Mobile

Nokia, Microsoft Announce New Windows Phones

Nokia and Microsoft announced two new mobile phones at Nokia World yesterday. They’re both running Windows Phone 8, and they’re both expected to hit the market later this fall. The Lumia 920 takes its place as Nokia’s new flagship device, and the Lumia 820 follows up behind with slightly lower specs and a smaller form factor.

Nokia, Microsoft Announce New Windows Phones

Nokia’s New Flagship, the Lumia 920

While some may argue that the 920’s best feature is its availability in yellow, the new phone does boast an impressive collection of features and specs. The 4.5″ screen has a 1280 x 768 (greater than 720p HD) resolution, high pixel density, high refresh rate, and brightness and contrast that can supposedly withstand to viewing in direct sunlight. The PureView camera has an 8.7 MP sensor and a slew of new features, including an improved, easier-to-use camera interface, software lenses, and optical image stabilization—a mechanical technology that’s typically limited to cameras with larger lens arrays. A multi-frame capture feature enables features like choosing the photo where nobody blinked and erasing moving objects from a photo.

The phone is powered by a dual-core Snapdraggon processor and a built-in 2000mAh battery, supporting 10 hours of talk time. In addition to standard charging over a micro USB cable, the Lumia has built-in support for the Qi standard, allowing wireless charging on docks, pillows, and plates. It also supports NFC. The new Lumia can operate on GSM, CDMA, and LTE networks.

The 900 has 32GB of onboard storage (with no external SD support) and comes in glossy yellow, red, white, black, and gray.

Lumia 820

Just a step behind the new 920 is Nokia’s new Lumia 820. This phone has a slightly smaller form factor and features a 4.3″ AMOLED screen with a resolution of 800 x 480. It has an 8.0MP camera that lacks Nokia’s PureView stabilization features. The 820 has 8GB of onboard storage, a removable 1800mAh battery, and removable micro SD card storage.

The 820 doesn’t natively support wireless charging, but its removable shell (think Lumia 710) can be replaced with a number of replacements in bright colors—some adding wireless charging.

Otherwise, these phones are largely similar. They both feature the complete Nokia suite of applications, including improved mapping and navigation in what seems like a few too many discrete apps. They both have the same communications features and support, and they both offer the same media and business features.

A Few More Things

Nokia showed off the new phones with a handful of accessories, including JBL speakers and headphones with Bluetooth audio, enabled with an NFC tap-to-hand-off feature. They also showed a fatboy charging pillow and a collection of color shells that add wireless charging to the 820.

No Dates, No Dollars

While Nokia and Microsoft had plenty to share on Wednesday, two things they haven’t announced yet are pricing and availability. Based on information published on other blogs and comments by Ballmer, though, we believe you should expect these in stores in early- to mid-November. And while rumors abound, there’s been no announcement yet about carrier support.

Visit Nokia’s site to see a comparison of the two phones’ specifications.

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About the author

Richard Gunther

Richard is a product experience consultant with a life-long interest in consumer electronics. He has been immersed in smart home tech for decades now and hosts The DMZ's home automation podcast, Home: On and co-hosts Entertainment 2.0 with Josh Pollard. Richard looks at products through an experience lens, always seeking the right mix of utility and delight.