Eldar claims new aluminium Nokia device could be "most popular this year"

Despite being a great range of devices by specifications, and receiving a lot of praise, Nokia's latest line of Windows Phone-powered Lumias are still lagging far behind first place in the highly competitive phone market.

There were rumors a while ago that the Lumia 920's successor would be thinner and lighter thanks to an aluminium body, and we may now have confirmation of that. The infamous Russian tech-expert, Eldar, has now confirmed that he's in fact seen a new Lumia device made from aluminium. Apparently he was given a sneak-peak during recent events in Barcelona.

The device (codenamed Catwalk), he claims, will be a highly popular device and may boost Windows Phone to the point that the ecosystem starts to get some real attention. Apart from the look and feel, the device may also feature a further-improved camera and a few other tweaks.

This is what the Catwalk 'might' look like.

Yet Eldar still believes that the OS will be the biggest deterrent for potential buyers. Respectfully, we have to disagree. Windows Phone is a great OS - and the biggest deterrent for potential buyers is the lack of apps/support for apps. It's almost a chicken and the egg-type story, as developers won't jump on board until consumers do, and consumers won't buy into the platform until their favourite developers do.

Nokia's Lumia devices aren't just suffering from low sales (compared to flagship devices from competitors). There are numerous reports around that Nokia's latest devices are quite troublesome - and my local retailer confirmed that the Lumia 920 and 820 are by far their highest returned high-end smartphones (attributed to faults) - this I found out as I was exchanging my Lumia 820 for the fourth time, and was offered a HTC Windows Phone 8X as a replacement.

Source: W7Phone.ru (Russian) via WMPoweruser

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I don't care for aluminium, it's cheap junk and scratches easily. It's the weakest cheapest metal. Look how ridiculously easy the iPhone 5 scratches. Many types of plastic are stronger.

But if the next high-end Lumia is thinner and lighter, that alone will make it sell well. Many people love the 920 but have stayed away from it purely because of it's size/thickness and weight.

i agree - aluminium is a poor choice for a device used everyday. it just scratches too easily and i dont see much point in hiding a device in a plastic shell all the time to avoid that.

Firstly I have no inclination or evidence to support the supposedly high return rate. I have spoken to many retailers here in Aus and have not heard of a single Lumia device being returned due to a fault.

Secondly anything to increase the allure of a device is a good thing @nekkidtruth and you should not feel insulted as most of these purchases are emotional rather than cerebral because the devices themselves are aspirational items. I picked up a Samsung Galaxy Note recently and was amazed at the lightness and the wonderful screen. The size immediately vanished from being an issue once I held the device but had you asked my my opinion after having read and thought about the device before holding one and I would have said "no way too big, almost silly".

That being said Android was jerky and not fluid in all aspects as I expected it to be. So trust me a wonderfully designed device will go a long way towards attracting customers. I do believe they need to get into the larger screen devices though because the market (from a Smart phone perspective) has already voted very strongly that bigger is more in line with their wishes.

Now an all alluminium beautifully designed device with NFC, wireless charging, the best camera on the market and ONE OTHER differentiating innovation and they could help continue their recent large percentage gains (yes I know they are coming from a low base but the increases are strong so far).

Excellent response. No twisting of words, no insulting, no rampant fanboy-ism to the nth degree and best of all, no arrogance.

I agree that aesthetics are certainly part of the process of purchasing a new phone, but let's call a spade a spade. The S4 is going to be announced next month, does an Nokia (aluminum or otherwise) really have a chance at being this years "most popular"?

I disagree that phones are aspirational, at least not for everyone. Despite how great any OS is, we need major/key apps to come to Windows Phone as soon as they hit iOS and Android. Until then, growth will be very slow.

As for defects, I've now spoken to sales people in two JB Hi-Fi stores and a CBD Telstra Shop (all in Sydney) and have heard of a variety of issues. On top of that, I've had a very bad experience with my Lumia 820 - however, Nokia has been very good about it.

nekkidtruth said,
Excellent response. No twisting of words, no insulting, no rampant fanboy-ism to the nth degree and best of all, no arrogance.

I agree that aesthetics are certainly part of the process of purchasing a new phone, but let's call a spade a spade. The S4 is going to be announced next month, does an Nokia (aluminum or otherwise) really have a chance at being this years "most popular"?

Most popular? Definitely not. Most recognized and new? Definitely. When I have my 920 out the amount of people who say "is that the new nokia" or "is that that new windows phone" to the go on to say that's really cool and I wish i had that and not this boring iphone etc is overwhelming. Here in Aus Nokia have a strong partnership with Telstra and they have been marketing the phone like crazy. Windows Phone 8 is on the table and Nokia are back as the cool company. That's all MS need right now, hardware partners getting the word out because once people start talking, people start buying. If it works, looks beautiful and is the new cool, people will buy it. That's why we have millions of iPhones.

as147 said,
Firstly I have no inclination or evidence to support the supposedly high return rate. I have spoken to many retailers here in Aus and have not heard of a single Lumia device being returned due to a fault.

I must have bad luck with my Lumia, I'm on my fourth 920 replaced under warranty. The screen died on my first one, the second one had dust under the front facing camera and the battery died after 3-4 hours of use, the third one turned the screen off when I was receiving or making a phone call. So I couldn't send any information like typing in numbers or checking something else when on an active call. Hopefully the fourth will last.
What I noticed with all the phones, the battery live of every phone was different, even though I had the same apps installed on all 4 phones. The first one was not bad, I got through the day, the second one as mentioned above was the worst and the third one was somewhere between the first two, but the one I have now is amazing, I can go all day and still have 60-80% left when I'm home from work. I'm not very happy with the supposedly great quality of Nokia phones.

I have a 920 and I love it to death, but I've run across several issues where I could see someone returning it. Number 1, the super heating issue when running anything heavily graphics intensive. The upper left hand side gets disturbingly hot. Same thing when using the GPS. When that area gets hot, the battery life gets insanely short. The only thing to fix it past that point is to actually shut the phone completely down, let it cool, then turn it back on. When that spot gets hot, I can kiss half my battery life goodbye. It's manageable by not using the gps or playing games for more than 5 minutes at a time, then the rebooting as soon as able. If I use the gps on my 15 minute drive to work, my battery life is about 4 1/2 hours. If I don't, my battery life is about 22 hours. If I use the gps on my drive to work, shut it off, then start it back up, my battery life is about 18 hours. It's incredibly reproducible. It's apparently not just an overheating issue, because I sometimes use my wireless charging pad and it gets really hot after I take it off of there, but still gets the 22 or so hours.

Oh, and when it gets hot, the screen isn't very responsive in several locations(obviously the spot that gets hot, but really it's the whole side of the phone that I may have to tap 3 times to get a response).

The oddness with ambient light sensor. I'll be sitting there, reading something, and the brightness level may change 4 different times. Makes it feel like there's something horribly wrong. I know what it's doing, and if I could find an acceptable level of brightness in all conditions, I would turn off automatic. My Focus I ran at lowest setting because it was beautiful and rich and I didn't take it out in the sun often. This screen I've not been able to find a happy setting for.

The first one is pretty major, the second one, without someone understanding what is going on, I could see them freaking out about. Have to get back to work or I'd write about other things I've seen that could possibly drive someone to returning the phone.

Gungel said,

I must have bad luck with my Lumia, I'm on my fourth 920 replaced under warranty. The screen died on my first one, the second one had dust under the front facing camera and the battery died after 3-4 hours of use, the third one turned the screen off when I was receiving or making a phone call. So I couldn't send any information like typing in numbers or checking something else when on an active call. Hopefully the fourth will last.
What I noticed with all the phones, the battery live of every phone was different, even though I had the same apps installed on all 4 phones. The first one was not bad, I got through the day, the second one as mentioned above was the worst and the third one was somewhere between the first two, but the one I have now is amazing, I can go all day and still have 60-80% left when I'm home from work. I'm not very happy with the supposedly great quality of Nokia phones.

I believe they said that the various Nokia firmware updates have improve battery efficiency, so that may have something to do with that...

I have never experienced the heating issue on any of the four 920's. I use my GPS frequently and it works without excessive battery drainage. I know my friend has the heating and battery drainage issue on his 920 and even when it's plugged in to a car charger the charger can't supply enough power to the battery to charge.

Totally agree on the heating being a major issue. I have a L920 and playing Skulls of the Shogun for longer than 10-15 minutes and my phone feels like it's just out of the oven. I was letting a friend (who has an iPhone 4 and is looking to upgrade) use my phone for a while and he was hooked, until he felt the back of the phone 10 minutes into it. I would assume using a case helps this issue, but it's something that needs to be addressed in the next wave of Lumias for sure.

I haven't had any problems with heat, but I can say I'm not impressed with the battery life. Having also come from a Samsung Focus I found the screen resolution impressive, but the brightness controls left much to be desired. The screen normally looks dim to me, and like my Focus the screen constantly flickers in automatic mode. I used to attribute that to the AMOLED display not handling brightness transition as smoothly as an LCD backlight, but it seems it's more about the logic/software controlling it, than anything else.

One thing I can say about Nokia's Lumia line is their amazing unibody design... Don't care for WP8, tried it out a few times, just not the same as Android (obviously! nor should it be).

I wish WP8 all the success though, and hopefully Nokia helps out even more.

P.S. I really wish Android had a phone that was unibody like the Lumia's

I felt the back on a friends Lumia 900 (black) the other day, felt like cheap plastic to me I would welcome them switching to something better.

Eldar claims new aluminium Nokia device could be "most popular this year"

Only if it ships with Jellybean 4.2..................................

20legend said,
Eldar claims new aluminium Nokia device could be "most popular this year"

Only if it ships with Jellybean 4.2..................................

I love WP8 but I have to agree with you there.

When it comes to the average consumer they won't care much about the OS itself. Android 4.2 isn't all that different to them compared to Android 2.2. So I think the potential for Windows Phone is there with devices such as the Lumia 720. They'll get a lot of customers on board which will make WP interesting for developers.

However companies like Nokia make much more profit on the high-end devices. But those consumers are more educated. If they want a non-Apple smartphone then they know Android is the only OS that has all the important apps at this point. It really is the chicken and the egg thing but the way Nokia can break through this cycle is by gaining marketshare with the L720.

If they succeed in that then a successor to the Lumia 920 could be the most popular device of a year. But they wont get there in 2013, this will take atleast one more year. So for now the most popular device will be one with 4.2 on board. But in the long run that isnt a given, just look at Microsoft, one they they had it all, now they have to fight for each percentage of marketshare. Things move quickly so it will be interesting to see how the market stands in 2014.

Unfortunately the 920 only has a two-core processor. Android Jelly Bean needs a quad core processor to run at acceptable speeds. Android is based on Java which is horrendously slow and literally crawls when compared to WP8 when they are both run on identical hardware.

Ronnet said,

When it comes to the average consumer they won't care much about the OS itself

I think you're spot on - most people I know at work wouldn't have a clue what OS they're using. You could put WP8 on an Iphone and they'd love it. Put IOS on a Nokia and they'd find 100 things wrong with it.

I would have bought the 920 if it was lighter, thinner, and a little smaller (4.3). This may at least fix 2 out of 3.

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