In all the excitement around the 808 PureView that I have already covered in a fair amount of detail (with still more to come), another device was also announced – Nokia’s new Windows Phone flagship, the Lumia 900. Its the same smartphone that was announced at CES as an AT&T exclusive, and now it is coming to the rest of the world, albeit without the LTE radios.
All other specifications like the 4.3″ Clear Black display, a 1.4 Ghz processor, a 8 Megapixel Carl Zeiss AF camera, 1830 mAh battery, and the polycarbonate construction remain the same. Compared to the Lumia 800, it has a larger screen (3.7″ v 4.3″) that unlike the Lumia 800 isn’t curved. It also packs a bigger battery, and slight modifications to the design where the microUSB port and no longer hidden under a lid. The SIM card slot is also now akin to something like the iPhone.
The processor and RAM remain the same and the device will also ship with Windows Phone Mango, however, it will support internet tethering or WIFI hotspot out of the box. I spent some hands on time with the device at the Mobile World Congress, and here are my initial impressions.
Please bear in mind that the above device was a prototype and not running the final firmware.
The Nokia Lumia 610 is the first Windows Phone Tango device; despite Microsoft choosing not to use that brand for lower spec’d Windows Phones. When you first pick up a Lumia 610, it seems to defy its 189 Euros (before taxes) price tag and feels like a fairly premium smartphone. The design is eye catching and the Windows Phone UI feels snappy, you would be hard pressed to say that it was not running on a 1 Ghz+ chip.
Major highlights include:
3.7” LCD with a 800 x 480 resolution
800 Mhz processor, 256 MB of RAM
1300 mAh battery
Support for 7.2 MBPS HSDPA
5 Megapixel Camera
Comes in Cyan, Black, White and Magenta.
Most budget Android devices on the other hand come with smaller screens that are low resolution. The build quality is nothing to write home about and on 800 Mhz chips, Android isn’t exactly flying. With the Lumia 610, it is this class of devices that Nokia is training its guns on.
The limitation that the lowered spec Windows Phone devices will have to deal with is with regard to background tasks. While apps like Spotify can remain in the background and play music just fine, applications such as Twitter clients that check for notifications every half hour will not be able to. That means that as long as the application you are running supports push notifications, there will be no problem. But if it relies on pull, the developer has some work ahead of him. According to Microsoft, about 95% of the Windows Phone apps will work just fine on lower spec’d devices, and incompatibility issues will mostly be restricted to high end games.
I did play with a Lumia 610 for a little while and Windows Phone Mango was fluid, and all the social network integration was present. This means that a device that cost less than 200 Euros in total, will give you a social networking experience on par with a high-end smartphone in a sleek design with excellent build quality. Not to forget the full Office functionality and Microsoft Exchange support.
While high-end Android devices are certainly forces to reckon with, I have never been a fan of ‘budget’ Android devices that barely get work done. Nokia has a lot going for the Lumia 610, and if they can price it at about the 12,500 INR mark in India, I can certainly see a lot of people being interested. To my eyes, it looks better than the Lumia 710. The Lumia 610 may well and truly put a fork in Android’s mid-segment reign.
Nokia has had a SXSW presence for a few years now, but because they did not have flagship devices on sale in the US with major carriers, they had to put the focus on a ton of other cool initiatives like a Green Zone, Angry Bird projections, a human hamster wheel for charging devices and so on. But this year, Nokia has the Lumia 710 on T-Mobile and the Lumia 900 on AT&T and I have no doubt that they will be going all in.
While Nokia’s exact SXSW plans are still a mystery, a few details have trickled out thanks to a posting on the Nokia Developer blog. It appears Nokia is building ‘a one-of-a-kind, free-standing structure’ called the Nokia Lab near the convention center for SXSW Interactive. They are also holding a Nokia Developer Day on March 12th, and are giving 10 developers a chance to showcase the application to hundreds on people during SXSW at the Nokia Lab.
If you have a ‘amazing, cool, or unique’ Windows Phone application, then get in touch with Nokia.
I cannot wait to see what else Nokia has planned for SXSW, it is definitely one of the coolest events of the year and a perfect opportunity for Nokia to reinvent its brand in the US.
The Nokia N8 has been the best camera phone on the market for the past one year, even coming close to a DSLR in good light. The PureView 808 with its 41 Megapixel sensor promises to take that title away from its very able predecessor. While I was not able to do a camera shootout between the two, I was able to do a full hands-on comparison between the two.
The N8 now runs Nokia Belle, while the 808 will ships with Nokia Belle Feature Pack 1. Then it also has a 1.3 Ghz processor, compared to the 680 mhz chip on the N8. Also inside is a much more powerful GPU and another dedicated chip that takes the load off the camera.
Like I mentioned in my PureView 808 hands-on post, I spent a good 15 minutes talking to Nokia’s imaging guru, Damian Dinning about the 41 Megapixel packing camera flagship, a device 5 years in the making. If there is one PureView 808 video that could get you info on everything from its conception, challenges, features and even the camera UI, then this is it.
Nokia’s just made the sucessor to the widely regarded Nokia N8 official and it comes to us in the form if the Pureview 808. The number that shouts at everyone is its 41 Megapixel sensor. However, the real story is how Nokia uses that monstrous sensor to create the best camera phone on the planet. While the camera is the showstopper here, other noteworthy specs include a 4″ Clear Black display, a 1400 mAh battery, 16 GB of internal storage, HDMI out, a FM Transmitter, Secure NFC and Bluetooth 3.0.
I was able to track down Nokia’s imaging guru Damien Dinning for a definitive hands on with the Pureview 808. In the 12 minute video Damien takes us though what Nokia set out to achieve and how they made the decision to use the Pureview technology. He then talks about the in and outs of the sensor and finally we get a look at the all new camera UI, which I must add is excellent. The interview with Damien is coming laterhere, but for now I’ll talk you through the device in full HD (YouTube link).
41 MP sensor with PureView imaging technology and Carl Zeiss optics
Video resolutions: Full HD (1920×1080) 30fps [Default], HD (1280×720) 30fps, nHD (640×360) 30fps