Nokia: "The Lumia 920 is the world's most innovative smartphone"

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Wackbag Staff
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CNET

Nokia's turnaround hopes come to focus with new Lumia phones

CEO Stephen Elop is betting big on features such as its PureView camera and the generational shift in Windows to power Nokia's comeback.
Roger Cheng
by Roger Cheng
September 5, 2012 8:00 AM PDT Follow @RogerWCheng
Nokia CEO Elop on 'world's most innovative phone'

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop isn't one to shy away from bold proclamations.

"The Lumia 920 is the world's most innovative smartphone," Elop told CNET, proudly holding up the company's latest flagship device.

Strong words, but then again, this is the company that proclaimed that the "smartphone beta test was over" with the Lumia 900, a campaign that ultimately backfired on Nokia. And while supporters of Apple, Samsung, and even HTC may vehemently disagree with Elop's assessment, it's that kind of confidence that's required if he is to see his company through its current rough patch.

Elop was in town to unveil the Lumia 920 alongside its lower end brother, the Lumia 820, at an event in New York today. These phones represent the next generation of its Lumia line and a possible last shot at keeping Nokia -- and potentially Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system as a whole -- relevant in the smartphone game.

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Despite critical praise, as well as some hefty marketing resources from the likes of AT&T, the Lumia 900 was only a marginal success. Nokia's other Lumia phones similarly performed well, but not earth-shatteringly well.

So expectations are high for Nokia to have a better start out of the gate with the newest Lumia phones. The flagship Lumia 920, in particular, packs a much improved camera, a display that works well even in sunlight conditions, a bigger battery, and a colorful assortment of accessories.

Elop called the phones another important step for Nokia as it works to make a name for itself -- again -- in the smartphone world.

Beyond a better product, Nokia will also get the benefit of Microsoft's simultaneous push of Windows 8. Like Windows Phone 8, Windows 8 shares a similar interface based on live tiles, and Elop said the more people who see those live tiles on their PCs and tablets, the more people will begin to appreciate the near-identical experience on their smartphone.

The move to Windows 8 is "a generational shift for Microsoft" and something Nokia can benefit from, Elop said.

"Any Windows launch is always a big moment that gets a big push," he said, adding that with the latest iteration, Microsoft will be able to tell a "family story" that includes the PC, tablets, Xbox 360, and smartphones.

Nokia Lumia 920
(Credit: Nokia)

While Microsoft's influence may help, Nokia still faces the hurdle of convincing consumers who have been taught to see smartphones in one way to look at something dramatically different. Rather than rows of icons, Windows Phone uses live tiles with updated information -- a refreshing interface, but one that may scare off potential customers.

Elop said the trick to selling the product isn't to focus on the differences, but to show consumers the common problems that the Lumia can address. Showing off the Lumia 920's features, he was particularly proud of the camera.

While the camera carries the PureView name, it unfortunately isn't a 41-megapixel shooter. Elop said PureView stands for the best photo experience, and in this case the Lumia 920 is tackling the problem of jittery cameras.

The Lumia 920's PureView feature is a "floating lens technology" where the camera lens actually moves and responds to jittery hand motions, ensuring a more stable image. The technology also helps out at night, brightening up images in low-light conditions, with some shots looking like they were taken by a more sophisticated DSLR.

Another problem Elop said he hopes to address with the Lumia 920 is the common visibility issue that comes with operating a smartphone in glaring sunlight. He said the phone's display is designed to light up in a way that makes it easier to view in the sun. Other features include a CityLens augmented reality app, and enhancements to its location and mapping services.

It's unclear whether these features can help Nokia. Other handset makers, notably HTC, have touted the strength of its camera with minimal success. And all the bells and whistles in the world aren't going to help Nokia if it can't get its phone into the hands of consumers. That's going to be a big problem with the iPhone 5 announcement slated for next week, which could leave Nokia's announcement a faded memory in just a week's time.

While Nokia, Microsoft, and whatever carrier partners it works with (carrier partners weren't announced today) will surely put significant resources behind the phones, it's still unclear whether they can deliver a breakout hit.

Elop is banking that people are hungry for change. "I think people are looking for something different," he said.
 
Mar 5, 2009
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I have a Nokia, but there is no SiriusXM app available for Windows Phone. Does anyone know a non Flash way to listen to SirusXM or O&A?
 

Don the Radio Guy

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That's probably a great phone, but it will be a massive failure. Android and iOS are the only serious options at this point.
 

mikeybot

SPANAKOPITA!!!
Jul 25, 2005
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Meh, fuck Windows phones and their shitty UI
 
Mar 5, 2009
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Meh, fuck Windows phones and their shitty UI
Thanks for that terrific, thoughtful, extremely helpful post. I actually really like the Windows phone a lot better than the hipster Apple 5 and the extremely insecure android. They just need more apps.
 

fletcher

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#7
Thanks for that terrific, thoughtful, extremely helpful post. I actually really like the Windows phone a lot better than the hipster Apple 5 and the extremely insecure android. They just need more apps.
Pretty uptight for a parrot head.
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
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#8
Thanks for that terrific, thoughtful, extremely helpful post. I actually really like the Windows phone a lot better than the hipster Apple 5 and the extremely insecure android. They just need more apps.
Hey, I have an Android phone... why do you think it's insecure? Lots of people have them now... don't you think they're as legitimate as Apple or Windows? Should I have picked a different phone? Does using an Android make me look foolish an inexperienced with technology? How about fat... does it make me look fat?


:action-sm
 

mikeybot

SPANAKOPITA!!!
Jul 25, 2005
19,320
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philly
#9
Thanks for that terrific, thoughtful, extremely helpful post. I actually really like the Windows phone a lot better than the hipster Apple 5 and the extremely insecure android. They just need more apps.
You're quite welcome and your post was about as helpful as mine.
Though in your case, you resorted to subjective name calling as opposed to my legitimately basing one of the ugliest user interfaces ever created.
In my opinion, and that of a great number of graphic designers I know.

Also, I'm guessing your not used to random opinions being thrown out around here yet.

So, welcome to Wackbag and go fuck your mother :action-sm
 
Dec 8, 2004
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#11
I have a Nokia, but there is no SiriusXM app available for Windows Phone. Does anyone know a non Flash way to listen to SirusXM or O&A?
Used to be back when it was just XM and the stream came with your subscription for free....
 

MrAbovePar

En Taro Anthony
Mar 14, 2005
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#12
I have a Lumia 900. It's buggy and has a ton of problems. So it works out well as a Windows Phone.

Yea, the app store sucks. The hardware is hit or miss.
 

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
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#13
Thanks for that terrific, thoughtful, extremely helpful post. I actually really like the Windows phone a lot better than the hipster Apple 5 and the extremely insecure android. They just need more apps.
Yep insecure Android phones. Biggest supply of applications, open UI and easy uploading of files without needing some ridiculous dedicated software program. How can they bear to continue in the current marketplace.
 
Mar 2, 2005
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#14
Yep insecure Android phones. Biggest supply of applications, open UI and easy uploading of files without needing some ridiculous dedicated software program. How can they bear to continue in the current marketplace.
and from a former iphoner
 

VicVinegar

Registered User
Oct 5, 2012
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#15
I was burned once by a Windows mobile OS that ended up being a dead end, not going to do that again. Android certainly will be supported in a couple years. Can't say that about Windows Phone.