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Nokia Lumia 920 promises PureView, but it’s no 808

By dpreview staff on Sep 5, 2012 at 16:53 GMT

Nokia has announced the Lumia 920, the next generation of its phones to wear the 'PureView' branding but, despite the name, the camera technology isn't up to the standard of the 808 PureView. Rather than the 808's 41MP, 1/1.2" sensor, the 920 has a conventionally-sized 8.7MP CMOS. Nokia is still making big claims about the 920's camera capabilities, it has a Carl Zeiss-branded lens featuring ‘floating lens technology’ image stabilization, prompting claims of better low-light performance than other smartphones. The Lumia 920 and the co-announced Lumia 820 both run on Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 operating system – an improvement over the Symbian model on the Nokia 808, which we gave our Gold Award to in our July review

The Lumia 920 uses a 8.7MP 1/3"-type sensor (around 5x3.5mm), which is fractionally larger than the image projected by the lens. The camera then uses sub-sets of the sensor area to give either 8MP crops in the standard 4:3 aspect ratio or 7.1MP to give a widescreen 16:9 image. This method means the 16:9 image is larger than if it'd been cropped from a 4:3 sensor. The final images retain the same diagonal angle-of-view, which means the 16:9 crop is wider than the 4:3 one (its horizontal angle of view being more like a 26mm equivalent lens, while the 4:3 crop gives the horizontal angle-of-view of a 28mm equivalent lens). This same technique has been used by several Panasonic cameras, including the DMC-LX7.


Press release

New Nokia Lumia Range Delivers Latest PureView Camera Innovation, New Navigation Experiences and Wireless Charging on Windows Phone 8

Espoo, Finland and New York, NY - Nokia today announced the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Nokia Lumia 820, the first devices in Nokia's Windows Phone 8 range.

The Nokia Lumia 920 is the flagship Windows Phone 8 smartphone, including the latest advances in Nokia PureView imaging innovation. Using advanced floating lens technology, the camera in the Nokia Lumia 920 is able to take in five times more light than competing smartphones without using flash, making it possible to capture clear, bright pictures and video indoors and at night. It also compensates for hand movement while the photo is being taken.

"Nokia PureView continues to deliver cutting-edge technology to make it possible for a smartphone camera to take the kind of images usually only seen on a standalone SLR camera," said Jo Harlow, executive vice president of Nokia Smart Devices. "With the Nokia Lumia 920 we have made it possible to shoot pictures and video at home, outdoors, in a restaurant or even at night, and come out with professional-looking results."

"We view imaging as a core area for differentiation in the smartphone space," said Crawford Del Prete, Executive VP WW Products and Chief Research Officer, IDC. "Low light photography has been a weak point for smartphones. Nokia has addressed this with PureView to create real customer value. By applying its rich expertise in imaging Nokia has created a best of breed experience for everyday use."

The Nokia Lumia 920 also comes with Nokia City Lens, the latest addition to the Nokia location suite. By pointing the camera at a city street, City Lens overlays information about restaurants, shops, hotels and more on the surfaces of buildings, for the most intuitive way to explore surroundings. Nokia City Lens is the start of a new augmented reality experience that also enhances Nokia Maps, making it possible to move between maps view and augmented reality view to help people check their direction and surroundings. Along with enhancements to Nokia Drive and Nokia Transport, the Nokia location suite of services represents the most comprehensive, integrated mapping experience of any smartphone.

The Nokia Lumia 920 also comes with Nokia's largest ever battery (2000mAh) and, for the first time, built-in wireless charging for an easy, convenient way to get more out of every day.

The Nokia Lumia 820

The Nokia Lumia 820 is a stylish, mid-range smartphone that delivers high-end performance in a compact package.

While the Nokia Lumia 820 has the same unibody look and feel as the high end Lumia smartphones, it comes with an exchangeable shell design. Exchangeable shells not only make it possible to select from a range of colors, but also to add wireless charging. Beneath the shell is room to insert a micro SD memory card.

Powered by Windows Phone 8

Windows Phone 8 provides a more personal smartphone experience, with a start screen that can be more easily rearranged to reflect individual priorities and new animated Live Tiles for real-time updates on the things that matter most. The ability to sync content between Windows Phone 8 smartphones, Windows 8-based PCs and tablets or Xbox means files, music, pictures and video can be accessed in whichever way is most convenient. With Internet Explorer 10 for faster, safer browsing and Microsoft Office apps built into the platform, Windows Phone 8 is also the easiest way for getting things done.

Wireless charging partners

Nokia also announced a range of wireless charging accessories and partnerships. The Fatboy Recharge Pillow provides a fun way to recharge, while JBL introduced the JBL PowerUP, a wireless charging docking station with high quality audio in retro styling.

Deals with Virgin Atlantic to put wireless charging stations in the London Heathrow Clubhouse lounge and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to put charging plates on tables in some of their cafés, were the first of many deals Nokia intends to sign to take wireless charging outside the home and office.

Availability

The Nokia Lumia 920 comes in yellow, red, grey, white and black. The Nokia Lumia 820 comes in red, yellow, grey, cyan, purple, white and black.

Both phones will be available in pentaband LTE and HSPA+ variants and are expected to start shipping in select markets later in the year. Nokia will announce pricing and specific roll-out dates country by country when sales are due to begin.

Comments

Total comments: 193
12
jadrzew
By jadrzew (Sep 5, 2012)

Nokia builds good quality, long lasting phones. I know, I had a few of them! If only Win 8 proves to be as good as promised is should be a strong competitor.

7 upvotes
Henrik Herranen
By Henrik Herranen (Sep 5, 2012)

Funny how Nokia always used to have the best mobile phone cameras, from the first camera phone right upto and including the 41 MP monster camera of the PureView 808. And how ever since Nokia started running the Microsoft operating system their cameras have regressed because the operating system seems incapable of handling esotheric and modern hardware like good cameras and QWERTY keyboards.

Actually, strike the word "Funny". "Tragic" is closer to home. After all, the original PureView camera unit was designed only a few hundred meters from where I work, and it's so sad seeing how Elop destroyed that superb product and product line by refusing to sell and support it.

6 upvotes
Henrik Herranen
By Henrik Herranen (Sep 5, 2012)

Just to continue: without Elop and Nokia Board's new shining strategy, we would have new models that could properly do text messaging, which just happens to be the second most used mobile device function right after telephone calls.

http://mynokiablog.com/2012/09/04/leaked-prototype-nokia-lauta-rm-742-cancelled-immediate-n9-successor/

Sigh.

2 upvotes
Jon Rty
By Jon Rty (Sep 5, 2012)

You do know that Windows Phone 8 is using the same kernel as Windows 8 RT? Meaning that the kernel is more than powerful enough to handle anything Nokia can throw at it. They've stated it themselves, software is no limiting factor for them using any Pureview technology. And it's certainly no limiting factor for any kind of keyboard, unless you imagine that you can't use Windows 8 RT without a keyboard? In fact, it never was, as the Windows CE kernel was more than capable of supporting keyboards. The thing is, a expensive 1/1.21" sensor takes *a lot* of space, meaning that it's by default not a mainstream solution.

What is funny however is the fact that I now, for the first time in 4 years, feel fully comfortable in recommending a Nokia touchscreen phone to someone. Boo Elop indeed...

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Jan Kritzinger
By Jan Kritzinger (Sep 5, 2012)

@Henrik, how about we wait and see?

4 upvotes
Henrik Herranen
By Henrik Herranen (Sep 5, 2012)

@Jan: we've already waited for one and a half year. That's how long it's been since Elop single-handedly destroyed Nokia's sales with his Burning Platform memo in which he inexplicably badmouthed Nokia's then-current product line while they had no "modern" alternative to offer for almost a year. Google for "Elop Effect" on what happened next. Or just look at:
http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2011/12/calculating-the-elop-effect-hes-already-destroyed-a-company-the-size-of-oracle-and-profits-the-size-.html
The article is almost one year old, and while written in rant mode it's pretty prophetic: since then things have only gotten worse. Which is a pity because Nokia surely was a proud thing.

3 upvotes
Jan Kritzinger
By Jan Kritzinger (Sep 6, 2012)

I meant let's wait and see how the 920 stacks up. If it's as great as I am expecting it to be, then your criticism is baseless, and Elop took the right route (even though it might have been a detour) all along.

5 upvotes
Wei Steen
By Wei Steen (Sep 5, 2012)

there is an interview with Nokia's imaging chief Damian Dinning over at engadget.com and some comparison video to look at

http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/05/pureview-insights/

2 upvotes
Henrik Herranen
By Henrik Herranen (Sep 5, 2012)

Except that the comparison video is fake, or at least misleading.

In the video of the bicycling girl, don't they make it look like the "OIS ON" video is taken by the bicycling guy? Well, it's not. At 26-27 seconds, you can see in a trailer window a reflection of the _actual_ setup that has been used for the "OIS ON" setup. The shots are _not_ handheld. The camera is rigged on a van.
http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/9594/caranim.gif
http://i48.tinypic.com/eg93z6.png

Also, the night still pictures are similarly forged. In the video, the girl moves all the time, but somehow she is still pixel sharp in images where you can see from the blurred cars that exposure time must be between 1/4 to 1 second.

When they marketed the Symbian 808, its camera technology was so good that they could actually let engineers tell the truth, and everyone was deeply impressed. With the new Lumia they have to resort to sad lies... I mean "normal marketing".

3 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 6, 2012)

All the commercials featuring IS are fake! Don't fool yourself with thinking it's otherwise.

2 upvotes
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Sep 5, 2012)

they say the entire "optical assembly" moves under OIS, rather than just a lens element within. That sounds like the whole camera unit is sort-of gimballed in the phone housing. The results certainly look impressive (except for the whole van thing at 0.27). When will DPR get one to review?

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Sasparilla
By Sasparilla (Sep 6, 2012)

Probably not for a while. Nokia isn't even "announcing" when they'll release the phone until the 4th quarter....

0 upvotes
Sasparilla
By Sasparilla (Sep 6, 2012)

Found out why today....Microsoft is way behind where they should be with the Windows Phone 8 software - they have not released the SDK for WP 8 yet (something they normally do 3 or more months before the actual release of the OS version so developers can make sure their software works with the new release). This is a sign that WP 8 is way behind for a release where vendors could sell hardware for the Christmas quarter.

So Nokia has hardware ready (hope for their sake its not stacking up in wharehouses for the xmas season, but they were probably counting on being able to sell at this point), but the software from Microsoft isn't close to where it should be.

Since Nokia's CEO choose a Microsoft only OS strategy, they are stuck watching the money just bleed away - after this announcement, who will want to buy a Nokia WP7 phone that can't be updated to v8...bad situation for them.

0 upvotes
CollBaxter
By CollBaxter (Sep 5, 2012)

I have be disappointed with my last 2 nokia phones. The N900 which had a great camera but lousy everything else. And now the Lumia 800 which has great hardware and a buggy OS and a real lousy camera. Also no windows 8 support which we were led to believe was a possibility only to be told by Microsoft no go.

I do not believe a word Nokia says any more as each "top of the range" phones have gone backwards.

1 upvote
Jon Rty
By Jon Rty (Sep 5, 2012)

Interesting that you find WP7.5 buggy. I've been using WP as my main phone for over one and a half year now, and I've never had as smooth or stable a experience with a mobile device before. It's certainly no worse than my Ipad 3.

5 upvotes
AndyHWC
By AndyHWC (Sep 5, 2012)

WP 7.5 Mango is rock solid, I had to reset my iphone 4S twice in past few weeks and my sister's 710 is still running great.

Hope Nokia will combine 1/1.2" sensor with the floating lens OIS in next model. That would be a great DSLR companion.

5 upvotes
vetsmelter
By vetsmelter (Sep 5, 2012)

How can you say that about the N900? The Nokia N900 is a true Linux mini computer in your pocket with excellent hardware features and built like a tank.
That you can put a SIM in it to call or 3G is a bonus over the previous NIT (Nokia Internet Tablet).
I strongly recommend you to educate yourself more in dept on what you are about to purchase next time.
If there is any reason to be disappointed by the N900 is the fact that it did will never see a real successor with lots of RAM thanks to Microsofts infiltration.

0 upvotes
CollBaxter
By CollBaxter (Sep 5, 2012)

OK once all the updates where run the phone was more stable and is now stable. But Mango does not support phone tethering ( Use Phone as Modem). No VPN connection , No remote desktop , and a degraded navigation system. I travel with a camera , Lumia 800 , for phone and a Nokia C5 for navigation. So as a camera its no good and pretty useless at a lot of other things. It does have a wonderful feel and look to it and one of the best displays around.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
BrunoH
By BrunoH (Sep 7, 2012)

"Mango does not support phone tethering ( Use Phone as Modem). No VPN connection , No remote desktop , and a degraded navigation system."

Wrong. This comment is sent from my laptop while it is thetered wirelessly to my Mango WP 7.5 phone. I use the app PC remote Pro to RDP to my Machines. And the navigation in Nokia Drive which is free is better than paid options on other phones.
So its not as bad as you make it look

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (Sep 5, 2012)

it's a phone.

0 upvotes
Jan Kritzinger
By Jan Kritzinger (Sep 5, 2012)

give the man a prize

5 upvotes
happypoppeye
By happypoppeye (Sep 5, 2012)

Yes ...excellent observation.
It has a camera on/in it ...thus the DPR post.

Imagine ...a camera you can order a pizza with. Technology, gotta love it.

0 upvotes
Ryan_Valiente
By Ryan_Valiente (Sep 5, 2012)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cimDfEIEiu0

I'm calling bullsh1t on the OIS ad.

That's pretty much impossible on a hand held phone. Heck even the OM-D can't manage that.

2 upvotes
ossid
By ossid (Sep 5, 2012)

http://img689.imageshack.us/img689/9594/caranim.gif

Well this says all about it. But I still think that OIS in a _smartphone_ is something revolutionary.

6 upvotes
wlad
By wlad (Sep 5, 2012)

absolutely possible - though not using optical stabilization, but software processing instead

0 upvotes
hammerheadfistpunch
By hammerheadfistpunch (Sep 5, 2012)

Its pretty clear the shot the video using:

scene 1 - a van with a fig rig like device to steady the camera

Scene 2 - Same rig with post processing

Scene 3 - additional strobe lighting

While its 100% true that those images were taken with OIS on and OIS off, its like shooting a video where a tiger devours a person in the jungle because he was carrying brand B's lighter in his pocket and then showing someone else who wasn't devoured with Brand A. The obvious conclusion is that is must be the brand of lighter you buy that prevents you from being devoured.

1 upvote
Caleido
By Caleido (Sep 5, 2012)

I agree. So much fake in this video. OIS "on", but then filmed from a van instead of a bicycle.

OIS "on" in the dark street lights. But those images are clearly lit by strobes. Even those OIS-off images look fake!

Why didn't they even bother to edit out the van? So they are lame AND stupid.

And I really had great hopes for Nokia. Let's hope the camera (phone) doesn't disappoint in the real world.

1 upvote
joe6pack
By joe6pack (Sep 5, 2012)

I would not call them cheat just base on that. The van has to be there to shot a scene including both the bikers.

They clearly took 2 separate shots as the actress is doing different moves. Same for the merry-go-round, so it is quite possible that one was took with and one without OIS. But having said that, I am sold on the video quality even if there were no OIS.

1 upvote
notareal
By notareal (Sep 5, 2012)

Here is a better demo of OIS in Lumia 920
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKWRI9RoxN0&hd=1&t=1m15s
I am sold.

3 upvotes
Caleido
By Caleido (Sep 5, 2012)

@joe6pack
Why does the van have to be there? They don't have the money to shot two different scenes? Come on now...

And besides, it's al over the internet now. It's not the first company misleading in an ad, but someone was stupid enough to make it obvious.

Take a final look at this image:
i45.tinypic.com/244b5ud.jpg

Keeping the angle in mind, the space between the girl and the camera (very close), there is no way there is some guy on a bike around, filming and showing this particular scene. The guy in the van is filming and Nokia is pretending it is the guy on the bike.

0 upvotes
Caleido
By Caleido (Sep 5, 2012)

Well, they admitted it on there Nokia Conversations website.

"Note: The Lumia 920 pictures in this post were taken using prototype hardware and software, and then reduced dramatically in size. In addition, the OIS video, above, was not shot using the Lumia 920."

Shameful, but not illegal. Next!

1 upvote
e1934
By e1934 (Sep 5, 2012)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKWRI9RoxN0
1:35 - you can see the OIS working for real.

or this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6bfY_KbXRFY

another example:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cA4vvHrUw3w

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Ryan_Valiente
By Ryan_Valiente (Sep 6, 2012)

Oh look..

http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/05/lumia-920-pureview-video-filmed-with-different-camera/

0 upvotes
CyberAngel
By CyberAngel (Sep 17, 2012)

Cinematograph?
I wonder what else is hidden there...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qph7Vw5a09Y

0 upvotes
ossid
By ossid (Sep 5, 2012)

@magneto shot From nokia spec sheet: http://www.nokia.com/global/products/phone/lumia920/specifications/
- Sensor size 1/3 inch
- Sensor type: BSI
- True 16:9 sensor
- Pixel size 1.4 µm
And here is whitepaper about Pureview used in Lumia phones: http://i.nokia.com/blob/view/-/1824212/data/2/-/Download-pureview-820.pdf

1 upvote
Dianoda
By Dianoda (Sep 5, 2012)

Finally, a spec sheet that mentions the aperture :)

It's f/2.0 for those curious.

4 upvotes
magneto shot
By magneto shot (Sep 5, 2012)

just one question....what is the sensor size...

0 upvotes
AndyHWC
By AndyHWC (Sep 5, 2012)

only 1/3" unfortunately, sensor-wise, it is same as its competitors. The key difference is the O.I.S. I don't think 920 is the ultimate all-in-one device but it is getting closer.

1 upvote
Jan Kritzinger
By Jan Kritzinger (Sep 5, 2012)

it's only 1/3", but it's BSI and it's got a max aperture of f/2.
Early reports indicate it blows the Galaxy S3 and the iphone 4s out of the water.

This will be my next phone.

5 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 5, 2012)

Great write-up, Digital Cell Phone Review, many thanks! :-))

2 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (Sep 5, 2012)

I have to say, Windows Phone 8 looks absolutely gorgeous (and that Nokia isn't bad either). I’m typing this on a Mac, but I like the look of Microsoft’s new operating system. What a difference from the ghastly amateurism of the Windows 7 user interface.

I have no idea if it works well, of course, but the new design is very beautiful.

9 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Sep 5, 2012)

"Only thing one might be missing is 1000+ fart apps"

You also will be missing 1000000 non-fart apps, like remote control for cameras, photo-processing apps etc. Most worthy apps are iOS or Android only.

2 upvotes
Jan Kritzinger
By Jan Kritzinger (Sep 5, 2012)

And after a few weeks you end up only using it to take calls and photos anyway... So I'd rather have something with a great camera.

Edit: AND A DEDICATED SHUTTER BUTTON

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Sep 6, 2012)

peevee1 - that said: Most worthy apps are iOS only. Android is screwed as well. If you really need some specialized apps there's only one place to look at: Apple. Otherwise it doesn't matter much if you dig through garbage on Google Play or missing 1000+ fart apps on Microsoft Store.

2 upvotes
KoKo the Talking Ape
By KoKo the Talking Ape (Sep 5, 2012)

I wonder why Nokia doesn't use Android. Windows Phone is great, supposedly, but it is about 6 years too late.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 5, 2012)

If something is just coming out -- how can it be "6 years too late?"

0 upvotes
JimSocks
By JimSocks (Sep 5, 2012)

they have a contract, probably worth billions with MS

2 upvotes
notareal
By notareal (Sep 5, 2012)

Have you tried it? I'd say even the WP 7.5 is the most trouble free phone OS I have seen. Only thing one might be missing is 1000+ fart apps :) Sometimes simplicity is more.

9 upvotes
AndyHWC
By AndyHWC (Sep 5, 2012)

Exactly, even though I have multiple Android tablets and two Android phones, they are quite bad until ICS (no JB for me yet). The "usable" Android is Froyo. Mango is smooth and stylish. Not a copycat of iOS. Yes, I have a 4S too.

2 upvotes
DennyL09
By DennyL09 (Sep 6, 2012)

When one chooses a phone, it's as much the ecosystem as the phone that one is choosing. I have an iPhone and I have a lot of apps that I use most days. It hardly ever goes wrong. It 'just works'. Before going to another OS I would need to look carefully to see whether it has apps to replace the ones I depend on, and if I jumped I would be throwing away the apps I have bought and I'd need to rebuy them in the new OS. Apple would need to foul up seriously before I would do that. Also, I don't think I've ever seen a Nokia phone that has the build quality and design quality of an iPhone. I have spent twenty years loathing Microsoft, and I am not alone in this. I am very pleased to have escaped the Windows world by buying Macs, I would be very reluctant to buy a phone with a Microsoft OS.

0 upvotes
dpfan32
By dpfan32 (Sep 6, 2012)

Ups: they did it again! This time with the sample photos!!!
http://www.phonearena.com/news/Did-Nokia-fake-the-still-photos-too_id34160

“It’s impossible for a camera with a fixed aperture of f/2 to generate so many spikes from a light source. These kind of diffractions are typical of a DLSR camera with a smaller aperture like f/22. So, it makes perfect sense that if Nokia were to fake the video, they would also fake the stills; which they almost certainly have,” Sarhan explains."

0 upvotes
CyberAngel
By CyberAngel (Sep 17, 2012)

Well...we'll C when the samples are available...

0 upvotes
Total comments: 193
12