Nokia and Microsoft are holding one of the most anticipated product launch events in New York today that has the potential of reversing fortunes for both the companies and enforcing a power shift in the smartphone ecosystem if things go as planned. On the flip side, it could have dire consequences, especially for Nokia, having bet the farm on Microsoft and its Windows Phone 8 platform. Today is the day of reckoning when Microsoft finally unveils Windows Phone 8 while Nokia shows off its latest gear that would run on the platform. Read on to find what to expect tonight when Messrs Ballmer, Belfiore and Elop take the stage with the world watching them. Also Read - Windows 11 could be a free upgrade for you provided you fall in this category
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While Samsung may have stolen Nokia’s thunder at IFA during its Mobile Unpacked event when it announced the Ativ S Windows Phone, we are pretty sure that no Windows Phone device will ship before November. Samsung may have the jump on Nokia in terms of the announcement, it could not show even a single feature of the new platform. That was reserved for Nokia, Microsoft’s preferred ally in the smartphone space. Also Read - Windows 11 leaked online: Centralised start menu, revamped UI, new widgets, here's what to expect
Coming back to the question of new Nokia hardware, Twitter user @evleaks has posted a series of images that look like press renders for the incoming Nokia phones. He has also revealed that the so called Nokia Phi and Arrow are indeed the Nokia Lumia 920 and Nokia Lumia 820. The 920 will supposedly be the US flagship and the 820 will be a slightly lower end model.
Nokia insider Eldar Murtazin more or less agrees with this theory but he says that Nokia will release three devices instead of two. There is no information regarding the third device.
As far as the specifications of the Lumia 920 and the Lumia 820 are concerned we can expect top of the line stuff. Due to hardware restrictions on Windows Phone 7, Nokia was unable to compete with Android and the iPhone in terms of specs, but Windows Phone 8 changes all that as it is based on the Windows 8 kernel and removes all hardware restrictions that shackled Nokia’s first generation Lumia hardware.
The Lumia 920 is expected to have a 4.5-inch HD display, a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal memory, an 8-megapixel PureView camera and wireless charging based on Qi wireless standard. Nokia might brand the camera as PureView even though it won’t do the pixel over sampling like it did on the PureView 808 with its 41-megapixel sensor. From the looks of it, the 8-megapixel camera on the Lumia 920 would have some impressive image stabilization techniques and a special camera software stack. Nokia’s imaging head Damian Dinning has also taken to twitter to say that PureView technology is not restricted to a 41-megapixel count but is rather an interplay of hardware and software.
The other rumored device, the Lumia 820, is also said to be powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor made by Qualcomm, 1GB of RAM, a 4.3-inch HD display, 8GB of internal memory, microSD card support, wireless charging and a unknown megapixel camera. We would be surprised if it sports the PureView branding.
The Lumia 920 will be reportedly available in five colors – red, yellow, white, grey and black, while the Lumia 820 renders suggest white, yellow, red and purple color options. Clearly, it seems like Nokia has lost love for Cyan, that made the previous Lumia phones look irresistible.
Windows Phone 8 features:
More than the hardware, the feature set of Windows Phone 8 is more of a mystery. While we already know it shares its core with Windows 8 that will make it easy for developers to build apps for Windows Phone 8, a lot is not known about the features that will directly impact the consumers.
We already know that Windows Phone 8 will have Xbox live and will have some unique NFC tricks up its sleeve apart from a revamped Star-Screen. Besides this, the Verge is reporting that it will have a new group messaging service called Rooms, which could be Microsoft’s spin on BBM or iMessage and it will have special Parental controls.
Another biggie about Windows Phone 8 is Direct X support which means that it is possible that overtime we might actually see PC class games coming on Windows Phone devices. And because Windows Phone 8 is based on a Windows 8 underpinning, the hardware is sure to be top notch as it can support up to 64-cores and can handle three display resolutions – 800×480, 1280×720 and 1280×768.
Nokia Maps will power the mapping solution in Windows Phone 8 across all WP8 smartphones, that means the ecosystem will arguably have the most complete mapping solution out there. Mind you, as Nokia Maps is powered by Navteq, the solution is perhaps even more sophisticated than Google Maps and supports Turn-By-Turn navigation, and offline maps through out the world, across a number of countries including India.
Other than this we don’t really know a lot about Windows Phone 8. Microsoft would also probably announce what features other than the new Start-Screen will be available to current Windows Phone users in the Windows Phone 7.8 update.
On the whole we have an interesting evening ahead which might dictate how Nokia does in the next year. Stay tuned, we will reporting live as it all unfolds.