In the weeks that led up to the formal launch of Windows Phone 8 GDR3, we thought we had a pretty good handle on what to expect. We knew that a denser start screen was coming in order to address the arrival of high-res phablets like the 1080p Lumia 1520, but leaks of the update running on existing hardware sure seemed to suggest that the same third column of Live Tiles would be available as an option on smaller screens. Suffice it to say, that didn’t actually happen, and eventually we got confirmation from Joe Belfiore himself that the extra column was dependent on both having a large screen as well as a 1080p resolution. We can’t help but continue to wonder at what might have been, though, and today we’re looking at a new pic of one of these earlier in-development GDR3 builds running on a Lumia 920.
It’s a tight squeeze on that 4.5-inch display, no doubt, but we’d wager to bet that even with smaller tiles like this, it’s still perfectly usable. Those icons remain plenty sharp and well-defined, and even if some of the tiny details get lost, the grid layout and bold colors keep things relatively easy to see at a glance.
All this has us wishing we knew more about what became of this effort. It sure looks like it was working fine, but could there have been glitchy behavior of which we’re not aware? Was the decision to constrain this layout to larger screens purely a look-and-feel one, with Microsoft not wanting its platform to seem too cluttered? Maybe someday we’ll eventually get those answers.