Thursday, September 6, 2012

Nokia Lumia 920 & 820 - The Last Stand

Nokia officially announced their new Windows Phone 8 offerings yesterday, a week before the expected launch of the next generation Apple iPhone. The timing is obviously intended to upstage Apple launch. 

Nokia Lumia 920

The new Nokia Lumia 920 looks like the Lumia 900, but it comes with a larger 4.5-inch HD (720  x 1280) PureMotionHD+ display, with curved glass on top of it. Inside is a Snapdragon S4 chipset with a 1.5GHz dual-core Krait processor and Adreno 225 GPU, backed up by 1 GB of RAM. Internal storage is 32 GB, which is not user expandable. The distinctive feature of the phone is a 8 MP camera Pureview camera. 

A surprising piece of information is that the Nokia Lumia 920 is 10.7 mm thick, chunky by todays standards for a flagship phones, and weighs in at a uncomfortably heavy 185 grams. To put things into perspective, this is thicker and heavier than Samsung's 5.5-inch Galaxy Note II.

Nokia Lumia 820

Nokia's second new offering is the, mid-level, Lumia 820, which has similar specifications to the Nokia Lumia 920, but comes equipped instead with a 4.3-inch WVGA (480 x 800) AMOLED display, 8 GB of internal storage, which is expandable via a MicroSD card. 

The Nokia Lumia 820 is slimmer at 9.9 millimeters, but still weights at a hefty 160 grams. To put things into perspective, the 4.3-inch HTC One S is all of  7.9 mm thick and weighs in at 120 grams.

The success of these two phones is the key to Nokia survival. The failure of this line-up will spell doom for the company. My opinion, Nokia has not done enough.

The hardware matches Android specifications, but in form factors more akin to 2011 Android designs. Nokia limited expertise in building multi-core super phones is evidence from these heavy chunky designs. While Windows Phone 8 will allow Nokia to use more modern hardware, Nokia obviously has a lot of catching up to do.

Another reality is these phones are not available now, and there is no word on their availability. By the time they hit the market in November or December 2012, the dual core Qualcomm S4 will no longer be a top of the line chipset. Android smartphones will be coming out with quad core Qualcomm S4 smartphones. A new Google Nexus will be launched by the time Nokia's new phones are ready to hit the market.

But never mind the Androids. Next week Apple is coming out with its next generation iPhone, and that will available in the market this month. A with that, the new Lumia launch will be quickly forgotten.

Basically, the Nokia + Windows Phone alliance still looks like another "too little, to late" affair. And for Nokia, "too little, to late" will probably spell doom.

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