Nokia Glance screen

Nokia confirms Glance feature coming to all Windows Phone 8 Lumias, except the Lumia 52x

There has been some confusion regarding the availability of Nokia’s Glance feature, aka the on-screen clock which we covered recently in a tutorial post. The feature is coming to other Lumia devices via the Amber update, but we remember seeing rumors for “exceptions” on specific devices pop up, revolving around screen technology i.e. AMOLED vs LCD.

Nokia has gone now and confirmed that the Glance is basically coming to all Windows Phone 8 Lumias except the Lumia 520 and Lumia 521 (T-Mobile, US) due to “hardware restrictions”. While that would have been an awesome feature on the 52x series, evidently cutting hardware specs so low does have some consequences for feature parity.

Still, on the bright side the Lumia 620, 720, 810, 820, 822, 920 and 928 are all candidates for this feature, as long as their respective carriers push out the Amber firmware/GDR2 OS update to enable this cool trick. Our bet? Most carriers will allow this update to go out, much like previous Nokia ones, though it will be a staggered release as usual.

Nokia Support

Glance allows users to check the time on their phones without having to turn on the screen. While it may seem like a throw away feature, as it turns out we use it surprisingly often. Current thought suggests it uses less battery life on AMOLED displays (Lumia 810, 820, 822, 925, 928, 1020) because it can independently turn on pixels for the backlight, as opposed to IPS LCD, which acts like one big light bulb. Still, what that means in real life is yet to be seen, but at least on AMOLED displays, the feature’s effect on battery has been negligible.

Nokia’s Amber update is expected to rollout to other Lumia devices later this summer.

Source: Nokia; Thanks, Shreyas, for the tip


Reader comments

Nokia confirms Glance feature coming to all Windows Phone 8 Lumias, except the Lumia 52x


I think that you'll be able to bring the "Glance" feature by updating the "Display+Touch" under Settings... But how would you do that?? My guess is that, probably, if you install the "Lumia Updater" (which is avalaible on the Store) you will be able to install all the app updates for any Lumia... Good luck (if it's not too late)

I have the same feature, unnamed, on my Nokia Astound and I LOVE it.  Great for folks not wearing a watch and great for the nightstand clock.  Don't want it?  Don't turn it on.

I bet a lot of whines will come because of this. Some people always expect, that they have to have premium features and quality with cheapest model they can afford.

Dont worry NL52X users..
We have flip to silence, FM radio and more stuffs to see thro.
But NL52X misses out glance.
NL620 misses out FM radio

What u want FM or glance...?
If u ask me, I will say FM.

Glance is probably my favorite feature of my new 925.

I just wish they'd expand the info to also include the date & upcoming calendar appointments.

If you use a Nokia wireless standing charger (or anything really), tapping the screen or waving your hand is much better than having to try and hit the hardware power button. Makes up for the removal of no lock screen timeouts...

Yo dawg, I hear you like lockscreens? So I got you a lockscreen for your lockscreen on top of another lockscreen!

it's nice lockscreen feature for your lockscreen on top of another lockscreen.. this lockscreen will surely be a great addition to a lockscreen on top of another lockscreen.

More like:

Yo dawg! I heard you like lock screens, so we put a lock screen on yo lock screen so you can lock while you lock!

Mock him if you want but I, for one, would love to be able to see certain (user defined) notification icons on the glance screen. I already like the feature, but that would make me love it.

Phone: Ding!
Me: Was that you, phone?
Me: Meh, just an e-mail.
*Puts phone back in pocket*

Well, you only didn't say that you list phones which are getting it, you only listed Lumias with Amoled display ;) But, I see that you already added 925 and 1020 to the list, so I quess we are fine.

Have you noticed the notification light I only saw it flash when phone was powered off and charging

I'm referring to the fact that the windows button flashes while charging if it was completely off didn't know if there were other ttiggers

its because its already on the 925.
this article is for updates on amber for remaining lumias :)

EDIT: oh right... i get it now

Glance feature is a small feature it will not make much difference to user experience but the nokia Lumia 620 is missing out fm radio , well that's a huge feature i doubt people will go for that phone on the near future

For fm radio? I actually didn't think anyone still used radio. Hardly a must-have feature! FM radio is on borrowed time in a lot of countries thanks to DAB, streaming media and the need to free up spectrum space (of which FM is very wasteful compared to DAB) for future services...

Used FM rádio everyday with my NL800 when commuting to hear news and morning shows. don't have unlimited data to stream unfortunately

I used the FM radio on my last phone whenever I went camping/hiking in the Fall, for listening to CFB games. So I am looking forward to the update and its coming just in time for the start of the season.

Nope. Clear black is only a coating like your sunglasses. You can see out of it. But one can't see your eyes from outside. It works on similar lines causing less reflections and more of the display to be seen while making blacks look nice n black.

That's nothing, mines 7.4GB and i have a 16GB device (HTC 8x) with 14GB of usable space. This has left me with 100MB of storage.

Yes, delete the cookies from Internet Explorer, open Internet Explorer->settings->delete history

Maybe IPS LCD displays won't have the ability of "always on glance". If I were the designer I would think this way.

To the guy who wrote this: the 520 is also released in Europe, not only on T-Mobile USA.
Anyway: glad I have the 720 so I will get this.
Edit: the article only talks about carriers. But I have the unlocked version of the 720. So I will get the Amber update earlier, right? (this is my first WP device so I'm just asking; I did have Android and webOS in the past, also unlocked phones)

Since I wear my prized S.F Giants 2010 World Series Championship Watch wherever I go, so I can live without this feature.

Now, the double-tap to wake would be something I might use.

They announce stuff according to their climatic conditions, not according to Indian climatic conditions. We are expected to get it in August, more importantly, most Indian consumers are expected to also get Data Sense through this update according to the confirmation I received from Windows Phone India. So, it's worth the wait. Hold it together for a few more weeks. :)

I have a Nokia Lumia 925, I actually switched the feature off due to battery drain. Needless to say It's a decent feature but I prefer double tap to switch the screen on.

In my experience, people claim "battery drain" on literally every app or feature. Name it, and someone will have said it was responsible for draining their battery.

Not saying the op is wrong, but I never listen until I see 30 or 40 different people claiming it's an issue. Too many that have no understanding of how things work making baseless claims.

It might be worth noting Nokia added a note to Double-tap to wake up phone that the feature uses more power, but has no such note for Glance.

Correction: Nokia does have notes indicated increased power usage, specific to each option available for Glance.

I have a 521, and unlike the issue with games that require more memory than the majority of phoned have, this is one of those extra features that makes sense to cut from lower end handsets. It's good to have peripheral features that differentiate the phones.


unless they removed the 1GB ram requirement (when it was available for a short time to non GDR2 devices, 520/521 devices were told it needs 1GB ram to install), then.... no.

I believe they have specifically said that only 92x devices and up will get Pro Camera app (assuming that's what you meant but maybe not).

they meant "smart cam" which is an app available to all Lumia devices, and which with the 625's announcement, has been shown that the 1GB ram requirement has been removed. it brings new camera features. Pro Cam is more of a professional camera app, thus its name.

I'm curious as to how the GDR2/Amber rollout occurs for those of us who AREN'T tied to a carrier. 
For example, I have a Rogers 920 that is unlocked and running on Wind Mobile.
Am I at the mercy of when Rogers says yes to the update, because it was originally a Rogers phone? Do I get a vanilla update right away because I have no carrier to approve it? Or do I get it later because I'm on Wind and they don't even know whats going on since they don't sell the 920 in the first place?
Just wanting some clarification. I would always install Android ROMS on my own so I never had to think of this specific issue with carrier update rollouts, some insight into how it would work for my 920 and I would be great. 

I may be wrong about this, but I think you get the update "at the mercy of Rogers." Even though it's unlocked, at heart it's still a Rogers phone. Just because it's unlocked and on Wind doesn't change the model number of the phone, which designates the model as being the Rogers version of the L920. The good news is that historically Rogers has been very good at passing along updates (at least in my experience and compared to my wife's experience with her old Optimus 7 on TELUS).

I was afraid as much, a shame that throwing on generic firmwares isn't as easy on these phones. I mean, I could but there are more than a few threads that say I could permanently break AWS bands if I did it so its not worth that kind of risk. 

Yeah, it's not worth it. But I just wanted you to know that the situation could be worse. At least you're waiting on Rogers and not Bell or TELUS, both of which have awful track records in updating their WPs.

I'm all too aware of how slow Telus is with firmware rollouts. When my family was all on Androids with Telus my dad actually got tired of it and updated his stuff on his own, even beating out me and my tinkering ways. 
Carrier approval is silly I think. Carriers should send their stuff to MS and MS should send it out directly, a la Nexus devices or iOS. But that is just me.

I believe the updates are targeted to specific 'Manufacturer Name' and 'Mobile Operator' strings. A device obtained from Rogers is likely to still have strings that identify it as a Rogers device. See under settings, extras+info and tap 'more info' to see these strings.
However, those of us who have completely unlocked, open market devices, get the shortest end of the stick. Every time so far we have been the last to receive updates. (My Lumia 820 has Manufacturer Name RM-825_eu_euro1_217, Mobile Operator 000-GB.)
My theory for why the updates are so slow to arrive is this: support. Microsoft don't offer direct support for OEM products. If you buy Windows or Office with your computer, the OEM is expected to provide first-level support, and only escalate to Microsoft if they can't solve the problem. For Windows Phone, my hypothesis is that the OEMs are expecting the carriers to provide first-level support, then escalate to the OEM, then to Microsoft, because that's the way the phone manufacturers have always worked. To support an update, the OEM has to sign it off, then the carrier has to sign it off. There may also be some customization by the carrier which would need to be revalidated on the new build, and similarly by the OEM, or some change in the OS may reveal a problem in the device firmware (not unknown even in the PC market) which they would want to release an update for at the same time as the OS update.
But why leave open market devices until last? Well, I suspect the idea is that any installation problems or bugs will be found by the carriers' customers, and handled by carrier support, leaving far fewer cases for OEM support to deal with directly from open market devices.
Microsoft really need to turn this whole model on its head and support their product directly, forwarding cases to the OEM or to the carrier when it's clear that the bug lies in one of those; they need to ensure that device drivers (where not generic) can be loaded from an OEM region so that the OS can be replaced without the OEM having to do an integration step (they've got this right for Windows RT, using the same kernel: why is it wrong in Windows Phone??) Nokia need to cease their proliferation of slightly-different-spec devices for different carriers and regions: one device, the world over. And frankly the carriers need to get used to being dumb pipes and stop trying to create 'unique experiences' on 'their' devices. They're not the carriers' devices: they're ours.

Good thing i just learned how flash my lumia 920 with any carrier firmware i wish! Ill get the update one way or another lol

Second... We got Portico in January... Then 1308 was skipped for connection problems, 1314 didn't pass TA for another reason and now 1316/1318 were skipped for GDR2/Amber.

What hardware exactly ? The display ? Because othwerwise the specs are identical to the Lumia 620/720 and only 820 has AMOLED (even 920 is IPS LCD).

This piece of news makes me really happy :) as a Nokia Lumia 620 owner (low/midrange model) any upcoming feature that mostly high end Lumias get makes me envy and so to know that my Lumia gets a piece of the high end experience is freaking awesome! :D Thanks Nokia!

Hey Danny boy will the 521 get the data sense for T-Mobile or any other feature ??? Anyone ? anyone ? anyone ? Dang I'm late to the party again dang it... Lol

The 925 on mobile has data sense so I would say its a sure bet that all of there wp8 devices that they actually update will get data sense

This is the most popular windows phone and they don't give it this amazing feature -.- sad day

Really don't care about not getting a 2nd lock screen. I would rather get custom sms/email tones instead, plus how hard is it to just push the power/lock button to see what time it is?

Even though I may not use this feature, I'm extremely glad that the Lumia 810 has not been forgotten.

Let me rain on your parade for a second.  The 810 is a candidate for this update.  We won't know until we actually get it.  I got blue faced enough holding my breath for LTE for the 810. 

Well its bullshit that its not a gaurentee.

What ever happened to the thing ms said we could all get the updates manually anybody able to ping ms for an update on that one

let me rephrase that: the article i read said the 810 indeed has LTE incompatible hardware, but in testing, the update was unstable and eventually render the device completely useless as a phone. Now where this article was posted, i have no memory (been months since i read it.), but it makes sense. no sense releasing an update to bring a feature, when all it does is brick your phone or otherwise render its main function useless.

Why would a Windows Phone 8 update bundle that brings this feature be available on a Windows Phone 7 device which Microsoft has stated that WP7 hardware is incompatible with Windows Phone 8???

sorry if i got off snarky (didn't mean to.). i see now where youre confused. its the us carrier exclusivity messing with you. The 810, unlike what its name suggests (720 > 820, so 710 > 810? nope.), is actually a variant of the 820 (820 > 822, 810), and therefore a windows 8 device. ATT had 820 exclusivity at the time of the 810's release, and therefore T-Mobile got a renamed variant.

That's bull! I mean, the Lumia 810 is getting it but not the *newer* 520? Microsoft and Nokia are kind of leaving us 52x users left out now and that's ridiculous.

They stated hardware incompatibility. Its not that they are purposely leaving us out, its that bringing this feature to us means are phones become essentially useless, worse case scenario. (i own a 521)

"Hardware incompatibility", seriuosly? They are making complete fool of us!
The Nokia Lumia 520 has the same specs than 620/720! Is because the screen technology?? Even the Lumia 920 uses an IPS LCD display!

we dont know exactly what parts they used to build the 52x devices. on paper they may be the same, but the 52x may of used cheaper parts (no duh), that were unknown at the time of choosing that they would be incompatible or work improperly with upcoming features. We cant say for sure why its not coming exactly unless nokia gives a thorough explanation, but dont just say theyre making us look like fools without any proof that they are withholding the feature 'just because', because in doing so, you, not nokia, make yourself look like the fool.

probably quality and price. (aka: im suggesting the 52x series uses cheaper variants of parts that may not function optimally or properly with glance and other features.)

Why is it people care about petty things like this but dont say anything about how helpful built-in-yet-removed features like Data Sense is still not available for a large number of WP8 owners?

I actually doubt it's a hardware incompatibility. But it does seem fully reasonable that Nokia would artificially limit some of it's software on the low end phones. That's what you get with step-up models... better hardware AND software. Just like Drive+ and the upcoming Pro Camera.

It took me a bit before I found the feature but once i found it I really like it. Its nice seeing it all the time and the red for night time is a nice touch. Quality stuff just like the Lumia 925 itself!

Hardware incompatabily Bull Shit....620, 720, also have got same IPS LCD, 480*800 resolution.. The only reason behind why we are not getting Glance feature is because 520 is a cheaper/Basic Model... Even the Equalizer feature also has been cut down in L520 for the same reason...
FINALLY if a lower end device is given with full features who will buy the Higher end Devices.... This is all Marketing Tricks.............!!!

Love this! Hope they add notifications in future updates and I'll get my most missed feature of my N9 :)

i have a Lumia 52x and i wonder.. if you said so that the glance is unavailable to L520..  
then why my store Updates 19 apps.. ? what should i do?

I would like to have the glance feature on my 521; but I can live with out it now!  I can wear a watch to substitute for it!

that sucks.. i thought windows phone was different than the others ( android ) i thought that every phone with windows phone 8 was be the same, i mean the same configurations with exeption of camera.. so Nokia means that lumia 520 and 521 are very very lower than the other phone.. even the phones with windows phone 7.5 and 7.8 nokia smeared with me, i'm lost my confidence on Nokia..