We have already heard about the two GDR updates expected for Windows Phone 8.1 in 2013, with GDR1 being mainly bug fixes, and GDR2 to be more feature rich and offer improved hardware support.
Now NokiaPowerUser has been shown more info from their sources about GDR2, and they report even greater support for powerful hardware.
According to NPU GDR2 may bring support for 2K resolution display and the Snapdragon 805 processor.
The Snapdragon 05 processor can run up to 2.7 Ghz, comes with the Adreno 420 GPU with up to 40% performance improvements and lower power consumption, and support for 4K screen resolution, better power management, Quick Charge 2.0, a new low-power DSP for even longer music playback, USB 3, WIFI 802.11ac3, support for 55 megapixel cameras and much more.
While a Windows Phone using such a chip will not offer all these features, it does enable OEMs to push the boundaries of the current state of the art for smartphones.
Read more about the processor here.
Senior editor at the Verge Tom Warren has just dropped a small bombshell in an otherwise innocuous tweet.
In a tweet about the recent rumour of GDR updates for Windows Phone 8.1 he also suggested a couple of Sony handsets may drop by July.
Sony has recently confirmed that they are in talks with Microsoft about a phone, with Pierre Perron, head of Sony Mobile Europe saying:
“We are continuing our discussions with other partners, including Microsoft, as part of our partnership with this company on the broader Sony spectrum.”
He then confirmed that talks were tentative, though other rumours suggested the company was already starting a small production run of a few thousand handsets.
Perron declined to give a specific date on when we might see a Sony Windows Phone. I guess July is as good a date as any.
Sony has a history of producing a number of Xperia Windows Mobile handsets, and also producing a prototype Windows Phone 7 handset that never shipped.
Do our readers think their return to the platform is likely?
A senior Microsoft developer, who was verified by the Reddit Mods, has held an AMA on Reddit discussing Windows Phone 8.1, and some tasty titbits surrounding its development and the future.
He revealed details such as that by replying with a keyword like Knock Knock your inner circle can break through your Do Not Disturb barrier.
|BAADFOOD 1 point 1 hour ago
Also you can set ‘inner circle’ to enable them to ‘break through’ on texts by replying ‘knock, knock’. Or just let me through.
I choose ‘knock, knock’. I get texts all the damn time from my ‘inner circle’. 0.001% is important.
BAADFOOD 59 minutes ago
There are three settings
1) Don’t let inner circle through 2) Let them through if they call three times on the phone, or reply ‘knock,knock) 3) Let inner circle through
Basically if I get a phone call if I’m in a meeting (thanks Calendar) or probably asleep I won’ hear it and it goes to voice mail. If I get a text during any of those times I won’t see it unless someone in my ‘inner circle’ (you pick who) does it. And if they do, it better be damn important.
BAADFOOD 35 minutes ago
the second your meeting or ‘quiet’ time ends you see all.
unless you break the rules and text first. because we’re not stupid like that.
He revealed in Windows Phone 9 users will have multiple options for video calls – currently there can only be one video call option at a time.
Sammobile reports that besides the high-end Samsung ATIV SE, Samsung is also working on a mid-range Windows Phone 8.1 handset with some pretty good specs.
The Samsung ATIV Core is said to offer a 4.5 inch 720P screen, 1 GB of RAM, a 2,100 mAh battery and either an 8 or 13 megapixel camera.
The specs sound very similar to the rumoured Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini, which is said to have a Snapdragon 400 Quadcore processor and 2 megapixel front-facing camera, and otherwise identical specs to the Core.
The handset may be a victory for Microsoft’s strategy of aligning Windows Phone’s hardware requirements with Android, which will make it easy for OEMs to churn out Windows Phone knock-offs of their best sellers.
From the leaked emulator we already know Windows Phone supports 2K (double 1080P) screen resolutions.
Now a new entry in the GFXBench site suggests that such a device may already be under testing.
According to Gfxbench.com somewhere a Qualcomm processor running a Windows OS is testing a cropped screen with a 1422 x 800 screen resolution. The setup was powered by the Adreno 420 GPU, which is at present married to the Snapdragon 805 processor, and which supports a full 4K resolution.
Of course the entry could related to Windows RT, but it would be significant if Microsoft intends to keep up with the specs race after all and release a handset with monster specs some time this year.
We posted last night on a leak which suggested the Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview, which will seed the OS update to any registered developer, will be hitting handsets on the 8th April.
WPCentral has now chimed in and refined the date, stating that the OS update will in fact be arriving on the 10th April.
The news is good whichever date is correct, as it means in less than 2 weeks anyone really interested will be able to play with all the Windows Phone 8.1 goodies which have so widely leaked, simply by registering at the App Studio and downloading the Preview for Developers app.
Earlier rumours have also suggested the OS update will start rolling out to handsets in Early May, and if this is correct I think we will all be suitably impressed.
Are our readers excited? Let us know below.
There have been rumours that the Nokia Lumia 630 and Nokia Lumia 930 will be launched at BUILD 2014, in less than 4 days.
Readers may have notices while the Nokia Lumia 630 has been widely leaked, including actual videos of the handset in action, the Nokia Lumia 930 remains a mere rumour.
Now, according to the trusted sources of NokiaPoweruser.com, the explanation is pretty simple – the handset will not be ready in time for BUILD 2014.
They do however also have some good news to report. Their sources claim the Developer Preview will hit handsets very soon, on the 8th April, and that the OS update will start rolling out to current Windows Phone 8 handsets in early May.
There have been rumours that Windows Phone 8.1 has been delayed, but more recent news has suggested the OS is already in the handsets of OEMs. Hopefully we will not have to wait too long for a new high end Windows Phone 8.1 handset.
WPCentral reported last week that some bugs were preventing Windows Phone 8.1 from being released to manufacturers.
Now they have updated their news, saying the OS has in fact been released to OEMs after all, and that devices should hit the market before the end of April.
According to WPC the OS was released to OEMs on the 26rd March, who are adapting it for devices as we speak, with a small bevy of devices, such as the Nokia Lumia 630, Nokia Lumia 930 and Samsung ATIV SE expected to hit the market around the 23rd April.
There is no clarity yet regarding the Windows Phone 8.1 Developer preview or official updates for Windows Phone 8.1 devices yet, but after the disappointing news of last week, we certainly hope this development is the real deal, and a new wave of Windows Phone 8.1 handsets hit the market when expected.
WPCentral reports that the Windows Phone Core team has just signed off on the code for Windows Phone 8.1, less than a week before BUILD 2014, where the OS is expected to be announced.
According to WPC the CXE (Consumer Experience Team) is still working on some bugs, which will take a few weeks before the OS can be sent to OEMs to integrate into new devices.
If true, this means, contrary to expectations, we should not see new Windows Phone 8.1 handsets hit the market for several weeks, and much more likely a month or more, and it also suggests any developer preview or official update is even further away. The Nokia Lumia 920 for example launched 4 weeks after the OS shipped, and the first Windows Phone 7 handsets 2 months after Windows Phone 7 shipped.
Are our readers disappointed that Windows Phone handsets may be only arrive closer to Summer than early Spring? Let us know below.
Nokia today announced that they will be having a presentation at BUILD 2014.
At the event they promised:
What makes 2014 so special is the exciting Microsoft and Nokia partnership, and boy, have we got some treats lined up for you.
While the company is widely expected to show off two new Windows Phones, the animated banner they used for the announcement has some interesting icons, one for the Mix radio service, one for Nokia Camera, and one which clearly shows a watch face.
See the gif after the break.
Nokia is widely expected to move into wearables after they divest themselves of their handset division, and one of the treats they may be showing off could be a smart watch, which will presumably be windows phone compatible.
Is it just a check mark, or are our readers convinced? Let us know below.
The next major update by Nokia, after Nokia Black, may be Nokia Blue, according to Nokia Russia, on their YouTube channel.
In the above video Nokia Russia describes Nokia Black, the current update that came with GDR3, but the presenter ends with:
"Sort it out faster because the new firmware coming soon – Nokia Blue.”
Of course it may just be a bit of humour, but like with other updates it seems rather likely, like in the past, that Nokia would also have it own customizations and improvements to accompany Windows Phone 8.1.
This would have its advantages and disadvantages of course – we can just imagine what cool things Nokia will package, but it may also delay the roll-out of the software.
Since Windows Phone 8.1 has been widely leaked already, what do our readers imagine the mysterious Nokia Blue will pack? Let us know below.
MyNokiaBlog reports from a trusted source that Nokia and Microsoft may announce two new Windows Phone 8.1 handsets at BUILD 2014 on the 2nd April.
One handset rumoured to be announced is the widely leaked Nokia Lumia 630, which is a low-end handset with a WVGA-like 854×480 4.5 inch screen, virtual navigation buttons, no camera key and no flash.
The other is the more mysterious Nokia Lumia 930, which is expected to be a repurposed Nokia Lumia Icon for the international market.
The biggest news from BUILD 2014 is of course expected to be Windows Phone 8.1, another widely leaked unannounced product. Another major announcement at the show is likely that the deal between Nokia and Microsoft for Nokia’s handset business will finally also have closed.
Ex-Microsoftie Nawzil has claimed on twitter that Windows phone 8.1 will support USB Mass Storage devices, and will be able to manipulate the files on the device using a File Manager.
The feature will work via USB On The Go (OTG) and will presumably require a cable like the one pictured right.
In theory a full USB OTG implementation would support cameras, USB Flash Drives, Mice and Keyboards, but I suspect we should not raise our hopes too high.
Is this a feature that excite our readers?
Thanks John for the tip.