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

Honor schools other phone makers on design with the hole-punch View 20

The Honor View 20 is Honor’s best phone to date. Why? Just look at the punch hole screen, the striking design, and the exciting 48-megapixel camera for evidence. Here’s our review.
Mobile

HMD Global confirms which Nokia phones will definitely receive Android Pie

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Mobile

Get $100 discount on the Razer Phone 2 for a limited time

The Razer Phone 2 is finally here, and it's got upgraded specs, that super-smooth 120Hz display, and an updated design. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the Razer Phone 2.
Mobile

Android vs. iOS: Which smartphone platform is the best?

If you’re trying to choose a new phone and you’re not sure about the merits and pitfalls of the leading smartphone operating systems, then come on in for a detailed breakdown as we pit Android vs. iOS in various categories.
Mobile

Moschino glams up the 48-megapixel Honor View 20 at Paris launch

After its success with the View 10 in 2018, Honor has announced its sequel, the Honor View 20 with an entirely new type of display which has a hole-punch for the camera rather than a notch.
Wearables

10 top features you should be using on your Apple Watch

The Apple Watch can do more than just tell you the time, but you may not be aware of all the different functions it has. Our list of the 10 most often used functions and features will help you understand what it can really do.
Mobile

Photograph your meal with the Foodvisor app for caloric, nutritional estimates

Many of us understand the importance of a healthy diet, but counting calories and diving into nutritional data is a lot of work. The Foodvisor app for Android or iOS gives you a calorific and nutritional breakdown of your food from a photo.
Mobile

Get your photos on billboards with Apple’s 2019 ‘Shot on iPhone’ program

Like previous years, Apple has once again launched its Shot on iPhone program, which encourages users to submit the best photos they've taken with their iPhone. Ultimately, the winners will get their photos featured on billboards.
Mobile

Embrace your inner Dr. Frankenstein with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and this cool app

Ever wanted to make your favorite toy come alive? If so, and you have a Huawei Mate 20 Pro, then you need to grab the 3D Live Maker app and try out some augmented reality magic. Here's how to use it.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus photo leaks with dual front-facing camera

It won't be long now; With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Computing

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.
Social Media

Google will begin shutting down the classic Hangouts app in October

Google confirmed that it will begin retiring the classic Google Hangouts app in October. The company will start by pushing users to move to the new Google Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet.
Smart Home

Starbucks coffee delivery lands in 6 more cities via Uber Eats

Starbucks is in the process of expanding its coffee delivery service far beyond Miami. Available via the Uber Eats app, the service has just launched in San Francisco, with five additional cities joining in the coming weeks.
Mobile

How to make a contact group on an iPhone

There's no obvious way to crate contact groups on your iPhone, but you can do it through iCloud or you can install a third-party app to help. We explain both methods as we explore how to make a contact group on an iPhone.