Codename: Catwalk - here's what we know about Nokia's mysterious aluminum smartphone

Codename: Catwalk - here's what we know about Nokia's mysterious aluminum smartphone
Nokia is rumored to have a number of handsets that are almost ready for introduction, but the so-called Nokia Catwalk is probably the most exciting one. Not because of specs or something like that. Nope, after all, its specs are expected to be as good as those of any decent Windows Phone device around. What makes it intriguing is how different it is from the rest of Nokia's smartphone range, as well as from the majority of the market.

Everyone knows about the excellent build quality of Nokia phones. That characteristic continued to be valid when the company started producing its current line of polycarbonate Lumias. Plastic or not, these handsets feel solid and well-built. With the Catwalk, though, it seems Nokia will be looking to produce something special. The phone, which is said to have an aluminum body, will probably have a hard time fitting in with the rest of the Lumia line. How is a grey, metallic handset supposed to coexist with those colorful and plastic phones? It wouldn't surprise us if Nokia decides to give the Catwalk a different name or at least some kind of a special model number in order to differentiate it from the rest of the phones in its portfolio. Of course, since we're yet to see the device officially, we can't be sure that its whole body will be made of metal. In reality, it could be that only its internal frame if made of metal, and most of the outer casing is still plastic. We hope that it's not the latter option, but we'll see.

But what else do we know about the Nokia Catwalk, besides the fact that it's going to be made of metal? Well, because of Windows Phone's specific 'chassis' requirements with regards to hardware, we're still unable to see any cutting edge components inside a Windows Phone device. As a matter of fact, we don't really need those components yet, because everything runs perfectly on a high-end Windows handset, but the point is that we simply shouldn't expect any wonders from the Catwalk in the specs department. The mysterious handset is rumored to sport a 4.5" screen, which is a great size, in our opinion. The resolution will either be 768 x 1280, or 720 x 1280 pixels. The latter would make for a pixel density of about 326 ppi, which is not as outstanding as what you'll find on those Android monsters like the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, but it's still very high. Most users will probably have a hard time noticing a difference between a 1080p screen and a 720p screen.

Moving on to the silicon part of the equation that the Nokia Catwalk is, the sources seem to agree that we're talking about a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor with two cores (quad-core tech is yet to make its way to Microsoft's mobile platform). In addition, there's supposed to be 1GB of RAM that will make sure that everything runs smoothly and fluidly.

Now, internal storage space on the Catwalk is actually a delicate topic right now, because all the rumors thus far point at 16 GB, with no word about a bigger variant or a microSD card slot. We know that it's not impossible for Nokia to install a microSD slot on its Windows Phones (one is present in the newest low- and mid-range Lumias), so it wouldn't really make sense for the Catwalk to lack such a slot, especially if there isn't a variant with more storage than 16 gigs. Anyway, let's leave that topic open for now, and have our fingers crossed that Nokia will do the right thing. Not that it will be a disaster, should the Nokia Catwalk arrive with 16 GB only, but we know there will be a lot of consumers who'll be unsatisfied by that.

Since much of the Nokia Catwalk will be made of aluminum, the handset is also said to be slimmer and lighter than a high-end Lumia like the 920. If we trust some of the latest leaks, the Catwalk will have a thickness of 8.4 millimeters. In contrast, the Lumia 920 is 10.7 mm thich, which makes for quite a bulky handset. In terms of weight, the Catwalk's 132 grams will also make the Lumia 920's 185 grams feel quite hefty. Then again, that's the whole idea of making an aluminum phone. OK, that may not be all there is to it, but these are one of the main benefits.

Nokia is seriously trying to revolutionize mobile photography with its latest innovations in the area, and while we aren't convinced that the Finns are quite there yet, we can't deny that their cameras have great potential. In that relation, the Nokia Catwalk is said to have a very similar camera to the one found on the Nokia Lumia 920, or to be more specific - a 8.7 MP shooter with PureView Phase 2 technology. That means it'll also have Optical Image Stabilization, which has proven to be priceless when recording video. We just hope that the software engineers at Nokia will take the time to improve the processing algorithms this time around, since the Lumia 920 often takes pictures with overblown colors that just don't look right.

So, when will we have the pleasure of holding the Nokia Catwalk in our hands? That we don't know, but we do know that it's very likely for the handset to be introduced at Nokia's May 14 event in London, which we'll cover live. If that really does happen, we can probably expect the Catwalk to come out in a month or so after the announcement. The good news here is that according to the sources, the Catwalk will be looking to make business in the US, where it'll be offered by T-Mobile.

Do you, guys, think that Nokia will succeed with the Catwalk? Do you consider getting one, if all of the above information turns out to be true? Sound off in the comments below!



1. Kurai unregistered

Such a beauty! . . . it's a shame wp8 is limiting it's true potential as a device (max of only 2 cores and only 720p screen) :( . .


Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

WP does not need a quadcore to run smoothly, Many Android phones has quadcore inside and still the phone is slow and laggy. only 720p? like you can see the difference between 720p and 1080p, oh maybe you hold your phone 1 centimeter from your eyes! Hardware specs is not all you need, when a os like android is not optimized you can put a octacore inside and it will still lag!

31. Reverence

Posts: 224; Member since: Jul 16, 2012

Hardware is like a gimmick, realtime performance matters and thats how android sells devices, not by realtime performance but by high end speech sheets which fail in real world


Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

Then don't buy dualcore phones™ Go get a L520 single core low Gpu, that won't be able to play highend games!

59. tusshharish

Posts: 342; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

nokia l520 is dual core dude.......and it can handle games like asphalt...

76. windroid unregistered

You don't even know what you're talking about, writing so much and knowing so little! You can only count the number of cores and even so you do it wrong!

65. haseebzahid

Posts: 1853; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

dont forget android is java based all around which is actully really slow compared to others and all developers agree on this faCt

45. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

1000+ for u dude, 100% agree

48. Pedro0x

Posts: 271; Member since: Oct 19, 2012

It is not about smoothness we are talking about. If you buy a smartphone for that kind of money you expect the best. All smartphones lag, iphone or WP phones are no exception( I have many iphones in my school and they all lag) and every time I have touched a WP phone, it has lagged and it felt slow. I am not saying that SGS 4 or HTC ONE won´t lag because all smartphone will eventually lag. But I have to agree that WP runs better than android low and mid smartphones because the system isn´t very optimized on low and mid smartphones. Only 720p? No I can not see difference between 1080p and 720p on a phone but if someone would offer you two smartphones with the same price tag but one will have 1080p display and the other one 720p display( and of course with almost the same battery consumption) which one would you take? I agree

51. Pedro0x

Posts: 271; Member since: Oct 19, 2012

I am sorry but phonearena didn´t want to let me edit. I agree HW is not all but if you have superior HW that you can do things that you couldn´t otherwise with a worse HW. We have to take advantage of the new technology otherwise we are stuck.

49. p211093

Posts: 25; Member since: Dec 12, 2012

for eg sg s4.some time gallare and call logs get very slow....and see its has octa core 2* its now stable os

52. Pedro0x

Posts: 271; Member since: Oct 19, 2012

Yes Samsung really fu.... up SGS4, it has nothing to do with HW, A15 cores are the most powerful HW you can put in mobiles today, it is about Samsung screwing up SW

85. p211093

Posts: 25; Member since: Dec 12, 2012

and frnd compare wp8 dual sgs4 octa..perfomance r use of octa use of it..not a pc also not require octa is in the air...not on land

53. StreetNerd

Posts: 870; Member since: Dec 08, 2010

like the friggin Xperia Z, just by swiping trough the widget/icons screens u notice some mini lags.... friggin annoying

54. Pedro0x

Posts: 271; Member since: Oct 19, 2012

I know I tested it in stores and it was really lagging. Put a ROM and a kernel on it and it will run way better.


Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

O so next year when it will have Quadcore, you're gonna say you don't need 6 or 8 core. Then in 2 years time stick with quadcore, and don't buy Nokias highend phones. Wow so indenial, when the L800 came you all said you don't need good Adreno 225 or 1Gb Ram, and now u all enjoying it, such denial™ You no you want it, but tough, you can't have it. Wait another year® I wonder, wondering what will Nokia Wp users will come up with there next excuse™

63. dexter_jdr

Posts: 1163; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

well duh! thats their plan. why improve specs when not yet needed? what in return will you get if they boosted their hardware specs? just to add up pricetag? just to have similar specs with other competitor phones? you think you need those powerful specs. but nokia knows what's best for you. .stop complaining and shut up. go complain why android still stutters on QUADCORE. WP os will compete equally in hardware specs against them when its time. and in that time you will now realize that Nokia/WP is relevant

66. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2477; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I agree with your statement that WP8 definitely does not need quad-core in order to run smoothly (it's as smooth as butter right now!) , but I still wish that Microsoft would be lenient in the hardware they allow for a device running WP8. Instead of setting limits, they should be setting the minimum amount. So, for instance, Microsoft would say that a device that has WP8 should at LEAST have a dual-core S4 Snapdragon processor while allowing manufacturers to have anything at that or above if they wish to. That way they ensure that every device is capable of running the operating system smoothly (and that consumers are pleased with the performance of their devices) while also allowing manufacturers to compete with one another by offering a variety of handsets with a variety of hardware features. Those who want the higher specifications (whether you argue why that may be feasible or not) will have the choice of whether they want one or not. Or, another idea, Microsoft could offer three different tiers of performance: low, mid, and high. I can already imagine if they were to do this in Q4 of this year and have the latest Snapdragon 800 processor on their high performance tier phones, the Snapdragon 600 on their mid-tier phones, and the S4 processor for their budget (or low-tier) phones. These are just my thoughts.

67. abate

Posts: 43; Member since: Dec 19, 2012

There is a one plot hiding.. If you set up a specific specifications for an OS (WP, iOS), the developers have to create programs with the specific specs in mind. So the end result will be the program will be running flawlessly, no matter what the device costs (either a high end device or low-end device). If they open up, the market will be flooded with lots of devices with different specs, so it will end up lagging on low to mid-range devices. For example, game developer has to develop game with Adreno 225 in mind. Because they develop for Adereno 225, it will be far easy to develop and the game can be playable on any devices (If they didn't det a RAM limit). If MS allowed too many soc like Snapdragon (Adreno 225, 320, 330), Tegra, etc., then the developer will have hard time developing a game. Moreover smooth game play can be achieved on some specific devices (probably high-end devices) You may ask, can't MS allow both Adreno 225 and 320 and let the game developer develop games with only Adreno in mind? Of cource they can and probably they will in near future. But there is no logic of having a highend gpu, when the games are only developed for a low-end gpu. Right?

75. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2477; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

No, I believe what would happen is they would create games with different graphical settings. Just like when you purchase a game for your PC, the graphics on said game have different settings: low, medium, high (and sometimes ultra). Prime example would be the games nVidia has for it's Tegra 3 and Tegra 4 processors. When they are demoing the games to everyone, they show how the game plays on a Tegra 3/4 device versus a non-Tegra device. The game still runs smoothly on the non-Tegra device, but there are extra graphical details on the Tegra device than there are on the non-Tegra device. Also, I think it would be smart of Microsoft to make a high-tier phone to stand out from a mid to low tier device because they could market the device as "Xbox Mobile" device and allow it to have it's own special app with games that are built exclusively for the device's high-end hardware. Those that are really into gaming would pay for the device while those who feel they don't need a performance device can settle for the mid and low tier devices. Also, game developers like Gameloft already design games with a set device in mind. For instance, N.O.V.A. 3 will not run on a WP8 device like the Lumia 620 but it would run on the Lumia 920. So, we can already see there is a distinction between low and mid-tier when it comes to gaming. I don't think you would cause that many problems if you add in one extra tier in there, especially if, as I said earlier, you make the device sound like an "Xbox Mobile" device. Microsoft has already considered making an Xbox phone.

81. abate

Posts: 43; Member since: Dec 19, 2012

"Also, game developers like Gameloft already design games with a set device in mind. For instance, N.O.V.A. 3 will not run on a WP8 device like the Lumia 620 but it would run on the Lumia 920." That's not the problem of the GPU. It's memory limitation, which is another chapter. :D

83. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2477; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Right I acknowledged that, but my point still holds true that the Windows Phone 8 experience is NOT the same across all Windows Phone 8 devices so there is no real point in not having a third tier. And like I pointed out with the Tegra 3/4 and non-Tegra phones, there is obviously going to be an advantage to having a better GPU while still offering the application to run on phones that may not offer the same graphical performance.

79. taikucing unregistered

what lag? I don't find any lags in my dual core phone. It's the heavily skinned apps & crazy animation that makes the phone lag. WP8 & iPhone doesn't have crazy animation like android. Don't forget that WP8 has lower resolution that doesn't tax CPU power as much as android does.

39. Galen20K

Posts: 579; Member since: Dec 26, 2008

I'm an Android user, but dont' be so harsh on Windows Phone. Although yes there are some area's lacking in it keeping it from being my daily driver, it's a very interesting and slick interface.

78. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

One area where Nokia COULD differentiate itself is in the camera function. It doesn't have a lock at the moment, but maybe in 2014. HTC One has the largest pixel size (2 microns) at the moment, but is presently limited to ~4 Mp. Both Nokia and HTC One have OIS, so there is essentially a tie of sorts. For whatever reason, Nokia hasn't released its 41+ Mp PureView sensor to WP, so there must be some reason. Camera functionality is definitely an opportunity for Nokia, however. They just have to connect the dots.

50. phonemirer

Posts: 111; Member since: Dec 07, 2012

l920 is 768p not 720p, its 332ppi in 4.5

68. HDShatter

Posts: 1021; Member since: Jan 17, 2013

Idiots saying specs don't matter. Thats like saying a freaking athlon x2 with a gt 630 is as good as an i5 paired with a gtx 680/7970.

71. ecmedic4

Posts: 520; Member since: May 02, 2013

Specs matter, but excellent software optimization is equally important as well. But some ppl think that hardware specs are the only thing that matters and try to say device A is the best because it has better specs than device B, thats simply not fully true, excellent software optimization does make a big difference as well.

80. Edmund

Posts: 656; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

No, it's like saying "ATI drivers suck" , which they do.

5. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

This sound good, OIS is so great. I'm eager to see the updates and improvement on Pureview Technology

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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