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back to article The world's first Windows Phone 8 hands on – what's it like?

It was harder than usual, but not impossible, to get my hands on Nokia's two new Windows 8 phones today. Word has already gone around Twitter that press and analysts were forbidden from handling the devices. This is not true – and on a scale of difficulty it hardly rated alongside reporting from outside Baghdad's Green Zone. So …

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Re: Downvotards amaze me

A poster declares that 0.7mm thicker than one of the market leaders means a phone is useless and you can't see people wanting to express how silly they think that is as being other than a "MS shill", then I believe you should reassess your own biases.

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Unhappy

Re: Downvotards amaze me

@Charles Manning

Anyone who likes a Microsoft product or service is "a shill".

Will you ever grow up? Do you still type M$?

I know comments areas are like this, especially Engadget or Games Forums - but shouldn't we be more grown up on The Register?

I for one was on Google Apps (paid for BTW) before looking into Googles practices for a client, and Google worry me with what they do with data/privacy, and as Hotmail is now pretty good - I switched back to Hotmail.

I love my 2 Windows phones I've had. (I've had iPhone, Android handsets, and still have a BB)

I also really like the Windows 8 OS I'm using right now. And have moved off of my MacBook by putting my data on Skydrive and like Skydrives simple photo sharing for my family. So I am more and more an MS product and service user as they are really nice to use nothing more. Please don't call me a shill as I happen to like their stuff.

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Trollface

Re: Downvotards amaze me

d) Automatically downvoting someone who complains about downvoting

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Downvotards amaze me

Whatever you feel about Google and Data/Privacy - I would bet the house that Microsoft are doing exactly the same or worse and so are Apple and so are most other Corporations (with the one exception being slurping some unencrypted WiFi traffic as their cars past).

Any companies that can gather BI in any way they can will use it.

If they then sell your data on to the highest bidder it is another thing, however only Facebook seem to engage in this - I've not seen any evidence of many of the others doing it to a large degree.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Downvotards amaze me

Hmm, agreed on there being little difference between Microsoft and Google when it comes to privacy, but I think Apple would prefer to protect its premium appearance, and I doubt selling some generalised data to advertises would fit in with that strategy. They would lose more customers because of it.

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Anonymous Coward

"d) Automatically downvoting someone who complains about downvoting"

I've lost track of this, and forget if I am supposed to down or upvote you.. I am going to flip a coin :)

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Happy

Re: Downvotards amaze me

Cop that.

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Re: too big

When you put your brain in gear perhaps it can let your mouth rather than arse talk?

The only thing I miss these days is a proper keyboard, and that is only because I like to use a phone one handed while taking notes, walking etc etc

Best phone I have had recently has had touch screen and keyboard, a perfectly good combination - if had a flip it would not need a keylock and wouldn't have a scratched screen but thats another story.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Downvotards amaze me

Damn you :)

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Facepalm

Are you serious?

So this has the latest Snapdragon S4 quad core CPU in and the most advanced mobile OS microsoft can come up with, and the best it can do is reduce the unusable 7 second delay when switching between tasks to a 3 second one? That's slower than the first gen Android G1.

"What Intel giveth, microsoft taketh away" needs updating.

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Re: Are you serious?

I recently switched from a Nokia Lumia 800 to a Samsung Galaxy S3.

Yes the "resuming..." of apps on Windows Phone got annoying, and any improvements in the multitasking would be a huge benefit.

But I've seen the S3 fail to respond significantly more times than I ever saw on the Lumia 800.

Bringing up the list of apps and returning to the desktop are prime examples. I don't even have a lot of widgets on the S3 (mostly full screen task / calendar / mail / etc.)

Admittedly there may just be something wrong with my device, it's just an observation.

But my impression from using WP devices (I've also used a HTC Pro 7 in the past) was that the processing power (or lack of) wasn't a huge issue. It's almost like it's been designed to run with that (locked down) spec.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Are you serious?

Just a crap phone that's all.

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FAIL

Re: Are you serious?

Anyone experiencing a 7 second delay must be installing some pretty shitty apps, fart generators perhaps??

I have an 800, and I never even see a 2 second delay (I actually rarely see a tombstoned app, tbh)...

Besides, my battery would have drained in full if I had to wait 7 seconds.

Nokia could ship a blow job attachment with their next Lumia and I wouldn't go near it, it's back to Samsung for me - wish I'd never left.

It hurts like hell to be an IT pro and have your wife constantly mocking you about the fact that if she forgets to charge the Omnia 7 (that you lovingly donated/cast off) in an evening, she can still use it for at least one more day before the battery saver gives her a six hour warning. She's most certainly never wanted to drive over it with the car/smash it with a sledgehammer/ram it up Elop's arse etc.

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JDX
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Re: Are you serious?

I don't get a 7 second delay even on the cheapest Lumia 610. I wonder if his stopwatch is faulty ;)

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Re: Are you serious?

Im still using a blackberry bol from I guess 2 years ago. Single core, even so, app switching on this never seems to take much time (less then a second as far as I can guesstimate.

(i.e. start typing email, need to lookup something so switch to webbrowser, continue typing, switch to endomondo to see how long the ride home took, switch back to email all without lags that are big enough to become annoying.

It's not really clear from the review if the background apps are still being tombstoned in WP8, but I would seriously hope not. (or at least not noticable)

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Re: Are you serious?

The main issue seems to be that it uses Apple-style multitasking, when applications are put into a suspended state. So yes, it's a reasonable criticism, but no one seems to have this problem with Apple doing it.

Also note that on Android, applications are suspended after a while, and I've seen it take several seconds to resume some apps on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus. To be honest, the only mobile OS I've seen do multitasking properly was Symbian, which was always instant even on my now ancient Nokia 5800.

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Re: Are you serious? @AndyN

Had a Galaxy Nexus for nearly a year. Much the same as the S3, but the Nexus only has 2 x 1.2GHz cores, and the S3 has 4 x 1.4GHz cores. I've never once even noticed a multitasking delay switch. It just works - I've got 11 windows in the preview at the moment, touch one, and it pops up. Even the pdf doc displays pretty much immediately. I'd find a 3s delay unusable.

The only problem is Vodafone, who are a pile of sh*te.

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Re: Are you serious?

It's only noticable on WP7 when running apps written for pre-Mango phones, that didn't support fast resuming. With most stuff on my current phone task switching is near instant (older Xbox Live games that have never recieved an update tend to be what lets the side down)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's like it's been designed to almost run with that (locked down) spec.

FTFY

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Stop

Re: Are you serious?

its at least infinitely quicker than multi-tasking on all but the latest versions of iOS which failed to exist at all.

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Re: Are you serious?

Sad really, we weren't allowed to get away with anything like that much delay on Symbian... and on a much much slower processor.

Still, obviously Elop is right, he's paid the mega bucks and you can see from the increasing profit (oops), massively increased market share (oops), accurate marketing (oops), and public image (oops again) that he is correct. Certainly the shareholders must think so as they make no attempt to get rid of him... or maybe thats just because the shareholders are our pension funds and the managers in charge are too busy spending their bonuses than looking after our investments.

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Re: Are you serious?

Nothing like being objective.

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Re: Are you serious?

Lumia vs Symbian... my Lumia flat in under a day, 2 if not used at all. Symbian C7 gives at least 5 days of normal use and well over that if left

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i want

saving already, will be selling my Lumia 800 for one of these 920 badboys! :)

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SD card

From what I've seen elsewhere it seems the 920 comes with 32GB of onboard storage but no SD card slot, where as the 820 has 8GB onboard but you can add your own with an SD card.

I think this is a real mistake, 64GB SD cards are now available for around £50. 96GB is going to come very close to holding my whole music collection finally pensioning off my ipod.

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Anonymous Coward

pensioning off your ipod?

The problem, as you've no doubt suspected, is that WP8 -- like Android -- sucks down enormous amounts of power while playing music, thus rendering it a poor replacement for a dedicated music player. To my dismay, only the iPhone seems able to manage power consumption during audio playback reasonably.

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Re: SD card

"96GB is going to come very close to holding my whole music collection finally pensioning off my ipod."

With a typical song being about 4 minutes in length, encoded in 320Kbps, 96GB is... about 17,000 tracks? Do you have every full length piece of Classical music or something? How can you possibly listen to that much music? Genuine question - not criticising.

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Re: SD card

Probably less than that. I've filled up a 64Gb Touch with ~4800 'songs', podcasts and apps; not all the 'songs' are 320Kbps either. Personally I'd have preferred more space that that but Apple seem to think that we don't need a lot of storage so cap the amount and don't provide expansion capability

I don't listen to all that at anyone time but I want to have the choice without thinking "OK what do I want to listen to [x period] in the future"

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Re: pensioning off your ipod?

Have no problems with battery life when playing on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus. (Though I still keep my separate Sansa because more battery life on a separate device is useful, not that it's particularly bad on the Galaxy; because it's tiny and quicker to pull out to change music; because on the Nexus I don't have a microSD slot, unlike my Sansa.)

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Mushroom

Re: SD card

Windows Phones are designed for the cloud - storing everything in Skydrive and for streaming music - from Nokia, Microsoft Zune, and several other choices. 32GB is more than enough to hold the music you really need for a plane flight, tube journey or anything else where data isnt available.

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Meh

Re: pensioning off your ipod?

"The problem, as you've no doubt suspected, is that WP8 -- like Android -- sucks down enormous amounts of power while playing music, thus rendering it a poor replacement for a dedicated music player."

Hmm... odd, because my Xperia S has been my dedicate work music player for months (and I listen to work for about 6 hours at work, to shut out the distractions while I write software) and it rarely consumes 2% of my entire days usage.

Granted, it's all 320kbps mp3s, not flac or anything, but that's using the standard sony music player on the phone over Android ICS. I had no issue with my Desire doing the same either before this, but that was using an custom AOSP-based rom (not HTCs sense stuff).

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Pint

Re: SD card

We don't.

We put it on random shuffle and fire away. A great way to hear stuff you still like but have not listened to for a while.

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Stop

Re: pensioning off your ipod?

That is hardware based. I have an S4 krait processor in my NA One X and can play music all day long. Not to mention play 18 holes of golf to find out my battery was at 98% at the 19th hole. My iphone playing partners jaw hit the floor.

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Alert

Re: SD card

I'll answer this one for you to,

Some of us are in really to music and have an awful lot of it. I've got about 500 12' vinyl dance records. With an average of 3 mixes per record that lot on their own is 1500 tracks.

Then on top of that I also have about 1500 cd's (of which 98% are albums). Each CD probably has on average 10 tracks ((most have more but I'm being conservative) so there's another 10,000 songs. However, at least a 3rd of those albums are double cd (or more) albums so that's at least another 5000 tracks.

So I've got at least 18,000 tracks in my collection and I know I am being conservative with my figures.

Now on the second part of your question. I don't listen to them all at the same time, I chop and change often, some songs / albums go years without being played. But then one day I'll decide I want to listen to one, do so, get back in to it and then decide I want to listen to it when out.

My phone only has 4S only has 32GB of space so I end up having to clear an album on the phone already to fit the one I want on there on. For me it's no great issue as my entire library of music is already ripped (I spent a long time doing it a long time ago), but it would be convenient to be able to fit everything on in one go.

PS, the reason I have an Iphone is simply that I like them, I like the music player on them and for a long time they were apart from sony devices the only devices which would play gapless playback. My library was ripped in apple format years ago when I had an original ipod and I'm not about to spend years changing it.

Dave

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Anonymous Coward

Re: pensioning off your ipod?

Really? I use my S3 as a music player on the daily commute, 2-3 hours each day, with a little light browsing. It lasts a couple of days on a charge, using nothing more fancy than the onboard power saving.

I use Poweramp for the gapless playback, but no tossy EQ options- those will increase the power consumption, as keeps the CPU working harder, and clocked up much higher. The same applies if you use EQ on an iPhone, too.

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Re: SD card

Equivalent to about an album a week for 30 years - I reckon there are quite a few bods out there who collect like that. I have a brother who has even more, most of it on vinyl he's been picking up since his teens, though the newer stuff is largely CD (he won't touch downloads).

He listens to each album on the day he buys it.

Keeps the collection upstairs in a spare bedroom in dirty great metal filing cabinets. He's still adding to it despite warnings about overdoing the floor loadings, so no doubt much of it will soon be making it's way through the floor boards.

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Re: pensioning off your ipod?

I wonder... having never bothered with music on a mobile phone (don't really care for music myself - especially not the modern crap that seems to be around) - do the phones keep the screen alive to show you some nasty music video or whirly mess on the screen? If so that probably explains a lot of the power consumption. Equally the habit of illuminating the screen when ever the touch screen is touched in case you want to 'unlock it' is a vast waste of power - especially if you keep the phone in your pocket. Good reasons for some manufacturer to head back towards the old flip phone design.

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Law

@Dave 15 Re: pensioning off your ipod?

"Equally the habit of illuminating the screen when ever the touch screen is touched in case you want to 'unlock it' is a vast waste of power - especially if you keep the phone in your pocket"

Every touchscreen phone I've ever seen has a dedicated lock/unlock button at the top or side... THAT enables the screen, THEN you slide/pattern/pin/move to unlock the phone.

"do the phones keep the screen alive to show you some nasty music video or whirly mess on the screen"

I think in the past the screen would stay alive on my old iPhone 3G if it was playing music on the dock (but then it'd be powered, so that makes sense). Otherwise the screen is off. On my sony phone you can turn on visualisations (the wavy music thingies) if you want - but by default it'll lock/turn off the screen as normal with music playing in the background. Most phones work that way. If you click the lock/unlock button the screen will turn on again, with shortcut music controls. That was the same on my HTC, iPhone and Sony phones so I think it is a standard thing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: pensioning off your ipod?

Dave,

Nope, at least not on iOS or Android, the screen goes off after a few seconds, in line with the power management policy of the phone. It's not uncommon to have some basic controls on the lock screen too, so when you fish the thing out of your pocket, you can change the track without needing to unlock. This is useful if you are (just as an example, entirely plucked out of the air, totally innocent) cheerfully listening to an Orbital album to hear the whiney, grating tones of David bloody Gray on a track*. GRR.

Ahem. Sorry about that, peace and love, calm now.

* Ok, so he is brother in law to one of the Hartnolls, that's still no excuse. Tosser. He sounds like a Rod Steward cover of Coldplay.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: pensioning off your ipod?

"an Orbital album to hear the whiney, grating tones of David bloody Gray"

Oh come on, Illuminate wasn't /that/ bad an album track. Gray's voice was so distorted and edited in the end you could hardly tell it was him ;-)

C.

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Devil

Wow.. Nokia have a hit on their hands!

"bonk-to-pay" YESS!! What a great idea! Does it come with it's own Prophylactic? (Pun actually not intended!)

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Re: Wow.. Nokia have a hit on their hands!

bonk to pay is really confusing... pay to bonk is understood

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Not you as well, FFS!

"The 820 has lots going for it. There's the rounded corners"

Enough already.

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Coat

Re: Not you as well, FFS!

"The 820 has lots going for it. There's the rounded corners"

Here comes the lawsuit from Apple!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not you as well, FFS!

im going to punch out every apple in my refrigerator. Or maybe nail them to a cross and set them on fire

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Stop

It's not thicker actually as the hands on states.

The specification shows that it's 10.7 mm versus the Lumia 900's 11.5 mm thickness. So yes, it is larger in area and heavier but it's not thicker.

Also, how is that you glossed over NFC, dual-core processing, a much better screen resolution with motion mprovements and more choice in customization(covers, colors, accessories?).

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: It's not thicker actually as the hands on states.

"how is that you glossed over NFC, dual-core processing, a much better screen resolution with motion mprovements and more choice in customization"

If it means anything, this was mentioned in Andrew's previous piece on the new Lumias, published this evening.

No doubt a full review will cover such stuff.

C.

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FAIL

Re: It's not thicker actually as the hands on states.

Also, how is that you glossed over NFC..

no doubt Redmond wants to keep some headline-stealers in reserve. We now know the People hub is one of them. Presumably, bonk-to-pay is another – there was not one mention of NFC for mobile payments.

Comprehension fail.

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FAIL

The hardware sounds awesome why do Nokia insist on crippling it with trashy Microsoft phone operating system . How about listening to your customers and providing them with what they want ie this hardware with android. You can still sell the crappy windows version if you have too...

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IT Angle

@FordPrefect

Have you ever actually used Windows Phone for more than 5 minutes? Serious question, as people seem to have very strong opinions for how awful it is but very few seem to have ever owned / borrowed an actual device.

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