Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Nokia Lumia 820 and 920 & Windows Phone 8

Exactly 1 week before the launch of the new iPhone, Nokia and Microsoft had a joint press conference where they announced 2 new Windows Phones and loads of brand new features for Windows 8.

With most people expecting an awesome new operating system and a high quality camera, Windows Phone 8 had a lot to live up to.

The conference started off with the Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop, talking about some off the current Nokia's like the Nokia Lumia family and the Nokia Asha family. He then talked about some of the apps that Nokia currently make for Windows Phone, like Nokia Music and Nokia Drive. He then went on to say that Nokia Locations is a new app which will be joining them in the Windows Phone 8 App Marketplace.

Jo Harlow, executive vice president of Nokia then took centre stage and announced the Nokia Lumia 920. She describes it as "the most innovative smartphone" (however I'm sure every phone manufacturer says that about their newly launched smartphone).

The Nokia Lumia 920 features built in wireless charging and Pure Motion HD+. It doesn't have the same PureView camera as the Nokia PureView 808 however it does support PureView technology. Jo explains how the Lumia 920 takes exceeding quality low-light photos. Apparently it captures 5-10 times the amount of light more than any other smartphone camera does. It captures more light by keeping the shutter open longer however this doesn't leave you with blury photos as it has a 'floating lens' technology for image stabilisation.

She then goes on to talk about Nokia City Lens which we have seen being previewed before. It uses argumented reality to tell you about the shops, museums and other buildings around you. She describes it as "the most intuitive way to explore the world around you".

Some of the current Nokia apps like, Nokia Drive, Nokia Transport and Nokia Maps are being updated. Nokia Maps is now offering an offline map section so when you are stranded in the wild with no internet connection, you can navigate your way home. In the future, Maps is also going to get an argumented reality feature.
If you pre-set your destination on Nokia Drive and the time you want to be there, it looks at what the traffic is like and then it tells you when to set off.
Nokia Transport now gives you the times for public transport (which was the whole point of the app in the first place if you ask me).

She then moves onto the Pure Motion HD+ screen. It is a high quality display allowing blur-free scrolling, sharper images, and clearer pictures and videos. It also makes the screen viable in bright light. The Nokia Lumia 920 will have a 4.5-inch curved glass display.

Onto the battery now, it's the biggest battery ever fitted into a Lumia Phone, next to it is a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor. Which they claim is for the most responsive experience.

The wireless charger is called the 'Fatboy charging pilo' and Virgin Atlantic is supporting the charging pad by having some at airports and on their flights.

Jo Harlow then sums up the Nokia Lumia 920; "PureView, CityLens, PureMotion HD+, and wireless charging."

Microsoft's Joe Belfiore now walks onto stage to talk about Windows Phone 8. He starts by going through some of the features we already know like different sized tiles. Then he explains that it will be easy for developers to make apps for both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

Then he talks about screenshots and how the new Windows Phone operating system now supports it. You just hold down the home button and the camera button simultaneously.

Photography is his next point, the camera app now has pinch and zoom to zoom in and Bing Vision so it recognises the photos you take. A lens setting lets you run apps through the camera, so you can take panoramic shots with Microsoft 'Photosynth' or add effects with the new FXSuite. FXSuite basically allows you to add filters to different photos (which many apps allow you to do already).

Nokia senior VP Kevin Shields comes onto stage and talks about the strength of the device. He says it can handle every day life so he puts a pair of oven mitts on and he is still able to use the touch-screen (Quite impressive). The screen also apparently responds to fingernails.

Kevin then attempts to wireless-ly connect the Lumia 920 to a speaker dock and after some time he succeeds. The music streams to the speaker dock using Nokia Music. He says this also works with headphones.

After a technical issue, Kevin then tells us that Rovio has made an app for Windows Phone 8. It has wallpapers, news and ringtones (basically all things Angry Birds).

He then announced the Nokia Lumia 820, it has the same polycarbonate design, 4.3-inch display, built in NFC, comes with location services, CityLens, Nokia Music, and other exclusive Nokia apps. It also has the same wireless technology has the Lumia 920.