Editorial

Wishlist for the next Nokia Lumia flagship

The next high-end smartphone from Nokia may not have been shown off at MWC 2013 last month, but the rumors have persisted for quite some time regarding what we might expect out of such a device. Having used a Nokia Lumia 920 for a few months on and off, the phone is certainly quite a decent device, however with some careful development Nokia could make a huge leap forward with a successor.

Here's what I'd like to see in the next Nokia Lumia flagship. I don't think my claims are too ridiculous or too unreasonable; if Nokia has developed this device to the best of their abilities, the following features should all (hopefully) be seen when the device is finally unveiled.

1. An awesome aluminium body

All leaks and rumors point to the next Lumia donning an aluminium shell over the cumbersome polycarbonate used on current models, so this has to make my wishlist for the next Lumia. Even though some people find the Lumia 920 to be of adequate size and weight, throughout my usage I found the body to be too large and too heavy; issues which hopefully can be remedied by a lighter, aluminium body.

Aluminium would allow the design to be slimmer while remaining equally strong, and if the construction is good it can also be lighter than any Lumia flagship we've seen so far. Combining the aluminium with a decent slab of curved Gorilla Glass, possibly using a design completely different from what we've seen in current Lumia devices, and we'll be in for a real winner.

2. A proper (as-rumored) PureView camera

With all the rumors surrounding a potential 41-megapixel camera on the next high-end Lumia, it would be a great shame to discover that everything we had heard was just rubbish. The "PureView" camera on the Lumia 920 was impressive when it came to low-light photography, but there were definitely a few areas for improvement in normal lighting conditions, which form the majority of times people want to take a photo.

The main feature I'm hoping for in the next Lumia's camera is some form of oversampling, like we first saw in the 808 PureView. The camera doesn't necessarily have to include a 41-megapixel camera, especially if it made the design as unappealing and thick as the 808 PureView, but something in the range of 20-30 MP could be impressive while facilitating a decent design. Of course if Nokia could chuck in a 41 MP sensor without a ridiculous hump, I'd like to see that as well.

3. A similar 4.5-inch display

Generally speaking I had no complaints in regards to the Nokia Lumia 920's display, and I don't think that Nokia needs to do anything radical to the display in any sort of successor. At 4.5-inches it seemed like a perfect size for myself and others: not too big that the device balloons out of a sensible size, and not too small that it falls into a mid-range category. The IPS ClearBlack technology that Nokia used was also impressive, and possibly could be tweaked to add in improvements.

Even though the Lumia 920's display isn't 1080p like some upcoming Android flagships, including this sort of display is not only not supported in Windows Phone 8, it's also unnecessary. A 4.5-inch 1280 x 768 display is already extremely crisp to use, and the added pixel count comes with a performance and battery hit. I'd be happy to see Nokia use the same sort of display type and resolution come the next device.

4. Qualcomm's Snapdragon 600 chipset

Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 Plus chipset, that we've seen in the majority of higher-end Windows Phone 8 devices, has so far been adequate for speed across the operating system... but you know what's even better? More speed! That's why I'd love to see Qualcomm's latest chip, the Snapdragon 600, inside the next Nokia Lumia device.

Why the Snapdragon 600 and not the Snapdragon 800? Another one of my wishes is for an all-day battery (see below), and from the looks of it the Snapdragon 600 seems like a better compromise between power and battery life. It's 40% faster than the Snapdragon S4 and it's also apparently more power efficient, plus you get a few more cores and a better GPU while you're at it.

As far as I can tell there's no reason why Windows Phone 8, or an update to the OS, couldn't support this chipset as similar chips have been used in the past. It seems like a perfect natural progression of what's in current devices, and would be a great inclusion in the next Lumia flagship.

5. A principal device thickness of 9mm or less

Nokia hasn't seemed to have grasped the concept of thin flagship devices, instead delivering a constant flurry of chunky devices without any sort of thought towards making the device less brick-like. The Lumia 800, Lumia 900 and Lumia 920 were all thick devices in the 10.5-12.5mm range, and none of them implemented a design that tried to hide the size (unlike the HTC 8X's seriously curved body).

With the Nokia Lumia 720 the Finnish company has proved that they can, in fact, design a device that utilizes a 9mm thick body, and I'd love to see some of these traits carry over to the next flagship Lumia. A principal device thickness of less than 9mm would be great to see - maybe with a camera hump for PureView technology - but I definitely don't want to see something like we have now with the Lumia 920.

6. A sizable, all-day battery

I doubt Nokia will be including a removable battery in the next high-end Lumia - mostly because they'll want to use a unibody build - so they need to compensate by including a decent-sized battery with some software optimizations to keep the device going all day. The Lumia 920's battery was okay, but more juice could easily be squeezed in with some careful designing.

And yes, I do believe that Nokia should be able to design a phone that's under 9mm thick while still including a battery that will last all day. The Motorola RAZR HD, an 8.4mm thick phone comparable to the Lumia 920 in footprint, packed in a 2,500 mAh battery that easily lasted all day, and I'd love to see Nokia do the same in the next Lumia.

7. Some killer software features

Sure, Nokia's selection of exclusive Windows Phone applications are great, but I think Nokia could perhaps go one step further by bundling in and integrating some sort of killer feature. A number of Android devices I've used have included some great, integrated features - from Smart Actions on Motorola devices, to the intricate control settings on Samsung phones - and I'd love to see Nokia include something cool (other than apps) on the next high-end Lumia.

8. A microSD card slot

Having a large amount of storage sure is nice (I would be expecting nothing less than 32 GB for a high-end Lumia), it's also nice to be able to expand upon this storage at a later date. You might find that even though 32 GB was enough initially, that you actually need 64 GB. Without a microSD card slot you'd need to purchase an entirely new phone to get more storage, or carefully manage what content you have on your device.

If Nokia includes a microSD card slot you could simply slot in an expansion card when you run out of space, at little cost to you. It also makes it very handy for people who have already used a phone with a microSD card slot, as sliding this card into your new device means instant access to all your old content including photos, videos and music. Samsung and Sony both seem to understand the need for microSD slots in high-end phones, and I hope Nokia will follow suit.

9. Worldwide carrier availability

This one's simple: no carrier exclusives. Make the device available on a wide range of carriers worldwide and see devices run out of the stores. Don't force people to buy unlocked devices, or switch carriers, to have access to the next Lumia. If it's available easily to all who want one, everyone will be happy.

10. A bundled wireless charging plate

The last thing on my wishlist isn't so much directed at the development of the device, but of the included accessories you find in the box. No doubt the next flagship Lumia will be a premium device, and it'll come with a premium price tag. As such, I feel that it would be appropriate and quite awesome of Nokia if there was a bundled wireless charging plate. The Lumia 920 included wireless charging capabilities, but the majority of users will not get to experience the convenience because there is no bundled Qi charger.

Nokia should either include a wireless charger directly in the box of the upcoming new Lumia, or have a cheap bundle readily available to buyers that's only $20 or so more expensive. It's quite an interesting and cool feature that would be made so much more useful if the second necessary part, the charging plate, was included alongside the device.

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I'd happily consider the next Lumia flagship if it had a removable battery, weighed less than the 920 and had beefier specs. The camera, display and design of the 920 are excellent but the trade-offs are unacceptable to me.

At the moment the Galaxy S4 is the phone I'm most interested in but I have an open mind and won't be upgrading for a few months.

You know whats more important than having the bleeding edge latest speedy chip? Proper driver support and stability. There is a reason why a 2 year old hd7 has less lag than a GS3...

My request is a less idiotic sim slot like on the 920 -.-. That thing is VERY annoying to open. The little hole is a bit damaged while opening and annoys me more then the dent in one of the corners.

Am I the only person who finds thin phones difficult to keep ahold of?

I have a Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, it's old now but if it didn't have a chunky case on I'da lost it months ago..

Smashing Pumpkin said,
Am I the only person who finds thin phones difficult to keep ahold of?

I have a Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, it's old now but if it didn't have a chunky case on I'da lost it months ago..


This, Nokia's are usually a bit more heavier then rival phones. Always have been (except some models though). I have an old 6310i and it isn't much lighter then the 920.

Throw in a decent headset into the package so we don't have to fiddle with finding a correct working headset. iPhone headsets don't seem to work, and neither do the majority of iOS headsets either...

After having the nokia lumia 920 world most bug fillex phone, I will not buy any Nokia lumias again no matter how good it is. Also my telco Telstra in Australia is issuing warning to customers not to buy lumia 920 because of high return rate.

qwerty keyboard
led notification or activate the windows logo as notification light
a tad thinner policarb finish cyan please
whatsapp not using the music api
snake
microsd
sell it in panama (I must be the only one with a 920 over here)
better maps for panama they are like 10 years old
a matching tablet
better battery life
more ram

How about superhydrophobic coating?
That's MY #1 wishlist item for the entire Nokia line.
Start with the flagship and trickle down.

I could take or leave your list Tim.
I'm happy with the 920 and the bulk it offers.

Yes size is a definite problem. Yes many users here like it, but its a turn off for many folks who want to buy the phone but are use to a slim phone.

Oh I forgot this...... Wireless Projection...... Windows 7 and 8 you can send display to projector wirelessly.. This would be awesome on the phone.

If not, the a Micro DisplayPort.

All of the above. Plus these apps/features:

- A much better (louder) speakers.
- Full utilization of the '3 High Dynamic Range Microphones'
- A built in Call/SMS blocker (if the Nokia L920T can have it, why can't our L920 and high end Nokia's on WP)
- Native support for SIP ( C'mon now. This is a BIG deal for enterprise users)
- Haptic feedback in QWERTY keyboard
- Notification features like that of my Nokia N9 (The "Me" tile ain't good enough for me)
- Ability to select our notification tones

Apps:

- A better FB client (although this should be MS'es job to update the lousy/buggy FB app)
- Instagram (I know, I know but this will greatly boost Nokia's market share, as well as WP's)

I agree with everything said above. The 920 is nearly the perfect smartphone feature wise.

Now it just needs to be refined. Lighter, faster, thinner, with a couple new killer features to differentiate (camera and whatever else Nokia has up it's sleeves).

I'm more concerned with Windows Phone being updated with killer features to keep up with the market.

To keep up with the market Windows Phone needs:
Siri, Google Now competitor (make that search button useful)
Notification Center (for the critics)
1080p support (for the spec chasers)
Better standard apps... (email and Calendar need to be updated they're basically unchanged since WP7 launch)

To differentiate they need:
Support for 5+ inch screens (change in content density to fit more info on the screen)
Better Office + OneNote Apps - This can be the major differentiation point for Windows Phone and they have not been taking advantage of it. These need to be incredible and could make Windows Phone the perfect "Note" device and the ultimate work / meeting companion.
Stylus support
Some random awesome feature that no other smartphone has and yet everyone needs.

Windows Phone needs to make news and not just keep up. They should launch a few of these features quarterly throughout the year. Hopefully that is what is happening with the GDR1, 2, 3, and 4 releases.

People still don't seem to understand why the high end model didn't have a microSD card slot.

It decreases performance! Go do some benchmarks on the memory within phones that have onboard + microSD. It just wouldn't be a high end phone if the memory performance suffered.

Wasn't it also a design issue? With the USB and headphone jack in the centre, the microSD card slot would have had to find asymmetrical home. Ideally I would like no need for a USB slot in future phones (not next gen, but once QI is a solid standard and embedded everywhere)

That might be the case in newer phones and I am sure that Nokia would have found a way round this issue. To be honest I would also rather want a phone without USB jack but this won't happen for some time.

The original WP7s that came out had a huge performance difference in terms of applications opening & installing depending on if they had a microSD or simply NAND memory. Samsungs Omnia 7 was one of the fastest phones simply because it didn't need to use a microSD.

Aluminium - YUCK......... Let me stress this again, YUCK YUCK YUCK............. No disrespect, but your points just seem like an Apple/Android Rant....

Nokia is trying to Define something Different, not be like the Rest. I love my Cyan polycarbonate End of Story

Here is was we Really Need...... NFC Stuff and more of it.

1. NFC to have more Access - I would love to tab on school Soccer poster and upload the Whole Schedule into my Calendar. Ok, other sports too. I have not seen this App Yet.

2. Update NFC Chip - Sorry do not remember all the Specs, but I read there is an update NFC Chip that uses half the Power.
3. Killer NFC App - I want to see a killer NFC app for moving Files back and forth or even playing games, and a slew of other stuff.
4. Gorilla Glass 3 - Though I think this is a given.
5. Updated Processor - Ok, maybe I can agree with your point on the 600, more battery life is always good. However, is the 800 better then what we have, and would a New NFC chip help that anyway.
6. MicroSD - yeah high end should have this.......


Well. I like Nokia's style and design and was a loyal user for years. However, I was disappointed by Symbian lack of innovation and dearth of apps. Actually, if Nokia were to start producing Android phones I would be buying them like crazy. Nokia's flair for design + Android appeal = killer product.
Nokia , if you are listening out there.

valkyr09 said,
Well. I like Nokia's style and design and was a loyal user for years. However, I was disappointed by Symbian lack of innovation and dearth of apps. Actually, if Nokia were to start producing Android phones I would be buying them like crazy. Nokia's flair for design + Android appeal = killer product.
Nokia , if you are listening out there.

Problem is, the android ecosystem has so many players... and each of which have a head start. I don't think Nokia would be able to infiltrate(?) the market if it chose android, at least in a timely matter that would keep them alive.
Take a look at HTC and their new phone... which looks/feels amazing. If that can't sell, why would a new Nokia that is looking/feeling amazing?


of course, this isn't taking into account the deal that MS and Nokia made.

Yep. I agree that there are more players in the android ecosystem. But Nokia is currently haemorrhaging money to MS for patents in using the Windows platform. They are not making any more sales as a result because of the slow app development in MS Store. Worse, MS is developing its own Windows 8 phone.
If Nokia has to survive, it will have to change strategy and that will be painful.

The size and weight... really? tired of that. Nothing wrong with a solid device. The only time I have battery issues is when I am on 4G for extended periods of time. Wireless charging plate, I got one with both of mine. The SD card would be nice. Camera,,, yes I find the camera to be overrated but then again I shoot important pictures with my DSLR. Yes a better processor would be great in the next gen. All in all my bigger issues or OS related, like music and Bluetooth.

How is an aluminium body going to somehow make it lighter and thinner than polycarbonate? And it's the cheapest weakest metal. It often scratches easier than polycarbonate, look at the iPhone 5 for example. So flimsy. The reason the Lumia 920 is thick is mainly because of it's lens.

Now if it was made of a superior quality metal like magnesium, as with the Surface, then that would be impressive.

1Pixel said,
How is an aluminium body going to somehow make it lighter and thinner than polycarbonate? And it's the cheapest weakest metal. It often scratches easier than polycarbonate, look at the iPhone 5 for example. So flimsy. The reason the Lumia 920 is thick is mainly because of it's lens.

Now if it was made of a superior quality metal like magnesium, as with the Surface, then that would be impressive.

I seriously hope magnesium... that would be a dream.

It couldn't bump up the price that much, as the surface costs 599$ which is same as smartphone... If only if only.

This just makes me feel that Lumia 920 is epic already There is hardly anything we can complain about it , the weight doesn't feel anymore to me now , in fact S3 feels cheap to me ! And I find the camera to be really nice even in daylight conditions , Pro Shot app really makes it a nice camera.

Battery and some heating on overuse (generally chatting) bother me a little , not much coz it happens once in weeks. Very satisfied with the device all in all ^_^ .

Totally agree. Thinner, lighter and a 41MP pureview camera would make me sell the 920 on ebay and grab a Lumia Next.

foaf said,
Totally agree. Thinner, lighter and a 41MP pureview camera would make me sell the 920 on ebay and grab a Lumia Next.

Lighter? I like the weight of the 920. Feels as solid as it is. Compared to it the s3 and iPhones are flexible lightweight toys.

When in crowd , I have never felt the urge to check my pockets for phone coz it feels there! Also the weight gives a solid feel! Weight is no issue for me , just some minor ones , which are so minor that i don't even mind. Love my Lumia 920 ^_^

Don't mind aluminumum -> as long as it doesn't scratch!!!!! you can throw a Lumia 920 under a bus and it will come out unscathed. Really durability == quality.

Are you serious? The back of mine have little dints and scratches on it, just from the junk that gets under it's case.

I noticed it the other day.

Nashy said,
Are you serious? The back of mine have little dints and scratches on it, just from the junk that gets under it's case.

I noticed it the other day.


The back of my 920 is one major scratch fest. be it really tiny scratches hard to notice without looking very closely. But I got the phone in January and it wont be long before the shininess on the back is gone.

Push Microsoft to release some timely updates for the OS.

Dunno why people have issues on battery. Mine still has 42% 14 hours after I took it off charge.

Do you chat / watch a lot of youtube videos / use wifi/3g/4g for like 2~4 hours ?
I do that and I get about 13 to 17 hours of battery , if i don't chat , i can even stretch out for 26 hours!

Nashy said,
Dunno why people have issues on battery. Mine still has 42% 14 hours after I took it off charge.
I can generally eek out just over two days of battery, with Bluetooth always on. With Bluetooth off, I can easily get 3 days of modest use. I rarely use WiFi and I never use NFC, so they both stay off.

I've found that if I ever notice my battery dropping more than I would expect, then I can check to see if it's running hot (literally). If so, then I just reboot the phone and the battery stops draining. Games eat the battery, but they do on every platform due to frequent screen updates.

There is some runaway process that rarely drains my battery. It probably happens once every two weeks, and I have not figured out what it is. Personally, I hope that a future release of WP enables users to close apps in a similar fashion to how you do it on iOS. Generally speaking, it's just some form of OCD, but sometimes I don't trust that an app isn't wasting my battery in the background (not to mention, I sometimes forget to stop the GPS after I arrive at a location, which eats battery on any phone). On iOS, I got into the habit of closing apps when I was done with them, and I would like to get back into that with WP, but that's a Microsoft request and not a Nokia one.

My Bluetooth is on all the time and connects to my car for an hour to and an hour from work a day. I use it for music in the car at the same time.

I have calls on the device maybe 5 - 10 times a day, with about 30 - 60 minutes talk time a day.

Wifi never turns off.

I don't use it all that much in the last few weeks for browsing, only because I recently bought an iPad. However, even prior to that, it really didn't affect the battery life that much.

It did take a few charges for it to get to it's full capacity, but I am very impressed with the battery actually.

pickypg said,
I can generally eek out just over two days of battery, with Bluetooth always on. With Bluetooth off, I can easily get 3 days of modest use. I rarely use WiFi and I never use NFC, so they both stay off.

I've found that if I ever notice my battery dropping more than I would expect, then I can check to see if it's running hot (literally). If so, then I just reboot the phone and the battery stops draining. Games eat the battery, but they do on every platform due to frequent screen updates.

There is some runaway process that rarely drains my battery. It probably happens once every two weeks, and I have not figured out what it is. Personally, I hope that a future release of WP enables users to close apps in a similar fashion to how you do it on iOS. Generally speaking, it's just some form of OCD, but sometimes I don't trust that an app isn't wasting my battery in the background (not to mention, I sometimes forget to stop the GPS after I arrive at a location, which eats battery on any phone). On iOS, I got into the habit of closing apps when I was done with them, and I would like to get back into that with WP, but that's a Microsoft request and not a Nokia one.


This, to close an app, just open the app and hit the back button. any background processes might run though. But the app wont be suspended like it would if you press the home key.

Shadowzz said,
This, to close an app, just open the app and hit the back button. any background processes might run though. But the app wont be suspended like it would if you press the home key.
Yeah, I knew about that, but thanks. It's just annoying to have effectively a 3 * N step process to do this with multiple apps (open multitasking, select app, hit back until it exits, and then repeat for the next app), when it could be N + 2 (open multitasking and swipe app down off of the screen akin to Windows 8).

It would be nice if they could deliver this device but as always don't get your hopes up because Nokia never delivers what we wish for! The anticipation is always high but the result...always missing some key features or some compromises...

And point 6, I wish we could get a premium Phone that can withstand a day without a problem...

Add one important, update to newer OS guaranty from Microsoft , not like forcing it to become obsolete (as per OS at-least) within a new months of purchase

Johannespreekt said,
It would be nice if they could deliver this device but as always don't get your hopes up because Nokia never delivers what we wish for! The anticipation is always high but the result...always missing some key features or some compromises...

And point 6, I wish we could get a premium Phone that can withstand a day without a problem...


The only thing that was a let down for me on the 920 was the camera a bit, as reviews/examples before looked allot better then what im getting (still really good pictures for a phone camera though). And some lacking apps in the store, but this isn't Nokia's fault.
The 920 easily survives a day on moderate-heavy usage. and lately im getting 2 days out of it on moderate usage. Charging it every other night. Even on heavy usage (not playing games) it easily goes through a day and at best has to be charged again in the evening.
Compare this to all the S3's and iPhones I see hooked up to power at least 2 times a day with heavy users.

Oh and its also strong as what we became used to with Nokia. I dropped it several times already and besides a dent in a corner and a few small scratches on the back.... compare that to most other smart phones who break screens after being dropped on frigging CARPETS.