BARCELONA: FINNISH PHONE MAKER Nokia kicked off Mobile World Congress (MWC) in style on Monday as the firm's CEO Stephen Elop took the wraps off the company's latest Windows Phone lineup - the Nokia Lumia 520 and 720.
During the announcement Stephen Elop wasn't afraid to address the fact that Nokia is struggling, a fact that has been well documented in recent years. Sure, it's not struggling as much as it was this time last year, but with 4.4 million Lumia phones sold in the fourth quarter of 2012, it's still a long way from catching up with iOS and Android.
However, with the innovative features it has added to its latest Windows Phone devices, it looks like the firm may be able to turn things around. Below is what we think are the top 10 features of the Nokia Lumia 520 and 720 smartphones.
We think some companies are afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to design - the Blackberry Z10 being the perfect example. However, Nokia continues to produce great looking, colourful smartphones, and the Lumia 520 and 720 are no exception. Both phones are available in numerous hues, including yellow, blue and pink, with the 520 also boasting interchangeable covers circa 2001.
On paper, the screens found on the Lumia 520 and 720 are nothing to write home about, with the phones featuring 4in and 4.3in WVGA displays, respectively. However, thanks to the addition of IPS panels and Nokia's Clearblack screen technology, the handsets outperform rivals when it comes to vibrancy and clarity. Both come with 'super sensitive touch' too, which means the screens can be operated with glove-covered hands.
Nokia is proving itself somewhat of a front runner when it comes to mobile mapping technology. At MWC, the firm announced several new features for its Here mapping service, including futuristic augmented reality integration.
Much like with its mapping services, Nokia continues to innovate in cameras. Today it revealed that the affordable Nokia Lumia 720 will come equipped with a top-end Carl Zeiss camera and that it will bring its Cinemagraph app to the even cheaper Lumia 520.
Both the Nokia Lumia 520 and Lumia 720 come with Nokia's Music app preloaded, which offers users a free music streaming service which looks to compete with the likes of Spotify and Deezer. It also comes with a paid-for option costing half the price of rival services, which offers unlimited streaming, unlimited downloads and high-quality audio playback.
Although there's no 4G support on the Lumia 520 or 720, both Windows Phone 8 handsets come with support for HSPA+. This means, if Three's big claims are anything to go by, it'll offer similar speeds to those on LTE, but for a fraction of the price.
Unfortunately only the Nokia Lumia 720 supports wireless charging, but that's not all that surprising given the Lumia 520's dirt cheap price-tag. This means 720 owners can bid goodbye to reams of cables, and can instead juice up the phone using one of Nokia's wireless charing plates. If the Finns' previous releases are anything to go by, retailers are likely to chuck this in for free too.
Both phones might be affordable, but they also come with the ability to hold up to 64GB of storage - more than found on most more expensive rival handsets. This is thanks to the inclusion of microSD slots on both handsets, a feature not found on many competing Windows Phone handsets.
While many believe NFC will never truly take off, Nokia has certainly put it to good use in its latest Lumia devices. Our favourite feature is the ability to wirelessly hook it up to one of Nokia's JBL speaker systems - which also come with the ability to charge the handsets.
Nokia went against the grain by giving us journalists pricing and release date information as soon as it announced its latest phones - pricing that might just help the firm fight off fierce Android competition. The Nokia Lumia 520 is expected to cost around £120 when it launches in the coming weeks, while the higher specification Lumia 720 will fetch around £200. µ