FINNISH PHONE FIRM Nokia has unveiled its first Windows Phone devices at its annual Nokia World event in London today.
CEO Stephen Elop took to the stage and after what seemed an eternity finally announced the Nokia Lumia range of smartphones that will run the fledgling Microsoft mobile operating system.
In a thinly veiled swipe at other manufacturers such as Samsung and HTC that have already launched Windows Phone 7.5 (WP7.5) devices, Elop claimed that the flagship Lumia 800 is the “first real Windows Phone”. However, as it largely has the same specifications as others and the Mango operating system (OS) that Microsoft recently released, this wasn’t really accurate.
In terms of appearance, the Lumia 800 looks remarkably similar to the Nokia N9, which Nokia released with the now defunct Meego OS. Nokia will ship the device in the UK and selected European countries in November and it will be priced at €420.
Key specifications of the Lumia 800 include a 3.7in screen, 16GB of internal memory, 512MB RAM, an 8MP camera and a 1450mAh battery. Surprisingly, the device is powered by a 1.4GHz single-core Qualcomm MSM 8255 processor. The lack of dual-core processing power still leaves Nokia behind the competition and seems to suggest that the Finnish phone maker does not have special dispensation from Microsoft to have hardware specifications that are superior to those of other Windows Phone hardware partners.
Then Kevin Shields, SVP of programme and product management at Nokia enthusiastically took the stage and simply shouted, “Its awesome!”, deafening half of the attendees. “The single piece injection moulded carbon shell screams premium and construction [delivers] outstanding antennae performance,” he said.
Shields was keen to talk up the performance of the camera, noting that it comes with a f2.2 aperture lens and has an optimised flash. “All tech is mumbo jumbo. The Lumia 800 has a camera that works great when used by ordinary people in ordinary circumstances.”
In an attempt to differentiate the Lumia 800 from other Windows Phone devices, Nokia has included a ‘Nokia Drive’ app that aims to offer free turn-by-turn voice guided navigation. The app also has the ability to cache maps, so that users do not have to incur data charges on the move.
Meanwhile the Lumia 710 will be a slightly cheaper device for users on a budget. It will feature the same processor, RAM and 3.7in display. Differences include 8GB of internal storage plus a microSD port for up to 15GB total data storage and a smaller 1300mAh battery. The Lumia 710 is also set to ship in European countries in November and will be priced at €270.
It remains to be seen if Nokia can recover a significant share of the smartphone market, especially as the company seems more interested in connecting the “next billion people" to the internet. However, with the firm apparently having been unable to provide WiFi for a few hundred people at Nokia World, we doubt it will be able to do that either. µ
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