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  (Source: MGM)
Windows Phone 8.1 are codenamed "Rock", "Moneypenny", "Phantom", "Goldfinger", "Martini", and "Monarch"

Nokia Devices -- the veteran phonemaker that still is owned by Finland's Nokia Oyj. (HEX:NOK1V), but is expected to soon transfer to new owner Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) -- was somewhat subdued at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January and the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in February.
 
I. A Slow Start to 2014 for Nokia Devices -- But Not For Long
 
Indeed, the last year has been quite slow -- Nokia's only two major smartphone releases in H2 2013 were the July 2013 Lumia 1020 super-shooter and the Oct. 2013 Lumia 1320/1520 6-inch phablets.
 
MWC brought a pair of devices, but few surprises.  On the budget end Nokia launched NormandyWindows Phone-reskinned budget smartphones that are based on a branch of Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android and replace the high end of the "Asha" branded lineup.  On the high end it added the proficient, if not awe-inspiring Lumia Icon (Lumia 929) which packed a Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) Snapdragon 800 and a 5-inch 1080 AMOLED display protected by Corning Inc. (GLW) Gorilla Glass 3.
 
But on April 2 -- the start of Microsoft's annual BUILD conference -- Microsoft is holding a press event where it is expected to unveil at least part of Nokia's 2014 Windows Phone 8.1 lineup.
 
Eminent Twitter-leaks source @evleaks in November listed the upcoming releases (including the correctly predicted Normandy/Nokia X):
Spinel -- which according to Dictionary.com is "a group of hard glassy minerals of variable colour consisting of oxides of aluminium, magnesium, chromium, iron, zinc, or manganese and occurring in the form of octahedral crystals" -- was another correct prediction (along with Normandy).  @evleaks identified this handset as the Asha 230.  
Sure enough, that phone was announced alongside the Nokia X at MWC 2014.
Nokia Asha 230
The Nokia Asha 230 ("Spinel"), launched in Feb. 2014

So it looks like the remaining (unannounced) parts of the lineup -- are all Windows Phones.
 
II. The Low End of the Bond-Themed Lineup
 
The fact that these are all Windows Phones is hinted at by their common codenaming.  All are named after James Bond characters or Bond-associated objects -- "Moneypenny" (named after Miss Moneypenny, spy director M's able secretary/assistant), "Phantom" (likely after the famous Rolls-Royce Phantom III used in “Goldfinger”), "Martini" (a Vesper martini, perhaps?), "Goldfinger" (titular villain in classic Sean Connery Bond flick), and "Monarch" (Britain's Queen, who Bond serves) -- save for perhaps one exception, "Rock".
 
Branding wise there should be little changes.  These may be Microsoft devices, but they'll still be branded under the licensed "Nokia Lumia" nameplate.
 
The lowest priced Windows Phone Blue device will likely be "Rock", aka the Lumia 530. Little is known about its spec, but expect it to fall somewhere between a Nokia X and a Lumia 630 (see below), likely with "just" a dual-core processor.
Moneypenny is next from the bottom of the lineup, but is still expected to pack a decent spec.  Its rumored hardware is below:

Lumia 630/635 (Moneypenny)
  • quad-core QualcommSnapdragon 800
  • 4.5 inch 800x480 pixel AMOLED screen
  • 1 GB LPDDR2
  • 5 megapixel rear camera
  • On-screen soft buttons (Home -- Windows Logo, Back, and Search)
  • Price: ~$160 USD (1,000 Chinese yuan)
Details about Phantom are a bit scarce.  It may be branded as the Lumia 730 -- a mid-range device.

III. Martini and Monarch -- Nokia's Killer High End Phones Take Shape

Goldfinger is likely going to be the Lumia 830.  It is expected to feature near-surface gesture support similar to Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (KRX:005930) (KRX:005935) gestures introduced with the Galaxy S4 (Samsung and Nokia have a cross-licensing pact, as do Samsung and Microsoft, so presumably this is okay, even if the features are very similar).

On the high end are Martini and Monarch.  @evleaks describes these devices writing:
And according to him... Presumably Martini will include the Cortana voice assistant (although it's possible it's the new high end shooter, inheriting the legacy of the 41 MP Lumia 1020).  Monarch is like the Lumia 1030.  And reportedly it's headed to T-Mobile USA, possibly as an exclusive: Given Samsung's stepped-up game (with Galaxy S5's Isocell) and HTC Corp.'s (TPE:2498) One 2014 (with second generation ultrapixel technology), plus whatever Apple, Inc. (AAPL) has up its sleeve, Nokia Devices will need to bring its A-game to the camera market.  And as the unbeatable Lumia 1020 illustrated, it can do that. Low light performance is one area where the Lumia 1020 could be improved.
 
Nokia is also rumored to be working on a second-generation Lumia tablet, which runs Windows RT (8.1).  That tablet is codenamed "the Illusionist".
 
IV. Windows Phone 8.1 Details Leak
 
Leakers in China have filled in another missing set of details, leaking a pair of videos that highlight some of Windows Phone 8.1's (aka Windows Phone Blue) features.  The site they leaked to is named Coolxap.
 
Here's the videos -- but a word of warning, they're in Chinese.
 




Managing commonly used settings in Windows Phone 8 was a mild annoyance as you had to dive into a full blown settings menu just to get important alerts or do simple tweaks like adjusting the brightness.  But relief is at hand with a new feature called Action Center.
 
The leaks show that Windows Phone will finally get a notification hub, a la Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android and Apple's iOS.  Accessible with a downswipe from the homescreen, the Action Center includes most commonly used features such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Camera and brightness, along with alerts.
 
The new build of Windows Phone appears to be tightly integrated with the new OneDrive and Facebook, Inc. (FB), who Microsoft owns a small stake in.  One example is the ability to use camera, OneDrive, or Facebook photos as a Live Tile background (as in a wallpaper behind your scrollable tiles).  This makes for a so-called "parallax" effect similar to side-scrolling video games, an affect that is often pleasing.
 

Last generation's Windows Phone 8 [Image Source: Life Hacker]

Speaking of the camera, there's a new interface for it.  And there's also a new interface for the Windows Store.  Similar to the updates to Windows 8.1, the new store makes it easier to search for stuff.  There's also a new mobile build of the Internet Explorer browser, based on Windows 8.1's IE 11.
 
The new build will also reportedly feature better storage management (e.g. the ability to directly transfer documents while tethering), better multitasking, and support for virtual proxy networks (VPNs), a key security feature.  Microsoft is expected to continue its push to try to win over developers to its platform, emphasizing the strong monetization Windows Phone offers (albeit with a smaller user base).
 
Perhaps the best news is that all Windows Phone 8 devices will be eligible for the update, unlike Windows Phone 8, which relegated some devices to the backup Windows Phone 7.8 path, which incorporated only some of the new features.

Sources: @evleaks, YouTube [1], [2], WPCentral



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2014
By lagomorpha on 4/1/14, Rating: 0
RE: 2014
By Reclaimer77 on 4/1/14, Rating: -1
RE: 2014
By Avatar28 on 4/1/2014 3:44:46 PM , Rating: 4
Well, they're internal code names, not public device names so...yeah.


RE: 2014
By atechfan on 4/2/2014 5:03:48 AM , Rating: 1
Of all the things to complain about, you pick the internal code names? Why not talk about the terrible screen res of the low end phones? I get that they are aimed at budget markets, but surely even budget phones can be 720p by now.


RE: 2014
By Reclaimer77 on 4/2/2014 7:15:40 AM , Rating: 1
Meh I've done that here and you wouldn't believe how many people rush to the defense of 480p smartphones in 2014.

I've never seen such crap phones get so much press except for Daily Tech, where Jason Mick and gang who coincidentally happen to love Windows Phone, write up the most glowingly biased reviews possible and just generally blitz us with every little detail.

This would be like going to a tech site and seeing 5 articles a week for the Samsung Centura. The 480p giveaway StraightTalk phone nobody cares about.

Windows Phone and their misguided fans are just desperate. The platform is collapsing before our very eyes, and they can't see it.


RE: 2014
By Mitch101 on 4/1/2014 4:24:12 PM , Rating: 2
James Bond is a fictional British Spy if it were named after American spies then I would worry.

Flowers Anyone?
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v111/suspense/fl...


RE: 2014
By Reclaimer77 on 4/1/2014 4:28:02 PM , Rating: 2
I thought he was an International Man of Mystery??

Oh wait...


RE: 2014
By Mitch101 on 4/2/2014 8:39:03 AM , Rating: 2
I think that title belongs to the DosEquis guy now.


RE: 2014
By tayb on 4/1/2014 4:46:46 PM , Rating: 2
The product line isn't James Bond themed, just the code names. Even then I doubt people associate James Bond, a fictional British spy/playboy, with the NSA...


RE: 2014
By SpartanJet on 4/1/2014 5:49:43 PM , Rating: 2
Id be more worried about using a """"""free"""""" os like Ad-droid than anything from Microsoft.


RE: 2014
By CaedenV on 4/1/2014 6:18:48 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, there are indeed a lot of quotation marks required when dealing with The Google. MS may not have as good of a platform (yet), but they aren't likely to be monkeying about with my data very much either, and ask explicit permission when they do.

Pretty stoked to get this update on my 920, should add quite a few nice features which are all very well known because the whole 8.1 build leaked last month. The really curious thing will be Cortana integration (which was not in the build), and whatever Nokia is bringing with the Blue update. Very surprising that Blue did not leak because every other firmware release was leaked well ahead of time. Not sure if this means Nokia will not be bringing much to the table, or if the James Bond code names have as much to say about the new internal culture as they do with code names for new products.


RE: 2014
By Reclaimer77 on 4/1/2014 6:51:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
but they aren't likely to be monkeying about with my data very much either, and ask explicit permission when they do.


Uh no. Microsoft has a targeted add agency, just like Google. And they collect data from your activities, JUST like Google.


RE: 2014
By inighthawki on 4/2/2014 2:25:50 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah but unlike Microsoft, Google' revenue is almost entirely ad driven.


By BZDTemp on 4/2/2014 8:15:11 AM , Rating: 2
The James Bond is a strange one with lots of 12 year old humor.




By atechfan on 4/2/2014 8:31:02 AM , Rating: 1
You can say 'pussy' on this site.


By BZDTemp on 4/2/2014 2:01:49 PM , Rating: 2
Strange. I did type the word, maybe it is different for the subject than for the body.


VPN. Maybe trying for private.
By Gunbuster on 4/1/2014 2:45:16 PM , Rating: 3
"virtual proxy networks (VPNs)"

Umm...




By SeeManRun on 4/1/2014 3:04:36 PM , Rating: 3
Jason's articles are getting very long I have noticed.




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