Windows Phone News

The recent Denim update for the Nokia Lumia 930 brought a substantial update for the camera — 4K video recording — which National Geographic photographer Stephen Alvarez used to capture the majestic Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Alvarez is no stranger to Windows Phone — just a few months ago he visited the same spot with a Lumia 830 and took some phenomenal video.

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The Lumia Denim update is surely going down as one of the most confusing firmware updates from Nokia (now Microsoft). Whereas in the past, the new firmware like Lumia Amber or Lumia Black brought new features to all Lumias e.g. Call and SMS blocker, Lumia Denim's exact feature set is only for newer, PureView Lumias.

Much of this is already known, of course. For months, we have been saying that only the Lumia 830, Lumia 930 (Verizon Icon) and Lumia 1520 will see the new Lumia Camera 5.0 features brought by Denim. Now, however, Microsoft has confirmed as much on their support site.

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File this one under odd, but it looks like Microsoft is set to bring a regional variant of the Lumia 530 to Brazil in the coming weeks. Website Janela Tech has combed through some documents from ANATEL, the Brazilian regulatory agency akin to the FCC and found references to a 'Lumia 532' phone likely due in the near future.

Not much is known about they mystery device, although the model name RM-1032 is used in the documents. The phone appears to be 3G only, dual-SIM and due to the 5xx series we can bet it is nothing to excited over, likely being just a regional variant.

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It has been announced that Microsoft and Corethree have entered into a new partnership for the latter to build and launch a variety of m-ticket apps for Windows Phone. The company's work can already be found on both iOS and Android, but Windows Phone owners will soon be able to purchase tickets for UK transport on their handsets with ease.

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One of the more interesting features of the Lumia Denim and Windows Phone 8.1.1 updates for high-end devices is 'Hey Cortana'. The new feature was announced back in Berlin during the September Microsoft press conference for the Lumia 830 and Lumia 730.

Passive-voice listening technology found in the Qualcomm 800 and higher chipsets lets users call up the Cortana personal assistant by just using their voice, even when the device is in standby. It is a clever feature that Google first used with their 'Ok, Google' feature on the Motorola X series of smartphones.

Today, I'm demoing it on the Lumia 930, That phone is one of two expected to get the feature in the coming weeks (the Lumia 1520 is the other, in addition to the 930 variant, the Verizon Lumia Icon).

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With the holidays and CES now officially out of the way, the great beast, that is Microsoft, is slowly beginning to wake up again to kick off 2015. Already the company has launched a new phone (the ultra budget Nokia 215).

All eyes are now on the January 21 event on Microsoft's campus, including what it means for Windows Phone.

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Samsung may well be looking to produce more Windows Phones, should Microsoft settle the royalties legal battle on Android products. According to the report on Korea Times, the manufacturing giant that is Samsung has been reported to be at least considering the Windows Phone platform to launch more affordable hardware.

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Budget phones have been Microsoft's theme for the last few months, and that trend does not look to let up. Latest rumors have a Lumia 435 and Lumia 1330 on the immediate horizon, likely for a Mobile World Congress announcement or perhaps even sooner.

The Lumia 435 has not been discussed much around here due to the lack of hard evidence, but now that looks to be changing. ANATEL (Agencia Nacional de Telecomunicacoes) is Brazil's equivalent of the FCC in the United States. As such, they occasionally let slip new phones before their public announcement, and that is what has happened with the Lumia 435.

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Eager to see how the Lumia 930 looks like in gold? More hands-on photos of the device have emerged on China's Tieba, a popular social network in the country powered by Baidu. The images highlight the golden trim around the sides of the device, as well as the gold plated Nokia logo at the back. The device, along with a golden color variant of the Lumia 830, launched in China yesterday, and will be available globally over the coming months.

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Update: The Lumia 930 in gold will be available across the world, starting later this month. The Lumia 830 will also be offered in the gold color variant. According to Lumia Conversations:

"The Lumia 830 Gold is expected to be available in black and white in February. This smartphone can be purchased in select countries in Europe, Asia Pacific and China, and India, the Middle East and Africa. The price will vary by region and operator."

"The Lumia 930 Gold will be available in black this week and in white towards the end of January."

"This smartphone can be purchased in select countries in Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa and China. The price will vary by region and operator."

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CES 2015 may be quiet for Windows Phone users, but Microsoft is here for the press, briefings and even a device showcase (we'll have more on that later today).

Windows Central was lucky enough to sit down with Juha Alakarhu, Head of Imaging Technology on the Lumia Windows Phones. Lumia Denim, Dynamic Flash, hardware, Lumia Camera 5.0 and more were all on the agenda for the 30-minute interview.

I and Myriam Joire (Engadget and Pebble alum) conducted the Juha interview, with Mark Guim doing his magic behind the camera. The talk was quite interesting: Myriam's an engineer by trade and we're both camera enthusiasts, enabling us to ask Juha some detailed questions about the PureView experience.

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During our recent 12 Days of Hidden Gems series we took a look at the Windows Phone supporting Wellograph fitness watch. As 2015 begins with the annual CES we caught up with the guys at Wellograph in Las Vegas to see what's new. There are new watch colors to choose from, new band colors to choose from and new features coming with a firmware update due at the end of January.

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The Microsoft, Verizon drama appears to be continuing as the Verizon Wireless website has evidently pulled all Nokia Lumias from their website. The HTC One (M8) for Windows and Samsung ATIV SE are still available, so Verizon does not appear to be targeting Windows Phone in particular.

Verizon has not said anything publicly about its strained relationship with Microsoft over the Lumia line. Lumia Icon owners have grown increasingly incensed at the long delay for the Lumia Cyan and Denim updates.

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Today in Las Vegas budget phone maker Yezz announced their latest Windows Phone dubbed the Billy 5S LTE. The latest in the Billy series brings a lot to the table for those looking to maximize their bang for the buck, and we got to see one in person tonight.

Yezz CEO Luis Sosa was on hand to give a quick tour of the Billy 5S, which you can see in our video!

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Microsoft seems to be shifting some things around on the backend to the Windows Phone Store as little issues are cropping up for some users. As Microsoft heads into 2015, unifying their Windows and Windows Phone Stores is a priority but such changes can bring hindrances as well.

Two issues that we have noticed starting about a week ago involve WindowsPhone.com and the Store on Windows Phone devices. At first, we thought these were just temporary glitches, but nearly a week later and for a few of us, they are still here.

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