Microsoft is not the first provider of mobile operating systems that comes to mind when thinking of a new smartphone. Windows Phone has a global market share that is not negligible, but almost – although it is the third most used mobile OS in the world, but it runs on less than 3% of all the smartphones. But the Redmond giant has plans to turn the situation around this year, attacking the supremacy of iOS and Android with Windows 10 for Phones, which will be released in a few months along with two new flagship Lumia handsets, code named Cityman and Talkman.
Let’s take a look at what we know about them so far.
1. Screen size
Today smartphones need to have large screens to appeal to mobile gamers and people who consume a lot of media on the go. Microsoft plans to give its fans exactly that, providing them with two smartphones with considerable screens. Talkman (Lumia 950) will have a 5.2 inch WQHD (1440×2560) OLED display, while Cityman (Lumia 950 XL – guess what it means) will be even larger, with a 5.7 inch WQHD (1440×2560) OLED screen.
Smartphones are pocket-size computers which can also handle voice calls, so let’s look at them that way. Both new Microsoft phones will be stronger in hardware than my current desktop. Talkman will be powered by the Snapdragon 808 chipset with a six-core CPU, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and USB type C. Cityman will have a similar configuration, but its CPU will be stronger – it will be powered by the Snapdragon 810 CPU with eight cores.
I can tell from the specs that have been leaked that my favorite online casino app will run great on any of these two models. With all the great Canadian online promotions available at Royal Vegas I find myself playing there every day. But it’s not just the promotions – it’s also the wide range of excellent games (over 100 of them literally at my fingertips) that keep me coming back for more. With the new OLED screens that are bright, sharp and responsive, the games at the Royal Vegas will run like a charm on them – certainly helped a lot by the strong hardware to back them. I expect the interface to be beautiful on the new, high definition display, and the games to be even easier to play thanks to its size.
Lumia phones were always well known for their excellent cameras, and the two new Microsoft flagships will be no exception. Both new models will feature a 20 megapixel PureView camera with the usual Zeiss lenses, with the Cityman also featuring a triple LED flash for maximum effect. There are no specifics known about the capabilities of the camera, but we can be sure that it will record 1080p video at 60fps, and take amazing pictures both outside and inside. We’re talking about flagship phones, after all. Both models will feature the same 5 megapixel front-facing camera, perfect for high quality selfies and high definition video communication.
Both phones are said to have not just a 3,000 mAh battery pack, but also the capability of charging with no wires involved, by the Qi standard. I wonder if they will be delivered with a complete charging solution or the wireless chargers will be sold separately. Besides, both models will most likely be chargeable through their USB-C ports as well.
5. Other perks
Both Cityman and Talkman are rumored to be fitted with an iris scanner that will allow unlocking them just by staring into the camera. Paired with the Windows Hello feature in Windows 10, it should take less than 1 second for the phone to be unlocked this way. Still, I have already imagined people staring at their phones on the street, and I started chuckling…
The phones will have an accessory called Munchkin, recently revealed by Microsoft, which is basically a USB-C docking station that will allow the phones to be used as desktop computers through Continuum.
6. Release date
Microsoft has previously revealed that it doesn’t plan to launch any new flagships until the release of Windows 10 for Phones. Rumors say that the new handsets will be officially revealed this September at the IFA conference in Berlin, with both of them hitting the market in October or November – just in time for the Christmas shopping craze.