6-inch Nokia phablet said to be launching later this year

We've known for some time now that Nokia plans to launch two new Lumia handsets in the next few months: the 'EOS', with a high-end PureView camera - and possibly a quad-core chipset; and 'Catwalk', a thin-and-light device with an aluminium body. Yesterday, further details emerged on these and other Windows Phones, including the Samsung 'Cronus LTE' and HTC's 'Tiara'. 

Beyond these handsets, it's also been speculated for some time that Nokia has been working on a Windows Phone 'phablet'; indeed, just two weeks ago, we reported on claims made by The Financial Times that such a device is in the works. 

A Lumia phablet seems inevitable - but will it look anything like this? Your guess is as good as ours.

The FT isn't alone, as the UK's Mobile Magazine also claims to have learned details about Nokia's upcoming bigger-than-phone-smaller-than-tablet device, although it has not specified the source of its information. It claims that Nokia plans to launch the phablet in the fourth quarter of this year, ahead of the lucrative holiday season. It's said to have a six-inch display, and - no surprises - it's expected to run Windows Phone 8. Previous reports have indicated that its display will feature 1080p resolution. 

Significantly, Mobile also claims that the device will cost around £400-£500 GBP (roughly $620-$775 USD / €475-€590 EUR). That's the same pricing territory currently occupied by Nokia's current Lumia 920 flagship, and with more premium handsets launching soon, it would certainly be unusual for the company to price its largest Windows Phone handset around the same price point as smaller, lower-resolution devices. 

In a conference call with investors, after Nokia's Q1 2013 financial results were published, CEO Stephen Elop declined to address phablet rumours specifically. He did state that Nokia is continuing to experiment with "broader form factors and different things that we can do" which, on the face of things, certainly seems to support the idea of a phablet. He also said stated that the company is about to begin "a season of new production introductions", hinting at plenty more devices on the way.

Beyond the giant Lumia, it's claimed Nokia is still committed to the fairly unpopular practice of launching devices under carrier exclusivity arrangements, with Mobile Magazine saying that the company has been seeking a "preferential UK operator" to launch a new "hero device" - although the article also appears to claim that that device is the Nokia Lumia 928. That wouldn't make a great deal of sense, as the 928 is simply a Verizon-specific variant of the Lumia 920 - albeit with a few tweaks to its spec - which has been available in the UK since the launch of Windows Phone 8 last year. 

This odd oversight, combined with the questionable pricing claims, might undermine the claims made by Mobile Magazine, but whether or not the specifics of that report are accurate, it seems inevitable that we'll see a Lumia Windows Phone with a larger form factor soon. Other manufacturers have cashed in on the increasing popularity of such devices, and even industry analysts have noted that Nokia can't afford to ignore the phablet phenomenon for much longer.

Improvements to the Windows Phone platform itself have already been hinted at to accommodate devices with larger form factors, higher resolution displays and quad-core chipsets, and even adjustments to the user interface, such as supporting an extra 'column' of tiles on the Windows Phone Start screen. These enhancements are expected to be made available in an OS update known as GDR3 (General Distribution Release 3) later this year, which would appear to coincide nicely with the launch of a Nokia phablet towards the end of the year. 

Source: Mobile Magazine | via WMPowerUser

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16 Comments

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I have to say, I don't really "get" the phablet phenomenon. I guess to each their own, but I can't imagine having a phone that big personally. Lol. The 920 is about as big as I'll be going...

M_Lyons10 said,
I have to say, I don't really "get" the phablet phenomenon.

Agreed, although I suppose I could see the desire for some people.. for me though holding that thing to your head is borderline absurd. Personally, for something that's bigger than a phone just give me an actual Windows tablet that can place/receive calls, maybe bundle a bluetooth headset, call it a day. Liked it better when the trend was to get the phones smaller, not get them back to the 80's sized brick.

Max Norris said,

Agreed, although I suppose I could see the desire for some people.. for me though holding that thing to your head is borderline absurd. Personally, for something that's bigger than a phone just give me an actual Windows tablet that can place/receive calls, maybe bundle a bluetooth headset, call it a day. Liked it better when the trend was to get the phones smaller, not get them back to the 80's sized brick.

I think that there is the need for different sizes to accommodate everybody: my perfect scenario would be a smartphone no bigger than my Lumia 920; a small Tablet, like 7" with W8 Pro and full handwriting capabilities to be used as a Filofax agenda; a 13" Tablet PC in the Helix format to be used as a laptop to carry around and in my office a desktop with my two 24" monitors.
Hopefully when the rumored 7" Surface will launch I will be able to accomplish it.

I would actually buy this phone and I don't particularly like Windows Phone 8. This would cause me to enter the "dark side."

It's time to put full Windows 8 on x86s phone and allow them to run as desktops/laptops when connected to an external monitor, mouse and keyboard or a dock like some of the Android concepts out there.

There's some really cool stuff that Microsoft could do, they need to go for it after taking the risk they did with Windows 8.

heatlesssun said,
It's time to put full Windows 8 on x86s phone and allow them to run as desktops/laptops when connected to an external monitor, mouse and keyboard or a dock like some of the Android concepts out there.

There's some really cool stuff that Microsoft could do, they need to go for it after taking the risk they did with Windows 8.


Agreed. Those were some very interesting concepts.

Well, since we don't know what GDR2 or GDR3 will bring to WP8 at this point I was going to say that Nokia would wait for WP 8.1 to do this type of device but that update is rumored to come after Windows 8.1 which could mean WP8.1 will be in the winter or early 2014 like one rumor said.

GP007 said,
Well, since we don't know what GDR2 or GDR3 will bring to WP8 at this point I was going to say that Nokia would wait for WP 8.1 to do this type of device but that update is rumored to come after Windows 8.1 which could mean WP8.1 will be in the winter or early 2014 like one rumor said.

I'm sure they're busting their butts to get WP8.1 out with W8.1... Not saying they'll be successful, but I'm sure they're trying.

I think the idea of a phablet Windows 8 phone with wacom tech and onenote would be a perfect combination for a lot of people.

I have a GNote2 and SNote is good, but being able to have Onenote with it's integration with the desktop application would be really cool. I did have one note on my iphone/ipad and it was good but nowhere as good as the metro and nowhere near the desktop app (for obvious reasons).

REM2000 said,
I think the idea of a phablet Windows 8 phone with wacom tech and onenote would be a perfect combination for a lot of people.

I have a GNote2 and SNote is good, but being able to have Onenote with it's integration with the desktop application would be really cool. I did have one note on my iphone/ipad and it was good but nowhere as good as the metro and nowhere near the desktop app (for obvious reasons).

Can you imagine if Windows Phone phablets required a stylus and came with OneNote MX as well as a new full Office MX? 6 inch screen with a radial menu and a stylus would be awesome with Office!

onedrummer2401 said,

Can you imagine if Windows Phone phablets required a stylus and came with OneNote MX as well as a new full Office MX? 6 inch screen with a radial menu and a stylus would be awesome with Office!


Personally I would prefer a 7" Surface with W8 Pro and handwriting capabilities, perfect for my "four screens" strategy but, as always, one size does not fit all.