Nokia and Microsoft unveil Windows Phone 8-based Lumia smartphones

By Graeme Burton
05 Sep 2012 View Comments
Nokia Lumia 820 red and yellow

Nokia has unveiled its flagship Lumia 920 phone, based on Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 operating system, and offering PureView camera technology built-in, wireless charging based on the Qi standard, a PureMotion HD+ screen that can adjust according to the brightness of the environment in which it is being used, and "City Lens", a service that can identify, and apply labels and information to elements on the screen in real-time.

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Nokia CEO Stephen Elop described it as "The world's most innovative smartphone", while Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said: "The Windows Phone is unlike any other phone on the market. It keeps you closest to the things and people that matter most."

He said that the focus on the new operating system would now be on developers, adding: "Make no mistake about it, this is the year for Windows – Windows Phone, Windows tablets and Windows PCs."

New Lumia unveiled
The new phone is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and has a 4.5-inch curved glass display with a pure-black screen that, Nokia says, will stay "crystal sharp", and which adjusts the brightness and tone to the environment. "You can even use it in the desert," said Jo Harlow, executive vice president of Nokia Smart Devices.

It also has a 2000mAh battery built in to maximise usage of the camera between charges – and charging can done via a standardised wireless charging system so that the camera need only be rested on a compatible plate.

Perhaps the most eye-catching feature is the integration of Nokia's PureView camera technology, which first debuted in the Nokia PureView 808 phone.

Although the camera in the new Lumia is eight mega-pixel, rather than the 41 mega-pixels of the Nokia 808, it offers what Nokia calls "floating lense technology", which "surpasses the image stab systems of most digital SLRs. It reacts with the movements of your hands to balance the lense," according to Harlow.

She claimed that it will provide clear images without flash, even indoors, and is good enough to replace even a high-definition camcorder. "It has better-than-HD resolution and a fast refresh rate that keeps moving content sharp and flicker-free," said Harlow.

In the Windows Phone 8 software, Microsoft has introduced the concept of lenses, enabling special effects and features to be applied when taking pictures. Developers can also devise and build their own "lenses" for download and, with "Smart Shoot", elements of pictures can even be selected and edited or removed after the picture has been taken. "It is the smartphone camera for taking pictures and videos for everyday use," added Harlow.

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