Full HD and quad-core chips come to Windows Phone (Updated)

Windows Phone Update 3

We’ve been hearing about the next generation of smartphones running Windows Phone for several months now, but the software update which will make these devices possible hasn’t been confirmed by Microsoft. That’s all changed this week, as the company has announced the third major update to its mobile OS, known only as Update 3.

In a blog post written by Microsoft’s Corporate VP of Windows Phone, Darren Laybourn, we’re told Update 3 will usher in, “Incredible new Windows Phone devices,” and enhance the OS through the addition of, “new capabilities for current users.” He also sings the praises of Windows Phone’s performance in Europe, where market share has reached 10 percent.

So, the best news about Windows Phone 8 Update 3 is that it will bring support for both 1080p screen resolutions and quad-core processors. Finally, you’re thinking, and only a year or so behind Android. This should confirm the specs we’re expecting to see on the Lumia 1520, the Lumia 1320, and the HTC Harmony – all of which have been leaked with one or both of these features listed.

New software features and updated hardware support

The larger, full HD screens will see Windows Phone now be able to fit up to six small Live Tiles across the display, three normal size tiles, or a double and a single tile. We’d already seen a leaked image of the Lumia 1520 showing exactly this feature, so expect to be able to busy up your Home screen quite considerably after Update 3’s introduction. As for the quad-core power, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 is mentioned by name, which will ensure Windows Phone keeps pace with the majority of other smartphone/tablet hybrids, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

Moving onto the software additions, the leaked Driving Mode has been confirmed, along with ringtone customization, a screen orientation lock, Bluetooth improvements, the chance to connect to a Wi-Fi network during setup, an app closer in the switcher menu, and a way to manage storage space. Also, a new app to help improve accessibility will be added.

Microsoft won’t confirm exactly when Update 3 will be coming to a Windows Phone near you, only that it’ll start sending it out in a few weeks and that the program is expected to last several months. Also missing is a list of which phones are compatible, so we’re hoping it’s going to be all Windows Phone 8 devices. New hardware with Update 3 installed out of the box should start to appear closer to the end of the month, starting with Nokia on October 22.

Updated on 10/23/2013 by Andy Boxall: Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore, who heads up the product design team, has tweeted that the three column Live Tile layout seen in Windows Phone Update 3 won’t be coming to all Windows phones. It’s going to depend on the size of the screen, but has only gone on to say it has to be, “Large.” Initially, he tweeted the screens would need a 1080p resolution, but has since taken this back. Will this include hardware with 4.5-inch screens? We’ll have to wait and see, but it could be down to the manufacturer to decide if it suits the phone or not.

Product Review

Google’s Pixel 3 is a hair away from pocket-sized perfection

Google’s Pixel 3 smartphone is the best Android phone you can buy. It doesn’t have the best looks or the best hardware, but you’ll be hard pressed to find better software and unique A.I. functionalities.
Mobile

Get ready for more V-series phones: LG trademarks names up to the V90

It looks like we should get ready for more LG V-series phones. LG has trademarked names for the LG V50 all the way up to the LG V90. We may have to wait some time before we see these phones; the next LG flagship is expected to be the LG G8.
Mobile

Text messages are disappearing on Pixel 3s, but a fix is on the way

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are arguably the best Android phones out there right now -- but they aren't perfect. Users have reported a number of issues and problems related to the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Here's how to fix them.
Product Review

It's so fast it has a clip-on fan. But the Asus ROG phone isn't just for gamers

Is a gaming smartphone only something a mobile gamer should consider buying? In the case of the Asus ROG Phone, the good news is the device is so capable, and a genuinely impressive all-rounder, that everyone should take a closer look…
Cars

Uber rolls out rewards program that lets its most loyal riders lock in prices

Uber launched a new loyalty program today called Uber Rewards. It offers frequent riders credits to Uber Eats, car upgrades, and the ability to lock in prices on their most traveled routes.
Gaming

15 tips for keeping your vault-dwellers alive in ‘Fallout Shelter’

The wasteland can be an unfriendly place, if you don't know what you're doing. Here are 15 tips that will help your vault thrive in Fallout Shelter, including information on questing.
Mobile

Motorola Moto G7: Here’s everything we know

The Moto G6 range is still relatively new to the market, but rumors have already started about the Moto G7, which is expected some time in 2019. Apparently, a G7 Power version will be joining the G7, G7 Play, and G7 Plus.
Mobile

T-Mobile's new Revvl 2, Revvl 2 Plus are now available for purchase

Last year, T-Mobile launched its own line of branded smartphones. As a follow-up to their predecessors, the carrier has unveiled the Revvl 2 and Revvl 2 Plus -- complete with a sleeker design. Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

How to take great photos with the Pixel 3, the best camera phone around

You’ve scored yourself a new Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL, and you want to take advantage of that incredible camera. We’ve got everything you need to know right here about how to snap the best photos with your Pixel 3.
Wearables

Google's Wear OS update 'H' promises battery life improvements

Google has rebranded its Android Wear operating system to Wear OS. Removing the Android name may help people better understand Google-powered smartwatches, which also play nice with iOS devices. 
Smart Home

Huawei could soon take on Google and Amazon with a new digital assistant

According to a report from CNBC, Huawei is working on a new digital assistant that could try to take on the likes of Google and Amazon's Alexa. Huawei already has a digital assistant in China, but the new one will be aimed at markets…
Mobile

Leak shows a third, budget Google Pixel 3 with a Snapdragon 670, headphone jack

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a third. A budget Pixel 3 device that boasts some of the best features of the other two has been leaked.
Mobile

Use multiple phone numbers on one device with Verizon’s ‘My Numbers’ app

For those who have separate phone numbers and devices for your work and personal lives, Verizon wants to help you get more organized. With its new "My Numbers" app, you can use up to four additional phone numbers on a single smartphone.
Mobile

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.