Nokia's first Windows Phone 8 devices revealed: The Lumia 820 and 920

Nokia has unveiled its first two handsets to use Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 platform, the Lumia 820 and 920, with extended navigation, wireless charging and new camera features.
Written by Ben Woods, Contributor

Nokia has taken the wraps off its first two Windows 8 devices, the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820.

The two new smartphones come with bespoke features such as wireless charging and "true offline" navigation that Nokia hopes will entice new users to the company and to the Windows Phone 8 platform.

Jo Harlow introducing the Nokia Lumia 920 in New York. Image credit: Ben Woods

Jo Harlow, executive vice president of smart devices at Nokia, introduced the new handsets at a launch event in New York on Wednesday.

"We've taken several steps in the last 18 months and today we're ready to take the next step," Harlow said. "The Lumia 920 is a smartphone experience so immersive that you'll never want to put it down."

READ THIS: How Nokia went from mobile powerhouse to Windows Phone maker

Hardware-wise, the phone has a 4.5-inch TrueBlack display and dual-core Qualcomm S4 Snapdragon processor, which Harlow said was up to 30-percent more efficient than quad-core alternatives. The phone also has a curved glass display like the Lumia 800, rather than the flat screen seen on the Lumia 900.

Harlow said the Lumia 920's camera captures up to 10 times as much light as any other smartphone on the market, making it ideal for low-light conditions, where smartphones traditionally struggle to produce good photos.

PureView photo features

The device builds on the branding put in place by the release of the Symbian-based Nokia 808 PureView earlier in the year. Gone is the oversized 42-megapixel sensor, but the software used on the device has been brought across to the Windows Phone platform.

The 920 includes several camera-focused features such as SmartShoot - which compiles the best image of a scene from a number of pictures; Pure Motion HD Plus display tech; and City Lens.

The City Lens feature uses augmented reality to overlay details about nearby points of interest or businesses onto the phone's display - providing information including reviews, ratings and contact information for nearby shops or restaurants at a glance.

The Windows Phone 8 platform also has its own camera-oriented features, including the ability to take screenshots and a 'lenses' option that allows you take a photo and launch directly into a third-party or native app - for example, Bing Vision or Blink.

Nokia will also be bringing some of the PureView features to its existing Windows Phone handsets.

Navigation and wireless charging

Nokia has also focused on navigation with the 920 which, as well as offline maps, includes additions to both the Nokia Drive application and Nokia Transport app, such as walking directions between public transport locations.

Nokia is clearly aware that the wealth of new always-on features will put battery life to the test and as a result it has included a 2000MaH battery which can also be charged wirelessly.

READ THIS: Why Nokia really made the 41-megapixel PureView

The wireless charging feature of the phone is based on Qi interoperability standards and as such should be supported by a range of hardware and accessories manufacturers. Nokia confirmed it had also partnered with Fatboy for one wireless accessory, the 'recharge pillow'. Other Bluetooth and near-field communications (NFC) equipped accessories, such as charging mats and music docks, will be available when the device makes it to market.

The Lumia 820 includes nearly exactly the same features as the flagship 920 device, except for a smaller display (4.3-inches compared to 4.5) and a slightly smaller battery. It will also support microSD cards.

Pricing and availability details were not disclosed by Nokia but it did say that the phones would be available in "select markets" during the last three months of the year.

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