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My Next Windows Phone - Robert Brand

We have all been asked to write about our next Windows Phone, of course it will be Windows Phone 8. It is a tricky proposition as I have yet to see what HTC are going to bring and I haven’t yet had the chance to touch an ATIV S or Lumia 920. Regardless of that, I’m at the point where I can be fairly certain what I’m going to get when the time finally comes..

There is still much to learn about future Windows Phone 8 devices, but I think it’s reasonable to say that HTC and Samsung are simply recycling their recent Android flagships and using those for their next generation Windows Phone handsets. Based on the leaked specs we have seen, at least one HTC unit could be based on the One X. I wrote a detailed article about the new HTC and Samsung Windows Phone 8 hardware, in case you missed it.

Before continuing, I have to state that both the Galaxy SIII and HTC One X are superb hardware, they will make fine additions to the Windows Phone 8 line-up. Personally, I would have liked some fresh new devices from Samsung and HTC but this is not the reason I am going to buy a Nokia. The Lumia 820 will be my next Windows Phone, and here’s why...

Both Samsung and HTC make great phones and I look forward to seeing Windows Phone sailing sweetly along, on their previously Android flavoured devices. However, this isn’t just a question of hardware, it’s also about the software. HTC and Samsung invest huge amounts of money in their Android devices, developing software to distinguish them in the marketplace.  

It's a different story when we consider Windows Phone, aside from a few token efforts, they do not invest in new and ground breaking software. As neither company has shown a willingness to really compete with Nokia in terms of software and services, it sends me a worrying message of nonchalance to the Windows Phone platform. Where are the unique elements to help really sell the phone, distinguished software designed to take full advantage of their hardware?

The Lumia 820 will suit my needs perfectly, the camera is more than sufficient for the purpose of quick snaps, the weight is reasonable, snap on covers are fun and the Lumia 820 has the expandable/replaceable storage option. Those can all be taken as my counter reasons why I will not be grabbing a Lumia 920, it is a nice juxtaposition, a perfect other choice, but not the one for me. 

When I still had my older camera, I looked at a smartphone as a camera replacement, I tried the Lumia 800 but realised I will always need much more than a phone for my photography needs, after that I have moved on and bought the wonderful Sony NEX 5N.  Being worried about taking low light photos is an outdated concept for me now, my Sony seems capable of taking photos in almost total darkness. By the time the next generation of devices comes along I might not need my dedicated camera.

Nokia Lumia 820

Size and weight of a smartphone are very important to me, if I am going out, a big chunky phone will simply get left behind. The Lumia 820 is a little heavier than my Lumia 800 but also a little thinner too, so it shouldn't feel any more of a burden. The swappable colours are fun and practical; those back covers when replaced make the phone look rather new again. If there was one sticking point it would be the screen resolution, I had hoped to max out the pixels with this device but alas, I will be sticking with good old 800 x 480.

Nokia has brought some amazing innovations to our platform, Nokia Drive, Nokia Maps, Camera Extras, Nokia Transit, Pulse, Nokia Music, Nokia Reading and Nokia City Lens. They have built a rock-solid set of applications and services that, for me make buying a device from anyone but them inconceivable at this point. The best thing is, Nokia are just getting started, much more is coming, I personally want to be a part of that. For me, the apps and services that Nokia are creating form a major part of my buying decision. Their willingness to engage with the community and respond to customer feedback is also a major selling point. I could go on to mention all the previously unavailable apps they have brought to the platform and all the exclusives that will be coming down the line?

The fact that both of Nokia’s Windows Phone 8 devices are stunningly well made, innovate and beautiful helps that decision along immensely. We still have much to learn about Samsung and HTC’s plans for Windows Phone 8, I would love to see both companies fully compete with Nokia for hearts and minds but think Nokia has already stolen the affections of most of the Windows Phone community.

 

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My Next Windows Phone - Robert Brand

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It all depends on what Verizon ends up offering. The 820 will suffice, but I would like a shot at the 920 myself.

I think the 820 looks even better then the 920. At least to me. The dealbreaker is the screen res. At least for me,

Plus lets remember that Nokia has promised a steady release of devices in the coming months. I for one will be holding out for a 4 or 4.3" screen with top line specs and expandable storage. The 920 is a great phone but it's just too big and heavy for me.

920 is the flagship phone. You shouldn't wait... I will not wait, but I think that the 920 is a little big as well...

I too wish there was a Windows Phone in the 4" - 4.3" range with flagship specs.  However, I don't know how likely that will be given the "bigger is better" mentality that seems to have taken hold in consumer and manufacturer's minds these days.  I'll have to see a demo unit to get a feel of how the 920 fits in hand but I have a feeling I'll probably settle for an 820 in the end.

What would be cool is if when you change out the snap on backings, the theme color changes to match. Just like the new surface tablets do with the keyboards.

 

Nokia did produce a fairly good range of WP7 handsets (they still haven’t finished if rumours are correct) so maybe we’ll see some other variations on the 920… RB

I will also be getting 822 myself off contract until the next gen L900 comes out hopefully next spring when my contract really is over and I have some more options.  I want to support Nokia this time around and thankfully the 820 is the best mid-range phone (unless HTC surprises me) on the market this holiday season.
QUESTION:  does the 820 have a curved screen too? I can't really tell in all the videos.  It looks like a raised edge lip similar to 900, but hope someone there can confirm?

I am afraid from what I've read, the 820 does not have the curved screen like the 920 and 800. This is the main reason I want the 920 over the 820, as silly as that sounds...

The curved glass is a deal breaker for me, too.
I do very much like the look of the One S and wouldn't mind HTC making a WP8 version of that device. Ultimately, what matters the absolute most is that I can get one, unbranded, from EU (or wherever) and have it still have 850/1900 HSPA for my tethering.

I hope the 820 is priced competitively ($300-350 off contract) and made available in Nokia's stronghold markets immediately.

I also wonder if the size of the 920 would be an issue but, I really want a flagship model. Will the 820 (822 Verizon) do it for me ?? maybe but I wanted a better display and camera, the 820 is weaker on this.

If I can deal with the size, the 920 is what I will grab...IF Verizon gets it

I'll get what comes to Verizon from Nokia. Any of those two phones from them sound better then this trophy I'm typing on.

Your not comparing apples to apples (like the pun ?)
 
Your comparing a 1st gen device to a 3rd gen device (well 1st gen Wp8 but, as WP goes, 3rd gen). I would expect it better.
 
I like my trophy but, I do desire a higher end phone.

I really want a 920 and I'm guessing ATT will carry them.  The 820 is intriguing and the swappable covers are nice!  I'll have to get in there and hold it but I'm gunning for the 920 as I want PureView very much. :)

lumia 920>
130.3 × 70.8 × 10.7 mm
185g

lumia 900
128 × 69 × 12 mm
159g

Lumia 920 Adds:
+2.3mm length
+1.9mm width
- 1.3mm thickness
+ 26g

920 too big/fat? hard numbers would disagree. I mean we are talking mere mm here.

Now the weight that will be interesting. Bigger battery or OIS mechanical parts may be at fault here

I've forgot to ad, that it's  too heavy too.
But I agree that there's not much diferernces...but a little bit here and and a little bit there, there it goes! 

Well, I'm rocking a Dell Venue Pro. It's 15.2mm thick and weighs 192g. The 920 is positively anorexic by comparison. So, I'll be good with the size of the device, providing Tmo gets it. Which the Tmo reps I talked to the other day said they thought they were. But, one of them couldn't remember if it was the 820 or the 920 and made the other two doubt what they remember the Windows Phone rep saying. Ah well.

 

Yes but these nuances make all the difference, when I can compare the two side by side maybe I could change my mind but the extra heft in weight will make a difference whatever what you cut it… RB

Great piece.  I really want the flagship status of the 920 but unfortunately I also think it's a bit big :(  So I'll probably end up getting the 820 instead.

 

Thanks, glad you agree, who knows maybe it the extra grams wont make much difference. I do like the idea of interchangeable memory, could be handy since I love swapping my music out.

RB

Pitty they ditched the old L800/N9 form-factor. I would have bought an updated Lumia 800 with WP8 for sure - 3.8" and the best design ever would have been perfect for me. Now im not so sure, with all these big phones.

I think the screen resolution is the deal breaker for me.
If the screen resolution was 1280x720ish, I would have drawn the same conclusion

No gorilla glass no sale. What were they thinking? I gotta go Samsung and HTC at this point. Nokia drive will be available for all devices and that's the only Nokia app I care about. I'm guessing HTC gets my money.

 

Turn by turn navigation will be available for all phones, I’d be careful about mixing that up with Nokia Drive… Gorilla glass doesn’t bother me too much, I’m pretty careful with my phone. RB

No gorilla glass on 820?!  Whoa, this is a bit of a let down especially considering that the 800 had it.  I may have to pick 920 despite its size...

Totally agree with the article,
I'll miss the Camera and resolution of the 920, but Size and Weight are more important to me,
and that's where the 820 wins.

I love Windows Phone, but I am getting sick of seeing everything to do with Nokia. I go on the Windows Phone site and all you see is Nokia, I have a HTC HD7 and will be upgrading to HTC's Windows 8 phone.
 
I don't know if Microsoft have some sort of person and intimate relationship with Nokia, but I am sure there are more companies making handsets for Microsoft other than Nokia, so I think Microsoft need to advertise all phones not just Nokia.

I have been feeling a similar way recently. I worry that the other manufacturers will just feel alienated by MS and end up leaving the platform altogether. I currently have the HTC Mozart 7 and still love it since I got it just after it was released.
Having said that, I want a Lumia 920 as my next phone...

Well too bad fo theme. They just had to bring well desgned phones to the market. I own a HTC Mozart too. But when I see the desire X, and the ones HTC intends to bring to the market (if the rumors are right) there it goes the answer from the blogs!

 

Well, MS did strike a huge partnership deal with Nokia.. As for advertising, well that’s down to HTC and Samsung, they are more than capable of promoting their Android devices….

A HTC Mozart was my first Windows Phone. I’d love to write more about HTC and Samsung bringing key apps to the platform or even new and interesting ways to get the message across about Windows Phone. There just isn’t much to write. Sorry, I hope that changes. New version, lets hope a new approach from those guys. RB

+1 could not agree more
 
I want a 920 but, would not even think about grabbing before seeing HTC's offering...plus the others..

I don't know why you guys continue to ignore the fact that it is HTC & Samsung who are chosing not to put the full force (resources) behind WP; They have chosen to put their power behind Android and are simply honoring their partnership with MS by making WP devices, but that's where their support for WP ends. On the otherhand, Nokia is truly invested in WP and doing all they can to ensure the platform survives.
 
NOTE: I currently have the following windows phones in my household: Had he first gen focus (myself), Focus S (youngest son), LG Quantum (eldest son), Focus Flash (mom), and Nokia L900 (me). I personally love Samsung, but they dont support the platform properly or equal to Android and this should not be ignored, but you guy chose to ignor the facts and want to continually blame MS/Nokia. If you were a business owner and your partners didn't show enthusiasm for the platform, I feel they should be dropped.

You kept the best to yourself ;)
 
I agree, Samsung / HTC release a dozen Android phones vs 1-2 Windows Phones (which sometimes are a half-cooked version of their Android version). They don't seem very invested in bringing quality WP devices!
 
 
Whereas when Nokia partnered up with MS, they brought a lot of innovative features and superb High / Med / Low spec phones. Their phones can go head on with the best device out there and beat it! You can't say the same about the other partners..
 
That's why Nokia gets my full attention!

Sorry, but that is not accurate.
 
Samsung has released (in the U.S.):
1. Focus
2. Focus Flash
3. Focus S
4. Focus 2
 
HTC has released (in the U.S.):
1. HD7
2. HD7S
3. Surround
4. Radar
5. Trophy
6. Arrive
7. Titan
8. Titan II
 
Nokia has released (in the U.S.):
1. 710
2. 800 (unsubsidized and through MS stores only)
3. 900

They can produce 1k devices, but if they don't support them, what good are they? The support complaints are coming or existing users or people who owned one of HTC/Samsung first generation WP devices who've experience the neglect first hand, myself included. You have to look at it for what it is; the fact is that both HTC & Samsung carry a lot of weight with app developers due to their large Android offering and could negociate with them to bring apps to wp a lot easier the Nokia is able to, yet they've chosen not to do that.....it shows where their heart is right now (Android)

Yes, actually, they DO have a more direct relationship with each other. They are close partners in the development of Windows Phone now. That said, it's perfectly OK to dislike their designs. That's why Samsung and HTC are around releasing devices too. Isn't it wonderful? WE HAVE CHOICE! No need for the anti-Nokia hate. :)

You don't know if Microsoft has some sort of personal and intimate relationship with Nokia? Brother, where ya been the last year or so? ;) Just do a quick search on Microsoft and Nokia and that'll answer your question.

Indo know that not only did MS offer Nokia Advertising funds, but also Samsung. I wish Daniel could look through their sites archive and find the article that outlined the details. I'm sure it wad here because the only other site I would visit was Winrumors

This is just incentive for other companies to man the hell up and make a real phone for WP8.  The issue will be if the other companies drop out.  But that won't happen, because as it stands now, Windows Phone has the opportunity to gain a ton of ground on Apple.  If Nokia and Microsoft do really well, HTC and Samsung will want a bigger piece of that pie.  It's their own fault for not putting in a solid effort.  The Ativ looks to be Samsung's first attempt at a more unique WP for their lineup.

I agree, but Sumsung doesn't need to just make a quality device, they need to support and advertise it. They should stop putting all their egss in one basket. For example: when the Android bandwagon get old, what's LG going to do? Because I don't believe MS will welcome them back and watch them disappear like the sunset. Honestly, I don't know how LG isn't already gone, because if HTC is suffering losed with Android, I don't think LG is more popular and should basically be extinct in that market like the are in WP.

It's not that it's Nokia everthing.  Is that Nokia has put most of it's entire investment into WP.  While the other OEMs are taking a wait and see approach.  Though I think HTC has been a great advocate for WP devices, Nokia just seems to have out paced them by providing better looking devices and better exclusive apps.  Hey I'm the owner of an HTC Radar and HTC HD2 and I like them both.  But if I were able to get a 4.3 phone on TMo with the 920 specs I'd be there in a minute actually a second. 

I want the 920 but with expandable storage and the 2300 battery. Given that that's not an option, I'll get the 920 anyway. Nokia has way better support - that's the cherry on top!

Expandable storage is overrated. On Android, at least, not all apps can be stored on it (or they can, but won't work smoothly), not sure how WP8 will handle this but 32gb is much more than enough, especially considering cloud storage too. The battery life is a fair point, but at least it's better than the iPhone!
Any idea if music, videos and pictures from Skydrive will be integrated into WP8?

32gb is enough Now, I'm not woried about today, i am worried about 6 months down the line when I am only 1/4 through my 2 year contract.
 
I thought 16gb on my trophy was going to be plenty...boy I was wrong...(I have to delete stuff to add stuff all the time (music and podcasts)

Yeah...HTC also has a turn-by-turn nav suite like Nokia Drive, I think the subscription fees are less than...oh wait...Drive is free. Some support there HTC, bravo.

And does anyone remember how Samsung locked its DLNA app from 1st Gen Focus users? People complain about Nokia apps being limited to only Lumias, but a while earlier Samsung was "fragmenting" between its own devices... devices that shared the same damn name (Focus) no less.

820 for me too:). I think that Nokia puts the most effort into their software and hardware. I hope my LG lasts until it gets released.

Honestly, some of the things that attracts me to the 920 is the curved glass (how many cell phones can boast this besides the 800?....None), the larger screen appeals to me for gaming, movies, images, and working with office on my phone for work purposes. I think all of these things combined with the superb camera if marketed well should make the 920 your, "One stop shopping Center" so to speak because all the bases have been covered in it.......It could be a little thinner, but that will come in the next iteration and as someone else pointed out, no matter how thin the iphone or any other is made, they always put bulky protective covers on them; And why cover up such a beatiful device......The 920 may be a little bigger, but I will be able to show off its beauty without covering it up with a case.

I talked to Tmo reps yesterday (take that for what it's worth), and they said they were getting the Ativ and the 920. But, then one of them couldn't remember if the Windows Phone rep said it was the 920 or 820 they were getting. They didn't know about the HTCs.

I heard someone else say a T-Mobile Rep told them they were getting the 920, and T-Mobile's dropped hints to me via their Twitter account as well...still won't hold my breath.

Ativ s or 920...I rlly want the 920 for the software support and camera but it doesn't have a microsd slot...while the ativ s is rlly sleek but Samsung will not support wp8 as much as Nokia...WHAT SHUD I DO?!

I agree with many points of this article. I have not totally discounted HTC as I love my dependable HTC Trophy, but Nokia is tempting me a lot with their Lumia line. I would love to say I'll go all the way and grab the 920, but in all honesty the 820 fits my needs just fine, it is a solid device, and would still be a major upgrade from my Trophy. 
Can't wait to see what HTC whips out to challenge Nokia. If it's a lack-luster device then I'll switch to Nokia.

I don't understand why everyone at wpcentral thinks the Ativ S is just a recycled design...aside from the 4.8 screen and some specs, ,its a completely different looking device. Its squared off, its got a huge speaker on the back, different buttons amd layout, I mean hell, its a Samsung and Samsung has been making the same design cues for ALL of their phones...i think its funny that you have no problem saying how you go with Nokia for original design but didn't they simply recycle their meego device to WP?? And their new flagship is simply that same design but larger? Don't get me wrong , im happy about Nokia and what they are bringing to the table but do we really need to throw the other oems under the bus? Im a proud WP user, a proud Samsung WP user, and its getting increasingly irritating to read these lil jabs over and over again....your honestly making waves within the WP community, making it seem like some of us are second rate WP owners simply because we like different oems. Not cool....

I agree,,its understandable that MS is working closely with Nokia because they've invested a lot in WP but that doesn't mean MS should leave the other OEM's out in the cold. I wouldn't be suprised if HTC doesn't have a working model to display next week just like Samsung.
If I was HTC or Samsung or Huwei I would feel a little bit alienated and want to forget about WP and stick with android atleast all the OEM's get ignored equally there,,except for Motorola.
Nokia didn't even give the 820 Gorilla glass that's pretty much a deal breaker.
And if your interested in the camera youtube edcmacro he has some low light comparison videos between the 920 and the Ativ-s if there actually real and not faked I personally think the Ativ looks better.

That's because it's going to be at a much lower price point to get people interested in WP and gain first time smartphone users. Have you seen some of the cheap adroid handset people carry around? I'm positive that none of those sport gorilla glass, the OS is choppy, design is garbage, but this what Android is offering to unseasoned intro smartphone users. Compare the quality of those to the Nokia 820 and tell me do you honestly their of better quality? The 820 is going to attract many first time buyers and draw some of the low level Android users in, that's a bet!

Good point,,but if I were a 1st time smartphone buyer I could just as easily get a 710 or a Radar both of which sport gorilla glass.

you also have a great point,but those are on a specific network, that doesn't include Verizon. I honestly think this phone was made specifically for Verizon although Tmobile may get it as well. I think Nokia made a good looking feature friendly low-end device because verizon wasn't willing to bet big on WP8 right now and said if can produce something of quality the low risk, high reward, we're in.....and the exactly what Nokia has done for Verizon, other Verizon would not have restocked another WP IMO

I really do see your point,but I think not having Gorilla glass will be a deal breaker for a lot of people. I know for myself I hate using screen protectors and cases that cover up my phone and I just like dumping it in my pocket sometimes. So speaking for myself no Gorilla glass equals no phone.

Im with you on that, I don't use a case; I pocket my cell as well. I really like the ATIV S but like the curved screen, size, and software Nokia is Nokia is including. I work with office on my L900 and the screen real-estate will make thing better. The ATIV S will be a good chose for many people, but I think 4.8" is a bit too large for me

The expandable memory is really a difficult option for me to turn down. I was thinking the 820 may be the best option for myself as well.

I'm not sold on the 920 design and size, though the camera is very tempting, & the screen res of the 820 is a deal breaker. The Ativ is very nice, but perhaps a bit bigger than I want, though I love the storage possible. I'm hoping HTC comes out with something I really like. In the end though it all depends on what devices Verizon gets as they are the only carrier with good coverage where I live.

I wish the 820 had the screen red of the 920 as I like the design of the 820 better but it will come down to pricing and what is available when I come to renew in April

It doesn't have BSI, but it does have an f stop of 2.2 which is lower than the new iPhone's 2.4, but not as low as the 920's 2.0.

What worries me is that the specs for this camera are exactly the same as those for the lumia 900, which was a little underwhelming.

1. Im going to wait until after the new year for other WP8 devices since my contract doesn't mature for a yr+. However, I'm in favor of the 920. Yes I prefer lighter and a smaller device than the 920's specs, but I want the top hardware available. 820 has some cool.features, but none to convince me to chose it over the 920.

That's my gripe about the 820. It should HD res for a 4.3" phone. Every other handset maker is giving their mid range phones this. 800x840 should only be low end handsets. I mean WP8 supports all these new resolutions, so why stick with 800x480. Everything else is great, I love the design, the extra storage, camera. But for midrange and up should at least be qhd.

Great article Robert.
I have been a long time Android user - rooted Orange San Francisco, Sony Xperia and I've just squeezed WP7.5 onto my HTC HD2. What this recent experiment has shown me is how bloody good Windows Phone 7 really is. I had dismissed it only months ago when I saw my Sister's Nokia Lumia 800 and though, jeez that's just wierd.
Now I love the smooth fluidity of the OS even on the HD2 test rig which, when the new Lumias go on sale in the UK I might sell or put Android back on it.
I realize now how unfinished Android seems to be, despite recent improvements and the thousands of apps. It won't be on my main phone next time.
So here I am, a objective person who's tried all flavours of other OS's and is going to give WP8 a go, with an 820. Hopefully it will be cheap enough to get on an 18 or 24 month contract in the UK.

 

Thanks for reading!

                                Good to hear you have had some positive experience with a Windows Phone, respect for wedging it onto the classic HD2 – Ahhh the glory days of HTC. :)

Pretty certain it will be cheap enough on a 18/24m contract

Rob J

The software support Nokia are giving is the crucial difference, knowing the platform is fully supported for the life of the phone means it's not £400-500 wasted.

I want the 920 because of the camera and the screen res but I think T-Mobile will only be getting the 820. At least initially. Maybe after the "exclusive"period is over it might come to tmo. I really like the look of the lumia phones but the samsung Ativ S looked pretty sweet too. And if the HTC is close to the ONE X then that should be pretty hot too.

The 820 is very high on my list for my next device. Nokia Support and features are going to be hard to beat. The Design, Color Choices, having a SD Card. Optional Wireless Charging is a nice feature. Hopefully it will not be too pricey..
 
 

I will be really disappointed if Verizon only offers a 820. The 820 is nice and all but the screen resolution is the deal breaker. The HTC Trophy I have now by all means isn't all that great of a screen but atleast with it's smaller size the PPI is good. Plus pureveiw should be awesome. Please Verizon get the 920!!!!!!!!!!!! 

My only problem with the 820 is the screen resolution.  If it was the same HD screen from the 920 then it would be a done deal because of the removable covers and SD card.  So right now the 920 edges out the 820 because the screen and camera.

Rich recording is where it's at for me, and GG is important for anyone working in the trades. (I'm a welder) Too bad, cuz I never wanted to go bigger than my HD7... I'll take the 920 in red or white, but good for you, Robert. I hope the 820 exceeds your expectations!