Nokia Lumia 920 with PureView camera announced to bring the Finns back in the flagship game

Nokia Lumia 920 with PureView camera announced to bring the Finns back in the flagship game
Nokia just got back in the big game with the announcement of its Windows Phone 8 flagship - the Lumia 920. It marks a number of firsts for the fallen-from-grace manufacturer - the first with a modern dual-core processor, and the first with an HD screen, but Nokia didn't stop there.

After all, this is what the competing mobile ecosystems have been offering in their flagships for a while now, so Nokia finally had to offer something to go spec-for-spec against the Android monstrosities, now that Microsoft caught up. Before we go into the things that set it apart from the competition, let's recap the specifications - we get a huge 4.5" screen with 1280x768 pixels of resolution, a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 chipset with LTE radio to boot, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal memory plus 7GB of SkyDrive cloud storage, and an 8MP camera on the back with ceramic zirconium camera detailing. 

The screen tech is called PureMotion HD+, meaning blur-free scrolling on the curved glass display. Nokia calls it the "fastest LCD display", with up to 2.5 times faster refresh rate and new supersensitive touch technology, that allows you to use it with gloves. A new ClearBlack technology iteration is in the Lumia 920, and it adapts to the outside brightness to minimize reflectance. ClearBlack is proven to give the best smartphone visibility outside in direct sunlight, so the screen should be a looker. Pixel density on the new display is 332ppi, a record in its class, and it also sports a high-brightness mode of 600 nits.

Now for that camera everybody was waiting for, thinking that it will be a module with the PureView Pro pixel oversampling technology that groups pixels together, making one "super" pixel out of the different information in several adjacent. The Nokia 808 PureView does that with the power of its 41MP sensor (and all its bulk), allowing for lossless zoom without moving optics, but in Nokia Lumia 920 the task has been given to an 8.7MP sensor, meaning no lossless zooming capabilites. 

The advantage that the Nokia Lumia 920 camera has, and the 808 PureView doesn't,  is a unique image stabilization tech woven inside, again something to make it stand out against other flagship smartphones. It is called "floating lens", and is akin to optical image stabilization in SLRs, claims Nokia, calling it PureView Phase 2

The engineers put springs around the entire optical assembly, for truly hardware image stabilization. The sensor is also very large, allowing the phone's camera sensor to soak in "5 to 10 times more light than any other smartphone", and the spring mechanism allows the shutter to stay open longer, get more light in, and not result in a blurry shot in low light conditions.

The camera sports an LED flash, which might be disappointment to those waiting for a Xenon module, like on the 808 PureView, but the type of LED inside Nokia's camera guru Damian Dinning hinted is the next best thing in the tweet: "massive level of development in LEDs which is really closing the gap. Development is at a much higher rate than xenon." Damian also just tweeted that every aspect of this new 8MP camera is different, guided by the goal to cram the PureView tech in a smaller module. This new module doesn't come without sacrifices in the weight and thickness of the Lumia 920, though - it is 10.8mm thick, and with 185g of weight slab.

Naturally, the mapping experience is top-notch, with offline voice-guided navigation in most countries worldwide with free lifetime license on each Lumia 920. The Nokia City Lens comes standard with augmented reality that overlays info for the world around you when you point the camera at the nearest restaurant, for example.

Last, but not least, wireless charging comes woven into the back of the Nokia Lumia 920, and doesn't require a separate back cover, like on other smartphones. The Fatboy-branded recharge pillow is what Nokia showed using the Qi wireless charging standard. Virgin Atlantic will have Nokia wireless charging plates for Nokia 920 in waiting lounges, as well as a chain of coffee shops, and it is a first of many partnerships Nokia expects to sign. 

A number of cool accessories will be coming for the NFC-equipped phone, too, and specifically designed for the Lumia 920 JBL retro boombox speaker takes good advantage of it. A number of exclusive apps are coming, too - Angry Birds Roost will be Nokia only for the first three months, YouSendIt which will also be a three-month exclusive, will allow NFC file transfers, and an NFC travel app from Michelin will let you retrieve tailored info at Michelin 2012 NFC enabled restaurants.

Well, it seems that Nokia is back with a vengeance - multicore chipset with LTE radio, HD screen with ClearBlack and PureMotion HD Plus technologies, wireless charging in the back cover, and the sweet camera tech that might make the module in the Lumia 920 the best smartphone camera this side of the 808 PureView. The only downside we see is the 2, 000mAh battery to power all that goodness, but time will show how efficient the phone is, since Nokia quotes the excellent 10 hours of talk time in 3G mode. What do you think?

Related phones

Lumia 920
  • Display 4.5" 768 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8.7 MP / 1.3 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus, Dual-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 2000 mAh(10.8h 3G talk time)



1. redmd

Posts: 1926; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Nice, kinda expected it would be just 8 MP "pureview". Hope it delivers.

5. bobfreking55

Posts: 866; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

I hope the PureView doesn't disappoint. From what I have heard, higher megapixel count doesn't mean better quality but it does affect the clarity and the zooming. Loseless zoom was one of the best features of the 808, so zooming would probably be limited on an 8MP shooter. I hope this rules it. Go Nokia! I still have hope on you!

54. haseebzahid

Posts: 1853; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

wht this tech meant on my thinking about longer lens being opend is like taking those same amount of pixels in series rather parrallel like in 808 still it camptures more pixals but one after other maybe my theory is wrong or might be close.

71. pikapowerize

Posts: 1869; Member since: May 03, 2012

thats the only big disappointment to lumia 920, no loseless zooming... but i think nokia make a grip for that! so i wonder if this new windows phone has rich recording too...

20. redmd

Posts: 1926; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

I prefer AMOLED on WP the blacks are prefect. Why did Nokia put LCD on 920? Also no micro sd? oh come on, I thought that was supported on WP 8.

26. thatdude1 unregistered

It clearly states 32gb of internal memory plus micro sd card slot.

36. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Truly, 32 GB is plenty for anyone except the most hardcore media user. That is why so many people were mystified why top end WP 7's only had 16GB. Only the Fujitsu had 32 GB. With no expandable memory, that made no sense. This is the best of both worlds.

55. haseebzahid

Posts: 1853; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

32Gb is too much it should have 16GB version since its on point where price goes up

46. AppleConspiracy

Posts: 637; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

It's very disappointing that it's not AMOLED screen. High-refresh rate is welcomed, but perfect blacks of AMOLEDs were indispensable, and Lumia and Windows Phone have the "Lumia and Windows Phone effect" precisely because of this. It's a shame.

72. pikapowerize

Posts: 1869; Member since: May 03, 2012

they just make something more beautiful than amoled called PUREMOTION HD+ with CLEARBLACK Display... all nokia tech that is worth to be called a pure nokia phone and flagship!!! like samsung galaxy S3, its a flagship with all samsung technology, exynos chips and super amoled screen....

49. sadaivadai

Posts: 156; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

I am sure 8mp will deliver .. But it won't come any closer to the 41mp .. This was the only special feature Nokia had so that it could compete with androids and ios .. But they have lost it .. Nokia should give something very very special that would make users switch from android to WP .. Nokia had the pureview but it didn't use it .. I know it would have made the phone thick and heavy .. But they could have added another Lumia pureview with 21mp with simple design .. It would have given the user choices ..

2. PhansMuneeb

Posts: 371; Member since: Jan 28, 2012

Yay....welcome by Nokia

3. smallworld

Posts: 517; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

Same design -_- !

52. tegradragon

Posts: 68; Member since: May 23, 2012

You can't improvise on perfect? ;)

4. infernal88

Posts: 113; Member since: Jun 08, 2012

so now with an 8MP camera how will the oversampling turn out ?:/ or is it just an abuse of "pure-view" branding by nokia .. i can see that they are stating the better optics and it is gd ..but unless they dont really use the technology of 808 it would be nokia trying to mislead the consumers to me

7. jopancy

Posts: 78; Member since: Apr 25, 2012

Nokia at no time tied the "pureview" name to just 41MP camera. Like any brand, a band can refer to a range of products. A 8MP camera with a unique image stabilization tech woven inside, (floating lens) and the capability to soak in "5 to 10 times more light than any other smartphone" may just be the first cousin to the monster 41MP camera. As long as the images as crisp and clear without any blur, I'll be satisfied.

12. infernal88

Posts: 113; Member since: Jun 08, 2012

well last time i checked pure-view technology was tied to over sampling technology ...not to the sensor neither the optics ..and with the 8MP sensor cant see that happening unless there will be choice to get an 2MP picture using it

50. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

PureView relates to the entire camera setup, software, hardware, the works, and it's Nokia's brand, so really they can call it what they want (sort of how apple calls darn near everything it makes a Retina display, even though some technically aren't). Oversampling is just that, oversampling. 8MP is still more than most monitors and TVs can show, so it is more than sufficient.

57. sadaivadai

Posts: 156; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

We know 8MP is more than most moniters and TV's but we lost one of the main advantages of 808 ie loseless zooming ..

69. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

True, but inevitably it'll be spread to other devices. It takes a while to make those modifications in the OS software, let alone making them reliable and seamless to the customers

10. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

The pureview branding changed. It's now all about taking a great photograph no matter what's the process is, make it in hw or sw. Now, I see what they did. PureView in 808 was all about the HW side, while 920's about SW. So, let's all calm down. At least this 8MP shutter could still beat every existing smartphone whether it's iOS or android based.

16. infernal88

Posts: 113; Member since: Jun 08, 2012

well i dont argue the quality ...just alot of ppl who dont follow tech news would think that this 920 cam is just as gd as 808 just because of pureview branding while the new optics may give the 920 edge over other phone it wont be as gd as 808 in my opinion and with no loseless zoom alot will be missing..... btw u cant judge quality without putting the phone in real test ...u cant just take nokia's word about the cam unless it goes into objective testing ....look wat HTC said about there HTC one X pictures quality and the numbers on papers while every review site out there said other wise !

28. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

From the past records, nokia don't lie when it comes to the qualities of the photographs taken with its smartphones. To conclude that, I trust them when it comes to photography. Besides, this is just the taste of the bigger future for lumias. 2013 is the real thing where a pureview pro might come. Our hopes are high. And comparing to ativ s? I still prefer this. All other specs are almost the same with lumia, but I do know that 920 will beat ativ S' camera.

35. infernal88

Posts: 113; Member since: Jun 08, 2012

difference between this and ATIV S would be nothing more than screen (size and type ) , camera and pre loaded apps since other wise they carry same hardware almost same body size and unlike android same UI.. and for me i dont jump to conclusions saying nokia or samsung would be better ...i just wait and see how both of handsets will turnout

44. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

ahm, yep I won't argue with that. Almost the same in all aspects. But again, based on experience, I will still prefer this. Cooler design, built in apps, better screen(326ppi), and i have again, big trust on the camera. Plus, I really hate that button on ativ S, (WP8 logo). It looks ugly. *This is based on my own opinion and experience.

6. groupsacc

Posts: 232; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

How does PureView work on 8MP sensor?

31. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

by DSP

60. groupsacc

Posts: 232; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

That's a bit disappointing.

61. haseebzahid

Posts: 1853; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

errrrrr DSP = Digital Image Processing :\ it is the reason why the image quality is improving on everything around that includes a lens and a digital cam

8. jopancy

Posts: 78; Member since: Apr 25, 2012

Wonder what would happen if nokia release this at the same time with the apple's iphone 5...

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