The Lumia 920 finally has me excited for Windows Phone 8

Taylor Martin
 from Concord, NC
Published: August 31, 2012

On Wednesday, I covered what we might see at the Nokia-Microsoft joint press event in New York City. Given the relationship between Nokia and Microsoft and the few leaks we've come across, it was pretty evident that the two are coming together to unveil a new phone or two. Two days ago, however, we didn't know exactly what we were dealing with, how many devices Nokia has ready to show off or what the devices would entail.

Previous leaks had suggested there would be at least two devices at the event, the Phi and Arrow, and one Verizon-bound device to follow shortly after, the Atlas. And a short, description-less teaser from Nokia on Wednesday titled "Things are about to change" hinted the possibility of its PureView technology in at least one of its upcoming models. Earlier in June, Nokia confirmed that PureView would eventually find its way to the Lumia line of devices, but there was no rough time frame given.

Other than these sparse bits of information, we had nothing to go on. Zilch. Nada.

However, it just so happens that this morning, Twitter user evleaks posted what appears to be some very convincing press release images that show off two upcoming Lumia devices by Nokia: a 4.5-inch Lumia 920 with PureView and the 4.3-inch Lumia 820 with Carl Zeiss optics. Both devices come in an array of vibrant colors and with the sleek unibody polycarbonate design Nokia has a penchant for. The Lumia 920, codenamed Phi, is to be Nokia's flagship Windows Phone 8 model, a follow-up to the current Lumia 900. And the Lumia 820, or the Arrow, is a mid-range device slated for both AT&T and T-Mobile here in the States.

Other details were not mentioned by evleaks, but there was just enough to spark a bit of interest in the tech world this quiet Friday morning.

Up to this point, I have all but dismissed any news of Windows Phone 8. While the update is to be a major one, Windows Phone itself doesn't exactly pique my interests anymore. I have used it numerous times to date and only recently have I started to enjoy it. I welcome the new interface, architecture and display resolution support and all the other features the update brings. But the software alone is not enough to get me excited. It's a tad boring and needs decent hardware to really set it off.

This is what I believed Nokia could change about Windows Phone. When the partnership was first announced, my stance on Windows Phone completely changed. And when the Lumia 900 finally arrived, I couldn't be more excited to get my hands on it.

Turns out, the Lumia 900 was a great phone. I loved the design and hardware – I still believe it is one of the most well-designed phones ever. But it was also a pretty major letdown. The software was still lacking (not Nokia's fault) and so was its camera, which was one of the most hyped features of the phone. The Carl Zeiss optics had me fooled, believing it would be capable of taking some great pictures. But the software was poorly optimized and caused whites to bleed quite noticeably and a bug completely threw the white balance off and caused color rings to appear in the middle of nearly ever photo taken.

But I haven't given up on Nokia. And it's looking more and more like PureView is going to happen on Windows Phone, officially, as soon as next week. I couldn't be more excited.

The Nokia 808 PureView was a major feat in mobile image sensing. I only hope the Lumia 920 can compare.

As always, though, I'm a bit skeptical. Nokia knows its Windows Phone fans are drumming up hype for PureView, and that could be both good or bad. It could cut corners and implement PureView before it's ready for prime time, or the hype might have given Nokia incentive to refine PureView and make it a stable, balanced technology.

The presumption is that the Lumia 920 will have a Snapdragon S4 chipset, which tops out at 21-megapixels. The 808 PureView had 41-megapixel camera, 38-megapixels effective. While you wouldn't want to take 41-megapixel pictures all the time, the fact of the matter is that the 808 could take some amazing 8-megapixel shots. In short, the Lumia 920 doesn't appear to be a chunky device, meaning its image sensor isn't as large as the 808's. Considering it will be running a completely different operating system and utilizing a different image sensor, there is a lot of room for variance, a high probability that the Lumia 920 PureView won't amount to the 808 PureView.

Either way, we will find out in less than a week, and I'll be live in New York to find out firsthand. If Nokia can deliver a decent Lumia PureView, I will most definitely pick one up. I will probably use it to replace my iPhone and only carry Windows Phone and Android, which would be a major move for me.

I know a lot of you are drooling over the possibility of a Lumia PureView device, and it's looking very likely. Would PureView be enough to make you go Windows Phone? Or will Nokia let us down again over poor execution on a hyped feature?

Image via The Verge

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