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Windows Phone 8: Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 Preview

Following in the footsteps of Samsung, which announced its ATIV S Windows Phone 8 handset last week, Nokia on Wednesday announced two new Windows Phone 8 devices. The Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 are direct follow-ups to the Lumia 900 and 800, respectively, and seek to reestablish Nokia as a force to be reckoned with in the smart phone industry.

Will they achieve this?

Well, like the smart phones they’ll replace, the Lumia 920 and 820 are certainly amazing looking.

The flagship 920 (codenamed Phi) features a 4.5-inch PureMotion HD+ (1280 x 768) display, a 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 1 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage, and an integrated Qi battery for wireless charging. It comes in white, black, gray, red, and yellow.


There are two big pieces of news with the 920. FIrst is that screen: It’s huge, yes, but the PureMotion display is reportedly twice as responsive as any other screen on the market, and much, much brighter. (Hopefully, that doesn’t impact battery life.)

Second, the 920’s 8 megapixel camera has been branded a PureView device, meaning that it is apparently now the best smart phone camera on the market. In his post about these devices, Microsoft’s Ben Rudolph notes that the 920’s camera “delivers is in low light – a backlit sensor and Nokia’s proprietary software mean you get clear, bright photos, without a flash, even in near-darkness – and Nokia’s unique OIS (optical image stabilization) technology basically eliminates vibration, meaning you can take a clean, crisp photo while walking, running, riding a bike, standing on the train, etc.”

The Lumia 820 (codenamed Arrow), meanwhile, features a 4.3-inch ClearBlack OLED WVGA display, a 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, an improved 8 megapixel camera, and 8 GB of storage. It comes in a variety of colors, including black, white, gray, purple, cyan blue, red, and yellow.


Arguably, the Lumia 820 is a combination of Lumia 800 and 710 features, as it also features interchangeable faceplates so you can change its design on the fly. (This is a feature of the Lumia 710 as well.) And while it doesn’t feature the same integrated wireless charging functionality as the 920, you can buy an accessory backplate to add wireless charging and NFC.

Both devices also include NFC support, Bluetooth, front-facing cameras, and all the other obvious Windows Phone 8 features. Both support microSD expansion The 820 supports microSD expansion 
(with cards up to 32 GB), but the 920, curiously, does not. Both are, of course, LTE devices.

Nokia will provide some new accessories that work with the wireless charging functionality, including a standard charging plate, a “FatBoy pillow,” and a speaker dock that uses NFC to start playing music when the phone is placed on top.

Standard charging dock

FatBoy pillow

Speaker dock

Amazingly, Nokia did not announce pricing—the Lumia 920 and 820 were rumored to sport upgrade pricing of $150 and $100, respectively, but given how far off some of the other rumors about these devices were, I’m not sure I trust that. Even more amazingly, the company never talked wireless carriers: Even AT&T wasn’t part of the launch event.

Here are the photos Microsoft provided of the Nokia Lumia 920 and 820.


And here, of course, is a video, also from Microsoft:

I’m cautiously optimistic about the new devices, but I’m really, really disappointed that there was no mention of pricing or availability. I’ll try to get review units of each as soon as possible, of course.


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