25 Jan 2013
With Windows 8 out of the bag, touch computing has become 2013's hardware hot topic.
Looking to capitalise on the wave of interest, PC makers across the world are rushing out a new business-focused Microsoft-powered tablets.
This has seen the likes of Lenovo add touch capabilities to its ThinkPad series of devices and now HP follow suit, unveiling a fresh batch of touch entries into its Elite-series of devices.
However, of HP's new batch the most interesting is without a doubt its ElitePad 900 Windows 8 Pro tablet, which aims to use add-on covers to target pretty much every professional group and industry under the sun.
Eager to see how the ElitePad 900 handles, V3 visited HP at its London Showcase event to grab some hands on time with the tablet.
Design and build
As a standalone tablet the ElitePad 900 looks like most other Windows 8 tablets. The ElitePad has the same slightly curved look as many other devices currently on offer, featuring rounded edges and a grey aluminium chassis.
Also, like most other Windows 8 Pro tablets, it's a lot heavier than similarly sized Android and iOS tablets, weighing a hefty 680g despite measuring in at a reasonable 178x261x9.2mm.
However, this is to be expected considering the fact the ElitePad is running a full version of Windows 8 Pro and using powerful Intel hardware as opposed to lighter Qualcomm and Nvidia mobile tech.
In terms of ports the tablet section of the ElitePad features charge, two USB, sim and MicroSD inputs.
For those looking for more connectivity, HP's unveiled a host of expansion jackets for the ElitePad, each being designed to customise it for use within a specific industry.
These include everything from a rubberised outer case designed to protect it when being used in more hazardous conditions, like a building site, to a folding keyboard cover similar to the clip on keyboards seen on Asus' Transformer series of devices.
At the event, we had the chance to see the ElitePad's "Expansion Cover". Living up to its name, the cover expands the number of ports on the ElitePad, adding two USB ports, an SD card expansion slot and an HDMI output. The jacket comes in two pieces and is designed so that the tablet slides into the larger body, with the top clipping on to hold it in place.
Given the lack of ports on the main tablet section the jackets will prove a must for most business users - a fact that could prove a blessing and curse. While the jackets make the tablet very versatile, there's currently no word on how much they're going to cost.
The ElitePad comes with a 10.1in 1280x800 resolution display. In terms of performance this means the ElitePad's display isn't anywhere near as crisp or dazzling as the displays seen on non-Windows tablets, like the Nexus 10 and new iPad.
However, during our hands with the ElitePad we still found the display more than usable, with it boasting surprisingly good viewing angles and proving more than crisp enough for general day-to-day tasks.
Aside from this, the only issue we had with the device's screen during our brief hands on was that it only boasts five, not 10-point multi-touch capabilities.
This meant that when typing using the ElitePad's onscreen keyboard we occasionally noticed a slight delay in response - though the spokesman on hand assured us that this was only an issue with pre-production demo units and has been fixed on the release retail versions. We'll make sure we test that claim.
As well as Windows 8 Pro's core security features HP's loaded the ElitePad with its own Client Security Manager software. This includes a number of useful packages like its Credential Manager, Password Manager and Device Access Manager.
While this won't be of interest to everyone, the services will prove a boon to network managers making it far easier for businesses to safely connect and manage the device when running it on the corporate network.
The ElitePad 900 features the full version of Windows 8 Pro, running on Intel's x86-based architecture.
The machine we had our hands on with was powered by a 1.8GHz Intel Atom Z2720 CPU and boasted 2GB of RAM.
During our hands on with the ElitePad we didn't get the chance to really put the device through its paces or run full benchmarks.
However, in the limited tasks we undertook, we found the ElitePad was fairly nippy and we're looking forward to getting the chance to really push the device come our full review.
Camera and Storage
The ElitePad 900 packs an 8MP rear-facing and along with a front-facing unit which HP has yet to provide the specs for. During our hands on we didn't get a real chance to test either the rear or front-facing cameras.
HP's loaded the ElitePad 900 with 64GB of internal storage, which can be expanded using the inbuilt micro-SD card slot.
From our brief time with the device, our opening impressions of the HP ElitePad 900 are positive. Thanks to its Smart Jacket offering, the ElitePad could prove one of the most versatile options for businesses.
This is especially true considering the tablet sections modest cost. With prices starting at £484 (including VAT) the tablet is just £80 more than Microsoft's Surface RT. Yet despite the minor price fluctuation the tablet offers businesses a host of benefits, the largest of which is the use of Windows 8 Pro.
Check back with V3 later for a full review of the HP ElitePad 900.
23 Nov 2012
Google may have garnered all the attention for its heads-up augmented reality project, Google Glasses, but it's not the only tech giant toying with the idea of using high-tech glasses to change the way we look at the world.
Microsoft has just been granted a patent for its very own jazzed up spectacles – and this one is aimed at the sports fans.
Researchers at Microsoft noted that those in the crowd often miss out on vital information that armchair viewers can see. For example, in NFL games, TV stations routinely display the 10-yard mark as a virtual line on the pitch.
Microsoft's device would allow users wearing its glasses to see all the live action, but have additional information displayed on the glass.
“The information is presented in a position in the head mounted display which does not interfere with the user's enjoyment of the live event,” the patent application stated.
Of course, it could look like Microsoft was jumping on the bandwagon here, especially after Google showed off its Glasses system earlier this year. But to be fair to the Redmond-based giant, its patent application was made in May 2011 – it's just taken a while to get approval.
Now let's just hope its researchers carry on building such neat gizmos, rather than letting the lawyers loose in another patent brawl.
With Windows 8 now available, PC manufacturers will be hoping to see improved sales in the coming months after disappointing figures over recent quarters, mostly as firms and consumers awaited the launch of Microsoft's new platform.
Another firm that has plenty riding on this is Intel, which has thrown its weight behind the ultrabook category of devices now entering the market as it aims to boost sales of Windows device, and Windows 8 gives it another opportunity to do just that.
So it was no surprise that the firm held an event in central London on Tuesday showing off a raft of products from its partners such as Lenovo, Dell and Acer running the platform.
V3 popped along to have a look to try out some of the devices on show.
Certainly all the devices had something to recommend them, whether the novel combinations of display options such as the Lenovo Yoga (below) with four different viewing stances: laptop, tablet, ‘tent' or as a single screen, with the keyboard used as the stand at the back.
The device itself was nice to use, with a good quality keyboard and the system responsive to both touch and mouse-based inputs.
We also had a chance to see the new Windows 8 version of the Acer Aspire S7 ultrabook (below). The device has been on the market for a while running Windows 7 and secured a four-star review when we looked at it last year.
Now it's been updated with a touchscreen system so it can run Windows 8 in full and is certainly one of the nicest looking devices on display, with a compact 13.3in screen and weighing a lightweight 1.35kg.
However, if we're talking lightweight then we should probably mention the NEC Lavie Z Ultrabook (pictured below).
Although this isn't available in the UK at present and doesn't run Windows 8 either, the device is hugely popular in Japan for one key reason; its weight. It's just 875g.
The weight of devices is always something touted by manufacturers and usually it worth nothing more than a "yes it's quite light" comment but the NEC device was probably the lightest laptop device we've ever seen; there are paperback books that are heavier.
While it's not set to come to the UK - a shame - it's a good indication of how light laptops could still become. With the portability of tablets often touted as a selling point over laptops devices like this undermine that argument to some degree.
Lastly, no product showcase would be complete without something from Dell, so Intel had brought along the Dell XPS 12 which has a rather nifty rotating screen that can be swivelled within its casing to work as either a tablet or a laptop.
This mean it can also be propped up in the "tent" style akin to the Lenovo Yoga, as pictured below.
Overall, then, it's clear there's no lack of interesting, novel and quality devices from numerous manufacturers on offer for Windows 8, with Intel's technology an integral part of that.
Whether consumers take to the new system and this helps boost flagging sales, though, is another matter.
24 Oct 2012
Samsung unveiled its first ever Windows Phone 8 handset, the Ativ S, at IFA in Berlin earlier this year. At Samsung's Windows 8 launch this week, V3 got a chance to put the Ativ S through its paces. We have to say, despite Samsung's Android focus, our opening impressions of its first WP8 phone are positive.
Visually the Ativ S is close to identical to the Galaxy S3, featuring the same ergonomic, slightly curved chassis. This means that in hand, the Ativ S is all but indistinguishable from the S3; it is practically the same size, measuring in at 137x70x8.7mm. The Galaxy S3 by comparison measures in at a slightly tweaked 131x71x8.6mm.
The same is true of the Ativ S' weight, with it being only two grams heavier than the S3 weighing a featherweight 135g. So similar are the two that were it not for the placement of the Windows logo on the Ativ S' physical home button, when turned off, it would be all too easy to mistake the Ativ S for the S3.
Sadly, while meaning the Ativ S is comfortable in hand, its similarity to the S3 left us feeling concerned about its durability. The Galaxy S3, while a fantastic phone, is prone to picking up marks and scratches, particularly on its removable back plate. Featuring a close to identical design to the S3, we're worried the Ativ S may suffer the same problem.
The Ativ S has the same 4.8in 720x1,280, 306ppi pixel density, super Amoled touchscreen display as the Galaxy S3. Though we only got to test the device in an incredibly dimly lit showroom, we were very impressed with the Ativ S' screen.
Like the S3, the Ativ S' display is incredibly bright, so much so that when we turned it up to maximum brightness we were left dazzled. The same was true of the display's clarity, with images, icons and videos all appearing crystal clear, with no fuzziness around their edges or colour balance issues.
Windows Phone 8
Since unveiling its new operating system, Microsoft has touted Windows Phone 8 as its best mobile offering to date.
The OS features the same tiled user interface as Windows Phone 7, but this time adds the ability to resize tiles. While this is nothing new to Android smartphone users, the ability is a welcome one as it allows users to create a UI that truly meets their needs.
During our test run of the Ativ S we attempted to create our own UI. Being avid social media users we started our endeavour by increasing the size of our People tile to make it easier to check our Twitter and Facebook feeds more quickly. To make room for the new UI we shrunk our less used Hotmail and Netflix tiles.
Like the Lumia 920, the Ativ S is blazingly fast. Playing with the Ativ S we found navigating its menus and opening apps was a seamless, chug and glitch free experience. So impressed were we with the Ativ S' performance, that if we were to go off our opening impressions alone, we'd say the device is just as smooth and fast as Apple's iPhone 5.
Another key addition to the Windows Phone platform in WP8 is the inclusion of dual-core processor support. Previously, Microsoft had insisted there was no need for multi-core processors on a mobile device. Yet, having tested the Ativ S and its dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon processor, we have to say Microsoft was wrong.
That said, the Ativ S we had on show didn't come loaded with any particularly power hungry apps. That meant we didn't get the chance to see how it performed on more demanding tasks.
Not content with Microsoft's core offering, Samsung has loaded the device with several custom apps. These include things like its Music Hub and Chat On. While we didn't get a chance to try out the services, we're not convinced the additions are necessary. Most off the added services we saw are simply duplicate versions of Microsoft made apps already preloaded onto the device.
This means that, unless you're one of the few people to sign up to Samsung's services, we're not convinced the apps are really necessary. Would you really pick the Samsung Music Hub over Microsoft's infinitely more complete Xbox Music service?
Camera and storage
The Ativ S boasts an 8MP rear-facing and 1.9MP front-facing camera. Though we only got to see a few sample shots pre-taken on the device, with a software block stopping us taking any of our own, the sample shots did look decent, boasting decent colour and light levels and picture clarity.
Considering the fact the Ativ S' rear camera features the same autofocus, LED flash Geo-tagging and image stabilisation features as the S3, we have high hopes for its camera and are looking forward to getting a more thorough go with it.
Though our opening impressions of the Ativ S are positive, with it featuring many of the strengths that made the Galaxy S3 great, we're still unsure of its chances.
By running Windows Phone 8, Samsung is going to be competing against Nokia, a company with far more experience developing for the ecosystem.
This means that where Samsung has added a few apps, previously seen on its Android handsets to its flagship Windows Phone, Nokia has created a host of truly interesting services for its flagship Lumia 920 smartphone.
These include upgrades to its already popular Nokia Maps and Drive services and the addition of its new City Lens feature. For this reason alone we're thinking the Ativ S may struggle.
Check back with V3 later for a full review of the Ativ S.
For those wanting a Windows 8 tablet/laptop hybrid device, it's going to feel like Christmas has come early in the next few weeks as a slew of devices from firms including HP, Samsung, Lenovo, Acer, Asus and Fujitsu hit the market.
One of these devices from Fujitsu is the Stylistic Q702. First announced in July, the device is set to be available in the first couple of weeks after Windows 8 is unveiled, and V3 had a chance to see the unit in action at the IP Expo event on Thursday.
Obviously, any device offering itself up as a tablet in any form must face inevitable comparisons with the iPad, but the inclusion of the docking station with an in-built keyboard also sets the device apart from Apple, with competition on this front coming from its traditional rivals noted above.
The device as a unit weighs 850g, and so felt light but sturdy in the hand when we had a play, certainly no less comfortable than the iPad. The 11.6in screen is notably larger than Apple's tablets and gave the Windows 8 system plenty of opportunity to shine.
This was helped by the high-definition display, with a resolution of 1366x768 pixels, which was crisp and sharp. While those with hawk-like eyes may spot a loss of quality compared with Apple's Retina Display, it was adequate enough to us.
Where the device definitely sets itself apart, though, is in the ability to switch from a standard tablet device to laptop by inserting it into a keyboard dock.
Adding it to the keyboard was nice and easy, easily 'clicking' into the two hinges that are used to hold it in place - one of which is snapped below showing the docking system.
Fujitsu told us it's already in discussions with corporate customers who see benefits from using a hybrid device on Windows 8 and it's certainly understandable that for many firms a hybrid represents a clear benefit instead of either a laptop or tablet.
The ability to carry around the tablet for on-site work, snap pictures and jot down notes using the input pen is clearly a lot easier than using a normal laptop device, but with the ability to then add a keyboard, you retain the benefits of a normal input method.
The keyboard itself was easy to use, with a nice tactile key input and well-spaced keys.
Using the Windows 8 platform on the device felt fine. While people who've never used the platform may find it confusing at first it's pretty intuitive once you get used to it, and should only take the average user a few minutes to figure the basics out.
For those all at sea, though, the device still offers the classic Windows layout, although jumping into that only serves to make the new Windows 8 look even better when compared to its drab corporate ancestors.
Inside, the specifications are fairly meaty, as you'd expect as this is the firm's high-end device in the Windows 8 portfolio it's bringing to market.
This means it can be powered by either an Intel Core i3 or i5 processor, and packs 256GB of SSD storage and 4GB of RAM.
It also boasts nine hours of battery life although obviously we can't verify yet if these claims hold true in real-life tests.
Another area where the device sets itself apart from the iPad is the inclusion of several input ports within the keyboard frame of the device, including an HDMI slot, a memory card slot, a LAN port and a VGA port (below).
The LAN port means that it can be connected to corporate networks directly, rather than relying solely on a 3G connection or Wi-Fi, like the iPad and other more consumer-focused tablets on the market.
The Stylistic Q702 can access mobile data networks, though, as it features a dedicated SIM slot in the tablet. This will include compatibility with 4G networks set to be available in the UK as it can access 800MHz, 1800MHZ and 2.6GHz frequencies.
The tablet also features a number of its own input buttons, including volume controls and screen brightness along the edge, so the user can easily alter these elements as they wish when on-the-move, as you can see below running along the edge of the device.
Clearly Fujitsu won't have it all its own way in the Windows 8 tablet market when the platform is made available with so many rivals lining up to offer similar propositions. But based on what we saw, the firm certainly has a compelling offering to compete with.
We'll have a full review of the Stylistic Q702 once it's launched next month, so check back then for more insights.
19 Sep 2012
HTC unveiled its affordable WP8 S Windows Phone at a press conference today, and V3 was there to get a first look.
Design and build
The WP8 S has a noticeably different design to its more expensive sibling the WP8 X, also announced today, featuring a different colour scheme and smaller size.
The WP8 S also features a two tone pattern. The device we got our hands on was predominantly black, with occasional touces of white, such as the detachable botom cover.
This cover grants access to the device's microSD and SIM card slots and gives it a significantly different look to the WP8 X, which looks somewhat like a cross between a Nokia Lumia 900 and HTC One X.
A further consequence of the removable panel is that the WP8 S feels less sturdy than the X, which features a unibody design.
The WP8 S is also significantly smaller than the X, packing a 4in screen rather than a 4.3in display. However, this also means that the WP8 S felt much lighter when held than the X.
Operating system and software
One key area we didn't get to see much of is the Windows Phone 8 operating system. HTC locked all the demo handsets to a select few screens, meaning we were unable to to check out all the key software features.
Windows Phone 8 itself is set for release in October and adds a host of new features and services to Microsoft's mobile offering,
The upgrades include resizable tiles, multi-core processor support and improved security. Unlike Nokia, which has loaded its next run of Lumias with a slew of custom apps and services, HTC appearts to have left Windows Phone 8 all but untouched on the WP8 S and X.
Instead HTC has pulled a similar trick as on its Android smartphones, loading the WP8 S with custom Beats audio technology. It's worth noting that while teh WP8 S model has Beats, it doesn't feature the upgraded amplifiers designed to improve the smartphone's audio quality that are built into the X.
Instead, the WP8 S features the basic software package, tailoring the sound to maximise listening quality. It also serves to improve sound quality when listening to audio files using Beats earphones.
Unfortunately HTC has confirmed the WP8 S will not be bundled with any Beats headphones, meaning users will have to buy their own pair if they want to make the most of the feature.
We're a little disappointed by this, as even a cheap pair of Beats earphones can set you back £40. Considering the handset's unconfirmed "mid range" price tag, investing in Beats earphones could add significantly to the smartphone's price.
The WP8 S is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor and features 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage that can be upgraded via its microSD slot.
We didn't get a chance to really test the WP8 S' performance due to the constraints put in place by HTC at the unveiling. However, running on Windows Phone 8 we're hoping the device will live up to Microsoft's performance claims.
Microsoft has claimed its mobile operating system has been designed to minimise the load that many basic functions place on the processor. This leaves handsets with more resources free for running user apps, and as a result, WP8 handsets should be able to match top-of-the-range Android ones on performance, according to Microsoft. The battery life should also get a boost.
The WP8 S features a stripped down 5MP rear-facing camera, boasting the same sensor and F2.0 lens seen on HTC's previous One series of Android smartphones.
Unfortunately, the WP8 S doesn't feature a front facing camera. HTC said it removed this feature in order to keep the cost down.
Worse, the WP8 S won't have anything to match the custom photo features seen on Nokia's Lumia series of Windows Phones.
Chief among these is Nokia's City Lens service, offering users an augmented reality display that gives dynamic information about users' surroundings, and which looks set to be a massive selling point differentiating Nokia's Lumias from HTC's new range.
Overall, our early impressions of the WP8 S are positive. While we didn't get the same wow factor we got playing with Nokia's new Lumias, HTC WP8 series do look and feel great and left us eager to get a chance to test them and their Windows Phone operating system more thoroughly.
Check back with V3 later for full reviews of the WP8 S and X.
14 Sep 2012
Nokia's forthcoming Lumia 920 made a surprise appearance at Qualcomm's IQ Berlin 2012 event. On hand at the show, V3 took the time to take a more thorough look at Nokia's new Pureview camera packed smartphone.
Design and build
Visually the Lumia 920 looks incredibly similar to Nokia's previous flagship smartphone, the Lumia 900. Both phones feature the same striking Lumia design, featuring curved sides, flat tops and pointed edges. The two smartphones are also incredibly similar in size, with the 920 measuring in at 130x71x10.7mm and the 900 measuring 128x69x12mm
However, in hand the Lumia 920 feels like a completely different handset. This is largely due to the Lumia 920's carbonate casing finish. Where the 900 and 800 featured matte finishes, the 920's casing is shiny and significantly smoother. This makes the Lumia 920 feel fairly different and gives it a more striking look when viewed up close.
Another key factor differentiating the Lumia 920 from the 900 is that Nokia has given it a curved glass display. In hand this meant that we found the 920 much more comfortable to hold, with it making the device's design feel a bit more ergonomic than its flat-screened predecessor.
The Lumia 920 features a 4.5in Nokia PureMotion HD+ WXGA IPS LCD display, complete with Super Sensitive touch technology and Nokia ClearBlack with high brightness mode and enhancements designed to make it easier to read in sunlight.
Nokia claims that the technology makes the 920's display one of the crispest on market. Testing the screen in the dark, poorly lit conditions of the IQ 2012 conference centre, we found the screen looked amazing. Putting the 920 head to head with the Lumia 800 and HTC One X during our tests, we would honestly say the 920 looked the best.
Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to test the Lumia 920's screen in regular or outdoor lighting conditions, meaning we didn't get to see how the device's Nokia ClearBlack technology with its high brightness mode or sunlight tweaks turned on.
The Lumia 920 comes with Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 operating system. The OS is set for release in October and adds a host of new features and services to Microsoft's mobile offering. The upgrades include resizable tiles, multi-core processor support and improved security. Not content with these core upgrades, Nokia has added to the WP8 features with its own series of custom services.
Chief of the new services available on the Lumia 920 is Nokia's new City Lens feature. The feature offers users an augmented reality display that gives dynamic information about users' surroundings.
City Lens is one of the new Lumia smartphone's most interesting additions and we were really keen to properly test it out, unfortunately though, being stuck in a windowless conference hall we didn't get the chance. However, our demo video from the Lumia 920 launch showed impressive results.
The Lumia 920 features a 1.5GHz Dual Core Snapdragon S4 that is backed up by 1GB of RAM. Nokia claims the tech will allow the Lumia 920 to match the performance of most top-end quad-core Android handsets, arguing that Windows Phone 8 is significantly less power hungry than Android.
During our hands-on, we tried racing the 920 against the One X, seeing which smartphone was faster loading web pages faster and was smoother to navigate and found that there was some truth to Nokia's boasts.
The Lumia 920 matched the One X step for step, with it being all but impossible to tell which was faster. We're really looking forward to getting a chance to put the Lumia 920 through its paces, seeing how it deals with more power hungry, intensive tasks come our full review.
The Lumia 920 comes with an 8.7MP rear-facing camera complete with Nokia PureView advanced optical image stabilisation technology and Carl Zeiss optics.
Nokia claims the Lumia 920's rear camera is the best currently available on any smartphone capturing "five to 10 times more light than competitors devices".
During our hands on we didn't really get a chance to try out the Lumia 920's camera, with the Nokia spokesman on call all but slapping the device out of our hands the moment our fingers veered towards the photo app. Maybe the firm is still touchy about fake photo-gate.
Overall our opening impressions of Nokia's Lumia 920 are incredibly positive. Even though the device looks incredibly similar to the Lumia 900, even in the short time we had the device, it became increasingly clear that the 920 is a radically different handset, featuring greatly improved tech and software.
While we're not convinced the Lumia 920 will turn around Windows Phone's fortunes overnight, we were impressed with our initial demo.
Check back with V3 soon for a full review of the Nokia Lumia 920.
Samsung unveiled its Ativ S Windows Phone 8 smartphone at IFA, a week before Nokia's prescheduled New York event, in a move clearly designed to steal some of the Finnish phone maker's thunder.
Since then Nokia has unveiled its new flagship Lumia 920 smartphone, leading to speculation over whether Samsung will be able to wrest control of the Windows Phone ecosystem.
In terms of specifications, little is known about the Ativ S, other than it will run using the Microsoft Windows Phone 8 operating system. But from what we do know, it will be fairly similar to the Lumia 920's specs.
The Ativ S will pack a sizeable 4.8in Super Amoled display, while the 920 will feature a 4.5in Nokia PureMotion HD+ WXGA IPS LCD screen. The question here will be whether Nokia's PureMotion HD+ will be able to match Samsung's Super Amoled technology's performance.
The Puremotion HD+ technology is an evolved version of the ClearBlack feature seen on Nokia's Lumia 800 and 900 smartphones.
While we were impressed with the earlier Lumia's screens, we couldn't honestly say they were as good as the Super Amoled displays seen on Samsung's recent top-end Galaxy smartphones.
This means Nokia will have had to seriously improve the technology if the Lumia 920 is going to compete with the Ativ S display.
Both the Ativ S and Lumia 920 have been confirmed to run using 1.5GHz dual-core processors. As Windows Phone 8 is significantly less power hungry than Android, we're expecting both smartphones to be incredibly fast and more than capable of matching most top-end Android devices' speeds.
Technically, the only factor we can see that will help the Lumia 920 differentiate itself from the Ativ S is the inclusion of Nokia's incredible Pureview camera technology.
Nokia claims that the Pureview technology means that the Lumia 920's 8.7MP rear camera is the best currently available on any smartphone capturing "five to 10 times more light than competitors devices". If it's anything like the camera tech seen on the 808 Pureview, we believe it.
That said, as noted by several industry analysts, it's not just about the Lumia 920's and Ativ S' technical prowess, it's also about their software.
Nokia already has a strong history of developing for the Windows Phone platform, while Samsung at best can be described as having tested the water.
This means that, as far as we currently know, the Ativ S will be released running an untouched version of Windows Phone 8, while the Lumia 920 will feature a slew of custom-made Nokia apps and features.
"What makes the Lumia 920 unique from competitors are the range of services that Nokia developed to create additional value to its clients and to compete with other Windows Phones that will come to market in the next quarters," noted IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo.
Nokia already confirmed its Nokia Maps, Transport, Music (in the US) and newly unveiled City Lens services will be featured on the 920. Many of these features have proven incredibly popular with existing Windows Phone users and have become a unique selling point for the Nokia brand.
Nokia's City Lens offers users an augmented reality display that gives dynamic information about users' surroundings. When considered alongside the other custom apps, we think it could be a serious factor differentiating the Lumia 920 from the Ativ S.
Combine this innovation with the Lumia 920's Fatboy wireless charger and we really have to question the Ativ S' current chances of succeeding in the Windows Phone 8 ecosystem.
Check back with V3 later in the year for full reviews of the Samsung Ativ S and Nokia Lumia 920.