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Nokia just wrapped up a busy press conference at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where most of the world’s smartphone industry is gathered this week. The company announced new Windows Phone 8 models, the availability of its popular location apps and services to more Windows Phones, and tantalizing details about new partnerships and initiatives in the works.
Here’s a rundown of what you missed.
New, more affordable phones
Nokia’s Windows Phone 8 portfolio already includes the Lumia 620, 820, and flagship 920. Today, in an effort to put more phones into more people’s hands around the globe, the company said it’s adding two new models to its Lumia lineup: the 520 and 720. The phones combine some of the company’s higher-end innovations with new, lower price tags.
"The momentum behind Nokia is gathering pace,” Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said. "By offering better experiences at a more affordable price we are reinventing the battle for affordable mobile devices, and Nokia has the building blocks to win.”
When it launches, the new Lumia 520 will be Nokia’s most affordable Windows Phone—but sport some of the same technology (such as camera lens and touch display) found in its bigger siblings. The phone comes with a four-inch display, a five-megapixel camera, and five color options. It will initially debut in Hong Kong and Vietnam, then roll out more broadly in the second quarter to China, India, and other markets around the world. In the U.S., T-Mobile is expected to carry the phone, Nokia said.
Next up is the the Lumia 720, which combines “high-end style and innovation for the socially-active crowd.” The phone, which also comes in five colors, features a 4.3-inch ClearBlack WVGA display, a fast f/1.9 Carl Zeiss lens on the primary camera, and a front-facing camera capable of recording 720p HD videos on a wide-angle lens, making it ideal for group photos and video conferencing. The Lumia 720 will go on sale starting next month in Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Singapore, before expanding to other markets including China later in the year.
Taken together, it’s a pretty impressive lineup of phones. Check out Nokia’s official blog for more on the Lumia 520 and Lumia 720, including video walkthroughs.
Now available: The HERE location suite
If you already own a Windows Phone, Nokia also announced that its top-notch location services and accompanying free apps—now called HERE Maps, HERE Drive and HERE Transit—are available to all Windows Phone 8 users in the US, Canada, Mexico, UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. (Previously these were only available to Lumia models.) You can download the collection from the Windows Phone Store starting later today by following these links: HERE Maps, HERE Drive, and HERE Transit.
I use all three regularly and think they’re easily among the best apps of their kind in the world, as Nokia demonstrated recently in this head-to-head video. The apps offer features including offline mapping, voice-guided navigation, speed limit warnings, venue maps, place reviews, train schedules, and much more. They’re also designed to work together—so make sure to grab all three. Check out the video to see them in action—and here’s a closer look at each of their features.
That’s a lot of news for one day, but Nokia still wasn’t finished. The company also announced an exciting slew of projects and partnerships.
Developers, for example, will now have under-the-hood access to Nokia’s location, imaging, and music services, and the company said new apps from Burton, GoPro, and FourSquare are already taking advantage.
The company said it has also forged a partnership with DreamWorks Animation for some still-secret “entertainment experiences” that will be exclusive to Lumia phones when they arrive later in the year. Finally, Nokia and Microsoft are teaming up to make a bigger push into the workplace and Nokia announced today that major carriers including Orange, Telstra, and Vodaphone are already planning to promote Lumia models with Windows Phone 8 as great business-friendly phones.
Waiting for Nokia to release 2GB RAM, 5+ inch screen and light-weight phone, so people with "its heavy" or "its not big enough" remarks shut up! Windows Phone should come in all shapes and sizes.
Microsoft, you promised us about top 50 apps in Windows Phone world in first quarter of '13.... we still have high hopes about instagram, Pandora and real-time-multiplayer and 4X-strategy games like "little empire"...
how about a "free" version Angry Birds and few others (like Android) to challenge the notion "all free games in WP store are ^%$#@!"... pay few of those top games developers some amount to give away free games
Glad to see the new handsets. Have my eyes at Lumia 720. Keep'em coming. (y)
Question: If I've got a Nokia Lumia 920 (AT&T), will I need to install these, or will my Nokia apps just get updated also?
caresrg You should get an update, I assume later today. I was curious (impatient) so I hopped into the Nokia Collection, clicked on each of the apps, and chose "update" from the store. While the names changed, they are updates as opposed to new apps to download.
Just got update in my Nokia Lumia 920 for Here Maps,,Here City Lens, Here Transit and Here Drive....
Why can't I set up multiple email accounts on my new phone? I only had it about 2 weeks and I'm not happy. I have a workaround for one of my email accounts, but the browser won't open it.
When will the HERE location suite be available in the rest of Europe?
What about a phone with a physical keyboard? I am hanging on to my Windows 7 LG Quantum which possesses a keyboard because there are no Windows 8 phones with a physical keyboard. I live with an impoverished app universe because the convenience of creating Word & Excel Docs on my phone trumps Instagram. However, creating documents of any length on an onscreen keyboard is too cumbersome to worth the effort. I need a new phone desperately. If office apps become completely irrelevant to me because of the keyboard situation, then why not switch to a phone with a more robust app ecosystem. And anyone who compares physical keyboards to a dial phones as a semi-literate fan boys who write nothing longer than 160 characters frequently do, is an idiot.
Nathan you can get at your Pandora stations now with an app called MetroRadio in the app store.
still waiting for the play to app on windows 8
RoyM, I'm with you! I have an HTC 7 Pro with a slide out keyboard and love it! Sure it is heavy, but using a physical keyboard is a lot easer than that on-screen/touchpad one, especially when you have to space backwards without erasing anything. I too do a lot of document creating in Word, and some in Excel - and attempting to do that on the touch screen keyboard is a non-starter. I'm hoping that somebody out there comes to their senses and makes a WinPhone with a slide-out keyboard!!!
Hi i"ve got a lumia 710 when am i going to get the 7.8 update? phil curtin
Here? Good app - Horid name!!
Any thoughts about MSFT putting pressure on ATT to find a solution for those of us locked into a contract with a Lumia 900? Seeing these new Windows 8 phones isn't improving my opinion of ATT's policy.
@vandriver, my son has a Lumia 900, he's still waiting for the 7.8 update too. I forced my Lumia 900 update, but he wanted to wait for the 'official' update. I wonder why it hasn't been pushed out to the phones.
I think this new HERE thing is pretty amazing! Read my review on Nokia Lumia 720 and Nokia Lumia 520 here. thanks. http://bit.ly/XC8Yje
Thanks Nokia. Now can Verizon have a better phone? Please? The 822 is OK, but falls very short of high-end. I know many people don't want high end phones, but I do and unfortunately, I'm stuck with Big Red.
@Nokia please develop a smart phone(not un smart) where we get every features of smartphone with smart UI. If You can't hire us. We will give you the best ever smart phone in the world.
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Two apps I totally want on my phone
An all video formats player,
Hope you guys bring them as soon as possible.
lower end Nokias are not what we want to see. Where is the Nokia Lumia 1000?
Just received the Nokia Lumia 620 with Windows 8. Love the phone but have concerns about the battery life. Only had it 3 days and have had to recharge the battery 5 times. My previous phone battery 'Nokia N8' seemed to last forever in comparison.
Look out for just hitting the windows button instead of 'back' on some apps. aside from the articles on how to save battery I suspect not quitting some apps is causing battery drain. my 920 either has 50% left at end of day, or doesn't make it at all - trying to work out why...
@Mark, I see the same thing with my 920. Most of the time I have plenty of battery left at the end of the day but occasionally it runs all the way down before the day is out without good reason. On those days that it runs down quickly I can usually tell that it will happen because the device gets warm. Rebooting usually fixes the drain but I wish I could find *which* app is draining the battery. WP8 needs a task manager like Windows 8 that shows you which apps are using CPU, Network bandwidth, etc.
It give good knowledge about Nokia Lumia phone . Thank .