Today in New York, Nokia and Microsoft showed off the new Lumia series of Windows Phone 8 devices, the Nokia 920, with PureView technology, wireless charging, and Nokia exclusive features and apps like Nokia City Lens, and the 820, a mid-range device that is a bit smaller, doesn’t have PureView, and requires an optional changeable back to enable the wireless charging features.
Almost everything presented at the event was made public through a series of leaks in the past couple of weeks, and those that were expecting a “one more thing” moment may have been disappointed – Nokia’s stock is down more than 9% on the release of the official news, although it dropped to more than 13% down and is now recovering somewhat. But while Nokia didn’t pull a Windows 8 tablet from under the table, or announce immediate availability (in fact, they didn’t announce any availability or pricing news at all), they did demo a powerful and innovative phone in the Nokia 920.
The PureView camera, along with the HD+ display makes the 920 possibly the best picture taking and image viewing smartphone (soon to be) available, and Nokia showed off the capabilities onstage and in a just released video:
Nokia Vice President Jo Harlow introduced the Nokia 920, showed off Nokia City Lens, the offline Nokia Maps, and the wireless charging features of the new phone series, including news of partnerships with Virgin Atlantic and The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf to provide charging stations, with more partnerships to come.
Joe Belfiore from Microsoft was onstage to show off the capabilities of the Windows Phone 8 operating system, but only went through a demo of the new live tile sizes and the “lenses” capabilities that allow developers to deeply integrate with the Windows Phone camera. Belfiore hinted at more features to be announced for Windows Phone 8, but didn’t go into any more details.
Nokia presenter Kevin Shields then showed off more features of the 920, including “Super Sensitive Touch”, which allows users to interact with their phones even if they are wearing gloves, for example.
Nokia live webcast the event from New York, and the webcast was plagued with problems right off the bat but the feed thankfully appeared only a few minutes into Nokia CEO Stephen Elop’s opening remarks, and the rest of the webcast remained up for the duration. During a demo of a JBL “PowerUp Wireless Charging Speaker”, which combines wireless charging with an NFC enabled “boombox” style speaker set, the demo had problems connecting to NFC, and a sleeping laptop shut down the big screen display of what was being shown on the phone for a time, so the presentation wasn’t without problems.
Nokia has released a number of press releases and press materials on the 920 and 820, including:
- the press release announcing the new Lumia range of Windows Phone 8 devices
- Nokia 920 Data Sheet (pdf)
- Nokia 820 Data Sheet (pdf)
- A whole set of Nokia YouTube videos showing off the new series
While the Nokia 920 especially is an impressive phone, is it enough to reverse the fortunes of both Nokia and Windows Phone?