There have been leaks showing the front of the Nokia Lumia 630 (aka Moneypenny), but a complete view of the Windows Phone 8.1 hardware has been elusive… until now. Frequent tipster @evleaks has posted an apparent press shot revealing the back of the bright-hued device, and it suggests that the 630 will represent a sharp break from the designs of the Lumia 620 and 625. There’s no camera key or flash, for a start — mobile photography fans may want to give this phone a pass. We also see hints of a flatter, more X-like body. There aren’t any fresh clues as to when the 630 might launch, although we’re not expecting to see it until sometime after the official unveiling of Windows Phone 8.1, which may take place in April.
Source: @evleaks (Twitter)
“Hi there. I’m Cortana. I can help make life a bit easier for you.” These are the first words of Microsoft’s still unannounced virtual assistant codenamed “Cortana,” according to a new video leaked by UnleashThePhones.com. If it’s true, this is the best look we’ve had of the rumored Windows Phone 8.1 service so far. The video begins by showing Cortana as a dedicated Live Tile, and then takes us through the setup process. You’ll be prompted to login with your Microsoft Account, which is required to enjoy all of the service’s features; according to the permissions page, Cortana will have access to sources like your location data, voice input, contacts, calendar, search history, emails and texts, browser history and more.
After you’re logged in, it’s time for you two to get better acquainted. To help along the process, Cortana asks a series of four questions about yourself, which the service then uses to personalize some of its suggestions and recommendations. The video also displays a new feature called quiet hours, which lets Cortana take care of your texts and calls for you while you’re sleeping. We’re expecting an official announcement and more details at next month’s Build conference, but in the meantime you can find the full video below.
You may remember the HTC HD2 from posts such as “will it play Tekken 3?” and “wait, it runs Windows RT now?” Despite the handset’s age, a stalwart community keeps it relevant by getting anything and everything to run on the developer favorite. It’s only fitting, then, that the HD2 be one of the first to don Nokia’s heavily skinned version of Android, other than the unreleased X family, of course. That’s right: An XDA Developers forum member by the name of gilbert32 has apparently succeeded in porting some form of the Nokia X Android build onto a rather beat-up-looking HD2. We say succeeded, but while it looks the part and plays a booting sound when fired up, “everything else” is admittedly non-functional. Then again, if the goal was to show the HD2 still has legs after all this time, then mission accomplished, sir.
Source: XDA Developers
The Mobile Podcast turns 200 today and we’re coming to you direct from the MWC showfloor in Barcelona, so please excuse all the background hustle and bustle. Brad Molen and crew are providing some fresh first-hand perspective about Samsung’s new smartwatch line and the dimple-backed Galaxy S5 (complete with finger print scanner). Nokia also has a new lineup, this time Android-based, and Sony’s offerings are delivering enhanced imaging and higher resolutions. We saved you a seat at the table — right next to the silent superstar — so please join us for this special MWC 2014 edition of the Engadget Mobile Podcast.
Hosts: Brad Molen
Producer: Jon Turi
Hear the podcast:
02:38 – Hands-on with Nokia’s X family of Android smartphones
23:07 – Sony claims the Xperia Z2 Tablet is the world’s thinnest and lightest waterproof slate
34:23 – Samsung Galaxy S5 preview: simpler in some ways, more ‘glam’ in others
02:38 – Meet Samsung’s new smartwatch family: the Gear 2, Neo and Fit
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You might say the day is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workday, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Daily Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past 24 hours — all handpicked by the editors here at the site. Click on through the break, and enjoy.
Meet the Galaxy S5. Samsung’s newest smartphone features top-of-the-line specs, a 5.1-inch display and an interchangeable polycarbonate backside. What’s more, the S5 follows recent trends, packing a fingerprint scanner and heart beat sensor.
HTC’s latest handset, the Desire 816, packs 1.5GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel shooter and 8GB of internal storage, which is expandable to a whopping 128GB via the microSD slot. The capable mid-range smartphone doesn’t have a price yet, but we expect more information to surface at HTC’s March 18th launch in China.
The Galaxy S5 wasn’t the only thing the company had planned for this year’s Mobile World Congress. Sammy released not one, but three new additions to its smartwatch line: the Galaxy Gear 2, Gear Neo and fitness-focused Gear Fit.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia is just around the bend, but the Finnish smartphone maker apparently couldn’t wait. Say hello to Nokia’s first Android handsets: the X, X+ and XL. At $122, $135 and $150, respectively, each device packs a slightly different combination of low-end specs. Read on for our impressions and hands-on photos.
Filed under: Misc
Microsoft said that Stephen Elop would run its hardware division as soon as it finished acquiring Nokia’s device business, and the company has just taken a big step toward making that leadership change a reality. Current Devices & Studios lead Julie Larson-Green has told her staff that she’s leaving her position to become the Chief Experience Officer at the Applications and Services group, which oversees Bing, Office and Skype. The move sees her report to Qi Lu, the app section’s Executive VP. Larson-Green will manage devices until Elop arrives, but the announcement effectively marks the end to her brief 7-month tenure of the crucial organization. She was certainly busy during that time — she oversaw the launches of the Xbox One, new Surface tablets and Xbox Music, among other projects. However, we may not know the full extent of her legacy until sometime after she has changed roles.
After Nokia’s big announcement of the brand new X series, we had a chance to sit down with Stephen Elop, the Executive VP of Devices for the company. Naturally, the company’s decision to crank out an Android device was a matter of great curiosity for us. Most importantly: did Microsoft agree to this from the beginning, or did Nokia’s acquirer go into this idea begrudgingly? According to Elop, it’s the fomer. “Microsoft bought the Mobile Devices division,” Elop told us, “so they knew what they were doing.” Given the company’s focus on a tile-based experience and its emphasis on the Microsoft Cloud, it’s beginning to make a lot of sense. Elop went on to state that the X is primarily a stepping stone (a “gateway phone,” if you will) for a largely untouched market segment — emerging markets and developing countries — to get acclimatized to Microsoft’s suite of services and familiar Live Tiles interface. It’s an interesting strategy, no doubt, and we’re excited to see if it pays off in the long-run — people won’t be rushing to a Windows Phone weeks after buying an XL, but it sounds like the idea is to plant a seed within consumers, as well as a reliance on services like Skype, Outlook and OneDrive. Our interview with Stephen in its entirely is below.
Steve Dent contributed to this post.
All eyes were pointed at Nokia during Mobile World Congress for a glimpse at the long awaited “secret” Android powered devices the company was said to be working on. These were considered a last gasp effort at exploring Android before being absorbed by Microsoft. However, it seems that the tactics extend far greater than just an experiment with Android.
Nokia has just announced the Nokia XL which has a huge 5-inch IPS display, available in early Q2 of 2014 to over 109 growing markets in Europe.
With CEO Stephen Elop reinforcing that the flagship products are still their Lumia lineup and therefore Windows Phone (obviously), it seems Android is part of a strategy to offer lower-end devices to extend the reach of Microsoft’s services, as the Nokia X lineup will be priced below the Lumia offerings. Nokia XL is running an AOSP build of Android and you can expect it to be preloaded with all of Microsoft’s cloud services.
Rather than introducing just one model at Mobile World Congress, Nokia has delivered no less than three devices: Nokia X, X+, and XL. Save for very minor details, the first two are nearly identical to each other.
The basic specifications for the three breaks down as so:
- 4-inch (800 x 480) display
- 3-megapixel rear camera with fixed focus
- 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor
- 512MB RAM
- 4GB internal storage (microSD expansion)
- Bluetooth 3.0
- Also available in dual-SIM
- 5-inch (800 x 480) display
- 5-megapixel rear camera with fixed focus
- 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor
- 768 MB RAM
- 4GB internal storage (microSD expansion)
- Bluetooth 3.0
- Also available in dual-SIM
It is worth pointing out that Nokia makes no references to the particulars of Android and that the devices do not feature any Google Play services or Google apps. Nokia has opted, as their wont, to include their own services and app selection.
The Nokia X will go on sale immediately, starting at EUR 89*** and rolling-out in Asia-Pacific, Europe, India, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. The Nokia X+ and Nokia XL are expected to roll out in these markets starting early second quarter, priced at EUR 99 and EUR 109, respectively.
One of Nokia‘s most anticipated phones, at least for us Android folk, the Nokia X is finally official, announced at MWC 2014 today, and it’s bringing some friends with it. The oft-leaked Nokia X has been announced by Nokia today, and it will be accompanied to the Android market by two other phones named the Nokia X+ and the Nokia XL in their bid to reach emerging markets with these affordable handsets.
The Nokia X specifications are as we expected: a QualcommSnapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1GHz, 512MB RAM, 4GB storage (with microSD slot), a 4-inch 800×480 IPS display and a 3MP rear camera. The Nokia X+ shares almost all the same hardware as the Nokia X except that it will have 768MB RAM instead. The Nokia X will go on sale immediately for €89 (or around $120 USD) in the Asia Pacific, Europe, India, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, while the Nokia X+ is due to go on sale for €99 (around $135 USD) sometime in Q2 this year.
As its name suggests, the Nokia XL is a larger version of the Nokia X, upping the screen size to 5-inches, but keeping the same Snapdragon S4 and 768MB RAM as the Nokia X+. The Nokia XL will also have better cameras, fixing a 5MP camera to the back and a 2MP camera to its front. It is also expected to release in the same time-frame as the Nokia X+ and will go for €109 ($150 USD).
As alluded to in leaks, the Nokia X, X+ and XL will all run a forked version of Android meaning that they will not have access to the Google Play Store or its apps, instead utilizing Nokia’s own app store. We’re still to see how this pans out, but they are attractively priced and Nokia have traditionally made phones of impressive quality, so we’ll see what the reviews say.
Are you interested in getting one of the Nokia X, X+ or XL? Let us know what you think of these budget handsets in the comments below.
Source: Phones Review
A couple of years ago, we would’ve said that the day Nokia announced an Android device was the day Hades froze over. The hour has come, however, and it’s only slightly chilly this morning. The Nokia X is the company’s inaugural Android-based devices — three of them, in fact — although it’s been tweaked a little bit to fit Microsoft’s and Nokia’s preferences. The devices are known as the X, X+ (pictured above) and XL (pictured after the break), each of which differed by only a small number of factors; and at a cost of 89 euros ($122) for the X, 99 euros for the X+ and 109 euros for the XL, the family fits roughly in-between the Asha and Lumia series in terms of pricing and functionality. The X will be available immediately in growth markets (sorry, enthusiasts in the US, Korea and Japan, it won’t be heading to your neck of the woods through official channels), while the X+ and XL will come later in the second quarter and will come in white, black, cyan, green, red and yellow.
On the outside, the X and X+ both look a lot like a 4-inch version of the Asha 503, with the same matte polycarbonate chassis but without the transparent crystallic case surrounding it. It’s not too tiny that it disappears in your hands, but it’s also not too big to be overwhelming (unless you love larger devices, that is). At 10.4mm thick, it’s not an incredibly thin device but its smaller size helps ensure that it’s still a comfortable fit. (The XL is 10.8mm thick and offers a 5-inch display with the same resolution and 5MP rear camera along with a 2MP front-facing camera; we’ll have more impressions of the XL shortly.)
The phone itself is certainly a basic device, and it shows on the hardware side: the X sports a 4-inch IPS LCD WVGA (800 x 480) display, 3MP fixed-focus camera, a 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 1,500mAh removable battery, 4GB of internal storage, a microSD expansion up to 32GB and 512MB of RAM; the X+, we’re told, tacks on another 256MB of RAM and comes preloaded with a 4GB microSD card. For an inexpensive pair of devices destined for emerging markets, however, we doubt anyone will complain about the lack of premium specs. We’ve got a gallery of pics below, along with more of our impressions of the Android interface.
Of course, the most intriguing part of the device is the user interface itself. The X family uses a forked version of Android 4.1.2 that uses the standard AOSP but doesn’t have access to Google’s suite of services (such as the official Play Store, Gmail or other core apps). Nokia wants to ensure that the device is focused on Microsoft Cloud services such as Skype (the X will come with a free month of unlimited international calls), OneDrive and Outlook, and it also throws in features like Here Maps, MixRadio and so on. We imagine that putting the focus on these services was the only reason Microsoft would greenlight the project — since this is destined for developing countries and emerging markets, it makes sense that Microsoft wants to get its foot into as many doors as possible.
So what does a Nokia Android UX actually look like in real life? Not surprisingly, it’s a lot like Windows Phone. The X launcher consists of a series of neatly lined-up tiles, although it’s possible to add folders if you’re overwhelmed by apps. Nokia claims that the X reflects the company’s design heritage, and we have to agree — despite its Android framework, it looks and feels very much like a Nokia device. The X also features a menu off to the side called Fastlane (which will be a familiar term for N9 and Asha users), which is the X’s version of a notification menu and logs your favorite/most-used apps, nearly all of your activities, open apps and background processes on the same page. It sounds like a cluster of madness, but the company fortunately kept it looking pretty clean.
Since Nokia’s running the show for all of the core apps, none of them actually look like the way Google has intended. One of our favorite touches was the clock, which Nokia basically copy-and-pasted from the N9. It also includes a Nokia-designed keyboard which even includes swiping gestures (a la Swype or SwiftKey). Third-party app stores and a file manager are also pre-installed. And although it doesn’t use the official Play Store, the X will come with the Nokia Store preloaded. This Store is supposed to feature plenty of Android apps, but they’re specially curated by the company. When asked how particular they are, reps just told us that it’s made things easy for devs: it’ll be a matter of slapping in a few lines of new code into the same APK as they use for the standard Android build, submitting it to Nokia and then finally getting certified by the company. But if the app you’re looking for is nowhere to be found in the Store, a screen pops up with suggestions for other third-party app stores which should feature that particular title. Or, if that doesn’t work, nobody will be able to stop you from sideloading APKs into the phone for your personal use. Since the Nokia UX is simply built on top of AOSP, reps tell us that anything that’s possible within the AOSP is technically possible to do on the X (think launchers, ROMs, widgets and so on).
Will this version of Android get updated, though? It’s never easy to say even for standard Android phones, much less one forked by Nokia. We’re told that it will indeed be updateable (based on consumer need), and individual services can be updated as well; we’d like to give the company the benefit of the doubt, but the reality is that if it’s not successful, there’s nothing preventing Nokia from pulling the support plug.
Color us completely intrigued by the X. As long as you don’t mind the user experience being kept under Nokia’s control, it’s definitely a fun phone to play with. We’ll have to wait until our official review to offer a final judgment, but Nokia’s new smartphone is fun, modern and colorful. We’re still marveling that this kind of discussion is even taking place right now, but it’s fantastic to see the “adventurous” side of both Microsoft and Nokia.