Windows Phone 8

Microsoft Devices to roll out Lumia Denim Update this year


When Microsoft Devices introduced its latest Nokia Lumia 830 and Lumia 730/735, they had also announced its latest Lumia Denim software update that’s based on the latest Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1. Apart from the 3 new models, the Denim Update will be rolled out to existing Windows Phone 8 Lumia devices within this year in Q4.

Some of the major changes the update would bring include Live Folders, App Corner to segregate your application between work and play, SMS Merging, improved VPN and native Internet Explorer browser.

On top of that, they are also introducing Lumia Camera which will replace Nokia Camera with better camera experiences. To capture epic moments faster, you can take photos quickly from your pocket in just a matter of split seconds. It also brings new 4K video recording at 24fps and a new Rich Capture mode that lets you adjust the dynamic range after the picture is taken. On certain models such as the Lumia 930 and Lumia 1520, you can trigger Cortana by voice even when the phone is in sleep mode.

They have yet to release a full roll out schedule but based on the past Lumia Cyan Update, the update delivery should be quick across their Windows Phone 8 devices.


HTC Windows Phone 8X to get Windows Phone 8.1 Update next month


The HTC Windows Phone 8X which was hailed to be a signature Windows Phone 8 device is finally getting a fresh breath of life. According to HTC, they will be rolling out the latest Windows Phone 8.1 update to the HTC Windows Phone 8X by late October, at least for Verizon sets in the US.

Nokia on the other hand had already completed its rolled out of Windows Phone 8.1 update through its Lumia Cyan update covering a total of 11 models. The new Windows Phone 8.1 brings a couple of new features including Action Centre, wordflow keyboard, transparent tiles and WiFi Sense.

Like the saying goes, it is better late than never.


Voice Command Comparison: Cortana vs Siri vs Google Now


The new Windows Phone 8.1 introduces a new voice assistant called Cortana. To find out how does it compare in handling day to day voice commands, WPCentral has done a simple shootout against Siri and Google Now. The Siri unit was running on the current iPhone 5S while Google Now was tested using the Moto X.

Overall there’s no clear winner but Cortana seems to be performing quite well despite being an early beta. Not bad considering the other 2 have been established for quite some time now. So far the key advantages of Cortana is the ease of doing a Foursquare check in and toggle settings by voice. Other than that, any unknown commands will generally lead to Search, including request to open specific websites.

Watch the video after the break.

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Nokia announces its affordable Lumia 630 and Lumia 635


Alongside its flagship Nokia Lumia 930, the Finnish smart phone maker has also announced a couple of affordable Windows Phone 8.1 devices with the Lumia 630 and Lumia 635. The Lumia 630 is the cheaper 3G model and comes with both single SIM and dual-SIM variants. Meanwhile the Lumia 635 comes with a Single SIM slot but has support for faster 4G LTE connectivity. Design wise, they look like the Nokia X series but runs on Windows Phone platform.

All 3 models are identically internally and the front comes with a 4.5″ IPS display that does a FWVGA resolution of 854×480 pixels. Powering the device is a 1.2GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon 400 processor with 512MB of RAM and 8GB of on-board storage. It also gets a microSD slot which supports up to the latest 128GB microSD card.

For taking pictures, it settles for a 5MP camera that does 720p HD videos but lacks LED flash illumination. All 3 smart phones get a modest 1,830mAh capacity battery which is pretty decent for this price range. The devices are available with a variety of striking colours – Bright Orange, Bright Green, Bright Yellow, White and Black. The back covers are removable and you can customise the phone with a variety of changeable shells.

For the 3G supported Lumia 630, it supports HSPA+ speeds up to 21Mbps while the Lumia 635 supports a faster HSPA+ up to 42Mbps and 4G LTE speeds up to 100Mbps. Pricing wise, the Lumia 630 will be priced at US$159 (about RM521) for the Single SIM version while the Dual-SIM version is priced at US$169 (about RM554). The Lumia 630 is expected to be available in May starting with Asia, Russia, China, India and Europe. The 4G LTE supported Lumia 635 will be sold at US$189 (about RM620) and it will be available sometime in July.

For more information, you can check out Nokia’s Lumia 630 and Lumia 635 product pages. Head after the break for its official video and images.

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Meet Cortana, Windows Phone’s answer to Siri and Google Now


Microsoft has just announced Cortana, its new Voice Assistant which comes with the latest Windows Phone 8.1. It is a rather interesting mobile assistant feature which takes on the likes of Siri and Google Now. To trigger Cortana, just tap on the physical Search Icon from any screen in Windows Phone 8.1.

As you would expect from a Voice Assistant, you can use Cortana to run search, call contacts, write SMS and set Alarms or reminders at specific times. Apart from the usual voice search commands, Cortana also offers contextual content such as traffic info to work, current weather, favourite game scores and preferred news which is similar to Google Now. There’s a new feature called Quiet Hours which is kinda like DND mode that mutes notifications during specific hours. You’ll also get to create a list of family and close friend contacts to bypass the Quiet Hours and there’s also an option to alert you if the same number tried to call you twice within 3 minutes. The usage of Cortana is also expandable with 3rd party app integration. In the hands-on video by WPCentral, you can launch app specific commands such as FourSquare Check-in through Cortana.

Check out the promo and a rather detail hands-on video by WPCentral after the break.

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Latest ATIV SE leak reveals that Samsung is still making Windows Phone devices


It has been a while since Samsung released a Windows Phone device. The last we’ve seen was the ATIV S which was loosely based on the Galaxy S III Android smart phone. Now @evleaks has posted a picture of its new Samsung ATIV SE which is destined for US Verizon network.

From the leaked image above, the new ATIV SE is likely to have a Full HD 1920×1080 resolution screen with the rest of its hardware to be based on the last year’s Galaxy S4 4G LTE model. Compared to its Android based Galaxy S4, the ATIV SE appears to be better built with a aluminium-like back panel. So far no word on its availability or pricing and it is too early to tell if this would be made available internationally.

Would you consider a Windows Phone 8 from Samsung? Drop your thoughts in the comment section below.


Nokia Lumia 1520 quietly supports 128GB microSD card


When SanDisk introduced its 128GB microSD card recently, there were only a handful of smart phones that can support such huge capacity. Most smart phones today could support up to a maximum of 64GB.

A Nokia Lumia 1520 user was curious and gave the new SanDisk memory card a shot. Surprising the 128GB card is recognised on his Windows Phone device with no compatibility issues reported. He even mentioned there’s a 20% noticeable speed improvement over his previous 64GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC with an average Sequential Read Speed of 43.65MB/s and Write speed of 14.31MB/s.

The Lumia 1520 has an awesome camera and its video recording is rather impressive as well with 4 microphones built-in. Paired with a 128GB card, this makes it a rather practical handheld video recorder.

For Android smart phones, both Samsung Galaxy S5 and the All new HTC One are having a microSD slot that supports up to 128GB cards. In terms of pricing, the 128GB microSD from SanDisk is priced at US$199 (Approx RM652) while Amazon is selling it for as low as US$119 (Approx RM390). With such capacity, you can store up to 24 hours of HD footages. Now you would probably begin to appreciate the faster transfer speeds of USB 3.0.


Nokia introduces Lumia 525, its refreshed entry level Windows Phone


Nokia has announced its new Lumia 525 which is an update of its current entry level Lumia 520. Based on the current numbers, the Nokia Lumia 520 is their best selling model accounting about 25% of total Windows Phone devices sold worldwide.

In terms of specs, the Lumia 525 is pretty much the same device as the Lumia 520 but comes with double the memory at 1GB of RAM. The Lumia 525 retains the same 4″ IPS display with a WVGA (800×480) resolution, dual-core 1.0GHz Qualcomm S4 processor, 8GB of internal storage and a microSD slot that supports up to 64GB. For photography, it also comes a 5MP main camera which shoots HD 720p videos.

The dimensions as expected remains unchanged with a 9.9mm thickness and it weighs 124 grams inclusive of its removable 1430mAh battery. Being an entry level device targeted at youths, the back covers are interchangeable with a choice of glossy orange, white, orange and matte black.

Head after the break for the Lumia 525 promo video and official pics.

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VIDEO: Nokia shows off Lumia 925 camera while mocking the iPhone

More photos are taken on the iPhone than any other phone. That’s a fact which Nokia is not disputing. While iPhone can boast about quantity, Nokia is pushing more towards quality and they have an commercial which indirectly mocks the iPhone with scenes that mimics the original ad from Apple. Low light and night shots are the key highlights of the Nokia Lumia range and from our past camera comparison, the Lumia 920 performs pretty well with pretty accurate colours especially at night. You can catch the iPhone 5 camera ad after the break.

The Nokia Lumia 925 is now available in Malaysia but at a reduced price of RM1,599 (initially announced at RM1,799). To recap the specs, the Lumia 925 comes with a 4.5″ AMOLED display pushing 1280×768 pixels, a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 2,000mAh battery and a 8.7MP shooter.

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Nokia Announces Lumia 925 for Malaysia. Available in August

It’s official, the Lumia 925 will be available in Malaysia starting August and will sell for RM1,799.

First announced in May, the Lumia 925 features an aluminum frame wrapped around a polycarbonate body. In terms of hardware, the 925 is virtually identical to Lumia 920 with the same 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8960 processor with 1GB RAM and 2,000mAh battery.

Where the 925 differs from the 920 is the display and camera. While the size of the display remains the same — 4.5-inch 1280×768 pushing out 331ppi — the Lumia 925 uses AMOLED where the 920 uses an LCD IPS panel. Also, the Gorilla Glass display with Nokia’s ClearBlack technology can be used even if you have gloves on.

The 8.7MP camera with Optical Image Stabiliser is given a boost with a 6-element Zeiss optics lens instead of five on the Lumia 920. In addition, the Lumia 925 is lighter at 139 grams (Lumia 920: 185 grams) and smaller overall (in terms of height, width and thickness).

Nokia’s built-in camera application gets an upgrade in the 925 as well. You can do burst shots (Max 5MP), best shot (similar to best faces) and Action shot (similar as the one in Galaxy S4 and the HTC One) allowing you to superimpose multiple pictures in one shot. Existing Nokia Lumia devices will also get the latest Smart Camera apps via Nokia’s upcoming Amber update but there’s no mention when it will be rolled out.

Out of the box, the Lumia 925 doesn’t support wireless charging natively. However it is still possible with an optional sleeve.

And that’s pretty much it. The Lumia 925 can be considered as an update from the 920 but aside from the superior optics and imaging capabilities the Windows Phone platform remains the Lumia’s biggest weakness.

Videos on the Lumia 925 right after the jump.

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Nokia Lumia 925 revealed with aluminium frame and smart camera features


Nokia has just announced its latest Lumia flagship device – the Lumia 925. Departing from its usual signature colourful polycarbonate designs, the Lumia 925 now uses aluminium as the device frame which is a more premium feeling material. The back of the Lumia 925 still uses polycarbonate.

In terms of hardware specs, it is almost identical with its Lumia 920. It runs on the same 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8960 processor with 1GB of RAM, a 4.5″ 1280×768 display, 8.7MP camera with Optical Image Stabiliser and 2,000mAh battery. However the display on the Lumia 925 uses OLED as oppose to the Lumia 920’s IPS panel. The camera is given a boost with a 6-element lens which is 1 extra over the 920. In terms of dimensions, the Lumia 925 is lighter at 139 grams (Lumia 920: 185 grams) and shaves a couple of milimetres off its height, width and thickness as well.

In terms of software, the camera usability is given a much needed boost. The Lumia 925 comes with Smart Camera Apps which lets you take burst shots (Max 5MP), best shot (similar to best faces) and Action shot which is similar to what Galaxy S4 and HTC One is offering right now. Existing Nokia Lumia devices will also get the latest Smart Camera apps via Nokia’s upcoming Amber update but there’s no mention when it will be rolled out. For those eager to take food pics with filters, Nokia has also introduced Hipstamatic Oggl app, which is Windows Phone 8’s alternative to Instagram. Out of the box, the Lumia 925 doesn’t support wireless charging natively. However it is still possible with an optional sleeve like the Lumia 720.

The Lumia 925 is offered in Silver and Grey colours with a price tag of 469 Euros which is about RM1,815. It is expected to be rolled out in June beginning with China and Europe. Overall, the Lumia 925 is looking like a mere slimmed down Lumia 920 facelift rather than an all new model with small touches on the hardware and smart add-ons in the camera department.

For more information, head over to Nokia’s Lumia 925 product page.

More official product photos, videos and sample photos taken with the Lumia 925 after the break.

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