The next iteration of Microsoft's mobile operating system is here, and it's being ushered in by a brand new flagship device: the beautiful Nokia Lumia 930...

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We’re big fans of Windows Phone. Microsoft’s smartphone platform has only gone from strength to strength since it hit the scene in 2010, but now it’s time to usher in its latest iteration: Windows Phone 8.1. This newest version brings with it a bunch of cool new features, and the Nokia Lumia 930 is the first phone to come with all of them already installed.

 

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The Lumia 930 is now available at Vodafone UK, but what makes it great? And what’s new with Windows Phone 8.1? Read on, and by the end of this post you’ll be a Windows Phone and Lumia guru.

Windows Phone 8.1: What’s new?

Windows Phone 8.1 is the latest version of Microsoft’s mobile operating system – the platform on which all Windows Phones live. It’s now more linked to Windows 8 on your computer than ever before, both in terms of design, and with new features like tab syncing between what you’re looking at on Internet Explorer on the phone and desktop. You also get access to the full mobile version of Microsoft Office, which syncs with your computer via Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage system..

Also new in Windows Phone 8.1 is the notification centre – a drop-down list of all the alerts you’ve had from things like apps, texts and calls – and the ability to ‘skin’ the Start screen’s Live Tiles with a picture of your choice.

But the biggest new feature in Windows 8.1 is definitely Cortana – a smart, voice-activated assistant that’s coming to all Windows Phone 8.1 devices later in 2014. Cortana is powered by Bing, which means she’s connected to the knowledge of the whole web, and she learns all the time. Check out the video below for a closer look:

 

 

You can use Cortana for a massive amount of really useful day-to-day things. You can ask her to search the web, ask her for a weather forecast, ask her to direct you somewhere and a lot more besides, but her cleverness runs much deeper than that.

That’s because Cortana keeps a ‘notebook’ of the things you like, the places you go and the people you care about, and uses that notebook of information to store contextual reminders and give you live information. She can alert you that the traffic to work is bad, for instance, and suggest you leave earlier. Or you can ask her to remind you to say a specific thing the next time you’re on a call with a specific person. It’s very clever stuff.

All in all, Windows Phone 8.1 is a big jump for the platform, and when you make a big jump like that, you need a flagship phone to really do it justice. Enter the Nokia Lumia 930…

Nokia Lumia 930: The best just got better

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Thankfully, the Nokia Lumia 930 does all that Windows Phone innovation justice. It’s a bright, light and sturdy flagship, boasting a brilliant 5-inch ClearBlack display with a full HD 1920 x 1080p resolution.

Around the back, the Lumia 930 sports a powerful 20-Megapixel PureView camera, which snaps the kind of amazingly detailed pictures we’ve all come to expect from Nokia smartphones. Inside, there’s a Quad-core Qualcomm processor, which ensures that everything from making calls, to running apps, to playing graphically impressive Xbox games will all run smoothly – no matter what you throw at it.

“It’s a bright, light and sturdy flagship, boasting a brilliant 5-inch display…”

The Nokia Lumia 930 is available to order now for free on a 24 month Red 4G plan, at £43.50 per month. All of our Red 4G plans come with the choice of either a Sky Sports Mobile TV or Spotify Premium subscription for up to two years. There’s more on that here.

But it gets better. Buy your Lumia 930 right now and (while stocks last), you’ll get it along with a gift bundle containing a DC-50 Wireless Charging Plate, a MD-12 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker and a £40 Apps voucher to spend in the Windows Phone Marketplace! And if even that’s not enough, we’ll give you £5 off your monthly Red or Red 4G line rental when you trade in any working touchscreen phone. (Terms apply).

Click here for more info on the touchscreen trade in offer.

Order yours… The best of Windows Phone and the best of Nokia in one package? Sounds good to us. You can pick up your Nokia Lumia 930 in your local Vodafone store right now.