In a conference broadcast live via webcast around the globe Stephen Elop, Jo Harlow, Joe Belfiore, Kevin Shields and Steve Ballmer came together to present both the flagship Lumia 920 device and the Lumia 820 handset.
The bulk of the presentation was taken up with showing off the Lumia 920 and at first glance it is certainly worthy of its flagship positioning within the Lumia range. Featuring a 4.5-inch curved glass display with ultra fast refresh rate and operating at WXGA resolution, the screen looks to offer an impressive evolution of the current Lumia 900 flagship.
The 920’s processing power moves away from Nokia’s previous WP philosophy of single core chipsets by offering a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, with the handset also including 32GB of internal storage. SkyDrive integration also means 7GB of cloud storage is included too.
A major shout of the new high-end phone is the implementation of PureView technology within the camera capabilities of the device. Optical image stabilisation means that images will be consistently less blurry, particularly in low light conditions where the f2.0 lens with Carl Zeiss optics should really come into its own. Indeed, images were shown throughout the launch event which demonstrated the capabilities of the camera and they looked to be of a standard as yet unseen in a smartphone.
Another key innovation is the inclusion of wireless charging whereby the 920 can be placed onto a powered base which will charge the handset without the need to plug it in. Third party peripheral developers are already on board, so expect a raft of charging options to be made available upon release.
The Windows Phone 8 platform and its integration within the new Lumia range was demonstrated by Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore, with an incredibly strong focus on Live Tile evolution and camera software updates. Although the operating system is as aesthetically pleasing as ever, there seems to be a number of incremental changes rather than a ground-up overhaul here.
Less time was spent on the unveiling of the mid-tier 820 than its big brother, however the smaller handset was not without its own headlines including microSD compatibility and the same 1.5GHz dual-core processor as seen in the Lumia 920.
Unfortunately the 820 is lacking any PureView camera technology, however the phone includes the now familiar Carl Zeiss optics and wide lens aperture. Additionally, the handset will carry through the same wireless charging capabilities of the 920.
Of particular note with the Lumia 820 is the inclusion of interchangeable shells, available in a range of colours. Although this feature is about as far away from cutting edge as it is possible to get, it is a pleasant nod to Nokia’s mobile legacy and is sure to be a hit with younger smartphone buyers.
Whether these new additions to the Lumia range can really turn around the fortunes of the struggling Finnish manufacturer remains to be seen, however the ideas and innovation are certainly there and we cannot wait to get hold of the devices to really put them through their paces.
There has been no word as of yet on pricing and availability for both devices, however we would suspect an end of October street date is highly likely.