvement over its predecessor. However, in reality, the new processor will deliver roughly similar performance since it is a Cortex A-7, while the older one was a Cortex A-9 (Krait). Even the GPU is marginally inferior (Adreno 302 in 530 vs Adreno 305 in 520). The amount of RAM has remained unchanged at a measly 512 MB, but internal storage has been halved to 4 GB. Thankfully, the new Lumia is runs on Windows Phone 8.1, which allows the installation of apps on micro SD cards. Windows Phone is also less memory hungry than Android. So, even a device with only half a gigabyte of RAM should still be responsive and usable.

Nokua Lumia 530 4

Another piece of hardware that has been downgraded is the camera. Both the 520 and the 530 feature a 5 megapixel camera, but the latter is fixed focus and can’t capture HD (720p) videos. Front camera for video calling is still missing. The battery unit, which is unchanged, is rated at 1430 mAh.

Nokua Lumia 530 5

The Lumia 530 will be available in two variants – Single SIM and Dual SIM, and is expected to be priced at around €85 (a little over $110). Nokia also announced a companion Bang mini speaker by Coloud, which will retail for €19.

Somewhat surprisingly, the new Lumia appears to be a weaker phone than its predecessor. Everything including the chipset, camera, and storage have been downgraded. However, it might still end up being a big seller due to its newly earned quad-core status and the reduced price tag.

Official Rollout of Windows Phone 8.1 Begins. Lumia Cyan Also Released.

 windows-phones

Microsoft announced on July 15 over on the Nokia Conversations Blog that Windows Phone 8.1 is beginning to roll out to general public starting today. In addition, for Lumia devices, Nokia is also making their firmware named Cyan available in tandem.

Windows Phone 8.1: Action Center
Windows Phone 8.1: Action Center

 

As you know, Windows Phone 8.1 is a major update to Windows Phone 8 (despite the .1 name, which is mostly to be in line with Windows 8.1) which includes many features that bring it up to par with iOS and Android, and in some cases, catapult it ahead of those two. For example, Windows Phone finally gets a notification center in the form of Action Center to bring it up to par with iOS and Android. There are many other new and updated features, including:

Cortana

A digital personal assistant with a personality of her own. Many think  of it as a good blend of Siri from iPhone and Google Now. It takes the personal nature of Siri and combines it with the ambient and context-aware nature of Google Now, and throws in a privacy-focused “notebook” which stores all the information that one would want the assistant to track. I have used Cortana quite a lot since the developer preview was released and am really happy with how she works, including the recent sports predictions.

Third column of tiles

Previously this feature was only available on the larger, 1080P screen devices but now it is a setting on all Windows Phones. The added density of tiles makes it possible to see even more information on the go, and thereby makes it possible to have more wide tiles which surface more information on the live tiles.

WiFi Sense

 

Windows Phone 8.1: More tiles
Windows Phone 8.1: More tiles

This feature allows one to automatically log in to wireless hotspots, including optionally filling out browser-based login screens which are common at many wifi hotspots. The settings are saved so that the information does not have to be entered over and over again. WiFi Sense also allows one to optionally share wifi username and password with connected contacts (who obviously should be using Windows Phone), so there is no awkward password sharing involved when friends and family visit each other.

Word Flow goes to the next level

The Windows Phone keyboard is one of the best among its competition, especially given the accuracy of its predictions of the next word, but with Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft added a gesture-based keyboard. This keyboard is similar to the ones found on Android (and coming soon to iOS 8) but combine that gestures with the predictions and you get a fast, fantastic typing experience.

Windows Phone 8.1: Wordflow with gestures
Windows Phone 8.1: Wordflow with gestures

 

Internet Explorer 11

Besides an updated browser engine, Internet Explorer now lets you share favorites, open tabs and most importantly, passwords among Windows devices (as long as they are Windows 8 and above :-)).

New Calendar view

Not only is the Calendar app now a standalone app (as evidenced by updates to the app delivered recently to those who are on the developer preview of Windows Phone 8.1), but it also adds a much-requested week view. The view is very smartly designed because when you tap on the date icon in the app bar below, it keeps the weekly view but simply expands that day of the week. Similarly, if you tap on any other day of the week, it simply expands that day. Tapping it again will switch the view to the daily view.

The Cyan firmware update is applicable to Lumia devices, and as suggested by it being firmware, the update provides lower-level improvements to the device in general. These improvements help Nokia’s great photo applications like Nokia Camera, Creative Studio and Storyteller.

Cyan also delivers a new Device Hub, which is meant to identify devices near you which you can connect to, as well as suggest apps which will be able to take advantage of the connection to the said devices. For example, if it finds a Windows 8 PC nearby, it may suggest Remote Desktop as an app, if it detects a media streaming device like a DirecTV receiver, it may suggest a media streaming app.

For the low-end Lumias like Lumia 520, 525, etc., the HERE Drive app gets bumped up to HERE Drive+. For the high-end Lumias like Lumia 1520 and Lumia Icon, Cyan enables Rich Recording and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 sound. The high-end Lumias also get improvements in photos with improved colors and even better low-light photos along with RAW images and a new Living Images feature which adds a tiny bit of animation before the shot is taken, to add “life” to the image.

Now, for the not-so-great news. Windows Phone 8.1 and Cyan are available but they have only been delivered to the carriers. The update rolls out based on the carriers’ testing. The good thing is that Nokia is documenting the updates on their page as usual. The page is here.

I have been running the developer preview and I feel it is now up to the developers to bring their apps to the performance level that Windows Phone 8.1 provides, especially on the higher-end devices. I had almost given up on Windows Phone but Cortana and Action Center kept me interested. Along with many new apps coming to the platform, it has become a truly legitimate contender from a features perspective. The market, especially US and China, will of course speak with their wallets, but at this point Windows Phone 8.1 on a recent Lumia is not a bad choice to go for.

Here’s Nokia’s official video walking us through Windows Phone 8.1 and Cyan:

 

All images from Nokia and Windows Phone sites

Powerful and Inexpensive Lumia 635 Available on T-Mobile and MetroPCS in July

Lumia 635
Lumia 635

The extremely affordable Lumia 521 (a variant of the Lumia 520, made for T-Mobile) has a successor. Microsoft announced on July 1, that the first Windows Phone 8.1 device for the US will be arriving on T-Mobile/MetroPCS soon.

The schedule is a bit hairy, so here goes:

  • From July 5, this phone can be purchased via the Home Shopping Network
  • From July 9, it can be ordered online at t-mobile.com
  • From July 16, it will be available at T-Mobile stores
  • From July 18, it will be available at select MetroPCS stores

The pricing is $0 down and $7/month for 24 months or a promotional price of $99 off-contract.

 

Lumia 635
Lumia 635

The phone has a 4.5” screen combined with a quad-core Snapdragon processor, and unlike its predecessor, it works on the fast 4G LTE speeds. The phone will come pre-loaded with Windows Phone 8.1 and its personal digital assistant Cortana.

It is also one of the first phones to include software-based buttons on the front as well as SensorCore, the technology which enables low-power tracking of various sensors in the phone.

Here’s an official hands-on video:

I am a big fan of these low-cost Windows Phone devices, and I love my Lumia 520. Most apps work flawlessly on my 520 (subject to the 512MB RAM limits) and I am sure the same will be true for the Lumia 635. Another improvement in this phone over the 520 is that the microSD card slot can accept cards up to 128GB, and Windows Phone 8.1 allows apps and media to be stored on the expansion slot, so the 8GB default storage is no longer a concern.

Windows Phone has not picked up any steam in the US market and while in the rest of the world has shown a fondness for the low-cost Windows Phone, it remains to be seen if the Lumia 635 can change any of that. I am considering swapping out my 520 for the 635. Are you thinking about getting one?

Nokia Lumia 630 Review: The First Windows Phone 8.1 Device is a Budget Champ

Nokia Lumia 630 is the first Windows Phone 8.1 device to be available in the market, and incidentally also the first device launched by Microsoft Mobile, the new Microsoft company formed after the acquisition of the devices business of Nokia.

Nokia Lumia 630 (3)

The Lumia 630 is also the first Dual SIM Windows Phone device, a feature that Windows Phone enthusiasts and potential customers, especially in markets like India, had been clamouring for since long.

Design

The Lumia 630 carries on the same polycarbonate design we’ve seen in the Asha and several Lumia devices. It’s sleek and at 9.2mm thickness, feels pretty good in hand. The 630, weighing just 134 grams, is almost the perfect and most popular size for a smartphone.

Nokia Lumia 630 (4)

The colorful back shells – available in white, green, orange, and yellow – sport a matte finish, and are interchangeable. Under the hood, there are two micro SIM slots and a microSD card slot for additional memory card. The build quality is brilliant and random drops or bumps wouldn’t hurt.

The missing camera shutter hardware button is an odd omission since it’s been a taken-for-granted feature in the Windows Phone devices I’ve used.

Hardware

Nokia Lumia 630 sports a 4.5-inch IPS LCD display. The ClearBlack display has a 480×854 resolution and comes with Gorilla Glass 3 which should take care of minor scratches. Lumia 630’s display is not brilliant, but good enough at this price point. The sunlight readability is also pretty decent.

Powered by a quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, the 630 packs in only 512 MB RAM. The Windows Phone operating system is optimized for low configuration, and almost all apps work fine on a 512MB device. Some games, of course, have a minimum 1 GB requirement for installation, so if you are a heavy, indulgent gamer, this might be a deal breaker for you.

Nokia Lumia 630 (5)

To position the Lumia 630 as a budget phone, Nokia has cut corners at several places. While the phone introduces SensorCore, a hardware-dependent software solution that allows apps to use the sensors with minimum power requirement, it does not pack in the usual ambient light and proximity sensors. SensorCore allows the phone to track user’s activity like steps taken and location data.

The proximity sensor enables a phone’s display to turn off during a call to avoid unwanted taps, but the 630 features a workaround that turns off he display when the face or the ear touches it. It sounds awkward, but the execution is perfect. In over a week of use, I never had inadvertent taps while taking a call. The automatic brightness control of Windows Phone is obviously missing due to the absence of ambient light sensor. Although, again, keeping the brightness setting to medium level worked for me through the day in different light conditions.

Nokia Lumia 630 (1)

The Lumia 630 comes in two variants – Single SIM and Dual SIM. In the Dual SIM variant, you get separate Messaging and Phone Tiles with individual call records and messaging threads. However, you can merge the two for an integrated interface. The phone allows you to switch between the two SIMs while making a call or sending a text, or viewing a contact. This is not just convenient, but very seamless. Also, the Smart Dual SIM feature allows you to automatically forward calls from one SIM to the other when the first one is not reachable.

Camera

The average 5MP rear camera isn’t a highlight of the Lumia 630. Although, not many phones in this price segment impress much with the camera anyway. The photos captured in day light are good enough with decent color reproduction, but since there’s no flash, most photos in low light or dark conditions would disappoint.

The front camera is excluded in the Lumia 630. Although, apart from the latest trend of selfies, that’s a justifiable compromise for a budget phone.

Software

Nokia Lumia 630 is the first device that ships with Windows Phone 8.1. The update not only irons out issues based on user and developer feedback on Windows Phone 8, but also adds several important features to make the operating system at par with the competition.

The much requested Action Center comes to Windows Phone. Similar to the unified notifications center in Android and iOS, the Action Center displays customizable toggles, notifications, alert messages, network indicators, date, and battery level.

Another two major enhancements are the ability to customize the Start screen with background wallpapers instead of the erstwhile blocks of Live Tiles and the new World Flow keyboard. The Start screen now also allows you to add an extra column of tiles in case you want access to more apps and information in a glance. The Word Flow keyboard is similar to the Swype experience in Android, and makes the typing experience on Windows Phone the best in business.

In another first, the Lumia 630 is the first Windows Phone device that comes with virtual soft keys for navigation. You can enable haptic feedback for these keys and choose to keep them always dark, match the background color of the app in focus, or match the accent color.
The phone packs in a three months subscription of Nokia MixRadio with unlimited free music downloads.

Summary

The Windows Phone experience on the Lumia 630 is very smooth overall despite what the specifications sheet says and launching apps, browsing the Web, and playing music and videos is a breeze. The apps take a little longer to resume, but that shouldn’t bother most users. While playing casual games like Temple Run is all good, even graphics-intensive game like Asphalt 8 performed well, and better than most Android devices in this price segment.

Nokia Lumia 630 (2)

The battery life is pretty good, and the 1,830mAh removable battery will last for an entire day with brightness set to maximum and 3G usage all through.

The Lumia 630 is available for ₹10,500 (Single SIM) and ₹11,500 (Dual SIM), and at that price, the 630 offers great build quality and first-rate user experience. There are a few clear compromises like the camera, but a good buy otherwise.

Nokia Lumia 625 Announced

Nokia’s latest Windows Phone smartphone for the budget conscious buyer is out of the bag. The Lumia 625 was announced earlier today, confirming much of what had been suggested in earlier leaks. Realizing that there is a growing demand for large screens, Nokia has equipped the Lumia 625 with a 4.7’’ screen. Interestingly, this is the largest display we’ve seen in a smartphone from Nokia. Even the latest flagship – the Lumia 1020 – sports a 4.5’’ display. However, in order to accommodate a larger screen at a lower priced phone, Nokia had to compromise by lowering the resolution to WVGA (480 x 800 pixels). This amounts to a pixel density of 199, which is a fair bit lower than the standard these days. The IPS LCD being used is also said to suffer from narrower viewing angles and inferior outdoor visibility. Nokia has, however, retained the “super-sensitive touch” feature from its flagship, which enables the touchscreen to work even with gloves.

Nokia-Lumia-625

In terms of hardware, the phone is quite capable. It runs on a Snapgradon S4 chip, which features a dual-core 1.2 GHz Krait CPU and Adreno 305 GPU. However, only 512 MB of RAM is available, which means that not all apps and games will run on the handset. The 625 comes with a 5 megapixel rear camera capable of recording stills at a resolution of 2592х1936 pixels and full HD videos (1080p) at 30 fps. There is also a VGA front cam. The handset is LTE equipped and supports Bluetooth 4.0, but NFC didn’t make the cut. The 2000 mAh battery is a significant step up from the 1300 mAh battery in the Lumia 620, and should ensure good battery backup. Talk time is rated at 19 hours on 2G and 13 hours 20 minutes on 3G. The Nokia Lumia 625 is expected to be launched across Europe, Africa, Latin America, and parts of Asia (including China and India) in Q3 for about $290.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Announced; Features 41 MP PureView Camera

lumia 1020Nokia has announced the much awaited, and speculated, next generation flagship Windows Phone 8 device – Nokia Lumia 1020. The phone brings the 41 MP PureView camera from the Nokia 808 to their Lumia series, although reengineered from ground up.

The PureView 41 MP sensor comes with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and features 6 lens optics (the most seen in a smartphone as yet). It features Xenon Flash for still images and LED for video. The phone offers high resolution with 3X zoom. Apart from the optics, the phone also bundles exclusive software – Nokia Pro Camera mode and Nokia Smart Camera Mode.

The phone is powered by Qualcomm 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 dual core processor and 2GB RAM. It features a 4.5” AMOLED WXGA (1280 x 768) display uses Gorilla Glass 3. The battery on the phone is an average 2000 mAH. The phone includes 32GB internal memory.

[VIDEO] Hands On: Nokia Lumia 1020 – Hardware

The Nokia Lumia 1020 comes in three colors – Yellow, White, and Black. Apart from tbe regulars like Nokia Wireless Charging Cover and JBL PowerUp Wireless Charging speakers for Nokia, the accessories announced include a Nokia Camera Grip PD-95G that provides extra battery and also acts as tripod for camera!

[VIDEO] Hands On: Nokia Camera Grip

Nokia Lumia 1020 will be available in AT&T stores starting July 26.  The phone can be pre-ordered online from July 16. The phone will be available for $299,.99 with a 2 year contract. While Nokia did not announce global availability dates, they mentioned that the phone would be available in China and select European markets in this quarter.