Now that the interwebs have been restored to our humble site, we’re back to bring you all the tech news we can, and man is there some news! What a time for our ISP to let us down.
So, what did we miss?
Lets start with the joint Nokia and Microsoft event held in New York on 5th September.
Nokia and Microsoft holding a joint press event at the same time as Nokia World in Finland was bound to be for something big, and it was obviously bound to be to announce their upcoming Windows Phone 8 devices, and even though it was primarily a Nokia event, Steve Ballmer (Microsoft CEO) was also there to show his support.
With an enormous display at the back of the stage, Nokia opened things right up with a huge sign saying one thing….#switchtolumia. Seeing as though there are some Lumia’s out already, Nokia were obviously hinting that their new line would continue with the Lumia name.
Opening the event was Nokia CEO Stephen Elop whose opening speech stated that 18 months ago, Nokia outlined a plan to bring great new mobile products to market, and that there was no longer a battle of devices, but one of ecosystems. In order to progress with this plan, Nokia partnered with Microsoft who shared a similar vision, a vision that didn’t rely on technical specifications, or grids of applications.
When Nokia came to Windows Phone there were only 7000 app’s in the Windows market place, now there are more than 100’000, and its growing, 3x faster in fact than when Nokia first joined. The Nokia CEO also went on to drop some big names, stating that Nokia were key in bringing companies such as CNN, EA, & ESPN to Windows Phone, further making it a unique experience in today’s mobile market.
But Why the Event?
Why? Why to announce Nokia’s new line of Windows 8 phones and new Nokia software of course!
First up is Nokia’s navigation services. According to Stephen Elop, 4 out of 5 cars today with navigation services built in are using a Nokia platform. Nokia is going to continue to bring their satnav software to Windows 8, and across all devices. Whether or not this means you can install Nokia Drive on the new Samsung Ativ S of just available across all Nokia devices remains to be seen.
Ok, but that’s not new…
Your right, its not new, but this is. Nokia’s new flagship phone, will be the Lumia 920. Shown for the first time in bright sunshine yellow at the Nokia event, (we have a separate article for all the details right here) to show off Navigation, City Lens, and Nokia PureMotion HD+
Whats PureMotion HD+ I hear you ask? Good question!
Nokia state that PureMotion HD+ is better than HD resolution (hence the +) and a refresh rate that has no flickering. In addition Nokia have ‘pioneered’ ClearBlack displays using polarizing technology to block sunlight. Apparently ClearBright has actually made it better. The screen detects sunlight and adjusts color and brightness to compensate. “The effect is a bright colourful display that you could seen even in the desert”…apparently.
City lens, is essentially Google Goggles, but smoother, faster and with more information, which will certainly be interesting. In addition you will be able to navigate directions by using City Lens in real time, turning the Lumia 920 in to a full personal navigation device. There is also a transportation feature, a ‘daily commute’ feature that Google already has its own version of, and Nokia Maps which will also have its own version of the augmented reality. Just lift your phone and the software will give you real time overlay of what it sees through the lens.
Nokia also announced Pureview. If you have been keeping an eye on tech news you may know that a while ago Nokia announced the Pureview 808. A phone that comes with a massive 41 megapixel camera and new PureView technology. Does the Lumia 920 have this lens? Alas no, but its does have the updated software.
The Lumia 920 according to Nokia will capture “between 5 and 10 times” the light of any other smartphone or mobile device. Using ‘floating lens’ technology. The software apparently surpasses image stabilization of most SLRs….That’s quite a claim, but if true, will be a real money spinner for Nokia.
Good Lord..anything else?
Well actually, yes.
In addition to the vast array of upgrades Nokia have their new flagship device, it also totes a 2,000mAh battery, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, that Nokia claims is “up to 30% more efficient than quad-core alternatives”
It also comes with, and this is pretty awesome…..Wireless Charging.
Yup that’s right folks, not only does your Lumia sync with your computer wirelessly, but now it will charge too! A Fatboy branded recharging pillow can be yours to rest your weary Lumia upon at the end of a battery intensive day, the pillow of course must be plugged in, but the Lumia, just rests on its cushion.
Nokia have also announced that Virgin Atlantic, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf are partnering up to start offering wireless charging in their locations. The Virgin Atlantic deal is however limited to Heathrow Airport clubhouse at the moment. VA will have their chargers in their lounges and Coffee Bean their counters.
Cripes, that amazing, surely there can’t be more?
Well yes indeed, there is in fact more.
Photography. The Lumia 920 will again have a dedicated camera button, which will bring up the camera app as well as the going via the screen option, this time around though there’s a whole host of changes to the camera app.
When bringing up the camera function, the first thing you will notice is that there is no longer a zoom bar. Nope, that’s been replaced with pinch to zoom. Once you have your zoom at a level you want you may notice that there is now a ‘Lens’ button, this will bring up some photo options such as Bing Vision, CNN iReport, Blink, Photostrip, FXSuite and Panorama. This apps, all have things to offer you when you have taken the photo. Should you want to change the effect, where it uploads to, you can use Photosynth to pan around and create a 360 degree view of your location, its all very clever stuff!
One app stood out most which was Blink. This app will take a bunch of photos as soon as you press the camera button and will then offer up the one it thinks its best. That’s pretty cool, and if you happen to disagree with Blink, well it stores the other photos in your camera roll anyway, just in case.
Ok, that’s a lot of information, but what about the phone itself?
The Phone? Oh the thing all this stuff will work on!
The screen is a 4.5 inch Gorilla Glass 2 thing of beauty, and this time is curved like the 800 rather then flat like the 900. There are various colours for you to choose from, Red, Grey, Yellow, White, Black, and all with the same polycarbonate chassis used on the 900 but this time glossy rather than the matte effect used on the previous models.
The buttons themselves are in the same place as the 900 and the same configuration, to buttons for volume and one for the camera, and the buttons are made of ceramic that “makes them nearly impossible to scratch”
The screen has a WXGA resolution and has a new technology added to it Nokia have called ‘Super Sensitive Touch’. The new technology will enable you to use your phone whilst wearing gloves, the tech is able to differentiate between your bare skin and gloves, but will this mean that pocket dialing will return now that the screen can feel your thigh through the pocket?
The Lumia 920 will of course also come with NFC which is also compatible with Nokia’s new line of colour matching speakers. Simply tap your phone to the speakers whilst playing music and the tunes will start coming from the speakers rather than the phone, very cool. Whilst we’re on the topic of music, Nokia have moved the headphone jack from the left hand side …. to the middle. Just FYI.
Lordy, lordy, surely that’s everything?
Well actually, again, no. Nokia also announced the Nokia 820, a budget version of the 920 that will be covered in full in a separate article right here.
To finish off the event Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took to the stage to say that “This is the year for Windows” and that all of the devices are designed to be beautiful, functional and to work for you and your personal and professional life.
He also went on to say “In a month of two we’ll see the rest of the Windows software” likely meaning Windows 8 itself, Surface, Windows 8 RT and a whole slew of Windows 8 devices from other manufacturers, such as Samsung, Asus, and Lenovo, to name just a few.
Ending his speech by re-iterating what Microsoft accounts you should be excited about such as Skydrive, Photos, Outlook.com and the integration you will see with Xbox live across all Windows Phones and devices, all with just your Windows/Live/Hotmail account. Ballmer really does seem excited that the seamless integration that Microsoft really could bring to peoples daily lives if only people know about them. The main issue is will they be able to get the message out there through the rest of the noise that will be made by Google, Apple, and the other phone and PC manufacturers over the coming months?
Windows 8 is very soon to be released and as to whether or not they will gain a market share due to their partnership with Nokia, or whether it will sink Nokia once and for all, is something that tech enthusiasts over the world are watching out for.