In case you haven't heard already, Nokia and Microsoft are joining forces tomorrow morning in New York to make some announcements. At the press event, it is expected that Nokia will unveil at least two new devices, both of which slipped cover last week: Lumia 920 and Lumia 820.
Now that the two are no longer a mystery, information is flowing in and speculation is peaking. What we "know" about the Lumia 920 thus far is that it will be Nokia's flagship device, a successor to the firm's current flagship, the Lumia 900. The Lumia 820 is a follow-up to the Lumia 800, a mid-tier phone that still appears to pack a serious punch.
As far as specifications go, the Lumia 920 is expected to have a 4.5-inch 720p display (likely AMOLED with ClearBlack), a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 32GB of built-in storage, 1GB RAM, wireless inductive charging and a PureView camera. Not unlike it's larger brethren, the Lumia 820 is expected to feature a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM and wireless charging (through an additional backplate). But the 820 will come with a smaller, 4.3-inch display, 8GB of built-in storage, a micro SD card slot and a rear camera that is not yet confirmed to feature PureView technology.
On Friday, while explaining that the Lumia 920 is what it finally took to pique my interests in Windows Phone 8, I touched on the Nokia 808 PureView and the praise its image sensor has received. The consensus is that the the 808 is primarily a camera with smartphone being priority number two. Still, the pictures it is capable of taking are astounding.
Upon learning the possibility that an upcoming Lumia would feature PureView, my immediate reaction was the equivalent of a high school girl bumping into Justin Bieber on the street. But after weighing it a bit, I came to the conclusion that there are more ways Nokia could screw this up than get it right. (That's not to say I don't think Nokia will get it right. It's entirely possible they knock this one out of the park. But I'm skeptical after the Lumia 900. We all should be.)
I feared the PureView camera would mainly be branding for an "improved camera" this time around, smooth marketing on Nokia's end and a slightly more optimized camera than the one featured in the last Lumia device (which I was not at all a fan of shortly follow its release). Instead of the mind-boggling 41-megapixel shooter on the 808, I suspected the Lumia 920 would feature a slightly more mundane pixel count. And it will. Along with all the details that were uncovered yesterday, the 920 will sport an 8-megapixel camera.
That should come as no surprise, really, when you consider the trim profile of the device. From Tom Warren of The Verge:
"Nokia is focusing on marketing the Lumia 920 as PureView thanks to some advancements in image stabilization and camera software that it plans to ship on the device."
Exactly what I suspected. It's not the end of the world, mind you. Megapixels are given too much weight as it is. And just because the Lumia 920 won't have a 41-megapixel (or even a 21-megapixel) camera strapped to its back doesn't mean it won't be capable of taking better pictures than any smartphone camera before it (save for the 808, of course, its sensor is a monster for a phone).
Vlad Savov of The Verge pointed out that Damian Dinning (@PhoneDaz), Lead Manager for Imaging Experience at Nokia, vented about PureView on Twitter this morning. The four-tweet barrage, where Dinning explains PureView is not "a single specific feature or specification" can be viewed above.
Some might find the fact that the Lumia 920 will not feature an astronomically high megapixel count while still carrying the PureView branding to be upsetting or even misleading. And I'll admit learning that the 920 won't live up to the 808 (one can dream …) has made me a bit glum.
That said, there is still plenty of room for the Lumia 920 PureView camera to be the best camera you have ever owned, just like Microsoft said. Nokia has made some fantastic camera phones in the past and I'd like to believe they can do it again. I'll just assume the cameras on the first round of Lumia devices were products of a "learning phase" for Nokia.
PureView will be the make-or-break feature for me when it comes to the Lumias. Following the event tomorrow, I only hope I can get some hands-on time with the Lumia 920 and 820. And I hope I get the opportunity to toy with the cameras a bit. If I do, you can be sure to find the coverage here on PhoneDog.
Right now, I am equal parts excited and skeptical.
Tell me, readers. Are you already disappointed that the Lumia 920 won't feature a 21- or 41-megapixel camera? Do you think PureView will be a letdown on the Lumias? Or will these devices offer the best mobile cameras we've seen yet? Will any of this play a role in your decision on a Lumia device? Windows Phone 8?