Microsoft’s smart watch is more or less confirmed, with Forbes vouching for the existence of the cross-platform fitness tracker.
Now Gearlive.com claims to have seen the device in person, being road tested in New York a few months ago.
The tester initially denied that it was the real deal, but according to Gearlive eventually relented and spilled the beans.
Despite the arrival of 20 megapixel camera phones like the Nokia Lumia Icon, 930 and 1520, the Nokia Lumia 1020 remains the Windows Phone imaging flagship, offering a massive sensor, 41 megapixel resolution and a variety of camera-focussed accessories.
The device is however getting rather behind the times in terms of its other specs, only having a dual-core processor and 720P screen, suggesting we should see a follow-up this year.
Damien Dinning, previously head of imaging at Nokia, has posted his wish list for a successor, and while he does make sure to disavow any insider knowledge, having left in December 2012, he will likely have a reasonable idea of what’s reasonable and what’s on the roadmap.
Damian said he would like to see a device with a larger display, faster shot to shot speed, autofocus during video and more manual controls during video recording.
He also suggests a future device would benefit from having a removable microSD card, and feature video editing, sweep panorama and high frame rate video.
Much of these features are already available via the WP8.1 SDK, so it seems pretty likely a device that takes full advantage of these will arrive at some point.
He goes on to say:
Windows Phone has gained a raft of new OEMs this year, but we expect most handset delivered by them to be of the rather low-end variety.
NokiaWPBlog reports that according to new leaker Leakster Inc., we may actually be in for a surprise, at least from Indian OEM Micromax.
Forbes reports that Microsoft is working on a smart watch that measures heart rate and synchs with iPhones, Android phones and Windows Phones.
The watch will measure heart rate via optical means, consistent with recently revealed Microsoft patents, and will have a two day battery life.
The device is said to look like the Gear Fit, and have a full colour touch screen about the size of half a stick of gum, positioned on the inside of the wearer’s wrist.
The US PTO has recently published a patent application by Microsoft for a smart watch/ fitness tracker.
GeeksonGadgets, an offshoot of MyNokiaBlog, have posted the above image, which appears to show what they claim is the very first picture of the rumoured Nokia Lumia 530, said according to evleaks, to be heading to T-Mobile USA.
It appears to have a smaller 4 inch screen and on screen buttons, and appears to lack a camera button.
What do our readers think of the new low end hero? Let us know below.
According to some benchmarks on AnTuTu Microsoft is working on a Nokia X2, a successor to the Nokia X, with a 4,3 inch WVGA screen, 4 GB storage and 5 megapixel camera and running the Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor.
Now of course these specs could as easily run Windows Phone, and according to a posting on Secret, a messaging network designed for posting both true and false news anonymously, the handset is set to offer the option of Windows Phone also via Dual-boot.
A documents had earlier been leaked on the Neowin forums showing some of Microsoft’s roadmap for the next year.
That document had been heavily censored, but Myce.com managed to get the full uncensored version, which has only one titbit relevant to Windows Phone users.
According to the document we can expect Windows Phone 9 Preview to hit the market around the same time as Windows 9, in Q2 or Q3 2015, presumably with a final release in Q4 2015.
This would give us around 16 months between major releases, only somewhat faster than the 17 months between Windows Phone 8 (October 2012) and Windows Phone 8.1 (May 2014), and probably not the pace which is needed given the competitive environment.
Do our readers think Microsoft needs to get Windows Phone development into a higher gear? Let us know below.
See the full document after the break.
We’ve just been tipped of another great picture of the ZTE Nubia W5, a rumoured ZTE handset with pretty amazing specs, showing up in China on the Weibo social network.
The image, which is meant to be of an actual handset, looks very realistic, but these days of course a picture is not really proof of anything.
evLeaks revealed some good news for HTC fans on Windows Phones.
The company is apparently set to release a new Windows Phone 8.1 flagship named the HTC W8#WL.
The bad news is that the handset, like seemingly every high end Windows Phone, will be heading to Verizon in USA, which may either mean there is an exclusivity period or the handset may never make it to international markets at all.
How do our readers feel about the news? Let us know below.
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.