Nokia on Friday launched its highly anticipated new flagship smartphone, the Lumia 920, in South Africa. The phone, seen by analysts as the Finnish firm’s best chance to date of reversing its punishing loss in smartphone market share, is the first from Nokia running Windows Phone 8.
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, a former Microsoft executive, has bet the company’s future in the smartphone market on the Windows Phone platform, expecting it to become a third key mobile operating system alongside Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS.
The company said on Friday that the Lumia 920, which supports fourth-generation long-term evolution (4G/LTE) broadband speeds of up to a theoretical 100Mbit/s, is on sale with immediate effect.
The 4G/LTE bands supported are 800MHz, 900MHz, 1,8GHz, 2,1GHz and 2,6GHz. Vodacom, the only operator offering commercial LTE services (in some parts of Gauteng), is using the 1,8GHz band. MTN will use the same band when it launches 4G in the next few weeks.
The Lumia 920 features a 4,5-inch, 1 280×768-pixel capacitive touchscreen with Corning Gorilla Glass 2, 32GB of flash storage, 1GB of RAM and a dual-core, 1,5GHz Krait processor. Nokia claims the screen is so sensitive it can be used with gloves.
It also supports wireless charging, meaning that if it is placed on a special accessory, like a wireless charging pad, it’s not necessary to plug the device directly into the mains.
The device’s camera — an 8-megapixel shooter with Carl Zeiss optics and Nokia’s PureView technology, is one of the key features likely to get punters excited. Nokia claims the camera can take in five times more light than competing smartphones, making it possible to capture much clearer and brighter pictures and video, even at night.
The Lumia 920 also comes with Nokia City Lens, which uses “augmented reality” technology to overlay information about restaurants, shops, hotels and other venues on the surfaces of buildings when viewed through the camera lens. The technology has full localisation for the South African market.
Nokia is also promising enhancements to its Drive and Maps applications. Both apps again offer full South African localisation, including live traffic information. The 920 also offers Nokia Mix Radio, the streaming music service that can be used both online and offline. It also provides full integration with the Nokia Music Store, allowing consumers to purchase songs or music they like.
Outside of a contract, the phone has a recommended retail price of about R8 000, depending on the exchange rate.
Meanwhile, the more affordable Lumia 820, also running Windows Phone 8, will go on sale in South Africa before the end of the year, Nokia says.
Both the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 will be available in red, white and black. — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media