Live from New York, it’s….the Lumia 920! Sync is here to fill you in on what Nokia calls the “most innovative smartphone” available.
The gathering was to officially unveil the Lumia 920, Nokia’s first smartphone built with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 platform.
While price, carrier and availability weren’t confirmed, the 90-minute event highlighted the various features of the device, with demos from both the Nokia and Microsoft camp. We also had some limited hands-on time with the product following the event.
For a more mainstream user (read: less expensive price point and fewer features), Nokia also showed off the Nokia Lumia 820.
But as the 920 was the star of the show, the following is a quick summary of what you need to know about this flagship product:
* The 4G/LTE device features a 4.5-inch screen, 1.5GHz quad-core processor, NFC (near field communications), wireless charging (when placed on a compatible battery dock), dual cameras (including 8.7-megapixel Carl Zeiss lens) and multiple colours including a vibrant new yellow chassis, plus red, grey, white and black.
* One of the most impressive demos was of the PureView camera, which features exceptional low-light performance (taking in up to 5 times more light than other smartphone cameras), optical (not digital) image stabilization and support for a number of filters, special effects and other fun things you can do with your photos while you’re taking them. One demo involved removing unwanted people in a scene after you’ve snapped it, which wowed the crowd.
* The screen also looked very colourful, bright and detailed. Nokia calls its 4.5-inch display a “PureMotion HD+” screen with WXGA resolution, deep blacks and the ability to read in bright and direct sunlight, says Nokia. You can even use gloves to interact with the touchscreen, as shown in a live demo, which was pretty impressive (hello Canadian winters).
* Along with maps and turn-by-turn navigation for multiple countries around the world, the Nokia Lumia 920 also comes with something called Nokia City Lens, an augmented reality feature that looked very cool. Simply point the camera at a city street and the phone will overlay virtual information about restaurants, shops, hotels and other establishments on top of the real buildings.
* The Lumia 920 has a non-removable 2000 mAh battery – Nokia’s largest to date – and a wireless charging feature. Similar to the PowerMat magnetic induction technology (also seen in some HP phones), you can place the smartphone onto supported products, such as speaker docks or soap-shaped tabletop devices and the charging starts immediately (announced partners include the Fatboy Recharge Pillow and JBL PowerUp Wireless Charging Speaker). After the event, a Nokia designer said it charges about 70 to 80 percent as fast as an AC plug.
* Windows Phone 8 looked very sweet, I have to say. A demo focused on the Start screen with its large and colourful live tiles. Tiles could be dragged, dropped and resized (now with an extra small option) and moved around the screen to suit your preferences. Info and photos are pushed to the live tiles in real time, so you’ll know when your spouse updated pictures, plus you’ll see Facebook and Twitter statuses, weather, stock quotes, calendar appointments, number of emails waiting, and more.
Overall, the event was impressive, but there’s a lot of competition on the horizon. Also in NYC today is a Motorola event to showcase its next Android smartphone, there were new BlackBerry 10 OS pics published on the Internet today and something called an iPhone 5 will be unveiled next Wednesday (heard of it?). It’s an exciting time in the mobile space, indeed, but expect Microsoft and its biggest partner Nokia to be major players in the months and years to come.
[Unfortunately, Nokia's new line-up of Lumia phones left investors without the major leap forward they'd been hoping for and they hammered the company's already frail stock price - Ed]
Sync readers, what do you think about this Lumia announcement and Windows Phone 8 as a platform?