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Nokia Intros First Windows 8 Lumia Phones

9/06/2012 06:01:24 AM Eastern

New York — Nokia and Microsoft joined forces to introduce to the press here yesterday Nokia's first two Windows 8 phones, the Lumia 920 and the Lumia 820.

The flagship Lumia 920 features a 4.5-inch Nokia PureMotion HD+ WXGA IPS LCD screen, with Super Sensitive touch, Nokia ClearBlack with high brightness mode, and sunlight readability enhancements.

The 920 runs Window Phone 8 on a 1.5GHz Dual Core Snapdragon S4 processor and features a 2,000 mAh battery with integrated inductive wireless charging capability using the Qi wireless charging standard. It ships with 1GB RAM and 32GB of storage memory and adds 7GB of free Cloud storage to Nokia's SkyDrive Cloud service.

It has a main rear-facing 8.7-megapixel camera incorporating the latest advances in Nokia PureView imaging innovation. Using advanced floating lens technology, the camera is able to take in five times more light than competing smartphones without using flash, Nokia said, and adds image stabilization and Carl Zeiss optics. Full 1080p HD video is captured at 30 fps.

The phone adds a front-facing 1.2-megapixel camera that records 720p video.

“Nokia PureView continues to deliver cutting-edge technology to make it possible for a smartphone camera to take the kind of images usually only seen on a stand-alone SLR camera,” said Jo Harlow, executive VP of Nokia Smart Devices. “We have made it possible to shoot pictures and video at home, outdoors, in a restaurant or even at night, and come out with professional-looking results.”

The Lumia 920 also comes with Nokia City Lens, the latest addition to Nokia's location suite. By pointing the camera at a city street, City Lens overlays information about restaurants, shops, hotels and more on the surfaces of buildings.

Nokia said the City Lens is the start of a new augmented-reality experience that also enhances Nokia Maps, making it possible to move between maps view and augmented reality view to help users check their direction and surroundings. The company also added enhancements to the Drive and Transport elements of the location suite.

Stepping down to the midrange price space, the Lumia 820 features a 4.3-inch ClearBlack WVGA 800 by 480 OLED screen, also with Super Sensitive touch, ClearBlack and sunlight readability, and the same Snapdragon S4 processor and 1GB of RAM. Storage memory is 8GB with the included MicroSD card and 7GB of free SkyDrive storage.

The 820 has the same unibody look and feel as the Lumia 920, but adds an optional exchangeable shell design in seven color options. The 1,650 mAh battery does not integrate the Qi wireless charging standard but the exchangeable shells add that capability to the phone. Beneath the shell there is room to insert a MicroSD memory card.

The 820 has an 8-megapixel auto-focus, rear-facing camera with Carl Zeiss optics and dual LED flash. It also captures 1080p HD video at 30 fps. It adds a VGA front-facing camera.

Nokia also used the event to announce a range of wireless charging accessories and partnerships, including with Fatboy, for its Recharge Pillow, and with JBL, for its PowerUP wireless charging docking station with high-quality audio in retro styling.

Deals with Virgin Atlantic to put wireless charging stations in airports, and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, to put charging plates on tables in some of their cafés, were the first of many deals Nokia said it intends to sign to take wireless charging outside the home and office.

Wireless charging plates will initially be introduced in the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London Heathrow later this year. Nokia and Virgin Atlantic also plan to expand wireless charging to the JFK Clubhouse at a later date.

Nokia will be staging wireless charging customer experience demonstrations at London Heathrow Clubhouses from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31, 2013. Nokia staff will be on hand to showcase the new Windows Phone 8 range and accessories to the VIP lounge visitors.

The Nokia Lumia 920 comes in yellow, red, gray, white and black. The Lumia 820 comes in red, yellow, gray, cyan, purple, white and black.

Both phones are the first smartphones to feature ClearPad Series 3 Super Sensitive capacitive touch technology, developed by Synaptics, which allows touch and swipe sensitivity for users wearing gloves or with long fingernails.

Both phones will be available in pentaband LTE and HSPA+ variants and are expected to start shipping through AT&T in select markets later in the year. Nokia will announce pricing and specific rollout dates country by country when sales are due to begin.