[I’m blogging the webcast of the Nokia-Microsoft press event in NYC. The following is in reverse chronological order.]
8:22 a.m.: That’s a wrap. Summary: Nokia and Microsoft formally announced the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 Windows Phone 8 devices. Here are more detailed fact sheets for the 920 (pictured below) and the 820 (pictured further down in post). Nokia did not announce price or availability during the webcast of the event.
Lumia 920 (Photo from Nokia)
8:21 a.m.: Elop wraps it up, calling Lumia “the world’s most innovative smartphone.”
8:14 a.m.: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer takes the stage.
Ballmer: “This is a very important milestone. In a sense, it’s unbelievable how far we’ve come in 18 months in working with Nokia. It was a full-on sprint” delivering the first devices.
Ballmer talking about overall context of where Microsoft is going with Windows. “Make no mistake about it, this is a year for Windows.” Says Windows and Windows Phone 8 brought together by: Common user interface; power of Bing as search engine and as set of technologies that support natural user interface; integrated Microsoft account — a single place to log in and get access to SkyDrive, Outlook.com, etc.; Xbox services integrated across Windows Phone, tablets, PC devices — music, video, games, SmartGlass technology; developer platform and the store brought in in common way with a standardized foundation.
Ballmer: Predicts there will be 400 million devices running Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 a year from now. Says that “I’m quite sure that represents the largest single opportunity available for software developers today.” “I’ll bet you right now that the next app developer to hit it really, really big will be a developer on Windows.”
7:49 a.m.: Kevin Shields, Nokia SVP, takes the stage to talk about innovations in Lumia 920.
Design: “Stands out from the crowd.” Curved glass display, polycarbonate chassis “not compromised by needless metal elements.” New colors: yellow, lipstick red, slate grey. “This is a phone that displays confidence.”
Display: Says Nokia believes it’s “the fastest LCD display ever shipped on a smartphone.” Higher than 720p resolution. A technology called “super sensitive touch” — can tap and swipe on screen even with gloves/mittens on.
Wireless Charging: Lumia 920 comes with wireless charging integrated. Announcing a range of charging accessories from Fatboy pillow to charging plate. “You’re not hunting around for wires and charging cables. It just works.” JBL Power Up — boombox with wireless charging and NFC integrated. Lumia 920 has integrated NFC, Shields says. So if you start music app on Lumia 920, tap phone on JBL Power Up, then that music switches over to play over the speaker on the JBL Power Up. You can also lay the phone on the Power Up and it will charge wirelessly.
(Shields goes into a slight tangent on Nokia Music, which is coming to the U.S. and should be downloadable in Windows Phone marketplace “at any moment.”)
The accessories will be available when Lumia 920 comes to market. (Nokia hasn’t given a date for that yet.)
City Lens: Demo not working on the big screen behind Shields. Close-up on his phone screen shows City Lens in action — showing restaurant info displayed as he moves the camera around.
Nokia worked with Rovio for Angry Birds Roost — can buy and launch Angry Bird games, download ringtones, wallpaper, etc.
Smart Shoot: You can remove objects from pictures — it detects things you might want to remove from an image — e.g. passersby wandering through a shot you want to take.
Cinemagraph: Allows you to add some motion (animated GIF) to still photos.
Says will include some of this as update to current Lumia devices.
PureView camera: Allows more lights into shutter while also stabilizing image. The optical image stabilization system holds image so still it can allow more light in, Shields says.
Shields introduces Lumia 820, saying it’s for people who don’t necessarily need all the features of the 920. It will have exchangeable shells.
Lumia 820 (Photo from Nokia)
7:28 a.m.: Joe Belfiore, Microsoft CVP, takes the stage to talk about Windows Phone 8.
Belfiore demonstrates on a yellow Lumia 920. “We intend Windows Phone 8 to deliver the most personal experience on a smartphone.” Demonstrates how he personalizes his phone: Establishes small-sized tiles for important people in his life, moves them toward the top; puts in a medium-sized games tile; grabs some tiles for apps to pin to the start screen (there are more than 100,000 Windows Phone apps now, he says); “bring the Web in” via making Internet Explorer more personal. Windows Phone 8 now supports screenshots.
Belfiore moves on to talk about photography. Button at bottom called the “lenses” button — lens apps integrated into Windows Phone. Apps include Bing Vision, CNN iReport, FXSuite, etc. He demonstrates FXSuite (built by Microsoft interns): When you choose the app, the app takes over the lens of the camera and user can choose the effect. Says the experience of shooting photos lets third parties add value for image quality, social sharing. Photos can automatically upload to SkyDrive, Microsoft’s personal cloud.
7:10 a.m.: Jo Harlow, Nokia EVP, takes the stage. “Today we’re ready to take the next step.” Video introducing Lumia 920 is shown. Harlow calls it the flagship Lumia device. Has City Lens (augmented reality), wireless charging, Nokia’s PureView smartphone camera technology.
Harlow talks in more detail about PureView. Says it captures between five and 10 times the amount of light of any competitor’s smartphone camera.
Harlow says Nokia Drive, Maps, Transport are cited as reasons people choose a Lumia device. The location suite is woven into Windows Phone 8. With Windows Phone 8, offline maps will be a key feature of Nokia Maps. Nokia Drive has commute feature, telling you what time you need to leave for your commute based on traffic, etc. Adding indoor maps on Windows Phone 8.
Nokia City Lens — augmented reality — being added to Nokia’s location suite. Just point your phone at, say, a restaurant, and contact info for the restaurant pops up.
Harlow talks about Nokia PureMotion HD Plus — blur-free scrolling, clear text and sharp resolution on 4.5-inch curved glass display. Says the brightness of the screen will adjust according to the glare of the sunlight. Result is display you can see in the desert and on the beach, she says.
Battery life: 2000 mAH battery in Lumia 920. Says Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, along with Windows Phone 8, combines to give 30% more battery efficiency than quad core alternatives.
Built-in wireless charging: “This is the Fatboy recharge pillow,” Harlow says. Users can recharge their Lumia 920 by laying it on the recharge pillow. Partnerships have been established: Virgin Atlantic will put charging plates in London-Heathrow club house. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf will install plates on their tables in many of their coffeeshops so Lumia 920 users can recharge at their tables.
7:07 a.m.: Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is talking about Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive, etc. Says Nokia is extending the Nokia Locations platform to Windows 8. He talks about Nokia being nimbler now, with less layers of management.
7:05 a.m.: The webcast is coming in.
7 a.m. PT: The Nokia website seems to be experiencing technical difficulties. It says “service is unavailable” or flickers in and out.
Nokia and Microsoft have scheduled a press event in New York City this morning. The expectation is that the companies will unveil new Windows Phone 8 devices.
The event will be streamed live at Nokia’s website starting at 7 a.m. PT/ 10 a.m. ET. I’ll also be blogging it here so check back at this post starting at 7 a.m.
At the event, it’s expected that Nokia and Microsoft will introduce the Lumia 920 and 820, according to The Verge.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal has posted a video of an interview conducted Tuesday with Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop.
In the interview, Elop said he expects the visibility of the October launch of Windows 8, which shares a common user experience with Windows Phone 8, to help grow the phone’s market share.
He also said of Samsung’s announcement of the first Windows Phone 8 device — the Ativ S — last week: “Any company can choose to stand up and hold a device and say: ‘We’re launching it.’ We’re proud tomorrow to be showing the very first working Windows Phone 8 device with everything unveiled.”