Friday, May 3, 2013

Nokia launches its Lumia 520 and Lumia 720

Before inheriting my first Android phone from my husband, I had always been a Nokia user. From my first Nokia 2110 in the early 1990s to the last Nokia E71 which I still carry around with me because I just love its QWERTY keyboard, I have always had a Nokia mobile phone. The menu drilldown was very user friendly and easy to learn.

Then somewhere along those years, Nokia changed business strategy and it turned out to be a grave misreading of the mobile market. Nokia's market share began to nosedive and it was a big question whether they would survive for much longer.

But their current Lumia line of smartphones seem to finally get it. And that makes me happy. Finally, I think the Lumia series is how Nokia is going to be truly back in the ballgame. I have had the chance to use hubby's Lumia 720 a few times and was really impressed with how improved in terms of usability, richness of features, and feel-and-look Nokia has become.

They have 5 variants of the Lumia now. At the lower end of the spectrum is the affordable 520; in between are the 620, 720 and 820; and for the professional there is the 920. At the most recent launch, the Lumia 520 and the Lumia 720 for the chic and social were launched.

Some Neat Lumia Features

We were shown some neat features found in the Lumia line (Note: not all these features may be available in all 5 variants)

HERE (there and everywhere!). There's HERE Maps and HERE Drive

I was pretty surprised with HERE Maps as the Metro Manila street map looked pretty complete, like Google Maps. It comes integrated with LiveSight, Nokia's set of augmented-reality technologies. Instead of just where to go from the outside, HERE Maps lets you find your way INSIDE a mall, for example. Just switch LiveSight on inside the mall, pan around using the Lumia 720 camera, and it identifies shops inside within a certain distance. That beats looking for the mall directory at times, right?  HERE Drive sounded much like the Waze app. Set your originating point and target destination and it will verbally direct you street by street. How accurate that is though is something I have not tested. Both HERE Maps and HERE Drive can be used without data or WIFI connection. 

My blurry shot. But you aim your camera anywhere around the mall
and different shop names show up.

Wireless Charging. With the Lumia 920, wireless charging is built-in. With the Lumia 720, just pop in a wireless charging shell, place the phone on the Nokia Wireless Charging Stand or Nokia Wireless Charging Plate and it starts charging. No more wired chargers!

Near Field Communication (NFC)

On my smartphone, I have the NFC feature. It's a really fast way of transferring files and sharing photos compared to Bluetooth. By enabling it, then tapping two devices at close proximity, the selected files transfer almost immediately to the target device. NFC is slowly being used also for payment modes in food outlets.

The Lumia 720

The Lumia 720 retails at PhP 14,590. 

It comes with a massive 2,000 mAH battery but weighs in at only 128 grams. The rear camera sports a Carl Zeiss 6.7 MP cam while the front camera is 1.3 MP. It has a f1.9 aperture, the largest from Nokia, which means you can snap clear photos, daytime or night time. 

Screen: 4.3" gorilla glass
Processor: 1.0 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4
Memory: 512 MB RAM, 8GB mass memory, supports microSD cards up to 64GB, 7GB free SkyDrive storage
Color options: red, yellow, cyan, black

The Lumia 520

The Lumia 520 is the most affordable smartphone in the Lumia line with an SRP of only PhP 7,990 and weighing only 124 grams. The price makes it that much easier for those still on non-smartphones to transition into a smartphone with Nokia's high-end features.

The 520's rear camera is 5 MP, autofocus, with HD video recording at 720p, 30fps (frames per second). This is enough to bring a great photo experience to the younger generation who are fond of taking pictures. The Cinemagraph feature adds motion to still images that can be shared as a gif file on Facebook, Twitter or via email. Smart Shoot takes multiple picture images, selects the best facial expressions from each or removes people, then creates a composite photo. A Panorama lens lets you capture wide-angled photos.

Screen: 4" 2D hardened glass (screen responds even to fingernail or glove use)
Processor: 1.0 GHz dual-core Snapdragon
Memory: 512 MB RAM, 8GB mass memory, supports microSD cards up to 64GB, 7GB free SkyDrive storage
Color options: yellow, red, cyan, white, black

Both the Lumia 720 and the Lumia 520 are available at any Nokia Store.

Follow Nokia:
Twitter: @NokiaPilipinas

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