Nokia Australia: Bluetooth 4.0 LE not coming to high-end Lumias [Update]

Update 10:30 AM ET: Nokia PR in Germany is now saying BT 4.0 LE will come to all Lumias but via future update, as we originally thought:

"BT LE is enabled on Nokia Lumia 520, 620 & 720 by Nokia Lumia Amber update – planned for all Nokia Lumia WP8 smartphones via future update"

We’re filing this one under ‘maybe’ but Nokia Australia, via their Twitter account, are claiming that current high end Lumias won’t be able to support Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy (LE).

The Tweet was in response to a question from Gary C., who asked Nokia about the status of the technology, which was expected to come to all Lumias at some point, perhaps through a firmware update.

Nokia Australia have noted that “Bluetooth v4.0 Low Energy (LE) technology will not be available for Nokia Lumia 8xx, 9xx and 1020… due to hardware limitations”. Currently, the Lumia 520, 620, 625 and 720 reportedly support Bluetooth 4.0 LE, which can also work with the recently launched Adidas miCoach app and heart rate monitor. We have the heart-rate monitor accessory in house and are putting it through its paces, but it looks like we won’t be able to test or use it on our high end Lumias.

It would seem odd to not support high-end Lumias, but there may be some truth in the claim. Nokia has pointed out on their official Conversations blog the limitation:

“The miCoach app also features Bluetooth compatibility with heart rate monitors from Adidas that you can purchase for use with the Lumia 520, 620, and 720.”

While higher-end devices were left out, it was thought that perhaps a firmware update would be needed. But that may not be the case after all.

Bluetooth 4.0 LE allows devices to stay paired longer without using a lot of energy. It is especially useful for hardware accessories like the Fitbit Flex, Jawbone and Adidas miCoach heart rate monitor that need to frequently sync in order to give the user feedback on their progress. It’s also thought to be used in Nokia’s upcoming ‘Treasure Tag’ accessory line that will allow users to tag items like keys or their bags with a small Bluetooth device. Users can then reportedly track the item for easy location.

We should caution that Twitter accounts, even when official, do not always have the most up to date information and this should be taken with a grain of salt until Nokia clarifies the situation. Nokia is expected to talk about Bluetooth 4.0 and future products later in October at Nokia World in Abu Dhabi.

Source: Nokia Australia (Twitter); Thanks, Geoff C., for the tip

Daniel Rubino

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.