First images of Nokia’s aluminum Lumia, codenamed ‘Catwalk’, have surfaced [Updated]

We have no way of verifying the authenticity of these two images, but it appears to be of the upcoming Nokia Lumia ‘Catwalk’, a follow up to the Lumia 920 that reportedly sports a new aluminum chassis to help reduce the size and weight. The images showed up on the popular Chinese social network Sina Weibo.

No other details were given, but earlier information about Catwalk stated the device as having 4.5” display with an OCTA display, S4 1.5GHz dual-core CPU, 16GB of storage (down from 32GB), 2000mAh battery and an 8.7MP OIS camera with LED flash.

Nokia Lumia Catwalk

As a result of the new body, the device is 50 grams lighter (just 132g) than the current Lumia 920 and is supposedly about 2.3mm less in thickness (8.4 versus 10.7mm on the 920).

From the image, we can see that the microSIM door on top matches the Lumia 720's and indeed, it has the same "three dots" on the back for a wireless charging backplate. While moving the microUSB (or is it an HDMI out port?) to the top may seem unusual, we must remember that it is not a requirement that it be on the bottom of the device and OEMs can move things around.

The timing of the device was reported to be for a May 15th announcement with a late June availability. T-Mobile US is expected to pick up the device as well as other international carriers.

Verizon will launch a similar, but non-aluminum device called the Lumia 928 aka ‘Laser’ in the coming weeks.

Update (5:25PM ET): We have spoken to someone familiar with this alleged device who can confirm that it is indeed, accurate. Because of that we've bumped the rum'o'meter from an initial '5' to an '8' (from an early corroboration) to a '10', meaning we have very high confidence in these images. Whether or not they are early or late prototype, we don't know.

Source: Sina Weibo, Baidu; Thanks,  AIKON, for the tip!

Daniel Rubino
Editor-in-chief

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

327 Comments
  • Nokia wouldn't move the charging port back to the top.
  • +1
  • Why wouldn't they? It's not a spec of WP8 hardware. The microSIM door also matches the 720's design as do the same wireless charging dots on the back.
  • The hope is that it would become standard on the bottom and we could get some docking accessories at some point. 
  • Some cool docks would be nice, but windows phones need to push more volume for docks to be really profitable
  • Hope all you want. I can 100% tell you that it is NOT a standard. Even the 8x and 920 have it on the bottom, but reversed direction.
  • I was not aware of that.  What a missed opportunity to some day have accessories.  But in reality, everyone is leaving that thinking behind.  Even Apple changed their port which caused issues in this area. NFC / Bluetooth is the future.
  • Don't you think it's weird that HTC, who uses a side mounted port on pretty much every recent phone they have built, also put in on the bottom? If HTC had a history of putting it all over the place from phone to phone then I'd think it was just an unlikely coincidence. But the fact that they have (and continue to) put it on the side on every recent phone makes it seem like there must be something more going on.
  • Can't stress this enough... there is nothing going on. 
  • Microsoft recently stated that they are not making a Surface phone because they already have enough control over the current OEMs.
     
    No matter who designed it and what the reasons were, all of the past designs required some sort of approval from Microsoft.
     
    If Microsoft approved it, that's all that matters.
  • The Droid DNA and HTC One both have bottom ports, and they're newer phones.
  • I thought it was mandated to have the USB charger at the bottom center?
  • What other phones have charging next to the sim slot? I dont think its a good idea, so i think its a HDMI output.
  • I also thought this too...as HTC would've probably made their usb port on the side for the 8X just like the other 10 million phones they have. 
  • The Droid DNA and HTC One both have bottom ports, and they're newer phones.
  • True but just about every other previous Gen HTC phone has has a side charging port.
  • http://www.wpcentral.com/windows-phone-8-feature-standardized-usb-port-l... Look what I found.
  • Docking?! I hope we'll do away with wires and docks in favor of being completely wireless.
  • Youre thinking backwards joe. You gotta understand that wireless charging and bluetooth docking system will be the norm. So regardless of cable on the bottom or top it doesnt really matter.
  • I am ready for that! Hopefully the cost comes down a little as it becomes more popular.
  • The trouble with the Nokia phones that charge from the top is that when you're low on battery and need to make/continue a call by plugging into power, having a cable coming from the bottom of the phone is fine, but one from the top really gets in the way.
    I agree about wireless charging being the norm, but it doesn't help when you need to be using the phone up to your face and charging at the same time. I suppose you could hold the charging plate up to your head, but that doesn't sound incredibly safe to me :)
  • Honestly I could have sworned I read an article somewhere that said they were trying to make that a standard for wp8
  • Same here
  • Also, uncovered ports at the top aren't exactly ideal in rain.
  • Uncovered ports on the bottom though are a big lint trap.  Not to mention reducing the faces requiring cutouts means less cost.
  • Yes it is... WP8 spec is USB on bottom center of device.
  • Source?
  • Looks more like a micro HDMI port
     
  • That's what it is
  • That is correct, and the back bump tells that this has a monster camera. EOS sounds more like it.
  • Or because the device is thinner, the camera has a bulge. 
  • I hope they make a thicker phone so I don't have an ugly fucking bump on the back of my phone
  • Same here.  I'll gladly take a 1.5 or 2mm thicker body in order to avoid an ugly camera bump.
  • Even better, fill up that 2mm with battery. I hope the 720 is an indication of the direction Nokia will be heading in - longer battery life and sleeker designs.
  • Definitely agree here, the Lumia 900 was as thin as I want or need (I still manage to touch the sides of the screen when one handed sometimes).  Fill out that extra space with battery, make sure it has an SD card slot and they have my money, I'm really not a fan at all of the camera bulge, the original HTC One had that design and it always did look like a baleful eye :P
  • I was thinking same...that bump is making it too ugly IMO!!
  • Depends on the camera. If that actually is a 40MP camera then I'm willing to accept a *whole* lot of ugly :)
  • An EOS without Xenon flash? no way!
  • ^ This.
     
  • Capacitors would add more bulk to the design, I personally would like an N8 like device (large 12MP sensor  + xenon with easily exchangeable battery).
     
  • Me too would not mind a bigger hump that included Xenon flash and loudspeaker port, like in the N8 and 808, but I sure hope it won't look like this: http://mynokiablog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/3-600x450.jpeg Anyway, the camera does not seem to be huge enough for this to be the EOS.
    If this is Catwalk, then what is the Lumia 928 Verizon phone with Xenon flash that leaked earlier?
  • Verizon's Lumia 928 is codenamed "Laser".
  • OK, thanks. That's three high-end devices to be released by Nokia over the next months, then. Although, at this point I expect that the EOS launch will be delayed until later in the year.
    Well, let's wait and see how good the camera on the Catwalk is. If it's at least N8 quality, I may consider getting one while waiting for the EOS.
  • Presumably the wireless charging accessory would add just enough bulk that the camera would be flush with it.
  • Definitely a micro USB port, not a micro HDMI port.  The micro HDMI is fatter, the port on this abomination of a Nokia is long and thin thus micro USB.  You can compare what they look like:
    http://i-cdn.phonearena.com/images/reviews/107151-image/Motorola-DROID-RAZR-MAXX-Review-Design-07.jpg
  • +1 no way its going top, docking will be impossible.
  • That's probably what those three dots are used for.
  • A 10 in the rumometer means this is at least a proto for 'Catwalk'.. In the final version they will move it to the bottom..
  • I was also thinking this is probably a prototype and that's why it looks rough around the edges.
  • That port on the top could be that rumored micro-HDMI out we've started to hear about no? microUSB and micro-HDMI look mighty similar at a quick glance. The USB port could still be on the bottom edge.
  • I love my 920, weight is not an issue, I'll pass. Where is Windows 9 or 8.1???
  • I too liked the heft of the 920, felt solid
  • +1
  • +1
  • +1
  • +1 I agree. I also like the solid design of the 920.
  • I don't too heavy. Waste of bezel makes it the size of a 4.8 inch phone although just a 4.5 screen.
  • I agree with you 200% and it has always been my point about the 920, it is a 4.5 device in 4.8 body. lots of wasted screen area with bezels
  • Same here.  The size, weight, and angles of the 920 are perfect.  It's a pleasure to use the device.
  • I love my 920 too but I do find it a bit too heavy for what I want in a phone.
  • Agree!!
  • Agree with you. At first I first i thought the weight was going to be an issue, but it's not at all really. In fact, its a heavy, expensive feel that gives the phone a premium feeling. Now carrying any other lighter phones would feel like a plastic toy.
  • Seems legit.  Is that a micro USB port on the top of the phone? And the connectors on the back tell me that wireless charging is not built in. 
  • I was wondering if wireless charging would work through aluminum... maybe it needs to be external?
  • The back seems to be plastic. They probably left it out to save weight and to make the phone thinner.
  • Wireless charging works through magnetism. Aluminum has no affect on magnetism so Wireless Charging should be fine.
  • Thanks for that info!
  • No problem! My physics class I just took involved the study of magnetic induction. Helped me understand so much about wireless charging.
     
    Essentially, as long as nothing interferes with the magnets it works. The closer the the receiver is to the transmitter, the more voltage there is. Less distance = faster charging.
    You might have seen a bunch of DIY magnetic charging stuff, like wireless charging nightstands etc. While nothing interferes with the magnets in these setups, the distance between the charging pad and the phone is usually increased, so I'd bet that they charge slower than normal. :)
  • So if you put the phone face down, will it damage the screen? =/
  • How about just not doing that?
  • Thank you for realizing science! I think the wireless charger receiver can as thin as a couple sheets of paper.
  • But you can induce a current in aluminum. I remember doing this experiment as a kid:
    http://cse.ssl.berkeley.edu/segwayed/lessons/exploring_magnetism/magneti...
    ETA: This is a much more fun experiment!
    http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/10/3482590/watch-this-electromagnetic-in...
  • Awesome post/find! I read through the lab and understand what's going on. While it's possible to generate a current in aluminum using the magnets, it will not interupt the magnetic induction that is passing through it.
     
    So essentially, this will not affect magnetic induction, but could possible generate electrical currents in the aluminum as a side-affect. My guess is that the current generated in the aluminum is easy to prevent, it's too minimal to matter for anything, or it's possible to negate the effects by grounding the circuit.
     
    Thanks for teaching me something new! :)
  • The eddy currents induced in the aluminum would generate a little heat. If they designed the aluminum just right the eddy currents could be minimized.
  • Logic seems sound but is not correct in practice. The reduction in performance due to a metal layer between the charging coil and the receiver would not be acceptable. While charging may still work it will be less efficient (creating more heat and slower charging).
  • Does the HTC one have wireless charging? Because it is aluminum.
  • Hi guys, the discussion is kind of moot becayse it will not have built in wireless charging like the 920.
    However wireless charging covers will be made available after sales begin (that work exactly like the 720's snap on covers). However they will be covers like the 720 and not shells like the 820. You can confirm this anyway by looking at the three dots at the back of the phone. They are exactly like the 720 and are connectors for the coil in the covers.
    Replaceable plastic backs and such could be possible, no info on that since no info on what stage this prototype is
  • Palm returns!
  • Urgh... thats one ugly phone... Wireless charging seems to be optional just like on the 720.
    Definitely a step backwards from the 920
  • looks like one of Huawei's windows phones eh?