Windows Phone 8 device release dates, early reviews positive

The much anticipated launch of the new Microsoft Windows Phone 8 operating system has taken place earlier today, with the company looking to make a dent in the market share of both Android and the iPhone platforms. It has now been revealed that the first Windows Phone 8 devices will be releasing soon, and early reviews of the operating are positive.

According to TechCrunch the first batch of handsets will become available to European consumers this coming weekend, with the likes of the HTC 8X, Nokia Lumia 920, and Samsung Ativ S arriving in retail stores and online.

Users in the US meanwhile will be getting the HTC 8X and Nokia Lumia 822 by Thanksgiving, while rival carrier AT&T will have the Nokia Lumia 920, Lumia 820, and HTC 8X by November which could also mean the weekend. T-Mobile will have the Nokia Lumia 810 and HTC 8X by November 14th, while customers of Rogers in Canada can get the Nokia Lumia 920 from tomorrow.

The guys over at Engadget have managed to get some time with the new operating system that brings new features that will integrate with Windows 8, and will also see hardware specifications bumped up from the requirements of WP7.

There were many that criticized the company for the insistence on not allowing multi-core processors previously, but now hardware will be launched using the dual core Snapdragon S4 power plant, and it is hoped the company will give the ok for quad core units before long. Many commented on how smooth and quick WP7 was, and it seems this has been improved even further.

Screen resolution on WP7 was poor and only compared with Android devices from 2010, but fell a long way short of the iPhone 4, but now handsets can use one of three options from WVGA, 1,280 x 768, and 1,280 x 720 which brings the platform more up to date, even though the Android platform is now moving onto 1080p displays.

Users of Windows Phone 8 devices will get the option of expandable storage if it is available on the handset purchased, and the platform will also offer support to NFC. Users will be met with the usual welcome and setup screens when booting up the device before being requested to create or login into your Microsoft Account.

You are then asked to set your preferred language and whether you want to back up pictures, texts, and phone settings, and after these options you are presented with the start screen that leaves you free to flick through the various Live Tiles and the app list.

One thing that is different from WP7 is that the Live Tiles extend all the way across the screen, which gives each tile more space, and there is support for three different tile sizes compared to two in WP7. Users now have the option of changing the tile size that is easily done by holding down the tile until an arrow appears, and a quick press makes it expand or shrink.

The lock screen has seen some nice changes as well with users having the option of choosing what type of notifications they receive. OTA updates will also be available with WP8 with users being notified when the next update is available.

Besides the new features the WP platform hasn’t changed that much, but this latest version has a lot better refined feel to it, and brings a freshness that hasn’t been felt for a while with the platform. The success of Windows Phone 8 will largely depend on the number of big name developers who jump on board providing the big app releases to tempt smartphone consumers.

Will you be getting a Windows Phone 8 device?

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