Finnish phone giant Nokia has finally pulled the wraps off of its first couple of Windows Phone 8 powered smartphones, the Lumia 920 and the Lumia 820. Leading the Lumia charge against competitors such as Apple’s soon to be announced iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S3 is the flagship model of Nokia’s new Lumia range - the Lumia 920 (130.3 x 70.8 x 10.7 mm; 185 g).
This device incorporates the Espoo-based firm’s latest PureView imaging innovations that makes use of advanced floating lens technology. This enables the phone’s 8.7 MP rear-facing camera to take in five times more light than competing smartphones without using flash, making it possible to capture clear, bright pictures as well as video, indoors and at night according to the company.
In addition, the device will also compensate for any degree of hand movement whilst the user is busy snapping photos (optical image stabilisation), in order to assist in eliminating blurry shots.
Powering the Lumia 920 is Qualcomm’s 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, which should ensure buttery smooth performance whilst running apps and navigating its Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system (OS). It is yet to be seen though if this CPU will be a match for the Exynos 4 Quad used within the Galaxy S3 or the Nvidia Tegra 3 powering HTC’s One X.
The Lumia 920’s 4.5" Nokia PureMotion HD+ (1280 x 768; 332 ppi) IPS LCD Super Sensitive touchscreen is on par with the S3’s 4.8" Super AMOLED (720 x 1280 pixels; 306 ppi) display and One X’s 4.7" (312 dpi, 1280 x 720).
Nokia further equipped the 920 with a 1.2 MP front-facing snapper for capturing self-portraits and making video calls, 1 GB RAM, near field communication (NFC) support, Bluetooth 3.1, Wi-Fi 802.11 n, Internet Explorer 10 mobile browser, and LTE (4G) connectivity.
Users have access to 32 GB worth of internal storage as well as an additional 7 GB free cloud-based storage via Microsoft’s SkyDrive service. Unlike Samsung’s recently unveiled Windows Phone 8 operating smartphone, you will not be able to expand upon the phone’s internal storage though, since the Lumia 920 does not feature a microSD slot.
Differentiation through apps and wireless charging
Also onboard the Lumia 920 is Nokia City Lens, which is the latest addition to the firm’s location suite. By pointing the phone’s camera at a city street, City Lens overlays handy information about restaurants, shops, and hotels etc. on the surfaces of buildings. Nokia City Lens also enhances Nokia Maps, making it possible for the smartphone user to move between maps view and augmented reality view, in order to help them check their direction and surroundings.
The Nokia Lumia 920 further comes with the company’s largest ever smartphone battery (2000 mAh) and another novel feature for Espoo, namely built-in wireless charging support. When the battery runs flat, rather than reaching for the charger, users will simply be able to place their smartphone on a charging mat or surface in order to recharge the smartphone.
Nokia Lumia 820
Nokia also unveiled its Lumia 820 (123.8 x 68.5 x 9.9 mm; 160 g) which sports the same stylish, premium design as found on the 920. It also features exchangeable shell covers that allows the user to change the look of the phone. Nokia also added that shell covers will be available that will add wireless charging capabilities to this device.
Right beneath the shell cover is a place for users to expand on this smartphone’s 8 GB memory via a micro SD memory card (supports cards up to 32 GB in size). The Lumia 820 boasts a 4.3" (480 x 800 pixels) ClearBlack OLED display that incorporates Nokia’s ClearBlack display technology with high brightness mode and sunlight readability enhancements. It further checks 1 GB RAM, 7 GB additional cloud-based storage via SkyDrive, and a sizeable 1650 mAh battery with support for Qi wireless charging off on its extensive feature list.
The device is powered by the same 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor as its bigger brother in the Lumia stable, and sports a VGA front facing snapper as well as a 8 MP rear-facing camera with Carl Zeiss optics and dual LED flash, which is capable of recording full HD (1080p) videos. Also onboard the 820 is Bluetooth 3.1, NFC support, and LTE connectivity.
The Nokia Lumia 920 will be released in yellow, red, grey, as well as white and black, whilst the Lumia 820 will be available in red, yellow, grey, cyan, purple, white and black. Both smartphones will be available in pentaband LTE as well as 3G HSPA+ variants and are expected to start shipping to select markets later this year. No local release info is available yet, and Nokia stated that it will announce pricing and country specific roll-out dates when sales are due to begin.
“Nokia PureView continues to deliver cutting-edge technology to make it possible for a smartphone camera to take the kind of images usually only seen on a standalone SLR camera,” said Jo Harlow, executive vice president of Nokia Smart Devices. “With the Nokia Lumia 920 we have made it possible to shoot pictures and video at home, outdoors, in a restaurant or even at night, and come out with professional-looking results.”
In related news, Nokia recently unveiled its new Purity Pro wireless stereo headset by Monster, which features the same eye-catching, quality design of the original Purity HD earphones, but exchanges the wired setup for a wireless one. Music is transferred to the headset via Bluetooth.