We’re back from London and Nokia’s main event last week to begin another exciting week here at Windows Phone Central.
First up, I’ll give you my gut reaction to the Lumia 925 announcement and what it means for the platform, next up I want to welcome our new Microsoft News editor to the site and tell you what that means for us (and you), next up is that Xbox thing tomorrow and finally, some Lumia 928 impressions.
Yes, it's time for me to just blog some thoughts in a stream-of-conscious manner. Read on, if you dare!
The Lumia 925 is a big deal
Last week we saw Nokia take the cover off of the Lumia 925, a sideways upgrade if you will to the Lumia 920. By that term we mean that if you own a Lumia 920, you won’t see that much reason to “upgrade” to the 925. But that’s totally fine as this is not “the next Lumia 920” but rather it’s a device meant for the rest of the world who doesn’t own a Lumia 920 (either due to lack of carrier availability or they thought the phone was too big).
Indeed, amongst our readers it seems to have caused some confusion with many of our more hardcore users noting that Nokia has given up too much with the 925 to make it compelling. For example, the 925 loses built in Qi wireless charging in exchange for becoming thinner (and lighter). Sure, you can add it back in with a clip on case but for many that’s already a barrier to entry.
The other “downgrade” is memory with certain variants of the device only coming in 16GB instead of 32GB. This is still in flux a bit as we’re seeing carriers like Deutsche Telekom evidently wavering on this issue. That has sent many people into a tizzy who demand 32GB on their device.
While I totally get the want for 32GB devices (heck, even I appreciate it, though I rarely use all of it) I’m going to come out and say a lot of you are simply in the minority. Whenever I’ve spoken to HTC, Nokia or Samsung on this topic they all tell me the same thing: their market research shows most people are content with 16GB. Between the need to keep profit margins high and costs low to the consumer, it’s easy to see why OEMs would cut this area to save a few bucks (or cents even) per device.
It is fine to declare that a 16GB device is not for you but it’s another to predict a device’s failure amongst the general populace because of it. Nokia is aiming for an aggressive $99 price point on this device in the US (T-Mobile) and in order to do that, some things need to be cut. Having said that, until your carrier has come out with final specs and pricing, I wouldn’t harp on this too much.
Personally, even though I’m a big fan of the Lumia 920 (especially in my super proud bright yellow version), I’m totally picking up the 925. Why? Well, being one of the few people in the world to have handled one on a few occasions now, I can say it’s a fantastic looking device. Pictures (and even video) simply doesn’t do it justice and my guess is a lot of you will change your opinion when you actually see one in person.
The device is like the Lumia 720 but packed with the 920’s guts—that’s basically all I ever wanted. The AMOLED display is one of the best I’ve seen, that extra 6th lens for daylight shots has my interest piqued. Sure 16GB and no wireless charging is a compromise, but for my needs, I can live with it.
So yeah, I’m very excited about the 925 and you should be too. It’s going to give an option to many more potential Windows Phone owners who want a thin, light device that is in my opinion, fantastic looking.
For you Lumia 920 owners looking for the “next big thing”, I have two things to say (1) your phone is just six months old—chill out! and (2) Nokia will show off that 41MP camera phone later this summer and we’re confident it’s AT&T’s next major Windows Phone.
Make sure you read our Q&A with Nokia about the Lumia 925 too, it should answer a lot of questions.
Windows Phone Central and Microsoft News: Welcome Michael Archambault to the fold!
You’ve spoken and we’ve listened.
Every time we post “off topic” Microsoft news stories on WPCentral.com, including Surface and Windows 8 bits, our traffic jumps and commenting goes up. Sure, we’re a “Windows Phone site” but let’s face it, Microsoft is pivoting Windows, Windows Phone and soon Xbox to be on the same playing field and you folks know it.
That’s why starting today, Michael Archambault will begin taking on the major Microsoft and Windows 8 news for the site. Frankly, the rest of us just have too much Windows Phone news to devote significant time towards that huge area and Michael is well versed on those topics.
So who is Michael? He hailed previously from the site Pocketables where he was an Associate Editor and wrote extensively on, well, Microsoft. He also serves as a continual guest author for Lenovo’s corporate blogs, making him quite the resource on upcoming PCs, tablets and ultrabooks.
You can check out his previous articles indexed on his Tumblr page: https://marcham93.tumblr.com/#_=_ and follow him on Twitter: @marcham93.
So what does this mean for the site? Well, no worries if you just don’t care for Microsoft or Windows 8 news (though you will be taken down a peg) as we’ll be instituting a “filter” of sorts on the front page so that you can have only Windows Phone news show, Microsoft news or both.
Give us a few days to get that setup and a few weeks for it to head to our official Windows Phone app. Until then, expect to see a few stories pop up in your stream. Read ‘em. Comment on them. And give a hardy welcome to Michael, as he’s very excited about joining the largest Windows Phone site in the world
True fact: Windows Phone Central does more traffic just in the US than our closest competitor does globally.
That Xbox thing…
Oh yeah, tomorrow Microsoft is evidently ready to reveal the next Xbox. We’ll have a post on that later, as we’ll be live-covering the event…from our couches, like you. Unfortunately due to travel constraints, we couldn’t be there to cover it live but since it’s streaming on your Xbox 360 and the web, it’s no biggy.
We plan to have a few articles focusing on it tomorrow, including any new revelations, features and how it may (or may not) affect Windows Phone.
We will of course be at E3 in June covering that event live, including Microsoft’s follow up Xbox announcements. Indeed there will three of us (myself, Paul and Sam) on hand to bring you everything gaming related at that time.
And if you missed it, Microsoft today released an official Live Video Player app for Windows Phone 8 devices, which you can utilize to stream tomorrow’s Xbox announcement right to your phone. Sa-weet!
The Lumia 928 for Verizon is all kinds of awesome
My review of the Lumia 928 is coming along and it should be here within the next day or two (tomorrow’s Xbox stuff might delay it a tad).
Although Verizon’s cell service is not as good in my living room compared to say AT&T, overall I’ve been very impressed with the 928. Last night I took it to a punk rawk show in Manhattan to do some video and photos and needless to say, it performed quite well. Heck, the LTE was much better for Verizon than AT&T, resulting in more reliable service. Trade offs.
Sure, I wish Verizon didn’t tone down the phone’s looks so much…you can almost hear the Verizon suits telling those “hippies” at Nokia to cool it with the wild colors and “weird” designs, resulting a more “conservative” Lumia. But the phone has the specs where it counts and so far, it’s been performing like a champ.
But if you’re on Verizon, I think you have a winner here. Just too bad it’s not in yellow!
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.