Nokia today unveiled its new flagship smartphone, the Lumia 920 (pictured), which will be powered by the next-generation of Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform, Windows Phone 8. This device will be accompanied by a mid-tier sibling, the Lumia 820.
Following the announcement of Samsung’s similarly WP8-powered ATIV S last week (Nokia had widely been expected to be the first off the blocks with a device using the OS), Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia, attempted to regain the high-ground by noting that Nokia is the first vendor to have showcased a “working” WP8 smartphone, rather than a prototype.
Neither company has confirmed availability plans for commercial versions of the respective devices.
Introducing the Lumia 920, Jo Harlow, Nokia’s EVP of Smart Devices, described it as “the most innovative smartphone in the world”.
Enhancements highlighted include an 8.7-megapixel PureView camera designed to “overcome the challenges you face when using your smartphone camera as your only camera”, including an improved performance in low-light situations; and a 4.5-inch “Puremotion HD+” WXGA display, described as “better than HD resolution”.
The company also highlighted an updated package of location services, noting that its Maps, Drive and Transport apps are “frequently cited as reasons why people choose a Lumia device over the alternative”. These are now being combined into an “integrated suite of location services”, alongside new features such as full offline support and augmented reality integration.
The Lumia 920 also includes integrated wireless charging, using the Qi wireless charging standard. The vendor showcased accessories such as a charging pillow and music dock, as well as announcing partnerships with Virgin Atlantic and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf that will see Qi charging points included in airline lounges and coffee shops respectively. “These are just the first of many partnerships we expect to sign”, Harlow said.
The mid-range Lumia 820 shares many features with the Lumia 920, but with changes including a smaller, lower-resolution display (4.3-inch WVGA); less capable camera (8MP autofocus with Carl Ziess optics); and less on-board storage (8GB rather than 32GB, but with microSD memory card support for the low-end device).
The Lumia 820 also features an “exchangeable shell design”, enabling users to select from a range of customers, and add Qi wireless charging support.
The devices are both powered by 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm processors (rather than quad-core processors as used by some high-end Android devices) and include NFC support. Also on the spec sheet is pentaband LTE, with HSPA+ variants for markets where LTE is not yet in place.
Availability is expected “in select markets later in the year”.