The Lumia Icon – Too Late, Too Late

The Lumia Icon, is, by all accounts, a wonderful phone. It’s the first device, other than the Lumia 1520, that sees Windows Phone 8 match (and on a few specs, exceed), the cutting edge of the Android market. There is, however, one large fly in the ointment – despite being an exceedingly well specced phone for the current generation, the current generation is almost over.

Indeed, over the next couple weeks at Mobile World Congress, phones with displays and processors that exceed those on the Lumia Icon will almost certainly be announced. Now, some of these improvements will be mere spec-racing. After all, the Icon already has 441ppi, a number unthinkable even a year or two ago, and hardly something to ashamed of, even with the coming 2560×1440 screens. But the main reason this is such a problem is that the phone was ready for a Christmas launch, and is instead finally wandering onto shelves in the middle of February.

Whether the long delay was because of an exclusivity agreement with AT&T regarding the Lumia 1520, or because Verizon took its sweet time is somewhat irrelevant, because in either case, the phone missed the lucrative holiday sales window, and is instead about to launch straight into the teeth of MWC announcement season, complete with the rumoured reveal of the Samsung Galaxy S5.

This delayed or non-existent launch pattern has been repeated with every generation of Windows Phone, with the 920 appearing on AT&T for six months before the 925 and 928 arrived on T-Mobile and Verizon, the 1020 never arriving on another carrier, and the Lumia Icon arriving some four months after the 1520, and only on Verizon. T-Mobile is still left out in the cold for a top of the line Windows Phone 8 device.

The Lumia Icon will be a wonderful phone, and will likely become my phone of choice, unless Mobile World Congress turns up an even better Windows Phone, but for anyone outside of platform enthusiasts, the phone has launched too late.

Tech specs can be found after the break

Specs:

  • 5 inch, 1920x1080p display
  • 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor
  • 20-megapixel PureView rear camera (with optical image stabilization)
  • 1.2MP front-facing webcam
  • Gorilla Glass 3 screen
  • Qi wireless charging
  • NFC
  • dual-band WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth 4.0 + LE.
  • 2,420mAh battery

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