Sep. 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM ET
Microsoft and Nokia held a joint press event in New York City on Wednesday. During the event, the two companies announced their latest and greatest Windows Phone 8 devices.
"This is Lumia. And it's time to switch," declared Nokia's executive vice president Jo Harlow as she held up a Lumia 920, the latest Windows Phone 8 flagship device.
As rumored, the device offers built-in wireless charging to help keep what Harlow describes as the "largest battery ever installed on a Nokia phone" running all day long.
The Lumia 920 also brings a PureView camera system, meaning that you should get crisper, clearer images than ever. The technology within the Lumia 920's camera supposedly responds to the tiniest changes in the environment in order to take the best images possible, without triggering the flash.
The new device's 4.5-inch curved glass display should show off those photos quite well, as the Lumia 920 has enhancements which respond to glare from sunlight and other environmental factors. It's a "display that you could even see in the desert," says Harlow.
Additionally, Harlow emphasized that the Lumia 920 will include Nokia's best navigation tools. "This is the real thing," she says, describing the device's offline map feature, explaining that it is not the typical offline caching seen in some competing apps. An additional app called "City Lens" will allow you to point the smartphone's camera at any nearby landmark or business to view an overlay which includes information about the location. (Yes, augmented reality is leaking into more and more apps.)
This is a phone that you'll want to use constantly, according to Harlow. Microsoft corporate vice president Joe Belfiore took about 15 minutes to demonstrate some of the scenarios in which you might indeed reach for the Lumia 920. It was a basic walk-through of the Windows Phone 8 ecosystem and Belfiore earned a few awkward chuckles as he demonstrated how easily he could add Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer to the Windows Phone 8 start screen, which is dedicated to "the humans you want to keep in touch with."
Nokia senior vice president Kevin Shields took to the stage after Belfiore, to describe how the device "feels so good in your hand that it begs to be picked up." He emphasized the quality and durability of the Luma 920's design. It'll look good, "even throughout the abuse of everyday life."
If the Lumia 920 is a bit too much for you, there's its little brother, the new Lumia 820. The device has most of the Lumia 920's features, but a slightly smaller 4.3-inch display and no built-in wireless charging. It does have some exchangeable back covers though, which can indeed enable wireless charging.
Since no Windows Phone 8 event would be complete without Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, the executive did indeed step on stage to wrap things up and reiterate the advancements the mobile operating system has made.
Shipping details are not available for the new devices just yet.
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