Nokia unveils new Lumia smartphones with Windows Phone 8

Nokia announces new flagship smartphone based on Microsoft's upcoming smartphone OS

By , IDG News Service |  Consumerization of IT

Nokia on Wednesday showed off the new Lumia 920 smartphone, the company's first device running Microsoft's latest Windows Phone 8 OS.

The device, which is the company's flagship Windows Phone 8 smartphone, has a new start screen and a slew of hardware features supported by the new OS. The Lumia 920 has 4.5-inch WXGA screen and a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor.

(See video of the Lumia 920 launch on YouTube)

Microsoft announced Windows Phone 8, the successor to Windows Phone 7.5, in June. The updated software supports new hardware features such as integrated NFC (Near Field Communication), which is available on the phone.

The phone includes the new PureView camera, which can capture higher quality images and video than its competitors, said Jo Harlow, executive vice president of Nokia, during the event. The PureView camera can capture better low-light images than rival smartphone cameras, and it can also be used to replace conventional cameras, Harlow said. The camera features image stabilization.

The phone also has new mapping technology and voice-guided turn by turn navigation. The mapping technology calculates daily commute journeys based on traffic, and will tell users what time they need to leave. Nokia City Lens lets users see images of restaurants, and based on contact information users can touch base with them.

"The Lumia 920 comes in even brighter colors than its predecessors, including red and yellow, which will help the phone stand out in stores, when placed next to the many black ones available today," said Francisco Jeronimo, research manager at IDC.

The Lumia 920 has wireless charging capabilities when placed on a charging station. The charging station is supported by the Qi standard.

Nokia also announced the Lumia 820, with a 4.3-inch display. It also runs Windows Phone 8.

Both phones will be available in pentaband LTE and HSPA+ variants and are expected to start shipping in select markets later in the year, according to Nokia. The phone maker will announce pricing and specific roll-out dates country by country when sales are due to begin.

The phones were shown at a press event in New York. Expectations were high for Nokia going into Wednesday's event, with many expecting the Lumia 920 to be the first Windows Phone 8 device. However, Samsung stole some of that thunder, unveiling the new ATIV S with Windows Phone 8 OS last week at the IFA trade show in Berlin. But the ATIV S has a larger 4.8-inch high-definition display.

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