Specifications

The Nokia Lumia 630 (aka ‘Moneypenny’) is expected to be the follow up to the Lumia 620, but with some beefier specs. The reason? It will be one of the first Windows Phone 8.1 devices, so it will be getting a lot of attention.

Information about the device has now come forwarded from Nuoji it, a user on Baidu who leaked the information yesterday. In addition, a new, lower resolution product shot showing the Lumia 630, Lumia 1320 and Lumia 1520 all placed together has also been found.

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Yesterday we brought you the news of a new Body Glove case for the upcoming Sprint ATIV S Neo from Samsung that was appearing in Sprint stores. While in and of itself that news is not exciting, it did hint that an official release of the phone was close.

Today, things are moving even more as Samsung has listed the phone on their official site with the full specifications. As far as we know (and we could be wrong), this device page is new and it does confirm a few lingering questions. For one, the ATIV S Neo does have 16GB of internal storage and not 8GB as reported earlier. Combined with the up-to 64GB of expandable storage, the Neo should satisfy most users.

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Everyone is waiting with bated breath for the Nokia Lumia 1020, but let us not forget that T-Mobile is poised to launch the fantastic Lumia 925 within the coming days (or weeks). In fact, that press event is tomorrow and we’ll of course be there to cover it.

Now, the support page for the T-Mobile branded Lumia 925 has gone up and we can finally confirm once and for all its final specs.

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Although Verizon and Samsung were not able to release the Odyssey on the network for December as had been expected, we’re quite confident we’ll finally see the device in the coming weeks, including a sneak peek at CES next week.

The specifications for the device have now come to our attention via an internal data sheet for Verizon. While some were really hoping that the Odyssey will be Verizon’s version of the ATIV S that unfortunately was never our understanding and the specs reflect that notion. The device instead will be positioned as entry-level, reportedly going for free on contract when it finally hit shelves.

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Today, September 19th, HTC finally took the veil of their 8X device featuring Windows Phone 8. The device features an array of various technologies, including a 4.3” Super LCD2 display with Gorilla Glass2 at 720P resolution. In addition, the 8X features a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm S4 CPU, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of non-expandable storage.

But perhaps the most interesting feature besides the included NFC and 8MP BSI camera, is the Beats audio software and hardware. The software features some advanced DSP and signal correction technology but the 8X also features a 2.55v amplifier to greatly increase sound output.

And just as important, the HTC 8X will be coming to AT&T (US) for an estimated price of $199...

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Today's winner is...

Today, Apple finally took the wraps off of the long-awaited iPhone 5 (you can get all the dirty details at our sister site iMore). Funny thing happened along the way though to the announcement: many leaks came forward early on that turned out to be highly accurate, taking the punch out of a lot of the new features. What’s more, even the media started to get a bit bored with Apple’s plans for the next-gen device.

The question for our readers though is in terms of raw technology—who came out on top? We say that because we know Apple will win the PR and hype war, but for the first time a Windows Phone has gone toe-to-toe and in terms of specs, has beat out the next-generation iPhone.

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We're ready for more leaked information surrounding Windows 8 tablets to flow with the upcoming release of Microsoft's next major release of its desktop operating system drawing closer. Microsoft recently unveiled their Surface family of tablets, which would be built to force manufacturers to product unique and high quality hardware for Windows 8.

Lenovo is planning to launch Windows 8 tablet to rival Microsoft's Surface, as well as other OEMs building hardware for the platform (not to mention the iPad and Android tablets). According to Techin5, which got hold of leaked slides showcasing the proposed tablet, Lenovo will be launching the tablet under its ThinkPad brand and will be packing a punch with included features for business customers.

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Call it low-end but don't call it cheap. That's how we feel about the Nokia Lumia 610 which in our opinion is a buttery smooth and elegant little number (see our hands on), despite being a bit neutered to keep costs down.

One area though Nokia is not skimping on is the use of Corning's Gorilla Glass which according to the device specs is on board. Sure, it may not have ClearBlack screen technology (it's a straight TFT instead) but that Gorilla Glass is a good thing to keep some light scratches away as you throw this in your pants or purse. Some other notable specs:

  • Quad band: GSM 1800, 1900, 850, 900; data 1900, 2100, 850, 900
  • HSPA - But no "+" on board so it's limited to 7.2Mbps
  • 2 Microphones
  • No compass
  • Talk time: 10.5 hours
  • 120g/4.2 ounces
  • 1300mAh battery

Not a bad little number and we think Nokia can do well with this phone, especially in those emerging markets. The build quality on this device is better than most mid-range offerings available today, which says something about Nokia and their ability.

Source: Developer Nokia

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It would appear that Microsoft has relaxed their hardware requirements (on September 23rd) to exclude the camera as a necessity. This would allow lower-end handsets to be brought out at a more affordable price, something we know Nokia wish to do. In fact, these changes are already here. We already know the Lumia 800 has neither a front facing camera nor gyro and the HTC Radar has no compass or gyro on board.

Check out the revised hardware requirements below:

Standard Hardware

  • A common set of hardware controls and buttons that include the Start, Search, and Back buttons.
  • A large WVGA (800 x 480) format display capable of rendering most web content in full-page width and displaying movies in widescreen.
  • Capacitive 4-point multi-touch screens for quick, simple control of the phone and its features.
  • Support for data connectivity using cellular networks and Wi-Fi.
  • 256 MB (or more) of RAM and 8 GB (or more) of flash storage.
  • A-GPS
  • Accelerometer 

Optional Hardware

  • Compass
  • Gyro
  • Primary Camera
  • Front-facing Camera

Source: MSDN, via: @manan, Mobility Digest

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We're not entirely sure what's going on at Nokia HQ, but whoever has populated the specification sheet on the website is probably being heavily spanked as we speak. We recently covered how the specifications for the Nokia Lumia 800 were updated on the official product page to remove TV Out and Mass Storage capabilities.

We now have word, courtesy of 1800PocketPC, that there's another fault in the Lumia 800 specifications. Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Headphones. The product page has been updated recently to remove these entries, but they can still be viewed on a cached version of the page (alternatively, search for "http://www.nokia.co.uk/gb-en/products/phone/lumia800/specifications/" on Bing, highlight top result and click on "Cached Page"), thanks to Bing. You can find the Dolby audio features under Music & Audio.

So, what's next to go?

Source: 1800PocketPC

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Back to MIX, Istvan Cseri (Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft) revealed the new Windows Phone 7 chassis that OEM's can use to build handsets which is to be released in the coming months.

Observing the image above, we can see the Qualcomm MSM7X30 and MSM8X55 (800MHz) are included in the platform requirements and both feature the Adreno 205 GPU. Gyroscope sensor addition is optional and manufactures will be able to use multiple combinations of memory, gyroscope support and SoC as long as they don't go below current specification requirements. Screen resolution is kept at 800x480 (WVGA). Watch the presentation after the break.

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According to reports over at WinRumors, Microsoft may be planning to announce a more flexible hardware specification allowance for manufacturers of Windows Phone 7 at MIX11. 

"According to sources familiar with the company’s plans, the new hardware specifications will allow device manufacturers such as Nokia to create cheaper Windows Phone devices. The announcement may be made as early as the company’s MIX11 conference this week. The new flexibility will offer device makers the option to use cheaper components to bring the overall cost of a Windows Phone down. Microsoft is understood to be open to flexible specifications in order to gain smartphone market share and eat into Google’s Android efforts."

We also received this info from @WindosPhone8 (still rumour guys!): "New flexible spec #Wp7 chasis requires no wi fi, bluetooth, 3g, camera, fm, compass, gyro. Must have wvga 3.5"+, gps, accelerometer, 2g+"

While this would tie in nicely with Nokia bringing devices to the platform and would certainly appeal to many with a really tight budget, I don't see this happening simply because there are already fairly cheap options already on the platform - namely the HTC 7 Trophy which is available at Amazon (UK) for £299.99 (just under $500US), not to mention previous deals on the Samsung Focus. As well as that, lower-end hardware would introduce concerns from users that the devices may not be able to run the software (and applications) smoothly to ensure a user experience found on top-end models.

With the current line of WP7 devices packing a single-core processor, I'm not entirely sure how low we could go before performance begins to become an issue, especially with multitasking coming around the corner later this year in Mango. Microsoft themselves stated numerous times they're in the smartphone race for the long run, why would they begin to go back on the WP7 foundations that features strict platform hardware requirements? WP7 would also run the risk of mild fragmentation, something that made many of us leave Android.

Let's see if anything is announced at MIX this week, what do you think about the rumor? Do you think it's nonsense and Microsoft will stick to the fantastic strict specification requirements, or do you believe they're starting to get impatient about marketshare?

Source: WinRumors

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Mary Jo Foley lets us in on some possible info about this "Pink" stuff.  First, there's these reported specs for 'Chasis 1' which according to Foley "seems to be the the heart of the rumored “Pink” Microsoft phone and possibly other Windows Mobile 7 phones made by Microsoft partners".

In other words, Pink may be a prototype/demo unit/scaffold for developers to model their next-gen WM7 handsets on--so Microsoft is setting the bar on what the minimum requirements will be and what they envision the ideal handset would be like.  Sounds pretty plausible to our ears.  Now onto those rumored specs:

WM7 Chassis 1 Specification

Core requirements:
Processor: ARM v6+, L2 Cache, VFP, Open GL ES 2.0 graphics HW (QCOM 8k, Nvidia AP15/16* and TI 3430 all meet spec)
Memory: 256MB+ DRAM, 1G+ Flash (at least 512MB fast flash – 5MB/s unbuffered read @4K block size)
Display:  WVGA (800×480) or FWVGA (854×480) 3.5” or greater diagonal
Touch: Multi-touch required
Battery: Sufficient to meet Days of Use LTK requirements.
Controls: Start, Back, Send and End are required (soft controls allowed as long as they are always present).

Peripherals:

Camera: 3MP+, flash optional, 2nd camera optional (VGA resolution sufficient)
GPS: aGPS required
Sensors required: Light Sensor, Compass (3 axis, 5 degrees, 100 Hz sample rate), Accelerometer (3 axis, 2mg resolution, 100 Hz sample rate)
USB: High speed required, 20 MB/s transfer rate.
BlueTooth: BT2.1 required, must run MSFT BT stack, CSR BlueCore6 or later recommended.
Wi-Fi: 802.11B/G required, must run MSFT Native Wi-Fi stack, Atheros 6002 or Broadcomm 4325 recommended.
Connectors: Micro USB and 3.5mm Audio required.

Options:
FM tuner:  If tuner HW is present it will be detected and supported by the Media application.
Haptics
SD Card (Micro SD recommended)
DPAD, qwerty or 12/20 key keyboards all optional

So we have an addition of a compass (iPhone is rumored to get that too), microUSB, accelerometer, light sensors, required aGPS, there's that ol' Multi-touch and some high end processors on board.  Gone is also anything less than VGA for resolution, which is something we welcome.

There we have it...think this all sounds legit?  Can you (and the market) wait till 2010?

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It's Not the Specs, It's the Experience

So tell us, how does this sound for a dream WM phone?

  • 800x400 Tetra-VGA resolution
  • 3.9 inch Projected Capacitance Touch technology with 95 SVI
  • WCDMA / HSPA: 900/2100MHz. HSDPA 7.2 Mbps + LTE
  • Scaled integrated WM architecture
  • WLAN: 802.11b/g + WiMax
  • Dynamic distributed 4mb cache
  • Optimized multimedia protocol (RiGB, Tif, Xled)
  • Connectivity: Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz + CDMA 1x
  • An integrated object-oriented protocol
  • 624mhz Snapdragon main processor; 412mhz Xtel Preprocessor
  • BlueTooth 2.1 (EDR, GAP, GOEP, SPP, HSP, HFP 1.5, PAN, BPP, AVRCP)
  • 1GB Pseudostatic RAM (PSRAM)

...all for running the yet unannounced "WM6.5 MultiMedia Ultimate" set for a Q2 wide release.

If you are like most people who read this and other tech sites, your jaws should be on the floor upon reading those specs. You may now lift your cracked chins, my little Guinea Pigs. Not only is that phone made up, but so are some of those "specifications". Why the cruel joke? As it turns out, you fell in line just like a bunch of nerdy researchers predicted you would.

Read on to find out why spec hounds like, ahem, us have skewed perceptions of device reality.

The Science

Evidently, consumers are strongly swayed by quantitative specification listings, even when they don't know what they mean or worse, they are made up. (See "Specification Seeking: How Product Specifications Influence Consumer Preference" in Journal of Consumer Research -- here's a scribd link). In fact, the researchers had a few hypotheses which included:

(1) Specifications will sway consumers, even when they provide no predictive information and can see and use the product

(2) Specifications have a greater effect on choice than on liking. (So if you really like Item B, instead of Item A, meaningless specifications will have less effect than if you were merely asked to choose between Item A or B.)

They ran five experiments looking to manipulate specifications on various products, including cameras, towels, sesame oil, cellular phones and potato chips. The phone experiment varied on screen vividness and screen size between two phones with two conditions. They also threw in a made up specification related to vividness called "SVI" with values attributed to each phone.

Sure enough, the "SVI Index" swayed people's choice between two phones with different values. This despite the fact that there is no such thing as SVI measurement.

An analogous situation is with digital cameras and the so-called "Mega Pixel Wars" which is really a Mega Pixel Myth. So while it is well known that more than 6MPs increases image noise and decreases sensor sensitivity, we still have cameras jacking up the MPs. Why? Because you fall for it.

Lesson Learned?

We've discussed these "Specification Wars" here at WMExperts for awhile--it's basically when companies are out of ideas so they just amp up specs with no perspective on real world differences. Think here of the dubious "benefit" of having "8x digital zoom" over "2x digital zoom", especially when the camera sensor and quality is just poor overall. Or simply adding more memory and gimmicks to a phone to differentiate it from the heard.

The article goes into methods that marketers of these fine products might consider using to sucker us. For you, the consumer, it offers this advice:

In making purchase decisions, consumers should at least do two things. First, they should seek experience, not just numbers. Seconds, they should avoid direct comparison and stimulate SE.

"SE" stands for "single-evaluation" and the essence is that head-to-head comparisons don't usually give you a clear idea of what your final experience of a device will be. Sure, in a Joint-Evaluation you'll favor the touch-screen spec of the HTC Tilt over the Motorola Q9h, but in a Single-Evaluation experience of the device you may find you'll get more done on the Q9h.

Basically, just be aware of this effect next time you're shopping or you see some Tech Blog drop a laundry list of "dream" specs on a new WM phone. Specifically, remember that higher specs may have little to no correlation to your overall happiness and satisfaction with the phone. Better to seek out single-evaluation reviews (or personal experience!) of each device separately and see which fits your needs better.

Who are we kidding? We want to know why the SVI Index on the Treo Pro is so much poorer than on the Touch Pro. Anything with an SVI of less than 78.3 is flat-out unacceptable! Ahem.

Thanks Ebag333 for the reference!

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