Microsoft held a joint presser with Nokia today to show off the new features that will be coming to their line of WIndows Phone 8 handsets. The event was host to another round of impressive features that really set Windows Phone 8 apart from the competition, but the true test is in getting consumers to embrace the differences.
First things first, Nokia announced two new handsets - the Lumia 920 and 820. Nokia and Microsoft are both banking everything on these devices. Windows Phone 8 will certainly live on if it fails, but Nokia might not. That's why the venerated mobile company has gone all out this time with tons of new features that are way ahead of anything that you'll see on the iPhone or Android handsets.
The Lumia 920 comes equipped with a 4.5-inch curved glass screen and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor. If anything, the phone is going to be an absolute beast. It also features ceramic side buttons and a new PureView camera that features new stabilization technology to cut down on shaky video.
Nokia is pushing the PureView camera in the Lumia 920 more than anything else. Besides the image stabilization, it also features a "floating lens" that will capture five to 10 times the amount of light over competing smartphone cameras. In essence, the camera will be able to take pictures in low light conditions while still looking nice.
Nokia also confirmed that the Lumia 920 will ship with a wireless charging station. There have been third-party wireless charging solutions in the past, but the Lumia 920 will be the first handset to ship with such a device.
Similar to AOL's Entrance app that was announced this morning, Nokia also announced their own augmented reality app. It's called City Lens and it brings up small notifications of all the restaurants and transit routes around you on the street in real time. Nokia Maps is also getting AR functionality with your route being displayed on the real world imagery.
While there's no price yet, the Lumia 920 will probably be pretty expensive. Nokia realizes that cost may be a factor in the continued success of the Lumia brand so they also announced the Lumia 820. It's a low-cost alternative to the 920 that features all the Nokia apps like AR and Nokia Music. The only real difference between the two is the hardware. It features a smaller 4.3-inch screen and lacks the PureView camera.
It's hard to say if Microsoft and Nokia will meet with success this year or not. Windows Phone has been slowly growing, but not at the same pace that Android and iOS have enjoyed over the past few years. Of course, Windows Phone is still relatively new to the market and they have a long way to go before they gain any kind of competitive edge. The one-two combo of Windows Phone 8 and the Lumia 920 might just be the edge they need.[Source/Image Credit: Gizmodo]