How do you feel about a whole new Start screen? One that is just filled to the brim with Live Tiles and Hubs, sized in all different ways, and exuding a beautiful color scheme? Sounds like a dream come true, right? After all, it's the perfect combination of customization and proprietary software. Right?
As it stands at this very moment, that's what the end consumer is looking at with Windows Phone 8. We're still waiting for Microsoft to unveil the plethora of new features we can expect to see in new devices come later this fall, which they'll do at this year's BUILD conference at the end of October.
The fact that we're still waiting to see the lion's share of Windows Phone 8 features hasn't stopped manufacturers from showing off new hardware. Samsung, Nokia, and most recently HTC. They've all lifted the curtain off their Windows Phone launch devices, and there's no denying that all of them are noteworthy in their own way.
Recently, a leaked roadmap for Verizon indicated that the Big Red wireless carrier is taking a harder focus on Microsoft's mobile operating system this time around. Instead of launching just one device, the roadmap suggests that Verizon will actually be releasing three devices: the ATIV S by Samsung, the Windows Phone 8X by HTC, and the Nokia Lumia 920.
The ATIV S features a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display, with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor inside. On the back there's an 8MP camera, and on the front a 1.9MP shooter. It will launch in two versions, one with 16GB of storage and another with 32GB. You'll be able to expand the memory thanks to a microSD card slot. It will also launch with NFC capabilities.
The Windows Phone 8X packs a 4.3-inch S-LCD2 display, with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor under the hood. There's an 8MP camera with HTC's custom Image Chip technology on the back, and a very-wide-angle 2.1MP front-facing shooter on the other side. It will launch with 16GB of onboard memory, which you won't be able to expand (physically). It, too, will carry NFC support.
And finally, there's Nokia's newest Lumia device, the 920. With a 4.3-inch IPS PureMotion HD+ display. Following the trend, there's a 1.5GHz dual-core processor running the show. An 8MP PureView camera on the back, and a 1.3MP front-facing camera. You'll find it out in the wild with 32GB of storage, but no expandable memory. NFC, too.
You've no doubt noticed a few similarities between the devices, which makes it a hard sell for most consumers. After all, there's not much different here. (Hah. I almost called the ATIV S a Galaxy phone.) The Samsung offering has the largest display, as well as the most memory options (thanks to that 32GB model, and expandable memory). But, it just comes in one color.
The Lumia 920 will probably offer up the best display out of the three, even as it measures in between the Windows Phone 8X and the ATIV S. Plus, multiple colors. The Windows Phone 8X comes in a wide range of colors as well, though, and has a design that, while reminiscent of the Lumia series, still stands out on its own.
It wasn't too long ago that rumors were suggesting that Verizon would only be launching the lesser of the two new Lumia devices, the Lumia 820. That would have been the wrong move, in my opinion. That, in all honesty, would have been the Trophy situation all over again.
But this newest leaked roadmap, these new rumors of the "Big 3," have me really excited about what's to come. If it happens. on the flip-side, though, I think it puts the consumer in a very interesting spot. After all, as I said, there isn't much separating these devices. If Verizon launches all three of them, at the same time --or even close to it-- it will be very interesting to see how sales do for each device, compared to the other.
I'd venture to guess that HTC may have a slight upper hand, though, considering their device is actually called a Windows Phone. However, that large display for the ATIV S, and the wide range of colors from Nokia and that Lumia name is a good way to even the playing field.
So tell me, Dear Reader. Tell me which device you'd pick up and why. And we're basing this off a leaked roadmap for Verizon, but let's open the doors. Tell me which carrier you'd want to run your brand new Windows Phone 8 device on, too.