Exclusive - Video hands on with Windows Phone 8.1!

It has been nearly 18 months since Windows Phone 8 was released on October 29, 2012. In that time, Microsoft’s mobile operating system has seen three minor updates. That all changes today. Windows Phone 8.1 was has finally been announced by Microsoft. We go hands-on with Windows Phone 8.1 to give you a first look at the new operating system.

Windows Phone 8.1 builds on the NT kernel that was introduced in Window Phone 8. Users can expect to buy devices loaded with Windows Phone 8.1 later this month.

The introduction of Cortana and a notification center are by far the biggest headline changes coming to Windows Phone 8.1. Although you will find plenty of smaller fixes that all together add up to a substantial new experience. Check the video out above and let us know what you think.

Have any questions about Windows Phone 8.1? Hit up the comments below. 

223 Comments
  • yeppiiiiiiiiiiiiii
  • when will Mobile Nations have an option for showing Most Recent Comments First so losers like you will fall to the bottom of the pile where you belong?
  • Once WPcentral 8.1 comes out. I heard they are adding this feature.
  • ^ JAJAJ, good one
  • yet some how your comment is on topic...... anyway I wonder if there will be a update for the preview program in the coming weeks
  • Only class 10 SD Card can carry apps intallation opton. Otherwise SD Card not detected
  • So tempted to download the developer preview app...will be too long to wait for the carrier update on this one :D
  • What about ability to save games on sd card.? ND the ppl are lucky dere to get free Xbox one nd 500dollars
  • what is ND and dere?
  • I think it's and and there
  • Nokia's website says the new devices can "save apps and data to memory card."
  • danial just showed that feature ..pay attention
  • Yay!
  • Love your profile picture! :D
  • Thanks! :D
  • Stunning ! But how come you had this article ready ? SO you did actually have a test piece right ? AND a video ready too, to surprise us ! :)   Anyone got their tounges hanging out yet ?
  • WPC definitely had the 630 since long before
  • Yeah, it's been pretty obvious - they have been TOO quiet about it. :) Personally I am glad they can shut up, that means they can be trusted.
  • Yeah ! So unlike the media here in India. I love WPC !!
  • just look at the date in the update history, 2/20/2014, hmm ;)
  • i am the first guy to comment on the official announcement of Windows Phone 8.1 on wpcentral i think i deserve a new lumia hahahaha
  • Nope.
  • How about nope?
  • You deserve a nope.
  • These nopes seem to be coming faster.
  • Nope! Not fast enough.
  • Really? Wow. That was today? Lol
  • Expected release date?
  • 2015 ;)
  • Hahaha...
  • Read the article, at the end they say: users can expect to buy phones loaded with wp 8.1 at the end of this month
  • I think he means for *existing* devices out in the wild, i.e. when will a downloadable update be available. Considering that most carriers' goal is to get you to buy a new phone, or re-up your contract, the roll out will probably be slow for carrier branded devices.  Yes, probably end of 2014 or this time next year.
  • They said the update is arriving 'in the coming months'
  • This is why I'm not leaving android. Until the WP world has something equivalent to the nexus line I wont jump ship. I've been following the development of WP since it arrived and now with 8.1 it looks really attractive. My next phone will probably be a WP device but it wont happen until there's a device that receives all OS updates straight from MS like they do for Windows. I think a lot of people, especially those who like me are long time windows users but with android phones, feel the same.
  • You can get Developer Preview independent of carriers intervention. Only phone specific firmwares have to be approved by the carrier
  • you seem to know a bit, does carrier refer to network, I have a sim free Nokia what does that come under?
  • well we already have that capability...its called developer preview..many expect we will be able to download winphone 8.1 next week. Looking forward to it on my lumia 1520.
  • Soon this will happen. Nokia's phone division will belong to Microsoft possibly at the end of the month.
  • Same for me. I actually owned a Nokia 920 but switched over to the LG G2 because there was just so much more things on Android compared to WP8, so now it is going to be my travel phone when i go out of country. I was VERY optimistic, maybe even too optimistic, but i was sure that MS would make sure that WP8 would not be left behind, but look where we are now. There's definitely been improvements since launch, but those improvements are almost nothing really. Nothing to the average consumer at least. Remember, you have to appease them not the people who are already sold onto the platform  I really agree with you and it doesn't necessarily have to be just straight up MSFT to do the update, they just need someone who is going to be pushing updates fast. My LG G2 came with 4.2.2 and LG announced that in Q1 i would get 4.4.2 and on March 14, i got the update. Hell Nokia should sell the phones like Google and update them the same way Google does to Android. Once they have that, then we can see something. To the people that are just going to say developer preview is the way to get it. The people who are reading this are probably not the "average" consumer. There needs to be a way to get these updates without having to do some workaround. This is what WP needs, a dedicated line up of devices that are guaranteed to be getting the latest and greatest updates straight from MSFT/Nokia
  • I was wondering whether T9 is really included?
  • Eah eah i am crying..
  • Woah Nelly. Here we go
  • I just went into Phone Update and it's downloading something. Have they pushed this for devs already? Can't watch the video at work, YouTube is banned!
  • Ok, but first I'd love to get Lumia black update by end of 2014 ! Is too much to ask??
  • We already got it months ago...
  • Swype, a notification center and personalized start screens are what I thought Android had over WP. Now that 8.1 is on it's way and it's right around the corner I'll not be needing my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 anymore. It's going up on eBay as soon as I can update my Lumias 1020 and 1520.
  • I want 8.1 NOW!!!
  • +920
  • Nice! Pull down notifications, independent volume controls, wallpaper, voice assistant! Welcome to Android, circa 2009!!!
  • Minus the whole be being a terrible OS running terrible virtual machines thing.
  • Did you say ADdroid
  • I think that's still Android in 2014 actually.
  • Is wp8.1 will be available for devices like L520..
  • Yes.
  • Yes......
  • Every WP8 devices will be able to get WP8.1
  • When is the dev preview expected
  • They didn't say that yet, but i'll Tell you if They mention it
  • Ten of this month.
  • All thes articles with ", we go hands on". I WANT TO GO HANDS ON! NOW!!!
  • Don't you guys think, the next 8 days are gonna seem the longest 8 days in your life?? Sure like hell they are gonna be in my life.. ;)
  • Fantastic run through of the features there, Daniel. Thanks. Impressive updates.
  • May we know what devices would be compatible for 8.1 update?
  • All wp8 devices
  • infinite orgasm *faints
  • Gotta rush to a sperm bank asap...lol
  • Mother of update, I can't wait...
  • Do they removed Facebook chat intergration?
  • Only available by Nokia? not other brand?
  • It should be available to all manufacturers that want to make a WP. There are talks that Samsung's bringing us a WP 8.1 device.
  • Every Windows Phone 8 device will get Windows Phone 8.1.
  • It looks like Skype still really isn't integrated into the OS. Maybe, WP9? If it's treated like a third party service, what was the point of buying it, again.......?
  • It is more integrated, hence the Cortana control of it. Its also much faster, and you can uplift a standard telephone call to Skype, the Skype video. (It will also auto login now based on your MS account) Its all good now.
  • Does Win phone 8.1 bring three tile option to lumia 9XX devices...??
  • If your watching the video joe said yes. it will be an on/off switch in the settings.
  • Looks more complicated but really usefull
  • Complicated? What exactly?
  • Does it get a file manager?
  • He pulled up a movie to watch on his phone. Is that something that will require an Xbox or will our WP be able to download and play movies independently from Xbox?
  • The service is called Xbox Video. It doesn't require an actual Xbox for use.
  • Looks like on screen buttons stay even on video playing.
  • Yes, thats lame.
  • Any news on the availability of developer preview?
  • LLLLLLLLOOOOOOVVVVVVEEEEE IIIIIIITTTTTT!!!!!!!
  • Is it FINALLY possible to add files/attachments to an existing email thread WITHOUT using a damn link to the file?
  • Can some one answer this man please?
  • Seriously - I'm a broken record... Been asking this over and over since WP7!
  • Everything seems smooth and fast!
  • I loved the new lockscreen layout Joe showed..
  • Looks great, although not liking too much how e.g. in the photo gallery there is no longer one of the face pics on the background, and in store no app picture/grahpic on the background. Looks a lot more bland/boring now. LOVE LOVE LOVE that the space key is a little more to the right. As it is now, I VERY often tap the comma instead.
  • Agreed.  The photo "hub" looks very boring now.  Why did they change it?  That was one of the nicest areas of the OS.
  • So if I get the preview version on my 1020 will I lose the amber and black updates that are on my 1020?
  • Yes
    you will get the NOKIA BLUE update
    not 100% sure
  • I'm happy that they keep the "hub" integration of social networks, even if it's in a new form. Looks good.
  • Can't wait to hit my 925!!!!
  • I have a question. Do developers finally have access to recorded videos in WP 8.1? I have been patiently waiting for a video editing app to come along.
  • God, i can't wait this so much to look for! Please be available as soon as possible!
  • Is it possible to have the menu background photo adapted to the Bing photo of the day? Like you can have now with your start screen with WP 8.
  • If not now, I really hope that comes later. Bing photo of the day is a great feature.
  • That is a brilliant idea! I really hope they add it as a feature.
  • Haven't seen the contest says that it is only for the US residents.
  • Awesome!!
  • Any idea for the size of the update
  • Does the os have file access to all offline files please reply !!!!!!!!!
  • What does that even mean?
  • lol I think he's asking if there's a file manager?
  • Seems faster
  • yes please
  • Can we call cortana with any name?
  • no need to call cortana, u can start ur question directly.....
  • When it available for phone in india
  • if u r developer, then 10th april, otherwise after 2-3 months
  • Quick question, will I lose my warranty if I use the developer preview? 'Cause I don't want to wait for stupid carriers, but I also don't want to lose warranty.
  • I think you lose carrier warranty, but not OEM warranty
  • Go to Nokia Care and revert it back to black. Carrier won't even know. You can do it yourself too - Use Nokia Software Updater for Retail.
  • When do the wp8 devices can update to WP8.1?
  • Is windows 8.1 going to be on the Nokia Lumia 521 (t-mobile)
  • Yes.
  •     What about File Manager.. This is what I expected Most.....
  • Why did you expect that? There has not been any indication or hint of a file manager. I doubt there will ever be one.
  • I wish they add a Q (quick bar) from the bottom and swipe up to