From the Forums: The prototype Lumia Windows Phone and which Apollo OEM will you choose?

Welcome to your almost-daily catch up of what's been happening in the Windows Phone community. The popular Windows Phone Central forums have been a busy place over the last few days, so what's the latest hot discussion?

We covered the reported prototype Lumia Windows Phone earlier in the week, which we believed to be fairly accurate (though a rough prototype at that). Forum user baileystein believes the images to be real and this Lumia device does indeed exist, noting:

"And...for the "old windows button"; remember the HTC Omega? It turned into the HTC Radar a few days after a leak? Well, the first leak was an image of the back. Etched was "Windows Phone" with the NEW logo. The next day, another image surfaced. This one had the OLD logo. Remember that HTC announced the device the next day in London (if I remember correctly)."

It's definitely a strong possibility that the device is what it appears to be. While it sports the old Windows Phone logo, we shouldn't jump to conclusions on this observation alone. It could well be a Nokia handset running Windows Phone 7.8, or it could well be some early hardware for the next big hit.

What do you make of the prototype Lumia Windows Phone? Believe it to be real? Head on over to the "My take on the Nokia Prototype" thread to voice your opinion(s).

Ideal Windows Phone 8 manufacturer?

Concept of a Microsoft Surface Phone

Forum user B.L.E.A.K has started an interesting poll to get votes from other members for their ideal (or favourite) Windows Phone 8 choice of hardware. Whether you're a fan of Nokia's unique design and OEM apps, or would like to go with Microsoft's trusty PC partner Lenovo, it's hopefully going to be a difficult choice for consumers with what will available. Vigor replied with an insightful post:

"I picked HTC. Just nothing to complain about there. Nokia needs to WOW us with their phones though. I think for a company that has their feet in both ponds, they make excellent phones all throughout (One X, Titan, etc). Nokia has all their eggs in windows phone and they only came out with three phones in one year's time. IDK I'm kind of not impressed by that. I AM impressed by their commitment to the platform but then again, it's their only platform..."

Question is, who would you choose if you were to purchase a Windows Phone 8 device? What would you look for in the Windows Phones manufacturers would unveil? Let us know in the comments and be sure to engage in the "Your ideal manufacturer would be?" thread to vote for your choice.

Miscellaneous: possible improvements to the Apollo start screen?

What do you think of the start screen in Windows Phone 7.8 and Apollo? Is it too cluttered? Or have they not done enough to improve usability from what we've currently got? SCOOBY_666UK published a short list on what he feels should be changed:

  • It looks too busy
  • It looks to cluttered
  • It looks un-organised
  • We need MORE + CUSTOM backgrounds
  • We need HUBS
  • We need GROUPS
  • We want LANDSCAPE View

Have you got anything to add to the list or do you feel that the start screen we'll all receive is a good improvement? Be sure to head on over to the "Possible Windows Phone 8 Start Screen Improvement(s)" to add your suggestions. 

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is 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 over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • We have groups which you can pin to start, unless you're referring to folders?
  • Folders / Custom Hubs
  • Nokia without a doubt. I'll be ditching my HTC titan and going for a company that actually has a vested interest in the platform that I prefer.
  • +1
  • +1 Nokia only choice for me as a WP customer. No other company will commit as much as Nokia.
  • +1
  • +1 The data connection problem on the HTC Radar is frustrating.  Going to try Nokia next.
  • Well said. Nokia for me as well.
  • Well, im with T-Mo and I stay for the unlimited data plan I have and the hopes that they eventually beef up their towers. Personally i have a great connection all the time, but i know of others that have problems. Anyways, im hoping that HTC brings some big screened monsters to T-Mo so i can finally pass my hd7 to my son who's 10. I have had an upgrade available since December 2011! Ha ha ha
  • I'm with tmobile as well with an hd7, I have an unlimited data plan (which is actually unlimited up to 5gb). My wife pointed that out to me when she mentioned that I came close to that twice. There is a more expensive up to 10gb plan, but the cost on that for one person is more than both lines after taxes.
  • That Surface Phone render is awesome.. I would buy at least two of that!
  • I'm with you. I'd be all over that Surface phone. Otherwise, since I have a Titan, which I like alot, I'll be looking forward to seeing what HTC has to offer.
  • If that was ever produced on tmobile, I would buy it.
  • That phone does look beautiful, but the headphone jack seems to be in the way of the lens apperatus of the camera.  Not enough room for the two of them in the same spot.  The headphone jack should be moved over to the side.
  • +1
  • +1
  • "We need MORE + CUSTOM backgrounds"
    Why do people want custom backgrounds??  For iPhone or Android, I understand, but for Windows Phone, especially with Windows Phone 8, the background makes up litterally like 5% of the screen.  I understand if people want more background colours, that makes sense, but I don't understand why some people want to be able to use a custom picture if the tiles are going to cover 95% of your picture!!!!???? LOL
  • I think the answer is, why not? It is a background, it isn't the focus but it can drastically change any picture. I think users want the ability to customize their experience and a background is a very integral part of doing that. If people want it to be white or black, great and if they don't let them add their own background.
  • I would actually prefer a color picker for tiles instead of limited preset colors. Besides, would a background image draw more power?
  • Because.....they want it?
  • Yeah, seems odd. Im not sure if that initial compiled list was from the same or many sources... But complaining the new home screen is too busy/cluttered and then say what is needed are custom backgrounds is just silly. Of course, it should be an option just so that it's an option (remember Apple refused for some time until they caved) but it would really detract from the whole point of the UI. Perhaps since they aren't going to fight for "Metro" it doesn't matter any more.
  • Before I jumped to WP I spent a few months running Launcher 7 on Android to get a feel for the interface. The only thing I miss about that was the ability to customize the Start screen's background and custom color wheel for the theme. You'd be surpised how well the aesthetic works with an image in the background. 
  • I'm loving the support by Nokia so that maybe my w8p
  • I will choose whoever puts a high end phone on Verizon first. I am ready to move on from my trophy.
  • Yep. My trophy is a POS.
  • Same with me, My trophy cant even take decent pictures (even compared to a dumbphone) because the camera lens is nothing but scratches.
  • I've had both Nokia & HTC Windows Phones & can tell you that HTC is far superior! I will definitely be going with them for Windows Phone 8.
  • My choice would be with out a doubt Nokia,,,although I like HTC I think they make too many devices in one year. I like the fact that nokia puts out fewer devices so they can focus on supporting them rather than putting out dozens of devices on multiple carriers and trying to support them all.
  • Lots of devices are good ,more to go into the hands of consumers. HTC has also stated that they won't be making alot of devices anymore, just 3 to 6 a year.
  • I'd probably go with Nokia. Why? Well, I've used their products and they delivered. The design and feel of the L800 is amazing. The constant support is a big bonus too. From what I've read, other OEMs are not really showing that much support for their devices once they are in customers hands. I know Nokia is really focusing on WP because it's becoming their only OS but let's be honest, what Nokia is doing is not really rocket science. I mean if I was them I'd do the same because I wna sell! I don't care if WP is my main OS. I need money. I promote and support my products. It's as simple as that. Now, I wouldn't leave Samsung or HTC out. I'd definitely have a look at what they have to offer. We never know. Nokia my drop on the ball lol. To sum up, for my next WP device, I won't go in blindly (I never do lol). I'll look at what everyone has to offer but Nokia will be the favourite because of what they've shown me already.
  • Having used every HTC Windows phone except the Radar.. I'm thinking about sticking with them. Nokias are coo, but over-exaggerated (my wife has the Lumia 900). The only good things about the Samsungs (imo) were the fact that they could be Window-broke. BUT, I am interested in what Lenovo brings to the table. So my picks are either the HTC Zenith or a High-end Lenovo.
  • As far as these backgrounds go... I don't see why not? I'd prefer colors, but why not give us all options? And people keep saying that we won't have a 2nd screen for our apps like we do on Windows 7/7.5? Where do you guys get this info? I coulda swore I watched a video where a "higher-up" was showing off the new start screen, and the 2nd screen WAS available. If I'm wrong, I'm sorry.. But I promise that's what I saw..
  • Great! I couldn't imagine Windows without it! Lol
  • I'm sorry, I've had a WP since originally launched but could you explain this "2nd screen"?
  • Okay... Maybe I'm using the wrong terminology... How about "the screen where the apps go when they finish downloading??? Does that make u feel better???
  • Hubs or apps page
  • HTC for me that is until another OEM can provide sound enhancements on the level that HTC has done.
  • +100
  • If you want sound enhancment just buy better quality headphones.
  • Dakken +1
  • On the Focus currently but as long as the Nokia supports SIM cards then I am going with the high end offerings.
  • "their"
  • You are grammar trolling yourself lol
  • I would pick a Nokia with my eyes closed.
  • there is always a space to improve anything 
    i agree with those
    We need MORE + CUSTOM backgrounds
    We need HUBS
    We need GROUPS
    We want LANDSCAPE View
    and i will chose Nokia 
  • Ideal hardware:  Nokia Lumia with PureView.
    If there was a surface phone I'd seriously consider that too.
  • I am a T-mobile customer, currently im using the HD7 and i really wish T-Mobile added a high end windows phone before wp8 was released. Even with knowing the current wp will not be upgradeable i still would've liked the option. The radar is a nice device but its to small. ATT received the lumia and the titan, 2 amazing phones. I anticipate this happening again in the future. Also what is with nokia phones having exclusivity with apps, does that not sound ridiculous to you?
  • Also have an hd7 on tmo. I agree a WP app should be a WP app, not a lumia only app. They aren't the only ones making the devices.
  • They're paying to get the devs going on these apps, so why should they share the benefits with their competitors?
  • Nokia developed these apps or were highly involved in getting these developers to develop for WP. Most all of Nokia's apps eventually go public. This is also a draw for sales of their phones.
  • My first WP7 device was the HTC Radar. But this time around, my first WP8 will be a Nokia Lumia!
  • Oh yes, if MS puts out a Surface phone, that will be my WP8 device to have, then a Nokia Lumia WP8 device next!
  • +1
  • Nokia and the surface of course.... No other oem can do the job...
  • Didn't really have all that great an experience with HTC phones and their design just doesn't stand out. The One X looks very pretty but I'd still choose the Lumia as it just feels sturdier and sports a completely different look.
    Looking forward to a Nokia WP8 on Rogers to replace my tried and trusted Focus.
    Just one thing about Samsung, they make incredible hardware (I've dropped this thing so many times that I have lost count and nothing but minor scruffings) but lack the quality feel to them. Even with the SIII, their apparent flagship, the OS runs very smoothly (for now...heh :D) but the plasticky feel just kills it for me. Would have waited for their recycled hardware for WP after my experience with the Focus but unless they learn to innovate and give WP some love, I'm out.
  • Well if Sony would grace Windows Phone with their presence that would be my umber 1 choice! If not most likely Nokia because of their design and support. 3rd Samsug. 4th HTC, 5th LG
  • I'll be going with Nokia with Pureview plus quadcore. If that means waiting a year I will be fine with my Lumia 900
  • Lets see... hmmm... Apollo... If I had to pick just one... I'd have to say NASA.
  • I have had HTC, Samsung, and Nokia windows phones. I choose Nokia first then Samsung. My HTC was terrible. I did like my camera better on my Samsung but everything else was better on my Nokia.
  • I have used iPhone 4S, Samsung, HTC, and Nokia. Nokia is overall the best, simple because they are the best at call quality, signal reception, camera (PureView), audio recording (Rich Audio), and best screen for outdoor visibility (ClearBlack). They are better at exclusive apps and firmware updates too. Nokia Drive alone is worth it.
  • haha so "scooby666_uk" thinks the start screen looks too cluttered and busy, but wants backgrounds too? righto mate lol
  • Also am really hoping Nokia keep a cyan and a white option for WP8 lumias. the phones look fantastic in those two colours!
  • Nokia, no matter what. Im done with HTC. I want an OEM that actually cares about windows phone and Nokia has excellent quality build.
  • It would be nice if tmobile got more than 3 choices. At&t got the titan, titan 2, I believe the L800, the L900, all the focus models, and even took the hd7. 7-8 different models and tmobile got 3. Verizon got what, 2? Sprint got 1 that I can think of but sprint is horrible. Had them in HS and dropped more calls than ever have with tmo. Can't get marketshare without having devices on every carrier.
  • At&t had dell venue pro, LG quantum, HTC surround, HTC titan, titan 2, Samsung focus, focus flash, focus S, focus 2, and the Nokia lumia 900. That is a lot. At&t is the bees knees
  • First of all, I'll choose Tmo. Second I'll choose the HTC one x+ if there's no hero WP8 being released by Tmo. There's no running around games for me. Sick and tired of that bullcrap. Can't afford jumping from one carrier to the next.
  • HTC lost my business long ago, my HD7 will freeze the phone after a while if you play music for a while without the phone plugged into power. Its a known issue and HTC will no fix the problem. I'm moving to Nokia who have shown they care about their customers, I guess HTC is too busy with Android.
  • scooby_666UK can leave our platform for all I care, because his rendition/changes for Windows Phone is ugly and idiotic.
  • HTC hands down unless--Microsoft makes their own hardware. I wouldn't mind custom Hubs either.
  • I think wp should fix the notification in the LockScreen.
    i've to slide up the LockScreen then scroll down the Tile, just to check whether i've got message or email or not :(
    Well there is notification sound but i don't always hear that, especially on noisy environment.
    Notification LED i think is great. Just look at a glance and you know there is message waiting for response.
  • I would definitely buy a Surface Phone.
  • With all the commitment that Nokia puts into its phones I'd choose Nokia over HTC any day ... Just like Choosing Samsung over HTC for Android .... HTC is a good company but not dedicated enough ... I previously owned a HTC Radar but traded it off for Nokia 710 and I am loving it more than anything ... The way Nokia keeps supporting its phones is awesome. For HTC Windows Phone is just side step, for Nokia it is the real deal. And I am also happy that Nokia will support WP7 for quite some time even after WP8 is released. Customer Support is what Nokia is best at. And its going to be Nokia as mainstream phones for me.
  • I've tried HTC and LG... Im onto Nokia next!
  • And as far the choices go, its easier to choose from 4 Nokias i.e the L900, L800, L710 and the young L610 rather than confusing with the millions of devices Samsung launches every few months ... Nokia offers a straightforward choice ... More like Apple ... its either the iPhone or no phone.
  • I have a HD7 on Tmobile now. Good solid phone and build quality had it since US launch day in 2010.. So I'm looking to stay with HTC if Nokia wows me I'll probably choose them..
  • I'll pick whoever brings great WP8 hardware to Sprint first! Dying to get rid of my Arrive for something lighter and with a bigger screen!!
  • I would love to see Microsoft make their own hardware and have it look similar to the Zune HD. That device was beautiful!
  • Sticking with Nokia unless HTCs rumored zenith phone, or whatever it's called looks good and comes out bug free, because they're support is terrible.
  • Nokia Lumia 900 user here
    This is my 3rd lumia 900 and this time I am asking for refund. It freezes it has the worst GPs and network signal. Bluetooth issues and I have to restart it at least 2-3 times a day.
  • 900 here, and no issues!
  • +1 for Nokia. Great customer service and support. HTC hardware reliability and support totally sucks. Samsung would be my 2nd choice.
  • More customizable UI, I like changing the look and miss it greatly.
  • Landscape mode would be nice. My other phone (Yes, I'm unfaithful sometimes) has it, and I find it quite handy when holding it in landscape mode anyway (after taking a pictures, for web browsing or for a game).
    As my Lumia 800 is rather new, I'll hold on to it for a long while which will give me a lot of time to see what WP8 has to offer. I'm leaning towards Nokia, but would also give HTC another chance (My last phone was a HTC, and while it made me hit the roof many times with Android 2.3 and tiny internal memory, the hardware was actually very stable. I can't count how many times I dropped it!)