UPDATED – Nokia to make Android Phones in 2016!

Nokia has just published a statement on its official company website claiming that it has “no intention to manufacture or sell consumer handsets”. Furthermore, the company also deemed as false recent reports that quoted a Nokia executive as confirming the company’s ambitions to manufacture smartphones out of an R&D facility in China.

Earlier this week, a couple of reports suggested that Nokia is staging a comeback to the smartphone market. The initial report, published on Monday by ReCode, quoted sources familiar to Nokia’s plans according to which the company is planning a return to the smartphone market in 2016. A few days later, a Chinese newspaper quoted Mike Wang, the President of Nokia China, communicating an intention to to manufacture smartphones in the Chinese city of Sichuan.

Nokia’s recent statement doesn’t specifically make any mention to plans of designing smartphones in the near future. The statement only mentions that the company has no plans to sell or manufacture consumer handsets, and this specificity leaves room for interpretation. ReCode originally reported that Nokia will licence smartphone designs to third party manufacturers, which is exactly what the company did with the Nokia N1 tablet, a device designed by Nokia, but manufactured and commercialized by Foxconn.
Nokia is bound by its deal with Microsoft not to release any Nokia-branded smartphones until the third quarter of 2016. We’re keeping an eye on the situation and we’ll get back to you as soon as there’s more to report.

Recently we heard rumors about alleged Nokia plans for re-entering the phone market in 2016. We are happy to report those plans are indeed true and Nokia will be marking its return next year with an Android smartphone.

Nokia sold its device business to Microsoft a year ago and it signed a non-compete clause preventing the company from producing smartphones under the Nokia brand until December 31, 2015 and feature phones under the Nokia brand for a decade.

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Nokia used wisely these non-compete clauses and outed the powerful Nokia N1 tablet early this year. The N1 is designed by Nokia, including its Z Launcher for Android, but the rights for the branding, manufacturing, marketing and distributions were licensed to Foxconn.

The President of Nokia China confirmed Nokia is working on Android powered smartphones, which will be probably manufactured in factories in Sichuan, China (after further assessment) and will be launched in 2016. He also sheds some light on company’s future – the Nokia’s R&D center will permanently relocate to Sichuan, China.

Looking forward to Nokia’s next phone chapter? We certainly are.

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10 smartphones of 2014 you can use with your gloves on in the cold winter season!

Hard to believe it’s December already, but if the dates in our calendar, the chilling cold outside, and the barrage of Christmas shopping advertisements are anything to go by, it most certainly is December. This means the time to put your winter gloves on is approaching fast, and while they do keep those fingers warm, smartphone screens don’t get along with them very well.

Although touchscreens with the capacity to sense signals through fabric have been around since late 2012, the amount of gloves made specifically for touchscreen operation outnumbers smartphones with extra-sensitive displays for some reason. Thankfully, this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find a recent smartphone that works with your beloved pair of mittens. Here’s ten of them, all introduced this year and up for grabs. Each one can keep you fine company during those cold winter bouts outside.

Nokia Lumia 830

The Nokia Lumia 830 is a Windows Phone 8.1 handset with a 5-inch 720p display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 10MP main camera, a 2200mAh battery, and LTE connectivity. Not only it’s one of the finest and relatively affordable WP 8.1 handsets out there, but you can be sure it’s usable in the cold with your gloves on. After all, Nokia was the one that brought this perk into the mainstream!

Huawei Ascend Mate 7

The Ascend Mate 7 is the big daddy of Huawei’s 2014 smartphone line-up. The LTE-enabled behemoth carries a 6-inch 1080p LCD screen, Huawei’s homegrown Kirin 925 octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, a 13MP main camera, a huge 4100mAh battery, and runs Android 4.4. Now there’s one phablet you can comfortably take out in the cold this year!

Huawei Ascend P7

Ahh, the crown jewel of Huawei’s 2014 output. The Ascend P7 is a svelte, understated smartphone with a big 5-inch 1080p display, a quad-core Kirin 910T processor, 2GB of RAM, 13MP main camera, a 2500mAh battery, and Android 4.4.2. Don’t forget the white gloves to match!

Sony Xperia Z2

The Sony Xperia Z2 had so much to offer that we still wonder what made Sony rush ahead with the Xperia Z3 just six months later. Anyways, the Z2 has a 5.2-inch 1080p screen, a Snapdragon 801 processor paired with 3GB of RAM, a spacey 3200mAh battery, a mighty 20.7MP main camera, and runs Android 4.4.4 to boot! The water and dust resistance are an especially welcome addition to the screen’s enthusiasm towards gloves.

Sony Xperia Z3 & Z3 Compact

If you want the most recent smartphone from Sony, either wait until late February when the Xperia Z4 will (probably) show up, or choose between the 5.2-inch Xperia Z3 and the 4.6-inch Z3 Compact. Both feature Snapdragon 801 processors, 20.7MP cameras, and other kinds of specs-appeal on top of being gloves-supportive. They are also total lookers!

Samsung Galaxy S5

Ah, old faithful! Well, not technically old, it’s just that we’ve barely stopped talking about the Samsung Galaxy S5 after it was unveiled at this year’s MWC. Heck, we’ve been talking about it since late 2013! Although it failed to make the impression Samsung was hoping for, it’s still a water and dust-tight, up to date smartphone that you can comfortably carry in the cold winter.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

We think the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 needs no introduction at this point. It’s one of 2014’s best, most feature-stuffed phablets. Among the hundreds of things built inside it is the option to toggle its screen sensitivity between normal and extra-sensitive, the latter letting you use the note-able phablet with your favorite pair of gloves.

Oppo N3

Chinese vendor Oppo’s October 2014 flagship is just nuts! Sporting a 5.5-inch 1080p screen, a Snapdragon 801 processor with 2GB of RAM, and a motorized rotating 13MP camera, the Oppo N3 is a phone unlike any other out there… with the exception of the Oppo N1, maybe. Anyway, the N3 has Gloves mode among its set of features, but if its pocket-busting $751 price tag rightfully throws you off, maybe you can consider the Oppo Neo – one of the few low-end smartphones that are from 2014, not from Nokia, and can be used with gloves on.

Oppo Find 7 & Find 7a

The QHD-endowed Oppo Find 7 was not without its flaws, but it ranks admirably among this year’s big screen flagships. And so does its sibling, the 1080p Oppo Find 7a. Both are powered by very respectable hardware – we’re talking about Snapdragon 801 processors, 13MP cameras, and possibly the coolest LED notification light in a non-concept device! They also look great, and can be used with gloves during the winter.

Xiaomi Mi4

And finally, the smartphone that conquered China! Meet the Xiaomi Mi 4, an amalgam of premium hardware and supremely cheap price. The Mi4’s 5-inch 1080p touch-screen can be used with gloves on, while the Snapdragon 801 processor paired with 3GB of RAM, the 13-megapixel main camera, and the 3080mAh battery breeze through everything you throw at them. If you manage to snag this beauty for the $325 Xiaomi usually asks for in China, consider yourself very lucky!

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Nokia brand to be replaced with Microsoft Lumia!

If you’ve seen Microsoft’s recent articles about Lumia you know it was coming. The Nokia brand has been phased out by calling the phones just “Lumia” and redirecting Nokia online properties to Microsoft.com. This rebranding effort will expand and soon the lineup will become “Microsoft Lumia”.

Lumia is already the de facto face of Windows Phone – it accounts for about 90% of the market. Microsoft has been busy signing up new vendors but they will struggle to gain significant market share as the big names have mostly neglected WP.
Will Microsoft put its own logo on the devices or will a more restraint Lumia logo suffice? Keep in mind that Microsoft is treading lightly, not to annoy other WP vendors by showing favoritism to its in-house manufacturer.

Android topped iOS in global usage for the first time ever!

We all know Android’s market share crushes every other mobile platform out there in terms of shipment volume, but Android’s share of mobile usage as recorded by various networks around the world has always lagged Apple’s iOS platform… until now.

Just as we noted would be the case, Net Applications shows that Android’s share of global smartphone and tablet usage has narrowly topped worldwide combined usage of iPhones and iPad tablets. This marks the first time in the platform’s history that it finds itself at the top of the mobile pile.

Net Applications measure global mobile usage, which it refers to as market share, by monitoring traffic across its massive global network.

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In the month of July, the firm shows that Android’s usage share jumped to 44.62% from 43.75% in June. As Android was gaining almost a point, iOS’s share of global mobile usage dipped to 44.19% in July from 45.61% in June. The slight loss was enough to move Apple to the No. 2 slot for the first time since Android’s debut, though things could certainly change quickly with the company’s expected iPhone 6 launch just over one month away.

Meanwhile, Windows Phone enjoyed a nice boost to 2.49% in July from 1.99% in June, and BlackBerry still isn’t big enough to be counted.

Windows Phone 8.1 for developers is here and ready for download!

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Just as promised, Windows Phone 8.1 is now available for download to developers. Joe Belfiore, the chief of the Windows Phone Program Management at Microsoft has tweeted a screenshot of the WP 8.1 update prompt.

Mind you, before being able to install the Windows Phone 8.1 update, you’ll have to download a minor update that prepares your phone for the essential one. Regular consumers can expect their phone to receive the update in a few months, while the first devices to run it out of box will come at the end of this or the start of next month.

windows phone 81 lock screen now and future april 2014

If you are in a hurry, registering as a Windows Phone developer isn’t really that hard. You can either pay $19 to Microsoft and get access to publishing apps in the Windows Phone Store or register as a developer through App Studio. The latter option is free and is aimed at enthusiasts but it also grant you the Developer status, which in turn lets you install the update.

windows phone 81 cortana main screen nokia lumia icon april 2014

The Windows Phone 8.1 update brings a lot of new features to Microsoft’s phone OS. Most notably, those are the digital personal assistant Cortana, Action center, updated UI with custom lockscreen and tile backgrounds, IE 11 as well as updated security and Sense apps.