Nokia unveiled its flagship Windows 8 device, the Lumia 920, in New York earlier today with the Finnish manufacturer hoping its social and location features will close the gap on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android ecosystems.
The NFC-capable device was unveiled, alongside the more basic sister-device the Lumia 820, earlier today where Nokia and Microsoft jointly explained the device and platforms’ latest updates including its new City Lens app. The devices are scheduled to begin shipping by the close of the year with a more comprehensive breakdown of the devices’ technology specification listed above although no price popint was publicly discussed at time of publication.
Among the highlights of the event was the augmented reality (AR) app Nokia City Lens which is a point-and-click service that overlays information on the surrounding area, such as the name and contact details of restaurants and stores within sight, over the on screen image.
Users can then click on the relevant information, such as a click-to-call feature putting you through to a restaurant, to book a table at a restaurant via City Lens which is also fully integrated into Nokia Maps making it possible to move between maps view and AR.
The City Lens service will sit alongside the existing Nokia Drive and Nokia Transport apps in the manufacturer’s suite of location services. Further updates to the location suite of services are offline maps with a “daily commute feature” which can calculate a journey time based on traffic, as well as an indoor mapping features for large buildings such as train stations.
Speaking at the launch event earlier today, Jo Harlow, Nokia EVP of smart devices, claimed this location suite of services are frequently cited as reasons why people choose Nokia Lumia over competitive devices. For a full video stream of the 60 minute-plus event’s presentations click here.
Also unveiled at the event was the enhanced app experience available on the 920 and 820 devices including the option of small, medium and large Live Tiles, plus voice commands as well as a host of exclusive tie-ups, see right.
Among these include Angry Birds Roost, an app that includes walkthrough experiences showing users how they can best complete levels of the game and act as a single point of purchase where users can also download wallpapers, ringtones and different versions of the game.
This title is exclusive to Nokia Lumia users for three months alongside an AR Groupon app, exclusive to Nokia for six months, that will also have wallet integration enabling quick access to purchased Groupon offers. This also includes a seamless app-to-app integration that will let users direct access to Groupon’s mobile app via embedded deals within Nokia Maps among a host of others.
Andreas Lieber, Groupon’s director of mobile partnerships, said, “Working together, Groupon and Nokia continue to imake it even easier to browse, buy and redeem Groupon deals from businesses in your neighborhood.”
The Lumia 920 has been dubbed the flagship Windows Phone 8 device and also use the Qi standard for wireless charging. To support the roll out of this feature the manufacturer has also struck deals with Virgin Atlantic and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to deploy compatible wireless charging terminals at their outlets.