Microsoft should make a Lumia 925 successor now before it is too late
On Friday, Windows Phone Central broke the news about 'McLaren' being cancelled by Microsoft. Not much was known about the flagship Windows Phone except it was to feature the first instance of Microsoft's new 3D Touch UI. Although prototype phones likely get cancelled on occasion, the absence of McLaren causes a potential problem: what is going to the next Windows Phone flagship for the fall?
With the lack of high-end, high-profile Windows Phones for this November Microsoft may be in a bind. However, there may be a way out, and that involves making an updated Lumia 925.
The case for a new Lumia 925
Of all the Lumia Windows Phone released in the past, the Lumia 925 was the least controversial in addition to having all the hallmarks of a "classic" Windows Phone for the masses. The Lumia 925's only issue was being released not too far after the Lumia 920, causing some mixed messages to retailers, customers, and carriers.
The big selling point about the Lumia 925 is that it is thin, light, and it has the appearances. No one ever complained that the Lumia 925 was too big (Lumia 1520), too bulky (Lumia 920), underpowered (Lumia 720) or its camera is too niche (Lumia 1020).
I am again noticing these benefits after writing my recent Lumia 1520 article on why I enjoyed that phone eight months later. Although I like the Lumia 1520, I am the very first to admit it is not for everyone. The Lumia 925 though is that device for Windows Phone. However, this is not to say that in mid-2014, the Lumia 925 still plays that role - it doesn't but if an update existed...
Why they need a Lumia 935 now
The Lumia 930, although arguably the best Windows Phone right now, it is not necessarily the best smartphone on the market. The Lumia 930 is nice – very nice – but its design is uninspiring since it is based on the Lumia Icon from nearly six months ago. As such, although I like the Lumia 930, I do not see it accomplishing much for Windows Phone market share.
Instead of a McLaren, Microsoft should play it safe and choose the Lumia 925 as a template for a new, flagship Windows Phone. This Lumia does not have the best camera, nor does it poses the largest display, but it is the best overall Windows Phone that appeals to the majority of users. Here is what Microsoft would need to do to make a Lumia 935 an ideal candidate:
- 5-inch 1080P display (LCD if AMOLED means surrendering Glance)
- Snapdragon 801 or 805, Quad-core processor
- 16 or 20 MP PureView camera
- 32 GB of internal storage; or 16 GB internal with micro SD expansion
- Qi Wireless charging
- Keep it thin!
What makes the Lumia 925 so appealing – even today – is just how light, nimble and elegant it is when compared to other Lumias. Is there anyone who does not like the Lumia 925's design? If there are, I have not met them. The most common complaint I heard back in 2013 was "I already have a Lumia 920, and the Lumia 925 is not an upgrade," which was very true at the time.
In fact, the Lumia 925 reminds me a lot of a high-end Lumia 720 – another favorite Lumia in my collection. My problem with the Lumia 720 is strictly internal: lack of RAM and a slower processor; but its design is top notch.
Microsoft needs to combine the best design elements of the Lumia 720 and Lumia 925, make a compelling and competitive Lumia 935, and they should do it quickly. I am not even talking a radical departure from looks; just update the specs for 2014, toss in Windows Phone 8.1, launch it everywhere. In doing so, there are fewer arguments that the phone is too niche, too expensive or too mid-range.
I honestly have no idea what Microsoft's plans are for the fall. According to a leaked internal letter first reported at the Verge, Microsoft is announcing "other high-end products…very soon." The problem is, no one knows if they are talking about Windows Phone, tablets or something else. If they are phones – which I am not convinced – we do not have any details on what those devices possess for specifications, or if they meet the rank of 'flagship' (as opposed to mid-range). The same report also notes that Microsoft (and the old Nokia team) are shifting "...flagship engineering efforts towards new flagship products timed with the next release of Windows and Windows Phone." Although that sounds promising, this next release is not expected until spring 2015.
I do not think a Lumia 935 is coming anytime soon, despite my arguments for such phone. My gut tells me the Lumia 1520 and Lumia 930 are going to be it for a while, and that is bothersome. High-end Windows Phones do not necessarily sell well, but they do bring media attention. Microsoft needs to figure out how to make a device that appeals to the masses, is competitively priced and launches everywhere at the same time (or within weeks, at least). Otherwise, they are going to have a tough time going forward.
Agree or disagree? Let me know in comments.
Windows Central Newsletter
Get the best of Windows Central in your inbox, every day!
Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, 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 for some reason, watches. 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.
That's why you don't see a WP with Exynos/Mediatek/Tegra
The same with RT, it only runs on snapdragon or tegra powered devices
btw, you can use the .vhd of emulator and run to boot on PC..
Also, the sales of the Galaxy Note's are good...but still inferior to those of the normal Galaxy S line.
I definitely hope so because of you are right and there is nothing coming soon they lost a very important opportunity and wasted a lot of marketing funds spent on their Nokia product lines and I can't imagine mobile first strategy is forgotten already
I don't care for wireless charging, so it doesn't matter if there is or not. I think to maintaining thinness and lightness, it should not be included, and instead have a covet like the 925. And either 64GB of internal storage, or 16GB with microSD!
I would much rather they just give the 930 a screen capable of glance. I think that's the only major thing missing. SD Card would be a good add too.
Personally, I want a 1030 with a dedicated imaging chip and SDCard. I think it's still worthwhile to develop high end phones... if there are no models to aspire to, is a definite morale buster. Someone may be buying a 635, but they are probably eyeing the high end and thinking "hopefully next time"...
But from a pragmatic point of view it is important for Microsoft because they have no name as an OEM. The normal consumer doesn't trust Microsoft as an OEM. It's Nokia that sells the Lumia line around the World, not Microsoft. So for Microsoft to even hope to retain people who bought Nokia phones, they have to present something really good. To retain those people and, of course, to try and convince others to but their phones. Placeholders are a waste of money and I think Nadella has made quite clear that Microsoft won't be wasting money without need. Like it or not, the 930 is likely to remain the 2014 flagship as intended. Is it on the level of the Android competition? No. But it is on the level of the iPhone. Remember, people with iPhones don't have SD cards and have no clue what Glance is.
Remember that Microsoft isn't working to please you who already bought a WP. Their aim is to bring in those who haven't.
Still holding to my 920 while waiting for a better phone (
I hope Mr. Nadella gets to read this...
Microsoft, time to pull up your socks!
Still contented with my 720 but my favorite is Lumia 925. These two devices are just underrated
Lumia 930 came too, too late. The same time frame that Icon was perfect.
• 5 inch 1080p, but with glance
• quad core SnapD 805
• metal frame
• colorful backs, like the 930
• thin and light like 925, buy with less bezel
•32gb standard, micro SD not necessary
• wireless charging built in
•20 mp camera, with dual tone flash
• directional mics like the 930
• front facing speakers
• on screen buttons, ok, if there is very small bezels & front speakers
5" 1080p AMOLED clearblack display with glance
16GB storage with SD card support
60 h music playback time, 13 h 3G talk time
20MP PureView sensor (same as the Lumia 930)
Qi Wireless charging
Metal unibody design (look at the LG G3 for inspiration) My recommendation for a Lumia 735: Snapdragon 801 @ 1.6MHz (underclocked and undervolted to extend battery life)
4.7" 720p AMOLED, clearblack display with glance
16GB storage with SD card support
100+ h music playback time, 20+ h 3G talk time
12MP PureView sensor (same sensor size as used by the Lumia 930, with lower pixel count)
Polycarbonate unibody design based on the Lumia 800
I couldn't agree more!
I have 2 lines that have been eligible for an upgrade for months. Been waiting and waiting and may actually buy a 1520 this week just to fool around the big screen for a while. I remember when I got my Dell Streak. Back then they considered it a phablet at 5 inches. Then my note was a phablet at 5.3 inches. Now it seems nothing is a phablet until u get to 5.5. Weird.
Anyway, I'll take anything high end at this point. Still think they should overwhelm the market like Android did at the beginning. Imagine walking into a store and seeing 20 WP's.
They need to release something soon though. As someone said earlier, a lot of people here are getting antsy and even talking about jumping ship. And we are the diehards. Imagine the average person who got a WP but aren't nearly as invested as us, they will be lost for good. Time to kick it into high gear MS. Well, it was time to do that 6 months ago but..well you know.
I still use a 820 that has been around for nearly 2 years and that thing is just bionic build. It's been the most solid and reliable WP .
MS def needs a new flagship before Christmas though, or ppl will forget WP even exists (not that many ppl care to begin with...). And it should be a global release for all carriers, and there should be no more than 3 models out going fwd.
Though, I agree that 930, as usual, came with last years specs, there is no room for another flagship within six months. Also, the problem with Microsoft's flagships is not hardware but software or more specifically apps. Yes, we still lack so many apps(to name soundcloud, flipboard a few. Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest, Wordpress, Spotify ain't feature par with android/iOS counterparts.) that matters and those available aren't feature par with their android or iOS counterparts. With this state of affairs, honestly no windows phone flagship justify their prices. Microsoft should probably focus on low end. They need to bring out a Lumia 730 with S400 quad core, 1gb RAM, HD 720p display with front camera and rear 8mp camera with flash and as added bonus throw in SD slot, dual SIM, LTE and capacitive keys + shutter button and all that under $250 pricepoint. In the mean time, they need to reduce the price of 930 upto $450 and thus give it a status of an honorary 820 successor.
With windows phone threshold, they need to bring 64bit, 4K video recording and QHD support and reveal successors to 1020 and 1520 successors(namely 1030 and 1530) for fall release(since handsets division will take its sweet time putting up their own Lumia firmware on them) with S810 chipsets and 4GB RAM and 32/64GB internals with SD slot. In the meantime, they can polish their OS, remove bugs and put new customization options like traditional desktop like UI to mimic android/iOS, interactive live tiles and notifications, camera improvements like 4K video recording, faster camera boot from lock screen time, faster focusing times to 1020 successor, pen support and more use of screen real estate in 1520 successor, better storage handling/cache removal and more management apps like RAM management and Antivirus. Also, greater app support with quality and feature par apps would definitely help.
I really want windows phone OS to expand but it seems Microsoft is too slow and unsure about Its vision.
But now that they have brought notification center which was inevitable, now they can experiment with different UIs too. Though I hope they dont remove Modern UI altogether.
2 years and we got from Lumia 800 with a rusty windows phone 7 to the Lumia 930 & 1520.. something Big is coming and it's coming pretty soon, and it doesn't always have to leak, you see not only our friends make surprises but so do companies.
just wait for it !
Lumia 1520: Too big.
I own Lumia 520. Just because if i will go for 512 ram & 8Gb internal memory with extended memory option this is the best option. After that i liked 720 but the most liked smartphone in Lumia series is Lumia 925. Weight, shape, Speed & Looks. Its all good. The only issue with it is of 16Gb memory but that seems resolved to me when i see 32 GB special version in UK. I'll be soon owning that beautiful lumia unless a successor will be announced.
I dont buy my phones on contract any more becuase you pay more I say the money I save on contract and upgrade when ready! :D The 1020 was release so late and on a selected contracts only it failed! please please Exclusivity kills! I know i keep saying it but I say it one more time... EXCLUSIVITY KILLS
Keep it thin" You can't have both and IMO you need to ditch the wireless charging because it's a hilarious joke. The charger is bigger than a standard charger that doesn't need a plate and it still has wires. Plugging in a cable, something which takes a fraction of a second is easy. They've 'solved' a problem that didn't exist. OK, so it's wireless, but it has to be touching the plate... so it's essentially still a physical connection required, but a slower one.. Imagine if that's how wifi worked.. it was wireless but you had to sit your laptop on top of your router in order for it to work because the range was about 5cm. FFS, it's a joke, a waste of time and I hate the idea that this nonsense feature that I never use (despite having a wireless charger that I got with my 920), is adding unwanted bulk to my phone.