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Windows Phone 8 devices reportedly show up in speed test and in web analytics

WP Central

Although web browser IDs can be easily faked, these data strings from DSLReport's mobile site look fairly legit, if only because they don't push the boundaries too far. According to WMPU, a few instances of Windows Phone 8 OS (aka "Apollo") have been caught doing some download tests on both T-Mobile and Verizon, with the later using LTE.

The names "Nokia Fluid" and "Qualcomm Fluid" are used as device IDs with Internet Explorer 10 caught as the browser in question doing the test. No details are currently known about that device though it's safe to presume it'll be a killer "premier" phone to kick of the new OS, assuming the info is accurate. And that's a big "if".

Nokia Fluid

Along the same lines, WMPU notes that their server logs have showed numerous device resolutions showing up that have WP8 as their ID. Those two resolutions include 768×768 and 480×480 which are ideal options for BlackBerry messenger phones.

On WPCentral, we too have had some Windows Phone 8 visits (56 unique to be exact) and like WMPU we see similar info, listed below:

WP Central

  • 768x768 Resolution
  • 24-bit
  • Domains: Comcast.net,  Microsoft.com, unknown.unkown, Quest.net
  • Browser 1 x IE9; 55 x IE10
  • Flash Version: Not set
  • Cities visited from: Redmond, Bellevue, Seattle, Woodinville

That should wet your appetites a tad although it still leaves a lot of questions including higher resolutions on the table. Also the fact we haven't seen a 480x800 browser test with Windows Phone 8 despite earlier reports is a bit telling and worrying. Though perhaps it's still too early..

Like our earlier report on a Windows Phone 8 OS sighting, these could all be from software emulators.

Source: Google Analytics, DSLReports; via WMPU

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Comments

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kidjenius says:

isn't 768x768 a square..?

Yes, hence why we say it'd be a good Blackberry messenger type (WM Treos used to be square too).

Makes more sense than a landscape orientation, if you ask me.

the_tyrant says:

I would love to see wp8 on a treo form factor

Agent-P says:

That would make WP a nice BlackBerry competitor because I know some people that prefer using a BlackBerry for the keyboard alone.

microsoftspy says:

Assuming the user agent is reporting the truth, which is probably not a safe assumption.

andref1989 says:

Could just be a dev board to test the Silicon. 
 
The total number of pixels is just a shade above the qHD displays (in a 16:9 configuration it'd come out to be 1024*576 pixels) that were all the rage not too long ago so it likely makes sense from a development standpoint to use the same or similar resolution in order to test performance levels.

Lx23 says:

This has nothing to do with the article and I'm sorry for asking it here but does anyone knows how to check the product code on the Lumia 800?

Forums dude, that's why we have 'em.

Lx23 says:

Damn! Thanx for the love...

WP7WasMyIdea says:

Man oh man! This would mean I don't have to leave vzn! I'll keep waiting!

theman60099 says:

And nothing from sprint. Well their network is too shitty anyway

So given 480 x 480 and 768 x 768 are both square, let's say that they are new blackberry-esqe models for Apollo (remember a black berry type model was supposed to be one of the original chasis types), and if Apollo is supposed to have 4 different resolutions sizes we can assume that these 2 plus the original 800 x 480 fill in 3 of the 4 different screen sizes.
 
Going by the fact that the 480 x 480 square is the exact same width of the current Windows Phone resolutions, we can assume further that 768 is the width of the 4th screen size, and given the same aspect ratio we get 1280 x 768 which is a fairly standard resolution.
 
So why go with a 480 square and a 768 square?
 
Well the 480 square works pretty damn well with the existing Windows Phone platform. While of course the UI would have to be optimized for a square, for the most part you can actually keep most everything the same.
 
The start screen with 480 x 480 can show about 4 tiles + part of the next to tiles.
 
Most pivot controls (anything similiar to the mail app) could basically just work as they do now. Yes you would see less on the screen vertically, i.e. more scrolling, but horizontally you don't really have to change the layout at all.
 
The biggest concern I could see in a pivot that hasn't changed anything about the layout is the amount of spaced used for the header, which would each up valuable vertical space in that 480 square.
 
Even Panorama controls would work too, as long as their headers would changed as well.
 
It's odd to realize this, but most everything on the phones fits into a 480 x 480 windows, with the help of scrolling and off screen content.
 
The reason that this works is that the Metro design allows that off screen content that usually doesn't exist in other UI design concepts. Most UI designs have everything in the UI on one screen and expect you to just jump from screen to screen, with the exception of lists.
 
But with Metro the actual "screen" UI is generally much larger than the actually size of the display and the user sort of moves the UI under the screen so they can see each part.
 
In this manner Metro works wonderfully even if the screen size changes, as long as there is a base size such as a base width.
 
An example of this in effect is going to an app that has a landscape view. In that view the UI is still basically the same as it was vertically but now the limiting factor is how much can be seen scrolling up and down. Of course with current phones you will get the benefit of the full 800 pixels width in that view, but it at least gives examples of how developers already are creating UIs with in a different constraint.
 
Now before I continue any further let me say that I would never want a phone with only a 480 x 480 square view, no matter how good the UI is, that's just too small. But, that sized phone wouldn't the full smart phone design, that's more of an emerging market/specific market sized screen, not something that they hold up and say, look how awesome this is!!
 
This most obvious thing that breaks immeadiately with this square screen size is games. Games are designed not only with a resolution in mind, but more specifically an aspect ratio. Breaking the aspect ratio basically means breaking the game, or at least making them unplayable.
 
There is a good example of this in the Windows 8 developer posts referring to trying to play a game of othello and is one of the reasons that Windows 8 has a minimum screen resolution for Metro apps.
 
There are other examples of where a square/low resolution would break, but for the most part existing apps could probably run just fine; just requiring more scrolling etc.
 
A 768 square screen is pretty much the same thing, but with the extra space you obviously have more room to fit a lot more UI onto the screen.
 
Where it gets interesting is, give a 1280 x 768 screen you now have enough screen real estate to come up with even more interesting Metro UIs then currently exist. With these UIs you could then also port it over to a 768 square screen similiar to what it would be to do the same for today's UI on a 480 squaure screen.
 
You could also just take today's 800 x 480 and increase it by 256% and it would fit on a 1280 x 768 screen. It wouldn't quite be the same as an iPhone/iPad where they just made every pixel = 4 new pixels, but using scaling techniques it would likely look just the same.
 
And again, would I want a 768 x 768 square screen on my phone? No, but I don't like those types of messenger devices anyway, but I can see the appeal to those who prefer that type of device.
 
So, in the end this is all complete speculation based on unconfirmed rumors, but it's interesting to think that it might actually fit into the realm of possibility and dare I say it might even make some sense.
 
I would caution against people ignorantly looking at current apps and listing off how X app or example wouldn't work and therefore the whole concept couldn't work, as obviously an optimized UI would have to exist specifically for the square design (and physical keboard layout) and apps designed for that size would be designed slightly differently as well.
 
But overall the concepts that are used now for designing Metro apps on the phone still hold true pretty well, even for such a foreign aspect ratio.
 

cool8man says:

I wonder if this focus on square screens also suggests that a Blackberry deal might be in the cards.
 
I really wonder though if there is so much demand for square screen messaging devices that they need to devote 2 resolutions to this type of device. Maybe I'm off base, but I feel like the world has largely moved on and left this form factor behind with the Palm Treo. Kin failed with this type of display, BlackBerry is failing, none of the Android phones that used this squarish display were successful. What is the point really? But I'm not an expert on emerging markets, maybe these types of small cheap messaging phones are still very popular there.
 
So these are the 4 screen resolutions:
 
1x resolutions
480x480
800x480
2.56x resolutions
768x768
1280x768
 
The math all checks out. It makes sense from a development perspective. Maintains the 5:3 aspect ratio for widescreen and it matches the screen width for both widescreen and square screen.
 
All you would have to do to fit a 480x480 to 768x768 screen is magnify by 2.56. Same for 800x480 to 1280x768 (just zoom 2.56x).
 
 

Jeff Kibuule says:

The Metro UI is heavily text based, so increases in screen resolution don't look all that horrible and most completely custom UIs often found in iOS apps are discouraged. 

Thanx for the insight! Not being sarcastic:)

Luffy07 says:

And if they are actually making 480x480 phones to target emerging market, it means that with Apollo they're still targetting the lower-end phones as well as more powerfull ones, and a don't think these low-end phones will have dual core processors.

lippidp says:

Microsoft is known for selling different editions of their software. I wouldn't be surprised to see Standard and Professional editions of WP8 just like in the WinMo days.

dougplanet says:

I just wanted to share a mockup of a Bold 9900 I whipped up to show how many tiles would be visible on a 480 square screen.  Even with the menu bar active, more than 4 tiles are visible. If the image below isn't showing up, you can see it here... http://www.rgbfilter.com/images/rgb-WP8-square-aspect-on-Bold9900.jpg

Can't wait for Apollo on my focus s...and I know its coming, I don't know why so many are worried...also...who doesn't love their phone right now? I do and once tango drops, everything is gonna run even smoother! 2013 is gonna be a fun year to upgrade! :D

hallam555 says:

Don't look like your focus s is getting updated, im looking to upgrade in October anyway do ill hopefully have a dual core HD screen mega phone, with Nokias great hardware

idrewpage says:

MS hasn't talked about upgrades on current WP.  Don't believe bloggers looking for page views. Thurott has been wrong many times in the past.

WilliamC1972 says:

Its just been posted that the Lumia 900 and Titan 2 will be released in South Africa in the coming months with Windows phone 8 already installed. So the upgrade will happen guys!!!!

I've been saying this for a while, windows 8 will run on a wide range of hardware and screen resolutions. WP8 is based on MinWin and there will be every chance it will have multiple resolutions and work on a wide range of hardware.

For app compatibility they will have to support todays resolution so in this way of thinking upgrades to Wp8 should be possible. The same way as tango will run on lower spec phones and scale for higher specs today.

Whether we will get the update however is another story altogether.

wpward291 says:

im just glad tmobile is on the list was kinda dissapointed that we didnt get the 900 on launch but i can wait 

Gatlyn says:

If Microsoft is introducing new screen resolutions, does that mean games will have to be completely rewritten to display right on them?

dougplanet says:

Depending on how they handle it, Visual Studio should allow you to 'retarget' to different resolutions, though some games may be tough to play on square screens, since they'll probably be physically smaller.

rsuter says:

Why 768 and not 720? 720 is 1.5 times 480 which is much better for upscaling current apps as the margin are usually 12 or 24px...