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back to article Reg slips claws across Nokia's sexy sixties handsets, fondles flagship too

Nokia launched the most important Windows Phone of 2014 last week - along with an impressive new flagship. But both launches were rather eclipsed by the massive update to the Windows Phone OS itself - an overdue pregnancy if ever there was one - and the historic news Microsoft is scrapping royalties. Phones and smaller tablets …

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Anonymous Coward

Number sequence

Going by the numbering 630 sounds more like the follow up to the 620, 625, than the 520

Will there not be a 530? a cheaper phone with a few things missing.

(I bought a 620 over a 520 because the 620 had Nokia Drive and the 520 couldn't/wasn't allowed to)

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Number sequence

I suspect there might be, but there's not much left to cut from the 630.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Number sequence

Are you sure you can't get Drive on the 520? I picked up a 521 (T-Mobile USA's version of the 520) and it has HERE Drive on it. I was surprised to be able to load maps for both US States and countries in Europe - I thought I read sometime last year that you'd be limited to the country that your SIM was registered in.

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Re: Number sequence

Here is available on all 8.1 devices.

It's actually awesome to not be tied to two devices (GPS & phone) when its been obvious for eon that one could easily master both. Here isn't too heavy on the battery in my experience of the 920 & 1520. I have a 1520 which has fantastic battery life (2 days no issue).

I was a bit disappointed to see the SD card thing come up again. It's not like anyone criticises Apple for its no SD card and connectors any more.

Otherwise, glad to see some positive stuff about winpho for a change.

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Remarks

Numbers - I thought the IDC report had scotched the notion that Nokia was anywhere near 10 % in Europe. Apparently not. To recap: the 10 % comes from Kantar's survey of people on the streets, IDC counts real shipments/sails.

There is no doubt that Nokia is still producing some fantastic hardware but you've hit the nail on the head about the "app gap". A colleague is a proud owner of the "one with the good camera" - I can never remember Nokia's numbering schemes - but even she is disappointed by the lack of apps. And to add insult to injury the power socket is broken. Getting away from the anecdote - it's difficult to see how any kind of universal API makes Windows Phone more attractive as Windows Phone. In fact, it makes me thinks: what would things look like if Nokia stuck Android on the high-end phones? That certainly would give Samsung food for thought.

Regarding pricing: does anyone in Europe who doesn't have Apple's latest and greatest pay £ 40 a month for a phone + services? Due to the lack of effective competition things are different stateside but Nokia has never really been an established brand there. Not even in its heyday.

Meanwhile the trend worldwide is towards ever cheaper phones with ever thinner margins: Wiko, ZTE, et al. are moving in. As you note Android 4.4 offers better performance than previous versions, but as hardware continues to improve, that point is possibly moot.

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Re: Remarks

SIM free. Most people I know, here in Germany, who don't have a company phone have a 10€ (100 minutes, 100 SMS, 500MB data) or 20€ (flatrate for all 3) a month contract or prepay with a SIM free phone bought outright.

I recently switched from a Samsung Galaxy to a Lumia 1020 "the one with the good camera" and my wife went from an iPhone 3GS to a Lumia 620. I'm also seeing more and more WP8 devices in the wild. Our MacBook using daughter is looking at upgrading her WP7 phone to a WP8 device shortly - the lack of new apps is starting to bite.

I still have a GS3 as a work phone, but I use the 1020 for my private account and the GS3 only has mail and a wifi analyser on it, all the "real" apps are on the 1020.

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Re: Remarks

@big_D don't know whereabouts in Germany you are but I can't remember the last time I saw one of the new Nokias on the tram or S-Bahn.

I agree that more and more people are on pre-paid with bundles with ARPU <= € 20. As I get a free SIM with 500MB a month from Unitymedia I'm helping to keep the ARPU down. Pity the idiots still haven't worked out how to port numbers yet.

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Re: Remarks

I still see a majority of Android devices, ever fewer iPhones and a few more WP devices. The woman in front of me at the Chinese last week also had a 1020, in Osnabruck I see them occasionally, more than I did a year ago.

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It seems Nokia's engineering is once again shining through and this can only be a good thing. Unfortunately as the author mentions you are investing in the eco system too and for £79 that may not be as much of a concern but for £500 it definitely would be. Having used WP I like the OS but if the apps I want are not available I wont invest in it.

Good move to make the licenses free particularly if they are targeting low cost handset makers as the growth is all in the emerging markets. Why it took them this long I have no idea.

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Gold badge

I had a Nokia 710 (Win Pho 7.5) before the work iPhone. Brilliant phone for the £130. Actually better at handling different emails and contacts for personal and work - and easier to use as a phone. Big buttons and big writing hooray! The MS Marketplace was truly rubbish. I'm told it's better now, but not sure how much.

I was talking to my brother about this last night, and we agreed that both of us do all our mobile computing stuff on an iPad - and barely use any apps at all on the iPhone. Except he's a heavy Googlemaps user, and so will be heading for Android next. Has Nokia improved the public transport stuff on HERE maps? When I tried it 2 years ago, it didn't even have full information on London, let alone anything for my large town in the South East. My brother swears by Google Maps for all his mapping and public transport needs - although he does live in London.

I'm tempted to go back to Win Phone, and may get an Android tablet next (I want a stylus). He won't be parted from his iPad, but thinks the iPhone is a waste of money compared with a Nexus one. In my opinion Apple, and to a lesser extent Google, have somewhat lost sight of the core business of a phone, i.e. making calls and the addressbook. With calendar and email a close second, browser and satnav third and everything else afterwards. But then I work on the phone all the time, I know lots of others don't.

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Anonymous Coward

nice phone but

I have a Lumia 920 and love it. I was thinking of upgrading to the 930 when I can in November BUT due to the type of screen that it uses it doesn't support Glance, which is a very handy feature to have and I use it a lot, so I hoping that there might be another similar Nokia out by November that I can upgrade too. Or that Nokia manage to work around the technical issue with the screen somehow and support glance

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Re: nice phone but

Are you sure about glance?

I had a 920, which has an IPS display (like iPhone, rather than AMOLED).

This meant that the display used more power but still glance worked (I used peek to minimise the overall battery drain and was never bothered).

My 1020 has AMOLED and glance works and is more efficient (because it only powers the pixels required).

Since the 930 has an AMOLED (it does, doesn't it?), surely glance works, unless it is because it is an HD screen and Nokia simply need to add the code to cope - in which case, it will arrive in short order.

Glance is a very useful feature which makes a good battery life even better. I am astounded that Android or Samsung at least don't add a rip-off of it but I haven't seen one anywhere. Some show-through cleverness from HTC is hardly the same thing since it lights up the whole display.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: nice phone but

yep sure. The 930 is basically the Icon (on Verizon in the US)

http://www.wpcentral.com/nokia-lumia-930-does-not-have-glance-heres-why

explains all

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Re: nice phone but

930 doesn't have glance:

http://m.wpcentral.com/nokia-lumia-930-does-not-have-glance-heres-why

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Re: nice phone but

I went from the 920 to a 1520.

It owns bones.

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Sub Fail ..

.. again

Somebody betting a WP article wouldn't be read ..?

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Me, worry?

The "app gap" is why I don't use a WP myself but I bought one for my wife and now both sets of old folks have them. The cameras are excellent and taking snaps of the grandchildren is a top selling point next to it being a quick, simple phone - snappy performance and a clean UX.

In the case of the old folks, retirees all, the lack of apps is, for me, another feature - now I don't have to worry about what they are loading on there.

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Silver badge

for £79 I would be interested a 630...

But I'll believe it when I see it.

Most reports show it coming out in Europe at 149 euro's so about £125(not including VAT etc). I doubt we will see it at £79, not least because it would be competing against the same companies android offering at that price.

Pity really because at that price it would make a good 2nd/Starter phone

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Full reviews...?

The 930 will be out in the UK just in time for my contract (on a 900 at the mo), which is perfect. I would like to see a full review, esp of the camera - which is a big part for me. Otherwise might go for a 1020. I just hope the networks carry it. The size and vpn will mean I can dispense with my aging and flakey ipad too. Am thinking I might convert my 900 to an in-car unit, I saw a link the other day, and darn thing is still functioning well

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Headmaster

"One puzzle is why the 930 will take so long to arrive..........."

I seem to recall that they negotiated some kind of time limited exclusivity deal with Verizon did they not? Or is my memory playing tricks on me?

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A question

Andrew O,

Have Microsoft sorted out the music player yet? I seem to remember you mentioned it in your brief reveiw of the new update to Win Phone - but didn't say much. It was pretty crap in Win Pho 7.5 - and you had to use Zune for PC sync (the software that makes iTunes look like a work of genius).

My iPod w hard disk is dying. After a good innings. And I'm looking at replacement. The idea of a cheap phone (non-work one), that can take an SD card is pretty tempting.

I don't think there's any music players of the same capacity that are cheaper. The phone can then do my 30GB of music and many podcasts. Assuming it doesn't have fits at the number of files on the card every time it reads it.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: A question

Didn't really have a chance to play with it. But they moved out synced MP3s, Podcasts, Radio, Xbox Music etc into their own apps, the "Music Hub" is no more.

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Re: A question

You might conider a Sansa Clip+, available for as little as £27 for the 8GB model. It has a microSD card slot - and 32GB microSD cards works fine. The sound quality is excellent.

You can install the RockBox firmware to overcome any limits on the number of tracks.

If 40GB is not enough, buy another SD card, or hell, buy two Sansa Clips of different colours!

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PS

The Sansa Clip+ lets yuou choose between Mass Storage or Media Device USB connection, so is compatible with everything.

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Re: A question

I just plug my 620 into the Win 8.1 PC and drag music onto it using file manager and it goes into the SD card. It just worked so I didn't investigate whether it back ground installed Zune.

It did ask if I wanted to convert some files when dragging them in, but even if I say yes it fails to convert them because they're Flac and Windows doesn't know what to do with them.

I found the 620 just works, as a phone, mail and Skype client, music player and navigation without any issues. The free global downloading of Nokia Drive/Here maps required wifi due to size. The Nokia Mix Radio streaming meant I didn't even put my own music on it for a long time.

I'm not a heavy app user, so don't particularly suffer an app gap. Occasionally I go, oh no Win Phone version yet, but it's not a big deal to me. I've still not got round to setting up the XBMC app yet, as the MCE/Harmony remote setup just works. I also don't usually connect my phone to Wifi as I get fast enough speeds and have unlimited data on my phone.

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Re: A question

Andrew,

Thanks. I guess I'll have to wander into a shop and have a play with one soon. I don't give my poor iPod long to live. And you don't get much onto an 8GB iPhone.

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Re: A question

t just worked so I didn't investigate whether it back ground installed Zune.

Nelbert Noggins,

Nah. I think MS Killed Zune with Win Pho 8. It may even have been as early as 7.5. The Zune player and Sync software looked like something that had been coded in Flash by a monkey with a really bad hangover, and a hatred of users.

They junked it, and just pinged files across with USB - as they should have done originally.

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Re: A question

"The sound quality is excellent."

FLAC

Mine was set to 'Europe' which meant it was rather quiet.

When I changed it to 'anywhere' it got nice and loud

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Re: A question

you can use the music and video app on the phone or nokia's rather good mixradio to look after all your music needs

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Interesting...

Given that the 630 looks like a similar price point to the Nokia X, it'll be interesting seeing how the two shape up against each other...

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App gap

Would somebody give a short list of apps that I am missing out on with WP please.

No games though, since I use only a few and there seem to be plenty of the kind I like, ie not candy crush type things.

And no things where there is a perfectly suitable alternative (like Snapchat apparently, which has a WP version that is better according to the one person I know that uses it).

My assumption is that the majority of items will be of the type suggested in the article, one-off apps like a museum visit app or a specific app for a piece of hardware. This is fine, I get that some will use a particular phone because it is a perfectly good phone and has an app 'guarantee'. My personal view is that, given how much I prefer the phone I have and the pictures it takes etc. I would not give it up to have any particular app.

What I do know is that organisations lose money from me, Lovefilm for instance, because Netflix have a great WP app and Lovefilm don't have one at all. This may not bother them because of volumes but the numbers are not that small and good alternatives exists so I go with it. This would affect a bank for instance because NatWest have a brilliant WP app and many others think only iPhone and Android exist.

Of course. many of these so-called apps are often less good than a nice HTML5 web page, especially when IE11 comes and ups the HTML5 quotient - Argos is an obvious example although Amazon's app is pretty good - so Argos often lose sales and Amazon get them in this case.

The guy in London above using Google maps all the time for instance. This requires a connection for starters - I have visited many, many times and connections are just not that good all the time. Secondly, having a connection still means waiting for the data, waiting for the pixelly shit to clear and finally getting what one needs (hopefully). This is battery-draining and data-pissing. This means needing a bigger phone, less active time or carrying a spare battery or booster and paying extra for oodles of data. Of course, you can use Google maps easily on a WP, even the mobile web page works. Streetview is basically the only real need and there are streetview apps or streetview is rolled into a regular app (gMaps for instance), even the web page worked last time I used it, a fair time ago to be honest.

Still, would be nice to read about some of these apps and ponder why they affect a buying decision so much.

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Re: App gap

There's a nice 3rd party Google Maps app for WP8 which you can set to stream Google Maps data or use your HERE maps on your phone (or stream HERE if you don't have that country's map downloaded).

I also love the Natwest WP app. And there are generally extremely high quality 3rd party apps for social media gaps like Snapchat. Rudy Heyn is a dev who's made a lot of them, and they're all extremely high quality.

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Re: App gap

the one company the bugs the sh*t out of me where WP and Windows 8 support is concerned are those robbing b'startds Sky if I could ditch Sky I would but not being in a cabled area (or ever likely to be I'm stuck with them) Despite a MASSIVE thread on their forums concerning WP and Win8 support there isn't any (well you can sort of fudge SkyGo to work on win8) but there in no app. Seems odd to me that when most PC's being sold come with Windows 8/8.1 they still don't have proper support for that OS let alone for WP.

But what is even worse is that Sky Italy DO have a WP8 app!

TW@TS

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Re: App gap

Yep, I agree with that - it's definitely more a perception issue than a real issue for the bigger apps. My bank is Lloyds, they've got a good app. Here Transit is now working well here in Cardiff at least for public transport information, and Here Maps+ is just excellent. I went to Disneyworld last year and was pleasantly surprised to find there was even a pretty full-featured WP8 app for that, including live waiting times etc. Facebook is fine, Twitter is fine, WhatsApp is fine. On the down side, the eBay app is rubbish, some apps like Waze and Microsoft's own solitaire collection are almost great but suck battery like no-one's business and if you want to get into controlling your Samsung TV or your intelligent heating system then you're in trouble.

Definitely not as bad a situation as some people would have you believe. For some people there certainly will be some show-stoppers, no doubt. For the rest, how many fart apps do you really need on your phone? :-)

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Re: App gap

Can't be arsed checking if there's a WP phone version of these - but you can if you like....

AdAway

BubbleUPNP

Photosphere

CoPilot

Fing

Firefox

Chrome

Adobe Flash

Greenify

Group play

IP Webcam

Lucky Patcher

Motion Shot

Popup Browser

WiFi Tv Remote

Sky+

SMS backup and restore

Terminal Emulator

Google Translate

TubeMate

SytemApp Remover

Semper VidLink

Shush!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: App gap

Long story short, you're talking out of your arse mate!

At least 3 of those are on, and there are several versions of the others (if not the of the same name).

It's as if you didn't pay attention to the fact that MS was taking less moeny off devs in order to get them to write phone applications.

I'd detail the absurdity, but, that would mean investing time to reply to a person who clearly hasn't done their homework, and tbh, f@#k that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: App gap

actually heatmeiser (intelligent heating system) are after beta testers for their WP8 app!

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Re: App gap

There is one serious app gap where Apple just trounce the competition, and that's music-making. For better or worse, iOS is the platform of choice for serious music devs. If you're a musician, then iOS is simply streets ahead of both WP and Android. That's a fairly small niche market, though. And, honestly, for such things interface size matters, so it makes much more sense to get an iPad for your music-making than to use your phone. And so this is one area where Microsoft are competing: allowing any Windows app to be installed on a Surface makes it a very serious music machine without their having to spend time persuading devs to recode all their stuff for a new OS. That being said, if they could get Ableton or Steinberg or someone to build a version of their DAW or even just a decent VST plugin host that runs on RT, that would be a game-changer.

The other gap is a decent cloud music player. Amazon have supposedly been working on their Cloud Player for WP for two years now, but still no sign of it. You'd think someone would have built a decent music player for playing stuff off your Onedrive by now, but nope. Style Jukebox (terrible name) is the best I've found, but it's not great. If someone has their entire music collection in Amazon's cloud (or any cloud), I can see why that might be a good reason not to buy WP, for now. Mind you, I do, and I still reckon WP's pros outweight the cons.

There is also an extremely good carb-counting app for diabetics on iOS. Again, a smallish niche market. There are some pretty good ones on WP as well, but the best (sorry, I forget its name) is on iOS. That being said, my diabetic wife got an iPhone just for that app and hated the damn thing so switched to WP. She keeps the iPhone around just for that one app but didn't think it was worth putting up with the shitty interface in every other aspect of her phone use.

That pisses me off, actually. The "We have an app for your iPhone!" craze is all very well, but, if you're a healthcare company, surely it's your job to make your product as available as possible, not to choose a single platform and ask users to accommodate you. The very idea of providing a useful healthcare app for iOS users only is pretty disgusting, in my opinion.

Those things aside, yes, most of the complaints seem to boil down not to people wanting an app that does a particular thing, but to wanting a particular app no matter how many alternatives there might be that do the same thing. Creatures of habit.

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Re: App gap

loads of London tube apps and a very good Sky+ app bing translate is really good with loads of offline language support

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Re: App gap

The app gap is real, that's a given. There's even an app gap between the daddy, Apple, and Android as the ecosystems are so different.

The two largest groups that are writing apps are either needing to make some money from the app or are supporting something else that makes money. You will struggle to see a return on such a tiny market share as the WP so you won't write for it: that's just business in the same way as many restaurants don't cater for those who don't eat meat. To extend that analogy, your veggie lasagne is equivalent to your mobile website. Your bank may write an app for WP because they have deep pockets and they are competing against other banks for your accounts.

"It's the economy, stupid"

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Fickle journalists

> Once you have a couple of charging plates, you don’t really look back. However, even Nokia seemed ambivalent about it. The omission of built-in wireless charging mandated the use of a clip-on sled or plate (in the 1020, 925 and 720) ...

Yes, but one of the reasons for this is surely that so many reviews of the 920 complained about the size and weight. So they introduced the 925 to keep such people happy, and the same reviewers asked what had happened to the lovely wireless charging. I think Nokia got the message that you can't please all of the people all of the time and so made wireless charging optional by using the plates.

> ... which meant users had to dispense with a protective case.

The wireless sleds do actually provide rather good protection by being slightly wider and taller than the phone and covering its corners. That aside, surely cases are made by third parties who could, if they wished, make cases that fit the phone with a charging plate. Hardly Nokia's fault that they're not seeing that that market exists.

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Really nice to see even reg commentards taking Nokia's (really quite good imo) WinPhones to their hearts here...wasn't so long ago you'd get downvoted to oblivion for even suggesting you liked the look of the tiles...

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