Nokia Lumia 1320 Now In Stock

Phablets are all the rage now; pick up Nokia’s mid range Windows Phone offering for £305

Nokia Lumia 1320Smartphones just keep getting bigger; soon enough we’ll drop the ‘phablet’ moniker that first appeared a couple of years ago and just accept them as extra large phones.

More and more manufacturers are getting in on the game and Nokia finally introduced Windows Phone to the category with the high end Lumia 1520 at the tail end of last year.

The mid-range and slightly cheaper Lumia 1320 was announced at the same time, although we have been waiting for the UK release for a little while.

Well for anyone waiting your time is now up, as the Nokia Lumia 1320 is now in stock and available to order in both black and white colours.

Priced at £305 including VAT (£254.17 ex VAT), the Lumia 1320 features a 6 inch 720p display, 1.7GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon 400 processor and is 4G LTE ready on international bands 3, 7, 20 (1800 / 2600 / 800 MHz).

Nokia Lumia 1320 at a glance

  • Windows Phone 8 (GDR3)
  • 1.7 GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 400 processor
  • Snapdragon 400 with Adreno 305 GPU
  • 6 inch 720p HD LCD display
  • Gorilla Glass 3
  • 8 GB storage & up to 64 GB micro SDXC card
  • 5 MP camera with autofocus & LED flash
  • WiFi 802.11 (2.4/5Ghz) a/b/g/n/ac, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy,
  • 3,400 mAh battery with Qi Wireless Charging
  • Nokia Camera app

BLINK and you’ll miss it – WP8 camera app for Nokia Lumia

The camera is an ever increasingly important feature on smartphones and can often be a deciding factor when choosing between devices. Nokia have gone great guns to improve camera quality on their most recent Lumia devices, with the Lumia 925 in particular upping the bar once again in lens technology.

blinkAction shots have always been difficult to take, especially with compact and mobile cameras where getting a good result of a fast moving subject from a single image is tough to consistently produce. To help with this, Microsoft Research have put together a free app called BLINK, designed for Lumia devices but compatible with all Window Phone 8 handsets.

Based on familiar burst photography, the idea is simple but adds a little magic, a burst of shots are taken before you press the shutter and a burst afterwards as normal. After the app is installed, no special configuration is required, simply access the camera like normal and begin taking pictures with the shutter button or by pressing on screen. The screen will flicker, or ‘blink’ (haha), whilst the images are being recorded and when finished will give you the option to review the images and save one, or even put together a short animation that can be shared.

Similar features have been seen on camera apps from the likes of Samsung and also in BlackBerry’s BB10 devices but the added benefit of saving some images from before you press the shutter is a definite plus. Individual images from the roll can be edited and saved, or just the one so final result is really flexible and depends on how much you want to store.

BLINK is a simple app that puts a lot of extra power in your hands- available for free, it’s a worthy download for any Windows Phone 8 user

The Windows Phone 8 Keyboard

Windows 7 was received well by many, the on-screen keyboard and intelligent suggestions and corrections were among the most popular features on the operating system. Since Windows Phone 8 is now out we decided we should give you a breakdown of the improvements to the keyboard and give a breakdown of predictive technology behind the popular keyboard.

Word Flow

The average person sends 20-30 messages a day on their phones, equating to over 10,000 a year. With that many messages being sent there’s bound to be a few mistakes, thus, “Word Flow”. Windows Phone 8 introduces Word Flow, which is a new and improved version of “Quick Correct” from Windows Phone 7.5. Aiming to prevent time-wasting typos Word Flow enables you to focus on communicating with people without worrying about your spelling and grammar.

Word Flow has been designed to recognise how real people talk to one another. Therefore, the technology incorporates everything from pop culture to slang terms. 2.5 billion English words from sources ranging from the internet to the trusty dictionary were used when creating Word Flow. A carefully selected 600,000 of the most common words and phrases that people use were selected to power Word Flow’s corrections and selections.

All this research and effort that went into designing the Work Flow feature for Windows Phone 8 results in auto-correction skills that are 94% accurate, on average. Word Flow is a student of your writing habits and is constantly evaluating the way you type to enable you to reduce errors and increase the speed of typing.

imageimage

How was it made?

To avoid appearing on Damn You Autocorrect too frequently, Windows Phone 8 included a large amount of words to enable it to figure out what you are trying to type. It stores data on your device about how frequently real people, on average, use terms and phrases on their mobile phones.The Office team from Microsoft have been researching commonly-used words for more than 20 years to power a similar feature on Word and Outlook. The Windows Phone team paired up with them to create their dictionary of words and phrases to be used on the devices.

Even a “smarter” dictionary, however, doesn’t prevent strange suggestions and unwanted auto-corrections. This happens for two reasons.

First, it’s very important that the dictionary be relevant to what you would type. A dictionary based only on words found in scientific papers and textbooks wouldn’t offer suggestions relevant to everyday conversation (although science teachers across the world would rejoice). For example, if you typed “h” you might see “hydrogen” as the first suggestion.

Second, the likelihood of a word depends on what comes before it. If you type “H-a-p-p-y-b,” “birthday” is much more likely than other common b-words like “be.” Some words are very easy to guess based on the words before it, for example “New York C” is almost always “New York City”

imageimage

Windows Phone 8 is designed to solve both of these problems by taking into greater account how real people use language on their phones. In the real world, people use slang, nonstandard spelling, and other casual shortcuts. Thus Microsoft needed different dictionaries than what you might find in Microsoft Word.

Microsoft built up this software by using data gathered from us. Remember the little checkbox during phone set up (and in Settings) that talks about helping Microsoft improve text suggestions and build a better product? If you give them permission, they collect anonymous typing data—free of passwords, names, numbers, and other personal info—to help create and test Word Flow.

Take a look at this video below to illustrate the “hit-target” adaptation. Basically, when you type the Windows Phone changes each keys invisible “hit-target”, the touch-sensitive area around each letter, as you type. When your finger touches the hit-target that letter is inserted. Hit-targets are constantly changing size, depending on what word the keyboard thinks you’re trying to type.

 

Windows Phone 8: No Bluetooth HID profile

This took me by surprise a little bit today when I discovered it, however after doing some digging it seems that it is an issue that has been around since the launch of Windows Phone 7. I was attempting to help a customer who was having trouble connecting a Samsung Ativ S to a Freedom Bluetooth keyboard when I discovered on some Windows forums that Windows Phone 8 does not support the HID (Human Interface Device) profile.

image

For those not in the know, Bluetooth is not simply just one technology – it is more a collection of profiles that devices must both support in order to communicate with each other in a desired manner. The collection of supported profiles on a device creates its Bluetooth ‘stack’. HID is the low latency profile used for keyboards, mice, game controllers and other peripherals that a person interacts with and expects an almost instantaneous response on the paired device. Windows Phone 8 does not currently have this profile in its stack.

The result is that although the Ativ S I was testing (along with a Nokia Lumia 920 to check it wasn’t just a Samsung issue) would recognise the Freedom keyboard and attempt to pair, it would not hold the connection for more than a couple of seconds. HID support has been present in Android and iOS for many iterations now and it seems like a massive oversight on Microsoft’s part to not have included it in WP8. Considering that all WP8 devices include Office and OneNote, being tied to the onscreen soft keyboard is a big let down for anyone wanting to get some serious heavy typing done.

Currently there is no word on an update from Microsoft to include HID support in the WP8 Bluetooth stack and considering this has apparently been an issue since WP7, a resolution does not look likely any time soon. 3rd party applications also seem unlikely as I doubt Microsoft allow app developers the opportunity to tinker with OS code at that level, rather provide access to functionality through an API – any Microsoft app developers out there, clarification would be appreciated!

A list of the supported Bluetooth profiles in Windows Phone 8 can be found at the Microsoft support page HERE

Nokia Lumia 920 vs Nokia Lumia 820

Hardly comparable I hear you say? to a point yes; but there are some significant differences between the two siblings. Naturally the 920 will be far more superior in certain areas which is to be expected; as it is the ‘top end’  device after all. I am going to briefly compare the differences and the similarities between these two Nokia WP8 Smartphones to help gain a clearer picture for potential users.

Firstly I would like to point out that both the 920 & 820 are in fact operating on the same chipsets (Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon; Adreno 220 GPU). the CPU’s are both Dual-core; and again both are clocked at 1.5GHz and feature 1GB of RAM.

As mentioned previously – both devices are operating on the same chipsets but the 920 still holds the advantage when it comes to speed and all round general smoothness. The 920 features a PureMotion HD+ (increases the refresh rate of the physical screen itself to match up with the 60 frames per second, thereby reducing blur) display, as well as ClearBlack (reduces reflections on the screen and improves visual image quality, especially outdoors). The 820 does not feature PureMotion HD+ therefore it lacks that extra bit of smoothness that the 920 has when it comes to the general speed of the interface operation.

In terms of size; the 920 is significantly larger and weighs approximately 25g more than its predecessor. I personally feel that the 820 feels a lot more natural to hold as the 920 is a fair bit wider and feels some what awkward to hold. Both the 920 & 820 have a polycarbonate finish that really confirm the quality of build of both handsets.

Another issue or let’s say big difference would be the on board memory between the two. The 820 only has an internal memory of up to 8GB but features an expansion slot that can add up to 32GB to your device (albeit on a microSD card of course). The 920 features a generous 32GB of internal memory (7GB of Cloud storage) BUT does not have an expansion slot. Not a massive disadvantage as I guess Windows are trying to push people to the Cloud; but perhaps a slight inconvenience?

Nokia have really produced a very technical line with the Lumia series. The camera tech being one feature that really stands out. Both handsets have excellent photography capabilities; especially for a Smartphone. Both handsets feature 8MP primary cameras with 1080p video capture and both feature Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus & dual LED-flash. The 920 has a few extra features that make it that extra bit special with optical image stabilization and of course the PureView technology.

Using advanced floating lens technology, the PureView camera in the Nokia Lumia 920 takes in five times more light than competing smartphones without using flash, making it possible to capture the best pictures and videos even at night.

So, there you have it, the main differences between the two have been ironed out -fairly significant wouldn’t you say? screen size, screen resolution, storage and of course the superior PureView camera Technology on the Lumia 920. It’s clear that the Lumia 920 is the better option if money is not an issue but that’s not to say that the Lumia 820 is not a good handset. The 820 is a very strong mid range device (if you can call it that) for those that want to stay under the £400 bracket. We want to hear what handset you have opted for and whether this comparison has swayed your opinion/decision at all?

Nokia Lumia 920 vs Samsung Ativ S

Let’s take a look at the differences between these two heavyweight Windows phone 8 devices. Granted – the price difference is significant between the two but they are definitely rivals as both Samsung & Nokia have produced high spec Smartphones on WP8.

So what are the main deciding factors between the two? let’s find out..

OS: Right, a fairly straight forward one here as both devices are running on the latest Windows OS (WIndows Phone 8)

Processor: The Lumia 920 is one of the fastest Smartphones that Nokia have ever produced. The 920 is running on a 1.5GHz (1GB RAM) dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chip. The Ativ S is again clocked at 1.5GHz (1GB RAM) whilst also sporting a Qualcomm chip too BUT.. it is paired alongside an Adreno 225 GPU for a smoother experience without any lag. The Ativ S just shades this one for me.

Display: There’s no surprise that Samsung have produced yet another highly vibrant screen with the Ativ S. A 4.8-inch Super AMOLED screen that operates at a resolution of 720×1280 pixels with a pixel density of 306ppi. The Nokia Lumia 920 has 4.5-inch WXGA IPS LCD operating at a resolution of 768×1280 pixels, with a pixel density of 326ppi. Both feature vibrant and tough screens but the Lumia 920 has the slight advantage here; as the smaller screen gives the user that slightly richer experience.

Storage: The Lumia 920 does NOT have a micro SD card slot for expandable storage but they do soften the blow with a fairly large internal storage of 32GB. Samsung provide an internal storage of 16GB with the option to expand with a Micro SD card slot. Unsurprisingly the Ativ S is the favoured option here.

Camera: Samsung’s Ativ S features an 8-megapixel camera with auto focus, LED flash, image stabilization, geo tagging along wth 1080P video capture. The handset also features a 1.9-megapixel front facing camera for Skype. The Lumia 920 has an 8.7-megapixel PureView camera that features a Carl Zeiss Tessar Lens as well as 1080P video capture. Nokia are leaps and bounds ahead when it comes to camera capabilities, they have given their users a wonderful piece of kit; especially if we are referring to the photography side of things. The Nokia Lumia 920 is the clear winner here.

Design: The Nokia Lumia 920 (130.0mm x 70.8 mm x 10.7 mm; 185g) has a quality build that feels solid in the hand. Samsung have designed something not too dissimilar to previous handsets with the Ativ S (137.2mm x 70.5mm x 8.7mm; 135g). Yes, the Lumia 920 is a fair bit heavier than the Ativ S, but the sheer build and quality of the device is second to none.

Verdict: Nokia have really surprised a lot of people with their Lumia range. The Lumia 920 is bold & beautiful device that really is a going to be remembered for all of the right reasons. The build quality and features outweigh that of the Samsung Ativ S in my opinion. Let’s not get confused; the Samsung Ativ S is a top end WP8 device that offers a lot to it’s potential user but Nokia have really pulled out all of the stops with their first WP8 release.

We would love to hear your opinions on which device you opted for and whether you felt you made the right choice?

Nokia Lumia 820 vs HTC 8S

We’re going to compare these two mid range Windows Phone 8 devices. Who has won the battle between the Nokia Lumia 820 & the HTC 8S? we’ll leave it up to you to decide..

OS: Both devices are operating on the latest windows OS; Windows Phone 8. There isn’t too much to draw between the two when it comes to the operating system.

Processor: The two handsets are both running on Qualcomm Series 4 (S4) dual-core chipsets. There is a notable difference with the speed of the processors, the 8S is clocked at 1GHz with 512MB of RAM where the Lumia 820 is a lot faster at 1.5GHz with 1GB of RAM. The difference in processing speed will be a huge deciding factor for many as the difference will be quite noticeable when gaming and running numerous apps at the same time.

Display: The Nokia Lumia 820 features a 4.3-inch AMOLED screen with an 800×480 pixel resolution and 217 pixels-per-inch (PPI) along with their latest technology ‘ClearBlack’ which enhances both contrast and black and dark colour depth. The HTC 8S features a 4-inch super LCD screen with a 800×480 pixel resolution, the 8S has a higher pixel density at 233 (PPI). There really isn’t too much to chose between these two displays as the difference is hardly significant.

Storage: The internal storage may be an issue for some; the Lumia 820 has a capacity of 8GB compared to that of the HTC 8S that only offers 4GB. Both devices have expandable storage for up to 32GB.

Camera: Let’s not forget that these are mid range Smartphones; so the tech won’t be up there with the likes of the SGS3 & the HTC One X (Plus). The Lumia 820 definitely steals the march on the HTC 8S when it comes to camera quality. The 820 features a 8-megapixel camera with the high quality Carl Zeiss lens and dual LED flash along with 1080p video capture. The HTC 8S comes with a 5-megapixel camera along with the standard features but only 720p video capture. There’s only one winner here.

Design: The Lumia 820 (123.8 mm x 68.5 mm x 9.9 mm) is slightly larger than the HTC 8S (120.5 x 63 x 10.28 mm) and is approximately 50 grams heavier. Both devices have rounded edges and a smooth finish. The 820 naturally feels bulkier in the hand compared to that of the 8S but it does come down to personal preference of course.

Conclusion: Personally I feel that the Lumia 820 is the clear winner, Nokia have just edged it with the higher spec and camera qualities. If it came down to the value then the HTC 8S would clearly be the better option – but in terms of overall quality; the Lumia 820 has stolen the mid-range crown!

Samsung ATIV S and ATIV Tab arriving Friday 14th December

We are pleased to inform you that we are now expecting stock of the Samsung ATIV S and Samsung ATIV Tab to be here this Friday.

The Samsung Windows Phone 8 devices have been slightly longer in coming than rival devices, but they are now due to be here later this week.

imageimage

The ATIV S is the first Windows Phone 8 smartphone to be released by Samsung, priced at £369 (£442.80 inc. VAT). It differentiates to the flagship competitors on Nokia and HTC in that it has a microSD slot as well as 16GB internal storage. 

The ATIV Tab is priced at £449 (£538.80) and is the first Windows RT tablet to be released by Samsung. Stock will be limited so if you would like one to be shipped on Friday for you, we recommend placing an order ASAP. Here’s a look at the main features that the pair have to offer.

Samsung ATIV S

  • Windows Phone 8
  • 1.5GHz dual-core processor
  • 4.8″ super AMOLED display
  • 8MP camera with autofocus and LED flash
  • MicroSD slot
  • 16GB internal storage
  • Wi-Fi & Wi-Fi Direct
  • DLNA
  • 3.5mm port

Samsung ATIV Tab

  • Windows RT OS
  • 1.5GHz dual-core processor
  • 10.1″ HD LCD Display
  • 5MP rear Camera
  • 1.9MP front facing camera
  • 32GB Internal Storage
  • S-GPS & GLONASS
  • Wi-Fi
  • NFC Bluetooth 4.0
  • MicroSD slot (up to 64GB)
  • MicroHDMI
  • USB Host
  • 265.8 x 168.1 x 8.9mm
  • 570g

Windows Phone 8: the third wheel or a genuine contender?

The growing popularity of Android and iOS has some people worried that we are facing an era of mobile monopoly, but with two major players dominating the market. It is hard to judge if this is a big problem because having two companies dominating is not a constrictive situation in most industries.

In the mobile industry, however, it means that the best apps, accessories and news coverage will gravitate towards those two platforms and this puts the others at a disadvantage which is not easy to recover from. With RIM struggling to bring relevance to the BlackBerry platform, we are left with Microsoft to try to break the stranglehold that Google and Apple have at this time.

I have spent the past week working with Windows Phone and come to some conclusions as to where it is at currently, what could be improved and what potential it has.

[Read more...]

Quick Review: HTC 8S

I wanted to spend some quality time with Windows Phone 8 and also needed a phone running the platform for some projects, so I phoned Clove and ordered an HTC 8S. It looked like a decent entry into the world of Windows Phone and I would not be blowing my bank account to test it out.

The 8S is available for £224.99 which is low for any smartphone and you would be forgiven for ignoring it on that fact alone. With high-end smartphones passing £400 regularly it is easy to presume that to get a decent mobile experience, you need to spend roughly twice the cost of the 8S. The 8S has proved to me that this is not always the case- you can experience a practical and engaging smartphone experience without spending a fortune and there are many reasons why the 8S shines-

[Read more...]

Ecommerce-Store

User-Manual-Pop-Up