Does the Lumia 925's Windows key act as a notification light? Possibly [Updated]

Look, we're as excited as you guys when headlines pop up across the Internet stating that the Lumia 925 has a notification light and the Windows logo flashes in the attempt to grab the owner's attention, but we're not convinced. And neither is Nokia (seriously, we've asked numerous times). That said, we've previously seen in person this blinking Windows capacitive key back when the Lumia 925 was announced (alongside the Lumia 928), but we were informed that it's simply related to debugging (basically the current power-state, blinking was a low-cycle).

We've not noticed any flashing lights on our Lumia 925 unit either, unless you're speaking about the proximity sensor. No matter which setting we attempted to manipulate, no matter how many times we requested friends to send across photos, SMS, emails and more, we just couldn't get the desired results. This was until today when we completely drained the battery and allowed the Windows Phone to shut down to wait until we located a power socket. When plugging the Lumia 925 in, we noticed the Windows logo started to flash. 

What was the cause? We're not sure. As we speak, we're draining the device again to see what happens when we insert the USB cable. But it could well be that we're looking at the new way for a Windows Phone to alert the user that there's not enough charge to boot i.e. this is really a new GDR2 "feature", but since we have no other GDR2 phones, we can't compare.

This could be nothing, though. Nokia can't confirm anything for the time being, so we'll keep our eyes open for any details that may emerge and we will certainly reach out for confirmation on what we're looking at here (many have published footage of the flashing while the device is currently powered - yeah, we're scratching our heads).

We'll have to see what Microsoft has to say about a potential software update that enables such functionality. While we attempt to get some concrete details, if you own a Lumia 925: have you noticed the Windows key flashing at all through use, particularly when it's drained of power? If so, let us know in the comments.

Update 4:30PM ET: Mystery solved. While many on Nokia's own team don't know about this feature, it was described in a video (above, cued at about 13m, 33 s) with some product managers from the 925. Our original hypothesis was right that this is just a visual indicator to let you know that your completely dead Windows Phone is in fact, receiving a charge. 

Up until now, if your phone ever completely died and you plugged it in, it could take upwards of a few minutes before the display would even turn on. That has probably made many people nervous, hence why Nokia made this feature. Thanks, Michael M., for the tip!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • It would be awesome if it worked as a notification light.
  • How come I can't get emoji's or emoticons to work in the wpcentral comments❔❓
  • Nevermind! I guess only some work. ✔✅☑
  • Actually quite a few work.. People are finding others, and I have asked WPC if they could get them all to work with comments so we could better express ourselves.. ♠♣♥♦⬅⬅⬅ Those work as well❕❕
  • As long as the server guys enable them the app will support them, I just report when the server doesn't like the content ✔
  • Well, can you pass the idea onto the server guys.. We want it❕
  • It's actually a fonts thing. Log in on a WP device and you should be able to see them. It's the same reason you can't see emoji's on twitter when you're on a desktop. ALso the same reason you can't see asian characters if you don't have the language pack on your PC.
  • Let's see…〒※☆♪「①Ⅱ㎞≡≒∫⊿∵
  • Emojis on WPCentral? ☑✅✔
  • You can vote on the idea here:
  • Please be true
  • It will be true, though, but just wait for some time, until 11th July. ⏳
  • It would be awesome if it can be used as a nnotification light. The blinking windows icon looks extremely cool i have to say. 
  • On the Zombie flash ad, the Windows button flashes when he's checking the time on the tap to activate screen at ~ 10 seconds in. Seems like such an intentional time to film.
  • Yep... You're right... The Windows logo does blink in the ad.
  • +1 yeah I think it means something
  • it means: the end is near!
  • Not with any native apps, don't think it is part of amber update, will come with gdr2 probably. Have never seen my 925s logo flash
  • I can imagine that there are no flashing lights because there is no notification center to connect them to. Once one is in place, I am sure that there will be led notifications on all the Lumias. But the OS needs to have this new feature first. Just a theory but it seems like a logical progress to me.
  • Had a 925 for a few days and the windows key always flashes when the phone has drained completely and is then plugged in to charge until it has enough battery to turn on. Not seen it flash for any other reason yet
  • Same as, only seen it once when my phone completely drained and i had it plugged in to get some charge before i could turn it on.
  • So why don't you still have it? Didn't like or was it a demo unit?
  • Sorry, that should have said 'I have had' :-) got one on Monday, brilliant phone!
  • There's no Windows flash light on my Lumia 925 unfortunately... This has been one of the first things I checked out just bought. I didn't try when Lumia has completely drained battery...
  • That would be cool. My old 6760 does that.
  • My nokia symbian phone notify me by flashing home button when I get missed call or sms. They might be bringing this option just like they did with Glance.
  • Had this on my E7, loved that phone. Breathing light FTW.
  • YES! I still use my N8 from time to time and friends always comment. Such a cool/fun/useful feature. N8 also has a tiny little light right next to the micro USB plug that goes out when it's fully charged. Again... Very useful!
  • Yeah the surprisingly bright white light, loved that too, always let me know to take the phone off charge.
  • They have that on HTC WP devices
  • Loved that on my C7-00. And the breathing lights too
  • look at this:
    Nokia Lumia 925 notification LED
  • ...and? It reveals nothing. 
  • +1
  • I don't see why Microsoft nor Nokia have decided to implement a flashing windows key as a notification yet anyway. People have shown they like notification lights when available
  • Yeah, that's the dilemma we're facing.
  • Mine does NOT blink.
  • If they can turn it into a notification light with an update (I'm just curious) -- any clue if those of us who have a 928 with a funky looking Start button would just be outta luck?
  • Is it possible to blink l820 also through s/w update?
  • I waited for long time before I bought mu lumia 800 last year, because I had high hopes that nokia will launch at least one device with notification led. But I had to give up.
  • What's so great about a notification light anyway?
  • Personal preference.
  • Notification light tells you when you've got a new text/email/missed call. You glance at your phone, see the blinking light and know you've missed something rather than having to pick it up and check. Not a necessity but a nice convenience.
  • Really, what. If you ever had a phone that had that feature you would not ask this question. As much as i love my 920, the lack of a method/feature to represent missed events is(nicely put) tedious. My old n96 and then my palm/hp pres had a notification light and believe me, it was a god send. Plus it was a cool way to find your phone in the dark :).
  • I am not going to say it's not a good touch or convenient.. But it's just not there and I don't find it that important of an issue.. We're talking about Windows Phone here, I just love pressing the power button and check out my lock screen. Swipe one more time and I get all the information I need. But hey, if we get a notification light, I'd like it to be the start button. Less distracting, more of a natural feeling.
  • +1 for Start button. And for the user that requested the BT notification, the start btn should turn blue to indicate its different connection status.
  • Well, that's you.. Stop cock blocking features❕❗❕❗
  • For me it's one of the top three most important little features in any phone. I'm still baffled that MS hasn't included this basic thing in their OS that should be straightforward to implement.
  • I can't tell you how many times I've heard my phone go off and I go to check my texts a few minutes later but have no new texts. I'm left thinking WTH the notification was for..
  • I get this ALL THE TIME with my 920, but with my email notifications. It's very annoying to hear that chime and nothing new is there. Hope this bug gets fixed.
  • That's because you have an email app prob not pinned to your start screen
  • No, I have a different tone set for emails.
  • It could be a breaking news from a news app or ESPN game alerts. I get those all day long (by my choice)
  • Yeah, I mean I know that it's from something like that but there's so many I follow and so many apps that can throw me a toast notification like that that I'm not about to take the time to find out which one right then. This is why I want a notification center / LED light. For a center, I would definitely want it to be optional because I know not everyone wants one but maybe just a live tile or something you could pin to your start screen if you so choose.
  • I think the home button as a notification light would be a great idea. Hope they do implement this in the blue update.
  • They should do it in the yellow update instead. 〽
  • No, it should be done with the green update, instead.
  • Cyan update ftw!
  • I always thought this feature was standard, still amazed how MS have not opened up this functionality yet!
    If anyone would like to see this, please vote on the WP uservoice pages here :)
  • +1
  • It's already part of WP, it's up to the manufacturers. My HD7 has one, and I believe the 8X has the same thing. Probably all HTC devices as it seems standard
  • One of the many things I missed on my Palm Pre...
  • Here's what I wonder: webOS went open source, right? Couldn't some manufacturer take all the best bits of webOS that people loved, work them into android (since they already skin Android anyway), and give us basically a webOS phone with the google play store and other good android stuff? I love wp8 but if someone could do something like this, or if google itself worked it into android, I'd be pretty open-minded about switching. WebOS was truly my favorite operating system.
  • I agree with you about webOS. Its still the king of mobile OSes, loved my pre plus and pre3 and the homebrew community was/is so loyal. For me, when HP decided to kill it, WP was the only logical step forward. Regarding google making a webOS themed device, no need, they have already harvested the best bits of webOS, its called ICS.
  • As simple as it is this would be a game changer, eliminating the need to grab the phone to check for messages
  • like windows 8? THAT, my friend would be truely awesome!
  • Picture password would be nice. Microsoft is eventually going to have that three screen dream they've been going for. Although, as of now; it's just not there yet.
  • I read somewhere that Huwai phone's widows logo glows as the same color as the theme applied...
    I think therefore its possible to set up a different color notifications for different apps and have a limit of 4-5 apps. I think this feature is already there in GS3 as it has a separate notification light. But in windows phone, I think we can do without it. And it would be a great feature.. 
  • This would be amazing! Please make this true in its upcoming update.
  • A notification light may be a personal choice, but its one of the most annoying things to me. Especially at night when the dang thing is constantly blinking. Ugh!!! But like I stated its a personal choice.
  • I think I've seen this on my 8X. I always thought it happened cuz the device tried to power on but had too little juice to manage it.
  • I'm an 8X user, are you saying the windows home button blinks? I know the red LED hidden behind the ear grill blinks.
  • Not sure, I'd have to drain it to check. Anyways i'd say there's a fair chance this flashing button just indicates some failed boots.
  • My lumia light up when I farted. Puff
  • I don't really care about a notification light, but it would be cool if they changed the whole "can't charge while off" thing, which is kinda dumb. Like, turn off the phone and charge it and the windows logo flashes while charging. when it's done charging, the light stops flashing. That would be neat.
  • The fact that it can flash light means it is all a matter of software. Nokia should enable it in a future update when its obviously capable. Different colors on future phones would be awesome. Would go hand in hand with the colorful Lumia line.
  • Awesomenesssss
  • I've always though Nokia should have done this from the beginning on the 800/900.
  • Awesomeeeeeeeeee
  • There was a Q&A video on YouTube I saw the other day with two of Nokia's product managers. Watch the video from the 13:40 min mark. It's basically a notification light to tell you that the phone IS charging when the phone's battery is completely flat and you're in that limbo period where the OS is just booting up.
  • Hmm. Would be cool. It sucks they didnt think of this themselves. So many phones have had notification lights but for some reason you throw the word windows and something and it just needs to have a single blemish of imperfection. Good phone though.
  • I don't mean to be a troll or imposter Vita does this and Windows Phones should have done this along time ago. It would have been perfect on my Lumia 900.
  • HTC mobiles have been doing it the whole time
  • Whoa, whoa. Slow down. I was just remarking how a portable game system can deliver a notice for notifications without an audible sound and without the screen turning on. As much as I love Windows Phone, even Skype on the Vita is more frugal than the one on Windows Phone. 
  • Sounds extremely exciting, and to me it is not something impossible. A simple firmware update can enable it on all wp8 devices i guess. you have 5 apps in lockscreen, if any of them gets +1, the logo should blink :))
  • GET IT ON MY 920
  • Whatever.. Update is too slow in windows phone. Amber on August n what gdr3 on 2014? 8.1 on 2015?? So angry and frustrated..
  • Android isn't much faster, iOS is even slower.
  • Way back when Dinosaurs (aka Windows Mobile) Ruled The Earth - the era of the Samsung BlackJack I & II - when notification lights began to be deactivated by OEMs, and third party Apps were developed to retire and even enhance their function, there was a lively and outraged debate over their value and disappearance. After much debate a few very well researched articles were published on MoDaCo by Engineers that essentially demonstrated that flashing LEDs suck a lot more power than anyone would think, and they were being sacrificed in the name of battery life, pure and simple. Plus ca change...
    BTW, typing this in on my beloved L920 reminded me that tue Sammy BlackJack II was just about the best damn phone I ever had 8-)
  • That would be totally awesome!
  • If this true, I hope the 920 gets it with the GDR2 and/or 3 release. That would be awesome!!!!
  • While we're speaking of the 925, can we expect a review of it soon here on WPC?
  • Man, it's just a light. Don't try to make it extremely over-significant, Nokia and Microsoft -.-
    Just add it as a notification light for messages/miss calls/etc; and every WP customers will be happy.
  • Notification light would be amazing!
  • So Nokia doesn't even know what the hell it is
  • My Titan has one. Of course, it hasn't received any OS updates and the keyboard still disappears, but it does blink at me...
  • Would 7eighter not help with the keyboard problem? Luckily mobile put that update out for my old hd7.
  • What I would like to see. each windowpane in the logo would have an LED of the right color of the MS logo, (red top left, green top right, blue bottom left and orange bottom right) each color by itself would be able to be set for what ever you want, all four colors at once for major events. Joe you can make the check out to cheesemoo, thanks
  • I love that Idea! Red for missed calls/voicemail, green for missed text/mms messages, blue for facebook/twitter notifications, orange for low battery/charging/other. That would be awesome!
  • Only thing I miss from my old BlackBerry, a notification light. The Windows button? Now that would be awesome!
  • That's both a cool feature and a nice reminder why wpcentral is more than just another copy paste blog. Kudos. Edit: I actually like the charging indicator. Have wondered a few times whether my 820 needed a reset or just more time on the chord.
  • Page 10 of 925 user manual ppl ;)
  • Booooo to MS. I don't care about low battery notification. Message notification light should be included in the next OS update. Lack of little things like this is disappointing, even my HTC Radar WP7.5 has a light notification behind the speaker grill.
  • Okay, how was my "I friggin own one and it doesn't" not the tip? lol
  • Mystery solved... though I'd love to see a firmware update make it act as BOTH a notification light and a battery charging indicator. :)
  • I assume its just the lack of a dedicated and unified notification system that is the reason they haven't done such a thing...
  • See the feedback here in the comments section.
    Nokia and MS should definately bring users this featue!
  • From memory I had the blinking Windows key on my Lumia 610 for when it was dead flat.
  • Its the same thing as the 8X it has a sensor that should be a notification light but just tells you when the phone is fully charged and almost dying.
  • Also blinks green for missed calls
  • It is such a common sense and good brand awareness approach which doesn't surprise me that MS and Nokia don't get it. Why are even asking for this, it is such a no brainer!
    MS should make it a standard across all Window phones.
    Now just get in with it. P.S Have the option of it glowing or flashing please.
  • Off topic but when is the review for the 925 coming?
  • Hopefully the softkeys don't look shitty like they do on most 928s :(
  • Is it really that difficult to link lock screen notification 'slots' to a colour and have that colour blink via the windows softkey.✒
  • im pretty sure they can and they will add this feature, symbian phones did it with the white menu key for messages/mails and lost calls and it was pretty cool how it blinked slowly
  • Lol at the typical sour Finnish corporate token biatch.
  • Whats so new in this? My poor lumia 610 also flashes its windows key while charging after its battery dead....
  • You can read all the news about Gadget and Technology here : News On June 30, 2013 (Part 2) : News On June 30, 2013 : News On June 29, 2013 :
  • Can i ask a simple question here.... When is gdr3 coming??? Anyone ??
  • I don't like notification lights because I have so many notifications that it would be always on.
  • I managed to totally run down mine the other day, and when I plugged it in the Windows key was flashing. My old Lumia 800 displayed a 'dead battery' symbol on the screen in a similar state of charge.
    Having it as a notification light would be pretty awesome, as the key evidently has its own LED which can be separately controlled.
  • Yep it definitely does notify when the battery is dead
  • So many features like this exist im phones that are 10 years old, yet each new generation of phones just leaves them out. Why do we always go backwards instead of forwards. Every new phone should have every good feature of the previous generation at least, give us the option to turn them off b
  • A glitch that can be converted into a huge opportunity by Nokia/Windows since the whole notification centre and light is the biggest missing feature and since Blackberry has already ruined their core selling point.
    There is no phone more perfect for a young working professional that balances weekday work + weekend play.
    my black lumia 920 will look like sleeping bat mobile waking up with that white windows logo flashing.
  • I don't feel the need for blinking light (but if it can have custom colors it would be nice to have it with option of on and off). For me i would like notification on the screen with necessary details (from where, which app, the oneline text (if sms) etc). This notification be displayed as we see the TIME (CLOCK) being displayed in the sleep mode as we see in L925. So you get all the notifications without turning on the phone. Secondly if this toast notification is semitransparent at least it would be great.