Nokia Unveils Lumia 920 & 820 with Windows Phone 8

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Nokia today announced the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Nokia Lumia 820, the first devices running Nokia’s Windows Phone 8. Windows Phone 8 is the latest version of Microsoft’s mobile software system.

The Nokia Lumia 920 features a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 CPU, 8MP PureView camera, 2,000mAh battery, NFC, integrated wireless charging and an 8-megapixel rear PureView camera capable of 1080p video.

The Lumia 920 will be available in yellow, red, and gray versions. Among the major features of the new phone are a 4.5-inch screen, wireless charging, Nokia Maps (with offline support), and an augmented reality feature Nokia calls “City Lens.”

The Lumia’s camera is based on the 808 PureView with a lower megapixel count. The 920’s camera has a large f2.0 perture and utilizes a “floating lens” that moves with movement allowing more light to come in. According to Nokia, it captures 5-10 times the amount of light as any other smartphone competitors’ camera.

The 4.5-inch screen is a WXGA model that offers better-than-720p HD resolution. Nokia claims it’s the “brightest” and “fastest” smartphone screen on the market.

The Nokia Lumia 920 also comes with Nokia City Lens, the latest addition to the Nokia location suite. By pointing the camera at a city street, City Lens overlays information about restaurants, shops, hotels and more on the surfaces of buildings, for the most intuitive way to explore surroundings. Nokia City Lens is the start of a new augmented reality experience that also enhances Nokia Maps, making it possible to move between maps view and augmented reality view to help people check their direction and surroundings.

Another unique feature is the built-in wireless charger. It’s based on the Qi wireless charging standard, so it should be compatible with other Qi chargers. The 920 will ship with a standard wired charger, while the wireless charger will be sold separately.

Nokia also announced the Lumia 820, a mid-range Windows Phone 8 smartphone. The Lumia 820 is powered by the same 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 as the flagship Lumia 920, but will arrive with a smaller 4.3-inch WVGA display, only 8GB of storage, and an eight-megapixel rear camera. The 8GB internal storage can be expanded via Windows Phone 8’s extended microSD functionality.

Both the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 run on Qualcomm’s MSM8960 Snapdragon chipset which consists of the 1.5GHz dual-core CPU and Adreno 225 GPU.

The Lumina 920 uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Processor with Operating Frequency Bands that include:

  • GSM 850
  • GSM 900
  • GSM 1800
  • GSM 1900
  • WCDMA Band V (850)
  • WCDMA Band VIII (900)
  • WCDMA Band II (1900)
  • WCDMA Band I (2100)
  • LTE 800
  • LTE 900
  • LTE 1800
  • LTE 2100
  • LTE 2600

Nokia says the devices will run on LTE in the U.S., although the spec sheet doesn’t show support for 700 MHz. It supports FD-LTE (4G), but the spec sheet does not say anything about supporting China Mobile’s 3G (using TD-SCDMA) or the 4G system used by China Mobile and Clearwire (TD-LTE). It also doesn’t support Bluetooth 4.0 (Low Energy), the defacto standard for most modern smartphones.

But Qualcomm’s 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 CPU and 8960 chipset may tacitly imply eventual support for China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA (3G) and TD-LTE (4G) standards as well.

Windows Phone 8 will run Windows Phone 7 apps, but it doesn’t work the other way around. Apps in Windows 8 work together to get things done faster. You can get them from the Windows Store. Separate LTE and HSPA+ variants of the phones will be shipping “later in the year,” but Nokia did not give specifics on availability or price.

Windows Phone 8 might be officially “launched” on October 29, a few days after the launch of Windows 8 on October 26, with devices coming a few weeks later.

Samsung was the first vendor to announce a Windows Phone 8 smartphone. The Samsung ATIV S has a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED screen, 8MP camera, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, a choice of 16GB and 32GB storage and a brushed aluminium case.

The company made the announcement at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, beating Microsoft partner Nokia as the first company to launch a Windows Phone 8-powered smartphone.

Nokia and Windows Phones, with a tiny 4% share, will have to battle giants Apple and Google, who currently own the smartphone marketplace.

More than 114 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in July, 2012. That’s up 7 percent versus April. Android ranked as the top smartphone platform with 52.2 percent market share, while Apple’s share was 33.4 percent. RIM ranked third with 9.5 percent share, followed by Microsoft (3.6 percent) and Symbian (0.8 percent).

But the interface for Windows 8 phones and Windows 8 for desktops and tablets are similar. Developers will be able to create apps for both platforms more easily while users may find the two platforms more integrated and easier to use.

C/Net, The Verge, and Engadget have live coverage of the New York event.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 at 7:21 am .

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