Nokia was absent from the main halls at last year’s World Mobile Congress in 2011 but has gone all out in 2012. Half of the App Planet hall is all Nokia and with lots of new toys to play with, making their stand well worth a visit. Opening their show with a huge press conference, Nokia rolled out a host of new devices from the lower end Asha to the top of the range Nokia 808 Pureview, which boasts a staggering 41 Mega Pixel camera and other imaging magic.
The Asha range which was first ousted at Nokia World London, in late 2011, has grown a few friends for 2012, and now includes the Nokia Asha 202, Asha 203 and Asha 302, all running Symbian S40. Nokia’s Asha 202 and 203 phones have a traditional keypad with a 2.4- inch touch screen, good for browsing, scrolling and opening applications. The Asha 202 features Dual SIM Easy Swap technology with a dedicated SIM manager, which can save up to five different SIM cards unique information, perfect for Africa. Both devices come with a 2-megapixel camera, music player, FM radio, Nokia Browser, and Bluetooth connectivity, and can handle memory cards up to 32GB.
The Asha 202 and 203 include free games from EA up to the value of R800 and can be downloaded from the Nokia app store. The Nokia Asha 302 is Nokia’s first Series 40 phone to support Mail for Exchange, giving people access to their emails, contacts and calendar on an exchange server, or via Google Docs. Additionally, the Nokia Asha connects to popular social networks and enables chatting through Whatsapp and other IM services. The Nokia Asha 302 is powered by a 1-GHz processor and supports 3.5G data speeds. The best part is that all this functionality will be available at under R2000-00 when it launches in South Africa.
Nokia also released two new Windows Phones, he most exciting is a new low cost phone called the Lumia 610, based on a new release of Windows phone which has lower hardware requirements the Lumia 610 brings Windows phone to a new audience at around half the price of the Lumia 800. The Lumia 610 certainly did not feel cheap, and comes in white, black, blue, and pink.
At the top end the Lumia 900, first shown in Las Vegas in January at the CES, is now coming to the rest of the world. It won’t be LTE but a new DC-HSPA variant, for real high speed data connections (42Mbits download). The Nokia Lumia 900 features a 4.3 inch ClearBlack AMOLED display, while the Lumia 800 has a slightly smaller 3.7 inch screen. The primary camera on the Nokia Lumia 900 has exclusive Carl Zeiss optics, a large aperture lens for improved performance in low light conditions and wide angle focal length for capturing full 16:9 images. It is also the first Lumia phone to feature a front-facing camera, with large aperture and wide-angle lens for sharp, bright images and video calling out of the box. The Nokia Lumia 900 will be available in white, cyan and black, is priced at around R6 000-00 and should be in South Africa around the end of May.
The showstopper was the final release of the day from Nokia, the 808 Pureview, at first glance another touchscreen camera phone, but what a camera. The Nokia 808 PureView features a large, high-resolution 41 megapixel sensor with high-performance Carl Zeiss optics and new pixel oversampling technology. At standard resolutions (2/3, 5 and 8 megapixels) this means the ability to zoom without loss of clarity and capture seven pixels of information, condensing into one pixel for the sharpest images imaginable. At high-resolution (38 megapixel maximum) it means the ability to capture an image, then zoom, reframe, crop and resize afterwards to expose previously unseen levels of details. With superior low-light performance and the ability to save in compact file sizes for sharing in email, MMS, and on social networks, the Nokia 808 PureView makes it possible for anyone to capture professional looking images in any conditions.
Our brief hands on confirmed a device with perhaps the best camera ad video performance I have ever seen outside of professional DSLR’s and it still slips into your pocket. The operating system is Symbian Belle, which appears at first glance, to be an odd choice but proved easy to use and right up to date with other mobile platforms.