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Summary:

The next round of new Windows Phones could have sharper, higher resolution screens based Microsoft’s Visual Studio software: The code includes a Windows Phone emulator for 1920 x 1080 displays. Will Nokia offer the first 1080p Microsoft-powered handset?

Nokia Lumia 920, Windows Phone 8
photo: GigaOM

Tired of seeing 720p or lower resolution on Windows Phones? Based on a hint from the latest version of Microsoft Visual Studio software, which can be used to create Windows Phone apps, support for 1080p devices appears to be in the works. If correct, it would bring displays on Microsoft-powered handsets up to par with the latest flagship Android phones.

On Tuesday, Arne Hess at the::unwired picked up on a tweet from Justin Angel with the evidence. According to Angel, the beta build of Visual Studio 2013, released last week at Microsoft’s Build developer conference, has a new high-resolution Windows Phone emulator:

According to his Twitter profile, Angel worked for Nokia on Windows Phone 7 and 8, as well as for Microsoft on the company’s Silverlight platform. While the existence of a 1080p emulator doesn’t guarantee any 1080p handsets soon, clearly Microsoft is prepping its mobile software to support such devices. Including the emulator will allow developers to code their Windows Phones apps for high-resolution displays.

There’s also a slim chance that Nokia could be introducing the first 1080p Windows Phone next week, although I think odds are against it. Nokia is holding a New York City press event on July 11 at 11 am ET and has hinted at 41 million reasons we might care: Likely alluding to a Lumia device with the company’s 41 megapixel PureView camera technology. It’s possible that the new phone would include a large 1920 x 1080 resolution screen to enjoy highly detailed camera photos, but I think it’s a long shot.

Nokia PureView 808

More likely would be 1080p Windows Phone devices arriving in the fourth quarter of this year closer to the holiday season. Regardless, Microsoft continues to methodically mature its Windows Phone platform, even if it is late to the smartphone game currently dominated by iPhone and Android handsets.

Adding a 1080p hardware option could help sales because many smartphone buyers still consider device specifications to see what they’re getting for their money. Of course, you need software that takes advantage of the higher-resolution phones. Now that Visual Studio 2013 offers support for them, developers can get to work on that.

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  1. Never been a problem for me and I wouldn’t change my phone just for the screen.

  2. For me, 720p is enough. I don’t need a higher resolution, because the difference is not very obvious anyway.

  3. Nokia should really be offering a high res device for one handed use. I just sold a Lumia 920 after a weeks use because it’s simply to unwieldy for my liking. So I’m back to my Iphone 4.
    Samsung offers the S4 mini. Clever.. I really don’t understand the Lumia line-up. Anyway, i’ll wait a few months and see what happens.

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