Of all the understatements and mischaracterizations of the tech world, probably the most ignominious is the point-upgrade. No matter how many major improvements they’ve contained, updates like the bump from Android 4.3 to 4.4, and BlackBerry 10.1 to 10.2 have always seemed somehow less impressive due to their miniscule numeric promotion. And that’s more true than ever before with Windows Phone 8.1. From the introduction of a native voice assistant to some long-overdue interface overhauls, Microsoft’s new software injects some sorely-needed modernity into its smartphone platform, and we’re here to tell you how well it works.

Adam Z. Lein and I have spent six days with Windows Phone 8.1 on a Nokia Lumia Icon provided to us by Microsoft. While the pre-release software we’ve been using doesn’t include the improvements coming with Nokia’s Lumia Cyan update later this season, it does contain the essential core of the new Windows Phone experience, the feature set and interface elements that both old hands and newcomers to Microsoft’s platform can expect in 2014.

We cover only the major changes in this video. For a more in-depth look at Windows Phone 8.1, stay tuned for our full written review coming later in the day, and be sure to join us for our Editorial Rountable on the new platform at 10a Eastern. Until then, enjoy – and let us know your thoughts on the update by leaving a comment below!

Windows Phone 8.1 review


(Adam Z. Lein contributed to this review video.)

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