By Stephen Schenck | September 5, 2012 11:27 AM
With all the teasing Nokia’s been up to lately, making jabs at Samsung, and now this morning, at Android in general, it really needed to follow-through with the kind of announcement that was worthy of such boasting. Luckily, Nokia was ready to go with just the hardware we’ve been hearing rumored, unveiling its Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 handsets.
After a bit of a late start, Nokia slowly got down to business with CEO Stephen Elop taking the stage, discussing the company’s rise in the Windows Phone ecosystem and its role in helping the platform find new users in developing markets.
First up, Nokia unveiled the Lumia 920, “the Windows Phone 8 flagship”. Sure enough, it’s got PureView, marking the tech’s arrival on Windows Phone, as well as Nokia’s PureMotion HD+ and the new City Lens app. Nokia says that thanks to PureView, the 920 outperforms all competitors in imaging: a pretty bold claim. Supposedly, thanks to a “floating” lens with an f2.0 aperture, the 920′s camera will capture significantly more light than other phones’ cameras, resulting in better low-light performance.
Nokia’s making sure that its new phones are chock-full of Nokia-powered navigation tools; here you’ll find turn-by-turn voice nav, offline mapping, and of course integration with City Lens for some augmented-reality-style navigation overlays.
For the 920′s 4.5-inch 1280 x 768 display, Nokia says it’s improved on ClearBlack by making the screen more adaptive to environmental conditions, adjusting not only brightness but color to appear most visible in bright environments.
The 920 will pack a beefy 2000mAh battery, the largest used by Nokia yet. The phone runs a dual-core Snapdragon S4, just as we’d heard, and there’s the wireless charging support we learned of through a leaked pic earlier this week. That support will be made all the more useful by partnerships with retailers to offer wireless charge spots at their locations.
Microsoft’s own Joe Belfiore joined Nokia execs on stage to talk directly about the software experience we’ll be getting with Windows Phone 8. Though Microsoft’s not quite ready to give us the full picture on all of WP8′s features and capabilities, Belfiore promised we’ll be hearing more at a later date. Thankfully, he threw us a bone and touched on some rumors we’d heard, like confirming the native screenshot mode. Belfiore also showed-off some of WP8′s camera abilities, including pinch-to-zoom and a “lenses” option for third-party image filters.
Back to hardware, the 920 is made from polycarbonate, just like the 800 and 900, but forgoes their finish for a glossier alternative. Just like we saw in leaks, there will be a host of color options for the phone, including red, yellow, and gray. The 920′s hardware buttons will be ceramic instead of metal or plastic, keeping them lightweight and durable.
While most capacitive screens balk at the idea of operating them with gloved hands, the 920′s touch sensor is apparently flexible enough to even work through a pair of mittens. The phone will arrive with support for NFC connectivity, letting it interact with NFC-enabled accessories like speakers and headphones.
Remember Scalado Remove, the software that let you selectively remove subjects from a photo in front of a still background? Nokia’s offering the same thing with these new Lumia models.
Finally, Nokia got around to showing-off the Lumia 820. It’s got a 4.3-inch display, glossy polycarbonate body, and a 1650mAh battery. It takes full advantage of WP8′s microSD support, giving you the option of storage expansion. The phone won’t support wireless charging natively, but the feature’s available with an optional backplate.
To wrap things up, Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer took the stage, talking about the coming arrival of Windows Phone 8. Ballmer explained, “in a month or two we’ll see the rest of Windows Phone software.” We can’t wait!
Update: Here’s a few more specs that Nokia has now confirmed.
The Lumia 920 will have 32GB internal storage, a gigabyte of RAM, and an unusual 8.7-megapixel main camera resolution (with PureView).
The Lumia 820 has only 8GB internal flash, also has a gig of RAM, and its camera is 8 megapixels (no PureView).