Windows Phone 8 is Microsoft’s latest mobile operating system update. Samsung, HTC and Nokia are launching new devices with the OS very soon. Should you get one?
Back in August 2011, Microsoft ‘s Joe Belfiore unveiled their next-generation mobile operation system, Windows Phone 8, which is to be launched later this month along with many devices from Nokia, HTC, Samsung and Huawei. We’ve done a complete round up of all the details you would need to know if you’re interested in switching to Windows Phone 8 and buy the latest new generation devices. Read on to find out!
Windows Phone was first launched by Microsoft in 2010 and in a two year span it has been unable to establish any tough competition to Google’s Android OS and Apple’s iOS. Windows Phone 8 was officially confirmed by Microsoft at an MSDN seminar in August 2011 and previewed at Microsoft’s ‘sneak peek’ Windows Phone event on June 20, 2012.
Windows Phone 8 is lined up for a launch event at the end of this month and it includes many new features like all an new start screen with full-width tiles and greater customization, NFC support, support for high display resolution, MicroSD storage expansion, support for multi-core processing, Internet Explorer 10, In-app purchases, Background multitasking, Xbox Music Service and much more. Below are few of the key features in details:
Support for Multi-Core CPUs and Better Resolution
Unlike Windows Phone 7, which doesn’t support multi-core processors, Windows Phone 8 is built to be multi-core processor capable. Apart from that, WP 8 offers three different resolutions: 1280 by 768, 1280 by 720 and 800 by 480 so you can expect many different display sizes for new devices.
An all new Start Screen
An all new start screen with customizable tiles is included, allowing you to change the size of tiles to free up space according to your requirements. This allows for unparalleled customisation and more information per display resolution.
Internet Explorer 10
Internet Explorer 10 features a new phishing filter and Smart Screen capability (already in Windows) and Microsoft claims it is the fastest mobile browser at the moment. We’ll see how true that is once we get the benchmark numbers.
Support for MicroSD
Support for MicroSD card has been added in Windows Phone 8 so users no longer need to worry about their smartphone storage easily now.
NFC and Microsoft Wallet
Windows Phone 8 will feature NFC support to use your smartphone as a digital wallet. Apart from this, NFC enables you to transfer data between various NFC enabled smart-phones.
But.. What is Windows Phone 7.8 ?
Current Windows Phone 7.5 device owners won’t be able to run or update to Windows Phone 8. Accordingly, new applications compiled specifically for Windows Phone 8 will not be made available for Windows Phone 7.5 devices. Microsoft explains the reason for this as primarily due to improvements in hardware support such as multicore processors and NFC support and the change in platform architecture, Windows Phone 7.5 devices won’t be able to meet requirements for Windows Phone 8. Windows Phone 7.5 apps will still run on Windows Phone 8 devices.
However, Windows Phone 7.5 users have something to cheer about as the software giant will be upgrading them to Windows Phone 7.8. which will include the new start screen from WP8. Windows Phone 7.8 is expected to be available for current devices before the end of this year.
Windows Phone 8 Devices and their Availability
Windows Phone 8 devices have been announced by Nokia, Samsung, and HTC.
HTC 8X & HTC 8S
HTC would be launching two Windows Phone 8 powered smart-phones: HTC 8X and 8S.
HTC 8X features a Qualcomm S4 1.5 GHz dual-core processor with 16GB storage and 1GB RAM. It has a 4.3-inch super LCD 2 HD 720p resolution Gorilla Glass 2, 8 megapixel camera with a dedicated HTC Image Chip and a 1800 mAh battery. It will ship with built-in Beats Audio.
HTC 8S is packed with a dual core 1GHz processor , 512MB RAM, a rear camera which shoots 5 MP photos with a f/2.8 lens and records video at 720p HD (no front-facing camera), 4GB built-in storage which can be expanded with a microSD card.
Nokia Lumia 920
Nokia Lumia 920 is the most anticipated Windows Phone 8 smart-phone. It is packed with a beautiful 4.5-inch display with a resolution of 1280×76, 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor, powerful 8.7 MP, 2,000mAh battery, 4G LTE connectivity and wireless charging technology.
Samsung ATIV S
ATIV S is to be Samsung’s first Windows Phone 8 device. It features a 4.8-inch 1280-by-720 Super AMOLED screen, a 1.5Ghz dual-core processor, 8 megapixel rear camera, 1.9 megapixel front camera and a MicroSD card slot.
The ATIV S is packed with a big powerful 2300mAh battery and comes with NFC support.
Microsoft is holding an event in California on Oct. 29 to announce Windows Phone 8 while pre-orders for devices (including the HTC 8X and Nokia’s Lumia 920) will begin on October 21st and will be start shipping in early November.