Whether it’s for the right reasons or not, Nokia are a big name in the mobile industry. They’ve been a market leader, they’ve nearly gone bust, they’ve jumped onto the Windows Phone boat, they’ve gone and got themselves bought out by Microsoft and this week we saw the latest iteration of their devices. Was that little pile of devices enough to keep them relevant? Was this the last bunch of new devices well ever see bearing the “Nokia Lumia” branding? I honestly don’t know. What this is, is just going to be my thoughts on the Lumia devices announced on Tuesday.
The Nokia Lumia 1520 looks and sounds like an astounding device, spec wise it is pretty much in line with the top end Android device, complete with the ubiquitous Snapdragon 800 quad core processor, 2GB of RAM, 32 GB internal storage, a flippin Micro SD slot, a 20 MP camera, Qi wireless charging and a huge great 6″ 1080p display.
It is the highest spec Windows Phone ever, complete with the usual Lumia design it’s really going to be a contender when it’s released. The work Nokia has put into creating apps to give Windows Phone an edge, admittedly this is mainly focused in the photography and mapping areas, but it really makes Windows Phone pretty damn useful. The only two slight problems I can envisage with the Lumia 1520 are the price and the fact beneath all of the fancy Nokia apps it still runs Windows Phone. Microsoft really need to fix/add features rather quickly or this huge great phone is going to be another camera orientated device. Things like the threading in the email app, handling of attachments in the email app, sharing between apps in the OS and little things like more accent colours. Don’t get me wrong here, I love Windows Phone, I just can’t use it as my main device as things are a little backward.
The next in the lineup was the Lumia 1320, offering a trimmed down spec in an equally as large casing, it’s like the Samsung Galaxy Mega compared to the Note 3. It’s made specifically for those people who really don’t have £600 to spend on a new phone. But that comes at a compromise, you get a 6″ 720p screen, a dual-core processor, 8 GB internal storage, 1 GB of RAM, Micro SD slot, 5 MP camera and LTE.
The thing about the Lumia 1320 will be the price, hopefully cheap enough for various networks to pick up and cheap enough SIM free for enthusiasts to get one just because. It will join a sea of other budget Lumia devices that people get on cheap contracts, but the naming convention has got a little confusing now, with devices with lower model numbers having a higher spec. Maybe Microsoft will fix that when they’re allowed to finish off buying them.
The Lumia 1320 should be a nice device though, albeit a little low spec. It will allow people interested in the new six tile wide interface to give it a try.
The Nokia Lumia 2520 at the outset seems like a weird product, mainly down to the stigma attached to Windows RT. Spec wise the Lumia 2520 is up there with the other high end tablets, a quad core Snapdragon 800, a decent camera, LTE, HDMI output, a 1080p screen, 32 GB internal storage, 2 GB of RAM, Micro SD slot and that keyboard cover. It’s all going to be about the price compared to the new Microsoft Surface RT.
Up until now Windows RT hasn’t exactly been a success and as to why Nokia would choose it for their new tablet I’m not sure. I guess they didn’t really have a choice, using normal Windows 8.1 would have probably cost more in licensing and it wouldn’t surprise me if Microsoft didn’t “encourage” Nokia to use Windows RT instead. Windows RT is improving, I’ve been using my Surface RT a hell of a lot more since the 8.1 update. Nokia have also took to making software for Windows as well with Storyteller, that video editing thing and a special version of Nokia Music. I think I’d probably get one of these if I didn’t have a Surface RT, but stranger things have happened, I may still.
Overall I liked Nokia’s new devices, the Lumia 1520 really shone above all of the rest of their range. Personally I’d prefer the 1520 over the 1020, mainly because of the Micro SD slot, but also the size is a plus point.
I was pleased to see Nokia talking about all the new apps coming to the platform, things like Vine, Flipboard and Instagram are often cited as reasons not to use Windows Phone, I guess people will complain about Snapchat instead now. Hearing about RAW support in the 1020 and 1520 was impressive as well, no doubt no other mobile phone will be able to offer this for years. I do feel Nokia are pigeon holing themselves though, either amazing camera or budget, that’s the direction for the next six months it seems.
I would have liked to have seen a Galaxy S4 competitor though, a high spec device around about 5″ with a high spec similar to the Lumia 1520 and the new six tile interface. That would be something that a lot of normal people would want.
So good job Nokia, you should have announced a few more Lumias, I guess you’ll have another event in six months time, if Microsoft allow it.