Today in New York, and along side Microsoft, Nokia announced its latest smartphones powered by Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system. The new Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 build upon the popular 900 and 800 models that run the old Windows Phone 7.5. While Microsoft briefly talked up the OS, the majority of the announcement focused on the "worlds most innovative smartphones". Both phones offer unique new features not found on many of the other smartphones on the market today.
Both devices will feature Wireless Charging technology, allowing the devices to be charged using inductive charging. In the same fashion as your electric toothbrush, the 920 and 820 can be charged simply by placing them on a supported charge pad. This technology isn’t new to the mobile world – Palm included it in the Pre device, but the device failed to gain any significant market. Nokia has partnered with Coffee Bean & Tea, as well as Virgin Atlantic to help place recharge stations outside of your home and office. Nokia is also working with accessory manufacturers to make sure consumers have options on how they recharge their devices. The Fatboy recharge pillow and the JBL wireless speaker / charge dock are two prime examples.
The Lumia 920 will feature PureView technology making it possible for a smartphone to produce images typically seen on DLSR cameras using the onboard 8.7 megapixel camera. Nokia has also put the camera on a spring mount helping to improve image stabilization issues found when taking pictures and video from mobile devices.
Super Sensitive Touch allows users to interact with the device screen even while wearing gloves – great feature for those of us living in colder climates. This is made possible by a partnership between Nokia and Synaptics – well known for making those touch pads on your laptop work so nicely.
Not only has Nokia added great new hardware features to these devices, they have also lined up great exclusive applications like The World of Red Bull, Vimeo, Angry Birds Roost, Bloomberg Hub, StyleSaint, Groupon with Augmented Reality, YouSendIt with NFC support, Michelin with NFC support, and WhatsApp with a unique user experience tailored to the Lumia 820 and 920 devices. And if that wasn’t enough, Nokia has their own suite of applications, and they’ve added even more to it like City Lens. City Lens will overlay information about restuarants, shops, hotels, and more onto the surface of buildings that you are pointing your camera at.
As for the specs, the two phones break down like this:
Nokia Lumia 920
- Display: 4.5 inch Nokia PureMotion HD+ WXGA IPS LCD with Super Sensitive Touch, Nokia ClearBlack and high brightness mode with Sunlight Readability Enhancements
- Battery: 2000 mAh with integrates QI wireless charging technology
- Processor: 1.5 GHz Dual Core Snapdragon S4
- Rear Camera: 8.7 MP with Nokia PureView advanced optical imaging stabilization and Carl Zeiss optics supporting full 1080p HD video capture at 30 fps
- Front Camera: 1.2 MP with 720p HD video
- Memory: 1 GB RAM, 32 GB on-board storage, and 7 GB of free SkyDrive storage
Nokia Lumia 820
- Display: 4.3 inch Clear Black OLED WVGA 800×480 with Super Sensitive Touch, Nokia ClearBlack and high brightness mode with Sunlight Readability Enhancements
- Battery: 1650 mAh with support for Qi wireless charging
- Processor: 1.5 GHz Dual Core Snapdragon S4
- Rear Camera: 8 MP with Auto Focus and Carl Zeiss optics and dual LED flash and full HD 1080p video capture at 30fps
- Front Camera: VGA
- Memory: 1 GB RAM, 8 GB on-board storage with support for MicroSD memory cards and 7 GB of free SkyDrive storage
At first, I thought there was some sort of mistake with the specs for the Lumia 920. After all, it is the flagship device here, so one would expect it would be fully loaded with memory and the ability to extend that memory. Especially since removable storage support is a new addition for the platform in Windows Phone 8. Unfortunately, after checking with Nokia’s PR firm, they confirmed that there would be no expandable memory support on the 920. This may be the only area where the Samsung ATIV S beats the Lumia 920. If you want lots of storage space, you won’t find it with Nokia.
All told, these are some pretty amazing devices with great features and colors too! As per usual, there was no mention of price or availability. Both phones will be available in global pentaband LTE and HSPA+ variants and are expected to start shipping in select markets later in the year. Nokia will announce pricing and specific roll-out dates country by country when sales are due to begin.