Wireless charging, PureView camera technology and 'better than HD' screens...
Nokia has just launched its flagship Lumia 920 smartphone, a Windows 8 mobile boasting a 'better than HD' screen and impressive low light camera technology. The Lumia 820, a more compact version, was also announced at a press conference in New York yesterday (5 September).
'The most innovative smartphone in the world' is how Nokia introduced the Lumia 920, a brave claim in today's highly competitive market. There's no denying that the Lumia 920's hardware is impressive, but is it enough of a leap over big Android phones like the Galaxy S III and HTC One X to tempt Android users over to Windows? Not forgetting a certain Apple launch next week...
This is a break-down of the Lumia 920's impressive new features. You can also check out our Lumia 920 hands-on review.
'Better than HD' screen
A 4.5-inch curved glass display means the Lumia 920 bears great resemblance to the Lumia 800, but the technology has improved. Nokia's PureMotion HD+ technology apparently gives the Lumia 920 'better than HD resolution', with a refresh rate that keeps moving images sharp and flicker free - perfect for action movie fans and gamers.
A good feature for us Brits is the ability to use the touch-screen display even when wearing gloves, thanks to supreme sensitivity. Finally, sunlight readability enhancements react to sun glare to give you a clear view, even in the desert.
Fatboy wireless charger
A 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor powers the Lumia 920, powerful enough for all your apps and games but also energy-efficient to keep the 2,000mAh battery going longer. However, if you do need a top-up you can simply slap the Lumia 920 down on a 'Fatboy' charger. This is Nokia's loving moniker for its charging pad, which wirelessly boosts the battery when the two are in contact.
An example of another wireless charging accessory for the Lumia 920, this time a speaker dock
Good news for anyone sick of fiddly cables, but even better when you're on the move if Nokia can roll these Fatboy pads out to services nationwide. Right now, Virgin Atlantic will place these charging points in the London Heathrow Clubhouse, which is all well and good for mega-rich people. The 'Coffee Bean and Tea House' in America will do the same in its branches. We're really hoping Nokia will announce partnerships with popular UK franchises to get these chargers in tons of resturants, cafes and bars, as it could be a very cool and worthy USP.
PureView camera technology
We last saw the 'PureView' name plastered across the 808 Symbian phone, which rocked a magnificent 41-megapixel snapper – the best camera we've seen on a smartphone to date. Well, PureView technology has been integrated into the Lumia 920's 8.7-megapixe lens too.
The example low light photos shown during the launch were impressively bright, as the camera lens captures 5-10 times the amount of light of any competitor smartphone camera, while 'floating lens' image stabilisation reacts to minute movements in your hand to remove blurring. Of course, there might still be issues when you're taking a shot of moving objects, we'll have to wait and see when we get a review sample to check it out.
An example of a low light Lumia 920 shot
A multi-shot burst mode has also been added, so you can take dozens of photos in just a few seconds and choose which ones came out best. You also have 'pinch-to-zoom', the same as you do when browsing the web, while unique features such as the ability to create a GIF from your photos or remove people who accidentally walked into your shot certainly look cool.
A generous 32GB of built-in storage gives you a good chunk of space for your photos and other media, as well as apps – but there's no microSD support, so no room for expansion (even if you get 7GB of free SkyDrive cloud storage).
Lumia 820 too...
The Lumia 820 is a more compact version of the Lumia 920, packing a 4.3-inch ClearBlack display (800x480 resolution) with the same sensitive touch-screen, and pretty much all of the same features as the Lumia 920 including wireless charging. The eight-megapixel camera doesn't have the same PureView features however. The Lumia 820 has the same 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor as the Lumia 920, and will come in red, white, blue, purple, grey, white and yellow.
We heard very little else as the Lumia 820 was rather glossed over in Nokia's launch. We'll bring you more news when we have it.
Release and pricing
The Lumia 920 isn't tipped to arrive in the UK before November (a bit worrying with the iPhone 5 dropping later this month), no details on prices yet. To compete with Android and Apple, we're hoping for no more than £300...
Check out our Nokia Lumia 920 hands-on review to see our first impressions of this slick new Windows 8 phone!