Nokia Launches The Lumia 920 and 820 In India; Lumia 620 Coming Soon!

Today, at an event in New Delhi, Nokia unveiled its new range of Lumia smartphones running on Windows Phone 8. Sitting at the top of their WP8 Lumia range is the Lumia 920. The handset that was unveiled nearly 3 months ago is finally hitting the Indian shores.

The Lumia 920 sports a 4.5-inch ClearBlack Display with 768p+ resolution Puremotion HD+ display. Internally, the handset is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon Krait processor, Adreno 225 GPU, 1GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. The highlight of the Lumia 920 is, however, its 8.7MP PureView camera at the back. It is the first smartphone to feature Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and a floating lens technology, which helps in reducing the visible shake while taking videos. It also immensely helps in low-light photography by allowing a long shutter time, thus allowing more light to be captured.

Other features of Lumia 920 include wireless charging, NFC, GPS with A-GPS, Nokia Drive with free turn-by-turn navigation, and the usual bunch of sensors and connectivity options.

The Lumia 920 is accompanied by its smaller brother – the Lumia 820. The 820 sports a 4.3-inch WVGA AMOLED display with ClearBlack Display technology, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot and the same 1.5GHz dual-core Krait and Adreno 225 GPU as found inside the 920. The 820 does not sport a PureView branded camera, but instead comes with an 8MP Carl Zeiss lens aided by dual-LED flash.

Completing Nokia’s WP8 portfolio in India is the Lumia 620 – a budget oriented Windows Phone 8 handset. The handset sports a 3.8-inch TFT ClearBlack Display with WVGA resolution, 1GHz dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of free storage space, a microSD card slot, a 5MP camera at its back and the usual sensors and connectivity options.

The Lumia 920 will be available in a bunch of bold colors including yellow and white for Rs 38,199 beginning from January 11th. The Lumia 820, that also comes with interchangeable back covers, will officially set its buyers back by Rs. 27,599.

Sadly, Nokia did not announce the pricing of the Lumia 620, but it did say that the handset will be priced between the Lumia 510 and Lumia 710, which makes it a fairly tempting device. The handset is expected to be launched in India in the 1st week of February.

Why I Won’t Stand In A Line For The Lumia 920

The anticipation for Apple’s first few iPhones created a new phenomenon in phone buying–the long wait lines outside stores a night before. While this is a good litmus test to gauge buyer enthusiasm, it’s kinda silly since the phone can be pre-ordered. Anyhow, companies have been trying to replicate Apple’s success. While the iPhone 5 has its charm, I will stick to Windows Phone and end up buying the Nokia Lumia 920. But I won’t be the first customer in Syracuse. I won’t buy it the day it is available or line up a night before–not because the demand in Syracuse is so high but because the $199 price will fall within a week. Why you ask? Let’s go down memory lane…

When the Samsung Focus launched, I got it the same morning it launched, for $199. A few weeks later, the price went down to $0.1. I felt like an idiot but I guess I was too excited about the phone. The same happened during the Windows Phone 7.5 device launch. The holiday season is very tricky for retailers–they want to get as many devices out as possible. For Nokia and Microsoft their failure to compete with Apple’s launch date is an added indicator of price. The company will want whoever they can get, and in such a scenario, dropping the price is one of the oldest trick in the book.

I expect Lumia 920 to go through similar price cycles as previous Windows Phone devices have. $199 on launch and drop during the holiday season. I’d suggest potential buyers hold out a few more weeks after launch. This will be Nokia’s first Windows Phone launch during the lucrative holiday season and I expect them to follow the herd in dropping prices.

I won’t be the first, but I’d rather save the money to get some Nokia accessories.

Nokia Entices Yahoo! Employees With Free Accessories

Nokia and Yahoo as companies have quite a few things in common. Both have been facing tough times in the market, brought unsusptected and charismatic leaders, and are in midst of making a come back by reevaluating their priorities. Yahoo’s new CEO, Marissa Mayer realized a fundamental flaw in the company–the engineers were forced to use decade old technology while develop products for the next decade. Stuck with BlackBerry all this while, Marissa Mayer decided it was time for Yahoo to dump the clunky phones and move on. A widely reported decision by the Mayer is Yahoo’s handing out of smart phones to all employees.

Yahoo will distribute handsets and even pay for their employee’s data+voice plans (not an unheard of perk). The options that will be offered are:

  • iPhone 5
  • A bunch of new Android phones
  • Lumia 920

The mention of Lumia 920 can be seen in two different ways:

  1. Mayer sees Windows Phone 8 as the 3rd mobile ecosystem instead of the declining BlackBerry
  2. Mayer sees Microsoft as a critical partner and including Lumia 920 was a political move

In either case, it is a win for Nokia. The Lumia 920 is the flagship Windows Phone 8 handset and as I wrote before, it has captured buyer-attention. Not missing this opportunity, Nokia’s Media Relationship manager Douglas Dawson took to Twitter and asked Yahoo employees to wait for the Lumia 920. Unlike the iPhone 5, no Windows Phone 8 device is available for pre-order or expected to be in user’s hands before November. Dawson says Nokia has an exclusive offer for Yahoo employees who’ll wait for Lumia 920:

A really smart move on Nokia’s part for what it’s worth. But it still doesn’t beat Apple’s ability to take buyer money today and get the devices in hand by month-end.

How Nokia Beat Apple In Mind Games

When Nokia introduced the Lumia 920 the general consensus was, it’s a good phone but Apple’s iPhone 5 will be the best phone. There will be pigs flying over Mascone when it is revealed. Of course that didn’t happen. The iPhone 5 was underwhelming. The real show stealer yesterday was the new iPod Touch. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying the iPhone isn’t innovative; what we saw yesterday was design innovation, not innovation same as iPhone 1. iOS6 isn’t bringing anything new either. As a result, the overall consensus yesterday was that the iPhone 5 is good looking powerful device, it will sell millions but isn’t revolutionary. As Mat Honan puts it, “It is amazing and utterly boring.”

Compare this to Nokia, the company announced a new camera setup, wireless charging and NFC capabilities. The introduction of wireless charging and NFC have generated excitement, while you can rubbish them as gimmicks, wireless charging makes a lot of sense to me. I come home and place the phone next to my PC, and guess what?! The phone isn’t connected to a wire!  The charger is connected to a power source, but my phone isn’t. The phone charging cable just vanished as far as I am concerned.

Nokia made an impression.

The other key announcement Nokia made was around NFC. TO understand this, we need to look at Nokia’s NFC accessories, so far just personal audio equipment. Nokia believes NFC helps you get rid of the cumbersome setup of Bluetooth pairing or WiFi sharing. And guess what?! You don’t have to buy a dock adapter for your phone!

Not new, ergo not innovative, but then Nokia has a concept of wireless charging. Put these together and you have innovation that the end consumer can feel while using the technology in a way where technology is seamless.

Nokia again makes an impression.

The third is specs. Now many say specs don’t matter and that the phone’s experience is what matters. Well, guess what?! So far the general consensus is that the Windows Phone experience is very good! Couple this with no hardware advantage that Apple has with the iPhone 5 & features shown in Windows Phone 8, Nokia has made an impression.

Let’s talk about the now infamous Lumia 920 camera. In the tech circles, Nokia is being mocked for fudging PureView photographs but to the end user  PureView as a brand makes an impression. And while we are on the topic of innovation and winter is coming, being able to use a touch screen phone with gloves on–getting that right, is innovation. On those living in the colder regions, like Central New York, Nokia made an impression.

In a mind game of making an impression, Nokia just beat Apple.

PS: Google Now on Android is far more useful than Siri.

Nokia Caught Faking Lumia 920 Sample Video and Images

Nokia is known to do stupid things from time to time – like releasing their flagship model on a day when most stores are closed. However, this time they might have even outdone themselves.

Yesterday, Nokia unveiled its new flagship – the Lumia 920. To be honest, the 920 seems to be a great device. It has reassuring build quality, elegant styling, capable hardware, and stunning imaging capabilities. The Lumia 920 features an 8-megapixel camera with moving parts that promises to offer outstanding low light photography, and digital-camera like optical image stabilization. Nokia even created a video to show off the 920’s photography chops.

The trouble is that most of the things you see in the video embedded above is fake. If you look closely, in one of the trailer windows you can spot a reflection of the camera crew. The video was definitely not shot by a guy riding on a bicycle. In fact, it wasn’t even shot with a Lumia. As you can see in the image embedded below, the camera man is clearly using a professional camera and not a smartphone.


Once exposed as a cheater, Nokia was quick to own up to its mistake. It apologized “for the confusion”, and admitted that the video was “not shot with a Lumia 920”.

Unfortunately for Nokia, that wasn’t the end of story. An enterprising blogger, Youssef Sarhan, spotted several oddities with the one of the pictures that Nokia is touting as a Lumia 920 sample snap. Check the light sources in the image below. Notice the diffraction patterns? That’s the kind of diffraction pattern you would expect from a prosumer camera or a DSLR. A smartphone camera is likely to produce a simplistic diffraction pattern like we see in the second image embedded below. To make things further damning for Nokia, a Hacker News user shared a snap taken during Nokia’s photoshoots, which clearly shows a DSLR being used by Nokia.

Nokia Lumia 920 PureView: Alleged Fake Photo

Nokia Lumia 920 PureView: Prototype Sample Pic

Photo: Copyright [email protected]
Nokia Photoshoot in Progress: DSLR Spotted in exteme left

What makes Nokia’s decision to fudge sample videos and images taken by the Lumia 920 so ridiculous is the fact that the 920 actually takes brilliant images. Everyone who managed to get their hands on the prototype came away impressed with Lumia’s low-light capturing abilities. Nokia could have shared “real” camera samples and comparisons with the iPhone 4S and Galaxy S3, and everyone would have still been impressed. However, they just couldn’t resist the temptation of faking the samples to make the Lumia seem out of the world.

Nokia Lumia 920 Doubles Down on Camera with PureView, Lens Apps, and Augmented Reality

The past couple of years have not been very pleasant for Nokia. The Finnish mobile phone giant has had a hard fall, and it can only blame itself. There is only one way Nokia can pull itself out of its downward spiral, and that is by coming up with droolworthy handsets. Fortunately, that is exactly what Nokia seems to be doing. The Lumia 920, which was unveiled a short while back, is a gorgeous device that is well complemented by great hardware and latest software.


Samsung was first off the block with Windows Phone 8 smartphones, but Nokia will probably end up deciding Microsoft’s fate in the smartphone segment. The Windows Phone 8 powered Lumia 920 packs in ample wow-factors to make consumers crave for Nokia’s beast.

The Lumia 920 features an eight-megapixel camera, which by itself is hardly noteworthy. However, Nokia claims that it will offer outstanding low-light performance thanks to its ability to capture five to ten times more light than other smartphones. It also features the stunning PureView tech that we saw in the 808. While the Lumia doesn’t have the gigantic lens of the 808, the combination of superior optics and PureView software could very well make it the best-in-its-class as far as the camera is concerned.

To go with the camera, Nokia is also bundling a number of Lens apps, which are nothing but little apps that are tightly integrated with the camera. The ones that Nokia showed off today include Bing Vision, Photosynth, Blink, FXSuite, PhotoStrip and CNN iReport. Bing Vision is Microsoft’s answer to Google Goggles. It offers image-based search for quickly looking up more information about the book that you are reading or the music CD that your friend owns. Photosynth is also a Microsoft app, and it allows you to create stunning 3D models of any location by stitching together a series of images. FxSuite is an image effects app that allows you to preview effects before actually capturing an image.

The most exciting feature, however, is City Lens. City Lens was announced earlier this year, and was so far only available through Nokia Beta Labs. However, with Windows 8, Nokia will be baking this feature into the system. City Lens is an augmented reality app that leverages Nokia’s excellent maps to overlay information about nearby buildings and establishments on your camera. Augmented Reality apps have been around for quite a few years; however, they are yet to really go mainstream. If Nokia can manage to nail City Lens, it could very well open the flood gates.


Using City Lens is pretty straightforward. Open the app, and tell it what you are looking for (e.g. Restaurants). It will instantly pull up nearby restaurants, and overlay them on the camera along with info about the restaurant and its distance. Tilt the phone 45 degrees, City Lens will switch to a list of those locations. Hold it in a parallel position, and it will bring up the map view. Check out the video below to see it in action.

Nokia Announces The Lumia 920 With PureView Technology And Windows Phone 8

As expected, Nokia has just announced its highly anticipated successor to the Lumia 900 here in New York running Windows Phone 8, the Lumia 920. The “most innovative smartphone in the world” features some of the best technology from Nokia including the company’s Pure View tech and Wireless charging.

The Lumia 920 sports a super bright 4.5-inch LCD display with HD+ WXGA (768×1280) resolution encased in Gorilla Glass 2.  Don’t get excited about the extra 68 pixels though, as they are used up by three on-screen navigation buttons at the bottom. The display uses Nokia’s new Pure View HD+ technology to display text with stunning clarity and viewing angles. Internally, the Lumia 920 packs in a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1.5GHz, an Adreno 225 GPU, 1GB of RAM and 32Gb of internal memory.

Even though the Lumia 920 sports PureView technology, it does not pack in the monster 41MP sensor as found on the PureView 808. Instead, it packs in a much smaller 8.7MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics, optical image stabilization and a next-generation LED flash that is 2x times more powerful. However, the PureView technology is still very much there, and the Lumia 920 can take some stunning pictures even in extremely low-light situations. The handset can also take professional quality 1080p HD videos, thanks mainly due to the Pure View technology.

“We view imaging as a core area for differentiation in the smartphone space,” said Crawford Del Prete, Executive VP WW Products and Chief Research Officer, IDC. “Low light photography has been a weak point for smartphones. Nokia has addressed this with PureView to create real customer value. By applying its rich expertise in imaging Nokia has created a best of breed experience for everyday use.”

The Lumia 920 will come in a bunch of vibrant colors including yellow, red, grey, white and black. The handset will sport the same polycarbonate unibody construction as its predecessor. Thanks to the Qualcomm baseband, the Lumia 920 will simultaneously support 5 LTE bands along with support for HSPA+ networks. Other features of the handset include NFC, Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS with A-GPS, and a 1.2MP front-facing camera capable of shooting videos in 720p resolution. The 10.7mm thick handset will also incorporate a 2000mAh battery for, hopefully, an all day long battery life. The Qi wireless charging technology is also incorporated on the Lumia 920, and makes an appearance after it was original featured in the Palm Pre phones.

However, the most important feature of the Lumia 920 is that it will be running on the next generation OS from Microsoft, Windows Phone 8. The new OS will feature tight integration with other Nokia services such as Nokia Maps, Transport, and Drive. The new OS will also incorporate an updated camera app that will be tightly integrated with other augmented reality apps from MS including City Lens.