Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 8 today and what we can all expect to see in the latest hardware from OEM partners. So when will we be able to get our hands on such devices here in the UK? HTC and Nokia have both sent us press releases detailing what's going where.
First off is HTC with the 8X and 8S Windows Phones that will both be available for pre-order right this very second, with expected in-store availability from November 2nd with selected partners. HTC announced both handsets last month, and billed both as 'signature' Windows Phones.
Phil Roberson, UK & Ireland Executive Director of HTC, had the following to say:
Sporting Beats Audio, HTC hopes its claimed higher sound volume and quality will push out more Windows Phones. Partners who will be stocking both the 8X and 8S include Three, Orange, T-Mobile, O2, Virgin Media, Carphone Warehouse, Phones4u, Brightpoint and Brightstar Tech Data. Be sure to check out early hands-on action with the 8X.
Phones4u's extensive Windows Phone lineup
As for Nokia, both the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 will also be found in-store at selected partners starting this week, and as far as we know the handsets will be available at Phones4u, Carphone Warehouse (820 only), EE (4G exclusivity), and possibly O2 (820 only).
The Lumia hardware have a slight advantage on EE with the carrier launching the first UK 4G LTE network, but we've noticed that prices for plans have appeared to be slightly on the expensive side.
As for the Samsung ATIV S, it'll be stocked at Phones4u, O2, as well as various retailers. Developing...
Rich Edmonds is a word conjurer at Windows Central, covering everything related to Windows, gaming, and hardware. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a device chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.
Great. Shame I can't afford one yet (sim free).
Any sign if a cyan Lumia 920 for the UK?
+1 an unlocked one that is.
Will the 920 be available sim free? Otherwise I'll be waiting to see what's on the table in May :-)
Phones4u were offering the 900 sim free but you had to ask them as it was kept secret. Could be the same this time, in any case we should keep an eye on Clove and Expansys.
Gutted there's no mention of Vodafone UK in announcements. I'm always asking them on twitter as I'd much rather upgrade in-network than through P4U as they invariably get my upgrades wrong. I like Vodafone as they actually provide decent speedy coverage in most locations I use my phone (Exeter, Bristol, Manchester & Belfast) plus sure signal at home to guarantee coverage at all times.
Sadly EE can't guarantee the same and I fell out with them last year after 10 years.
O2 have too many horror stories and coverage is shocking at work and home. My last two pennies goes to the fact that Vodafone are now actively promoting the bonus they own their own fibre optic network backbone offering the 'olympic lane' to their own services rather than renting from Virgin or BT.
Voda and O2 have now commenced full network sharing and rationalisaton along the lines of EE / 3 under MBNL, albeit that they are dividing the country up between them. That's basically going to leave the UK with two physical consumer networks - MBNL (EE, 3) and the O2 / Voda joint operation. Over the coming months as they rationalise, the differences in the geographical footprint of the Voda and O2 networks will disappear. They'll still have their individual spectrum (as 3 and EE do under MBNL), so you'll still find one performs better than the other according to local capacity; looks like they'll also share a common backhaul. News story here: www.zdnet.com/uk/vodafone-and-o2-get-lined-up-for-4g-as-sharing-deal-gets-go-ahead-7000005033/ . If you're really into this stuff - MBNL's website is worth a look too: www.mbnl.co.uk/ .
The UK version of the www.windowsphone.com website is listing the Windows Phone 8X by HTC and Lumia 820 as available on Vodaphone. It also lists the Lumia 920 as available on Orange, whether that actally means EE, or actually Orange brand isn't clear... to that end, the info may be a bit suspect at this stage.
All MBNL was ever setup for was to allow T-Mobile and Three the "possibility" of sharing each others masts, nothing else. Where one has a mast and the other wants one, it's easier to use the others than go through the expense of a planning process and mast construction. I'm not sure you understand that Three and T-Mobile (now part of EE) have NEVER, and NEVER will share networks, in the way that Tmo and Orange do as part of the EE merger. There are numerous places where you can get a signal on Three but nothing on EE, and vice versa. To believe that they are sharing the same network is fundamentally flawed, what would be the commercial interest in providing network capacity for your competitor?! EE have a more widespread network than Three, Three have a faster network than EE, for a lot of people, (lack of) coverage with Three is the thing that keeps them with the original four networks, despite Three being substantially cheaper and the only UK 100% 3G network
As far as I know Three revert to T-Mo (now EE) when out of its own network area so there is still an element of roaming and closer integration.
VF and O2 only co-locate from my understanding, the actual signal is still network dependant though sites will be the same.
As much as VF shafted me in Greece by discontinuing data traveller their robustness is apparent in the service I receive.
O2 has relatively frequent issues and EE have capacity constraints - especially in Manchester (likely as a result of refarming the spectrum to 4G and being able to charge more) I constantly got sms telling me I had missed calls when my phone was on, or failed calls. For that reason I'll avoid MBNL. @Vodafoneuk don't seem to be commenting on WP8 and nothing is listed on the website. Its really annoying as I'm eligible to upgrade and waiting to order.
I need to know about Sim only too. Those prices on EE are extoriton. Hopefully places will start announcing their availability soon.
clove.co.uk has a range of Sim only WP8 devices
Clove has HTC 8X priced at £399.98, the HTC 8S at £224.99, Samsung Ativ S at £442.80 but no word on the Lumia 820 or 920 :(
I thought that too untill one of the guys on wpcentral pointed this out :
lumia 920 unlimited minutes+texts 1gb data = 49 upfront plus 51 a month for 12 months
Total cost 661 minus lumia cost 470 = 191 divided 12 = less than £16 for unlimited minutes, texts and 1gb data which is better what i've upgraded to on sim only plan with loyalty discount (600min,1gb data - £15.5) and you dont have to pay upfront for your mobile !!!
okay lets see
Lumia 920 with 1gb of data -> £51 * 12 + 50 = £662
HTC 8x on o2 with 500mb pay as you go £400 + 12 * 10 = £520
for the 2 year contracts
Lumia 920 with 1gb of data -> £41 * 24 + 50 = £1034
HTC 8x on o2 with 500mb pay as you go £400 + 24 * 10 = £640
darn you repost
lumia 920 is already out of stock in Uk's EE network lol
forgot to take my bank details with me so had to wait till I come back home.. damn it
7 days waiting time
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