MWC2012: Nokia changes the game again

First out the gate today is the Finnish giant that manufactures tyres, Nokia. I’ve been battling to come to terms with the adoption of Windows phones in favour of Symbian in recent months after the announcement last year February, but rest assured all you Nokia fans – you won’t be let down by either platform. Read on to find out more!

First up, Nokia decided to unveil their Windows budget phone, the Lumia 610. Running on Windows Phone 7.5 Tango, it packs a single-core 800MHz processor and 256MB RAM, same as the recent S^3 devices like the N8 and C7. With a 3.2” LCD screen, a 5MP auto-focus camera and a 1300mAh battery, its designed to beset the Symbian Belle 500 and 700 devices, as well as the C6-01, C7 and it essentially becomes the new 5800 Xpressmusic for the 2012 generation. While many said the Lumia 800 and 710 would be the phones to pull Nokia back into relevancy, the 610 is far more important for all markets involved. Priced at $250, it’s going to eat up markets ruled by BlackBerry and HTC bit by bit.

Next up is the Lumia 800’s bigger brother, the Lumia 900. Many are scratching their heads trying to discern its worth among competitors running Android ICS with 4” plus screens and quad-core chips, but the 900 fights back with a growing ecosystem, a 4.3” ClearBlack Gorilla-glass-protected display and a slim design in the vein of the N900 that preceded it. LTE-enabled, this phone becomes a monster when it comes to media consumption, and the largest battery ever designed by Nokia, a 1830mAh BP-6EW, should keep it running for up to two days with moderate to heavy use. However, compared to the Lumia 800, there’s not a clear reason why one should upgrade, and you’re better off sticking with what you have.

If you’re a Symbian fan, here’s some new updates for you as well. The low-end Asha series has been very popular in existing and emerging markets where Symbian S40 reigns supreme. If you’re familiar with the X2, X3 and C3 devices, there’s not much new here. The Asha 302 is a make-over of the popular C3 and X2-01, and features Twitter, Whatsapp, and Facebook integration inside the ageing but useful S40 interface. 3G HSDPA, Wi-Fi b/g/n and a premium finish makes the phone look far more expensive than its $125 asking price. The device is rounded off with a 1320mAh battery, keeping it alive for up to three days of heavy use.




The Asha 202 and 203 phones are updates to the X3 devices, which ran S40 and incorporated a touch screen and a funky new keypad design. Nokia returns here to the standard 14-key alphanumeric design, and differentiates with the 203 offering dual-SIM slots. Dual-SIM phones seem to be all the rage these days for people who require that functionality, and these phones are sure to be worth every penny. Pricing isn’t set, but expect it to be around $85.

The king of the hill has the world abuzz, though. Nokia decided to stick with Symbian Belle for their cameraphone flagship and released the Nokia 808 Pureview into the wild. Lets step back for a moment: the N8 was released over 18 months ago, and still reigns supreme in the smartphone camera stakes even with the advancements made by Sony Ericsson ExMor Sensor and Apple’s iPhone 4s with the 8MP unit on board. Very few devices have come close to capturing the amount of detail the N8 is capable of, and the 808 looks to continue that trend.

It comes fitted with a 4” AMOLED with Gorilla glass and Nokia’s ClearBlack display technology, which immediately sets the phone apart from competitors thanks to dramatically better use in bright sunlight. The pride and glory of the phone, the 41Mega-pixel camera (no, you’re not hallucinating) is flanked by a Xenon flash twice the power of the one in the N8. Size-wise, you get options for 2MP, 3MP, 5MP, 8MP, 34MP and 38MP photos. It’s worth noting that no detail is lost when moving down to the lower photo sizes. Nokia uses multiple pixel-sensors here to take up to seven shots of the same image, and then interpolate them to create a still-image with no noise, no artifacts, better colour reproduction and incredible detail even when zoomed up to 200%.




Likewise video is in 1080p with Dolby Digital audio, and the camera sensor works through about a billion pixels per second to achieve the lossless 4x digital zoom and clear quality of the videos. Looking elsewhere around the phone, it comes shipped with Symbian Belle, has a bigger 1400mAh battery with a removable cover, LED light for use as a torch, HDMI-out, all the features the N8 came standard with an NFC support.

It’s priced at $450. This is my next phone. Stay tuned for more MWC coverage today!

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