Why I thought the Nokia event was amazing

Why I thought the Nokia event was amazing

We’ve had a few personal opinions of the Nokia Lumia launch opinion recently. I thought I should perhaps share my thoughts because I really don’t agree.


I have been using Windows Phone for a while now, along with Android and recently iOS, so I like to feel I have a nice rounded view of things.

My history with Windows Phone started off with the Dell Venue Pro which was mediocre, it didn’t have Mango and it was a bit under powered, I still loved it. The Windows Phone OS easily made up for the lacking hardware and doing normal activities. After this I had a HTC Titan. This ran the Mango version of WP7 and had a better spec. It was amazing, but I still kept hearing anti Windows Phone people saying “there aren’t any apps” in a clichéd, ill-researched kind-of-way.

Then along came my Lumia 800. Yes, it was rather small, but they had created possibly the nicest piece of hardware EVER. Holding a Lumia and an iPhone 4S together, the Lumia looks and feels like a nicer device. Nokia then spent the next few months creating a library of apps like Counters, Camera Extras and City Lens to plug the gaps in the Marketplace. Nokia have got themselves in a good position to move this library across to Windows Phone 8 and offer more than the other OEM’s. Yes overall ceretain big name developers are missing from the Windows Phone Marketplace, but thinks are only going to get better. The supposed lack of apps is seen as too big a compromise for some though and many people decide to go to Android or iOS instead.

Windows Phone had to change. The market was moving to keep up with things like dual core processors, NFC and removeable storage. Microsoft had to make big changes to the kernel. This meant that once again Microsoft had to cut people off and not upgrade them. This was an essential move to continue to compete and they have created the 7.8 update to offer some of the best bits of WP8.

What we saw on Wednesday night was amazing, the new hardware from Nokia is once again the nicest looking on the planet. Some people are going to disagree, some people are going to say the spec isn’t good enough, some people are going to cry about the lack of apps. But me, I’m sold. The sooner I can get a bright yellow Lumia 920, the better.

One negative aspect from Wednesday night is the lack of pricing and availability. I can see a few things going on here that go part of the way to explain this. The first being the new iPhone release, I’m guessing Nokia decided they had to get their new devices into the public eye before Apple got theirs out. Slight problem though. You’ll be able to buy the iPhone probably at the end of September and by the time the Lumias come out Apple will have sold millions of new iPhones. How many of these customers would have bought a Lumia if they were available now? Well, that leads nicely onto the next point. Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

Microsoft are going to release Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 in October, so Nokia can’t release their new phones until then. Which makes the event on Wednesday seem more like an attempt to steal the thunder from Apple.

Microsoft have made things difficult for Nokia here and Nokia are just trying their hardest to create a buzz before October.

I now feel like I should look into what was said yesterday on this site. This is only my opinion so try not to get too cross, if you hate Windows Phone stop reading now.

Running with a dual core processor with a 4.3 or 4.5 inch screen, and with a maximum of 32GB onboard storage the two handsets hardly set the world alight. The standout feature is of course the camera with its floating lens but is Nokia really staking its entire future on a super duper camera?

No. They are staking their future on a continued range of amazing hardware and accessories. The integration of devices and accessories is way better than ANY current Android manufacturer offers.

Yes the handsets come loaded with Windows Phone 8 but let’s face it, the competition here is Android (the biggest mobile OS) and Apple (the slickest marketing machine and most dedicated fanbase). Without something spectacular you don’t stand a chance.

I think the hardware speaks for itself, the specs compete with all but the highest top end Android devices. Windows Phone has been growing at a faster rate since Nokia got involved. The release of Windows Phone 8 will only accelerate this growth. Only two Android manufactures actually make devices close to “spectacular” and even then they are plagued by problems (HTC One range).

Unfortunately spectacular is not a word I would use for the latest Nokia offerings, in fact I have seen various descriptions ranging from “distinctly average” to “last years hardware.” The plain fact is that there is nothing that makes them stand out from the crowd.

Bright yellow certainly stands out from the crowd of black, white or blue plastic offerings from Android manufacturers. As regards last years hardware, the S4 chips used are the latest dual core offerings from Qualcomm and combined with this new OS, it’ll out-perform most of the current Android hardware.

With no word on pricing or availability what is going to make anyone wait for a Lumia 920?

Because they are drastically different, some people like to be different. I sit in an office with a sea of people using Galaxy S3’s or One X’s and I for one don’t want to be like them. A bright yellow will certainly do that.

Certainly not apps. One of the biggest complaints around Windows Phone has been the lack of apps. Nokia had a chance to get people drooling and waiting with baited breath for their new handsets to be released. They could have announced that developer x was on board and developer y was actively publishing apps galore, instead we had nothing. Not a dicky bird.

Oh the cliche remark about the lack of apps, they did actually mention quite a few apps a while back, only yesterday PayPal finally came on board and Rovio have made some Lumia specific Angry Birds apps to go with their upcoming Space release. As regards the rest Microsoft have yet to release the SDK for Windows Phone 8. Developers are waiting for this and to see what hardware and manufacturers get behind Windows Phone 8 before they commit. See my previous point about growth as well.

Nokia, it certainly feels like you have had your chance to sit at the top table, its time to step aside and let Blackberry have their turn!

Nokia and Microsoft are both aware of the fact they will never be number one. There doesn’t need to be a number one. Everyone should just be allowed to do their own thing and let the consumer choose what they will buy.Enterprise users are sick of paying for BES when Android, iOS and Windows Phone all offer Exchange support without extra payment. Blackberry are even further behind with apps and developers by miles, even compared to Windows Phone.

So to conclude I can’t wait for all of the new Windows Phone 8 devices. The new Samsung ATIV S looks amazing, the new Lumias look amazing and the rumoured devices from HTC should hopefully be as equally as good.

So people keep an open mind, if you’re after a new device soon, wait patiently for all of the players to reveal their cards and then make a researched and educated decision. You never know, Windows Phone might just be for you.

Flash! Ahhh!!! Saviour of the iPlayer !!!
DIY iPhone stand
  • Craig Bradshaw

    Hi James, I have to say the device itself looked quite nice. I liked the Lumia 800 when I reviewed it way back. Liked the simplicity of the OS, but still yearned for the “power” of tinkering with Android. However I would definitely consider it for my Work phone over the iPhone 4S (I think I said that at the time in the review too).

    The only bit of the opinion piece I don’t agree with is the “Windows Phone had to move with the market”. You’re right that Dual Core phones were becoming 10 a penny. However NFC is nothing more than a gimmick currently. There isn’t much more in terms of hardware that is required from a modern phone. The Lumia showed you didn’t need ridiculous hardware specs to get the best out of your OS. That’s the only downside with Android….it seems like it needs a quad Core device to run with speed and consistent stability. Lumia, and iPhone don’t (can’t believe I’ve just bad mouthed my Android!)

    Disappointing thing for me was the heavy focus on the Camera. Camera is great and is vital in today’s market, but I didn’t see much more innovation here (the screen was nice!). Samsung at least tried to do something different with their SGS3 gimmicks.

    On the whole though, I think this might just allow Nokia and Lumia range to get a foothold in the market, whilst Samsung licks it’s wounds under the careful eye of Apple and co.

  • redordead

    I agree. vive la difference!

  • Patrick

    As a Apple Fan im tempted to look at the new nokia/Windows8 phones as i believe they are getting the nuts and bolts sorted and for me looks a cracking phone to have .

    phones now are to close to each other i will be choosing my next phone on what i want out of it not the other way round.

    well done nokia new you would be back ..

    • James Pearce

      I think the number one factor at the moment is what Apple do with the camera on the new iPhone. That will effect the whole mobile industry.

  • Moo Moo Head

    I am quite excited to see what Nokia still brings to the WP environment going forward, I was a bit disappointed when they showed only the 8mp camera, I do not understand all the pureview magic or the floating lens…. and I am sure that a lot of other people would not also, but they will ask anyway, oh, did not Nokia bring out 41mp pureview camera on their last device, but this one is only 8mp? You see for the normal public this is what they will pick up on.
    I do not think the dual or quad has much relevance, since the tech is up to date for the dual core and if I am right it is the same used in the US GSIII?
    So, I will wait and see, because the main gripe I have with my SE Arc, is that I can not use Sky Go on it, but other Androids can, but I do not want to have to pick my Android phone if Sky Go is supported or not. If Sky create WP8 Sky Go app, that could be me sold, that simple. We will see… I am massive Nokia fan from years back, so maybe last chance for them to Woo me back before the iphone knocks on my door and says ‘hola’.

    • WP8 Sky Go… You and me both… But don’t hold your breath… :(

    • Andrew

      In case you hadn’t noticed, almost nobody actually even knows about the Pureview 808. Not the vast majority of consumers anyway…because it was never released to the vast majority of consumers…

  • Trevor

    I’m a WP7 fan and I’m looking for a new phone, but it won’t be a Nokia unless I’m forced in to it by lack of choice. I don’t agree that the Nokia looks or feels premium like the iPhone. The Samsung Ativ S looks premium, so that might be my next phone.

    What I really wanted to say, rather than explain my shopping habits, is to express how much I dislike the talk of WP7/8 being different. Yes, it is different, but Joe Public doesn’t want different. The iPhone’s success should tell you that.

    The “Dare to be Different” slogan Nokia use in adverts (at least I think that was it – can’t find any adverts today!) makes me despair. That’s like admitting they are the underdog, begging you don’t kick them, then hoping you don’t mind your friends laughing at you when you show them your new phone made from the same brightly coloured plastic as their child’s toys.That’s assuming you have friends when you’re such a daring individual. ;-)

    Why can’t it be sold on the basis that it’s the best phone out there?

  • I think what we have to realize is that even if Nokia has the best devices on the market, it doesn’t really matter.
    We’re looking at a magial pair of new Lumias with no release date, no word on what the new OS will bring, exactly, no major first-party app announcements. It’s not just the device. It’s the fact that there’s no word on what the software is going to do that’s different from WP7.
    Don’t discount the app situation. I’m on WP7 right now. Do I have an official transit app for my city? No. Do I have an official app for my bank? No. Do I have apps that talk to my friends’ apps on other platforms? Not many. Do I have some of the most popular apps on the market today? No. A lot is missing, and it’s pushing me away a bit. That’s not on my city, my bank, or the developers. It’s really on Microsoft not building out the ecosystem and the marketplace to a point where it makes sense to develop for it. Yes, native code support will make it easier to port stuff over, but I’m not going to shell out for a new Windows phone until I see proof that that strategy is working.
    Until it’s run by more than fairies and prayers, I predict more lukewarm reactions. I’m a fan and I’m still skeptical.

  • Andrew

    My god, finally somebody who can actually see something in a sensible, reasoned light!