Highlights from Yesterday’s Nokia and Windows Phone Event

Nokia Microsoft Windows Mobile Event

Yesterday was a major day for the smartphone industry, as Microsoft and Nokia teamed up to reveal Windows Phone 8 and the newest Nokia Lumia devices running the platform. Missed out on all the buzz? We’ve got you covered!

The Windows Phone event was more about Nokia than about Microsoft, with key focus being on Nokia’s contribution to the Windows Phone platform.  However, throughout the event, a lot of new features being introduced in Windows Phone 8 were revealed. So let’s begin with the platform first, and move on to the devices after.

Windows Phone 8

Windows Phone 8

The latest version of Microsoft’s smartphone operating system boasts an impressive array of features, including:

  • New small tiles
  • Tiles are resizable into large, medium and small
  • People Hub aggregates text messages, Facebook messages and Facebook posts
  • C0mmon code base with Windows 8 for easy app development and portability across PCs, tablets and phones
  • WP8 will run all WP7 apps
  • Better tab support in IE10
  • Better HTML5 support, including the ability to pin web apps and even their parts to start screen
  • Native screenshot support using Home+Power keys
  • Easy sharing via email, messaging, social networks and cloud storage
  • Pinch-to-zoom in camera replacing the old zoom bar
  • Deeply integrated Lenses apps for camera to expand upon its capabilities
  • Auto-upload of full-res photos to SkyDrive
  • Skype integration
  • Arabic (and probably other right-to-left) languages support
  • Full encryption and DRM support

As you can see, many of these features confirm what had planned for Windows Phone 8 earlier in January. Perhaps the most impressive announcement made about the Windows Phone platform is the availability of over 100,000 apps on the Windows Phone Marketplace. The rest of the Windows Phone 8 features are to be revealed over the course of the coming month.

Nokia Location Services

Nokia Location Services

Full, deep integration of Nokia’s location and mapping platform into Windows Phone 8 was announced. The features include:

  • Fully offline voice navigation out of the box,
  • Indoor maps
  • Nokia Drive and Transport
  • Nokia City Lens offering names of restaurants, cafes and similar public places around you on your map
  • Augmented Reality mode, providing address and phone number information on-screen for public places

It wasn’t made clear whether these features will be fully integrated across all Windows Phone 8 devices, or remain exclusive to Nokia’s WP8 devices.

As expected, two new Lumia series Windows Phone 8 devices were revealed. Let’s take a look at them:

Nokia Lumia 920

Nokia Lumia 920

The much-anticipated Lumia 920 is finally official, and here are the specs:

  • 4.5″ curved glass PureMotion HD+ ClearBlack 1280×768 pixels display
  • Synaptics Super-sensitive touch screen, enabling use through gloves
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • MicroSD card slot
  • Wireless charging using the Qi standard
  • NFC
  • 8.7 Megapixel PureView camera:
    • Carl Zeiss optics
    • Eider aperture
    • Increased shutter exposure time
    • Optical image stabilization using springs around the camera assembly
    • 1080p video recording
  • 2,000mAh battery
  • Scratch-proof screen and body
  • Integrated NFC
  • Slate gray, red and yellow, white and black color options

Several exclusive Lumia apps were also announced. These include:

  • Nokia City Lens
  • Smart Shoot lens: Takes multiple pictures and removes moving objects automatically or with taps
  • Cinemagraph Lens: Lets you make animated images using sequences of photos
  • Angry Birds Roost: A hub for Angry Birds games, ringtone and wallpapers

Nokia Lumia 820

Nokia Lumia 820

The smaller sibling of the 920, the 820 is powered by the same processor and RAM as the 920, but differs in some others pecs

  • 4.3″ 800×480 WVGA OLED display
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 8GB internal storage
  • MicroSD card slot
  • 8 Megapixel camera
  • Nokia location services
  • NFC
  • 1,650mAh removable battery
  • 3 types of swappable skin shells: cosmetic, protective and wireless charging

Lumia 820 will also receive Lumia exclusive apps, though it wasn’t made clear if all of those mentioned for the 920 would be made available for it. No launch dates or pricing were announced for either of the devices, though it was mentioned that they will be released in select markets in Q4 2012.

There were also several wireless charging accessories announced for the devices including a Fatboy pillow charger, JBL Speaker Stand with both charging and NFC, and wireless charger night stand. A few partners offering wireless charging facilities were also announced, including Virgin Atlantic, and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, the latter offering charging plates on tables at their outlets. The NFC enabled Nokia Music app is now available in Windows Phone Marketplace, though it isn’t clear if it is intended for Nokia devices only, or all Windows Phone devices.

The event’s full video can be found on Nokia’s website, although it seems to be undergoing technical difficulties at the moment.


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