Tag Archives: Nokia

Nokia Lumia 920 vs 820 – What’s different?

Left: Lumia 920 Right: Lumia 820

I’m sure many are trying to figure out which one is better or more suitable between the two new Lumia phones. So here is my take to aid in your decision between the two just announced Nokia Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 phones. This is going to be really concise and to the point with my 2cents worth of comments for each.

Lumia 920 vs Lumia 820

Build/Design

920 is a bit bigger and heavier as can be seen by the photos. But there isn’t much in it really. Looks is a matter of taste so I’ll pass. 920 has a monocoque polycarbonate body not any different to N9, 800, 900 while the 820 is more unique with a monocoque interchangeable outer shell that can accommodate different colors, shapes, protection, features (such as wireless charging) etc.

My take – I much prefer the design and functionality of the 820 over the 920. Interchangeable shell is an awesome idea and it could mean that we may see a lot of 3rd party “shells” with different shapes and function. (e.g. shell with extended size battery etc) it also means that you don’t really have to use a separate case that could make the phone more ugly and bulky. Just buy another shell and voila!, it becomes as good as new again. This also allowed 820 to get a MicroSD card support and user-replaceable battery which the “flagship” 920 lacks. Seriously, it should have been the other way around don’t you think?

Interchangeable shells are only possible on the cheaper Lumia 820. Why Nokia? Why?

Display

920 is bigger (4.5″) with higher WXGA (1280×768) resolution vs 820 with 4.3″ WVGA (800×480) resolution. 920 is IPS LCD (PureMotion HD+) while 820 is RGB AMOLED (CBD). Both come with Super Sensitive touch screen technology.

My take – Size difference might not be that much but the resolution difference is very big. On the 920, photos will look sharper and more detailed, fonts will look sharper and easier to read and allow you to browse full web pages easier due to better defined writing and elements while being zoomed out. Not all is lost with the 820 however as it has a very nice RGB-array AMOLED which has near infinite contrast and super deep blacks. I expect both phones to have excellent sunlight visibility although 920 should be better than the 820.

Speed

Both have the same super fast dual core CPU and 1GB RAM. Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus.

My take – Nothing much to say here really. Both use Snapdragon S4 Plus SoC with the same CPU and GPU onboard. CPU is a dual-core Krait which is blazingly fast. It’s a next generation dual-core so don’t assum that it’s not much different to the one on the iPhone4s. It’s a MUCH faster CPU that is as fast or faster than the Exynos quad-core CPU used on the Samsung Galaxy S3. In terms of the GPU, it’s Qualcomm’s Adreno 225 which is fast enough also. Technically speaking, the 820 may be faster for games due to having a lower resolution screen which is less taxing to the GPU. But really, I don’t expect any visible speed difference between the two.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Plus is powering both the Lumia 820 and Lumia 920

Storage

920 has non-expandable 32GB built-in. 820 has 8GB built-in but is expandable via MicroSD card.

My take – This is one area where I think 820 is much better than the 920. MicroSD memory card is super cheap these days so essentially, buying the 820 with 8GB built-in and spending an extra $20-30 for a 32GB MicroSD card will result in 40GB storage space while the 920 is stuck with the built-in 32GB no matter what. Although MicroSD on the 820 isn’t hot-swappable, it still is far better than not having one at all on the 920. A big mistake by Nokia I reckon. Another design over function decision which I hate.

There is no MicroSD support on the 920. But there is one on the 820. Go figure.

Camera

920 has 8.7MP BSI sensor PureView camera with 26mm equiv. FoV (at 16:9) f2.0 Carl Zeiss lens with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). 820 has a more standard 8MP camera with same 26mm equiv. FoV (at 16:9) but tiny bit slower f2.2 Carl Zeiss lens and no OIS. Both the Lumia 920 and the 820 has a more powerful high pulse dual LED flash. (Yes, the lens focal length and the flash looks different in the official Nokia specs page between the 2 phones. But Damian has personally confirmed via twitter that both cameras have the same specs for them)

My take – This is one of the major differentiators between the Lumia 920 and the rest of the competition including its little brother 820. Lumia 920 is the only current smartphone with a fixed lens that has OIS. Think of Canon IS or Nikon VR but expect as good or even better in terms of vibration reduction than their DSLR counterparts. (according to Nokia) 920 camera is labeled as PureView while 820 isn’t. I can only assume that is the case because of the better hardware used on the 920. (lens, sensor, OIS) I am unsure however if they are using any special “PureView” imaging techniques in addition to the better hardware. (which the 808 PureView utilizes) What does all this mean to the you? 920 should allow better low-light hand held photos and more stable less-shaky video recording than pretty much all mobile phones when it gets released. It means you can take slow shutter slow-sync flash photography with far less blur than any other for much better looking night portrait shots. However, do realize that it does not stop moving motion as it isn’t doing anything unique that other digital cameras has been doing for years. At least we can now enjoy the same kind of benefits as the proper digital cameras on our mobile phone. So I give big credit for Nokia in providing OIS to the mobile phones world.

As you can clearly see above, the Lumia 920 (on the right) allows for less jerky videos than what we are currently used to on our mobile phone’s video recording.

Battery

920 has a bigger non-user-replaceable 2000mAh battery while 820 has a user-replaceable 1650mAh battery.

My take – Even though 920 has a bigger battery, it also has a bigger screen which could be sapping more juice than the smaller and more efficient AMOLED sporting 820. So expect the battery life to be very similar.(Spec wise however, Nokia does state that 920 has around a 20% longer battery life overall. But there is one other big difference and that is the fact that 820’s battery is user replaceable. This means you can simply pop off the back cover, chuck in a spare fully charged battery, seat the back cover back on and off you go with another full charge. On the case of the Lumia 920, it’s pretty much the same case as iPhone or previous Lumia 800/900 phones where you either do with what you have or carry around a spare battery portable charger. I don’t know who is making the decisions at Nokia but seriously, 920 should have had a replaceable battery also. Prettiness over function is just not my style and it never was the case for Nokia either until recently. Grrrrr.

Price

No official pricing available at the time of writing.

My take – Obviously, 920 will be more expensive than the 820. I can only expect the 920 to be around the similar price mark as the competition’s flagship cameras such as Samsung Galaxy S3.

Which one is better for you? The one you can afford really. =)


So which is better?

Lumia 920 of course. But Lumia 820 does better than 920 in some parts. So this is where I get confused as to what Nokia was thinking. Why not combine the positives from both phones and roll it into one for their flagship phone? Why make some parts of their flagship phone lacking compared to its cheaper model?

Either way, it seems you can never have something perfect in every way. Maybe some people will disagree completely with what I think. So yeah, just going by the specs, there is no doubt that the Lumia 920 is the technically superior phone.

But in saying that, if the lower resolution display of the Lumia 820 is a non-issue for you, it actually is just as powerful and just as capable as its bigger brother and in some ways is better. I’m sure many will find that the camera on the 820 to be plenty for their daily needs also. It’s not like the camera is any worse than the current crop of top-end smartphones anyways. Lastly but not least, Lumia 820 will obviously be a lot cheaper as well which I’m sure will play a big part in many people’s decision.

So there you go, at the end of the day, it all comes down to what you are comfortable paying.

 

Full Specs
LUMIA 820 – http://www.nokia.com/global/products/phone/lumia820/specifications/
LUMIA 920 – http://www.nokia.com/global/products/phone/lumia920/specifications/

Leaked photos of Nokia Lumia 820/920

I just got my blog back up after it being hacked somehow. (even my admin password was changed!)

Anyways, to kick things off, here are the photos that were leaked in the past few days by evleaks of the supposedly new Nokia Lumia 820 and 920 using Windows Phone 8 OS with Wirelesss charging! To me, the photos certainly look as legit as they come. So expect us to know more about them very soon when they are officially announced.

https://twitter.com/evleaks/status/241483427189248000

https://twitter.com/evleaks/status/241483643107823616

https://twitter.com/evleaks/status/242636854745264129

https://twitter.com/evleaks/status/242638860658552832

https://twitter.com/evleaks/status/242999236764000257

https://twitter.com/evleaks/status/243005289341792256

Free Monster headphones when you buy a Nokia Lumia 800 or 900 in Australia!

I just got an email about this new Nokia promotion and it sounds great! (literally) Basically for the next 2 weeks, if you buy a Nokia Lumia 800 or 900 handset, you will get a free Nokia Purity HD On-Ear stereo headset worth $249 RRP for FREE. The headphone is made by Monster who are famous for their Beats range of headphones. So you are guaranteed that they will sound excellent.

I’ve actually had experienced the headset first hand for about 2 weeks and all I can say is that it is one fashionable and good sounding closed-style headphones. It is well padded, has decent isolation and has a surprisingly neutral sound without any over-powering bass or treble. If you like your headphones thumping with bass however, this may not be the right one for you. But overall, they look and sound the part. They certainly can seek attention of everyone around you depending on the color so just keep that in mind. I wouldn’t go anything other than black myself but if you are all about fashion, certainly go for the blue or pink as they definitely stand out from the crowd. =)

Official press release is below for more information.

 

Latest Nokia promotion is music to the ears of Aussie smartphone fans

Free Monster headphones when you buy a Nokia Lumia 800 or 900

Sydney, Australia – 15 August 2012. Today, Nokia is launching an exciting promotion giving Aussie music lovers the chance to get their hands on a free Nokia Purity HD Stereo Headset by Monster – worth $249 – with Nokia Lumia 800 or900 purchases between 15th August – 30th September 2012.

The Nokia Purity HD Stereo Headset, the first in a line of top quality headsets from Nokia’s partnership with Monster, has a contemporary design and produces great sound quality.  The headset comes with an on-cable remote which acts as both a mic and also media control for the phone.

To add to that, you get all the features you’d expect from Monster’s premium range of headphones: tangle-free wires, removable cable and a hard carry case to store them.

Lumia smartphone owners can also use their headset to enjoy Nokia Music and other services such as Mix Radio, which stream hours of music for free.  There’s also Gigfinder that lets you search for local music events, share your discoveries using SMS, email or social networks and buy concert tickets online.

The Nokia Purity HD Stereo Headset comes in black, white, cyan and magenta colours to match the Lumia smartphones.

For more information on the promotion visit nokia.com.au or consumers can redeem the offer at http://www.lumiamonster.com.au before 15th October 2012.

Offer applies to purchases of the Nokia Lumia 800 or Nokia Lumia 900 from 15th August to 30th September 2012 and only while stocks last. Other terms and conditions apply.

About Nokia
Nokia is a global leader in mobile communications whose products have become an integral part of the lives of people around the world. Every day, more than 1.3 billion people use their Nokia to capture and share experiences, access information, find their way or simply to speak to one another. Nokia’s technological and design innovations have made its brand one of the most recognised in the world. For more information, visit http://www.nokia.com/about-nokia

Informal Q&A with Damian Dinning @ Nokia on 808 PureView

I wish I was holding one right now. =(

Nokia 808 PureView was a bigger hit than expected by most. Yes, it had the super-fantastic mega-awesome camera but many criticized the rest of its specs such as the low screen resolution, less-popular Symbian OS, thickness etc. But despite all that, the almighty camera alone was good enough to make all the media fall in love with it and then some. Anyways, I want one soooo badly but I can’t really afford one right now and it doesn’t help when it’s not even going to be released in Australia where I live. Very upset indeed. I would have loved to write up my own 808 Pureview camera review much like my previous N8 camera review. =(

Nonetheless, I still had some questions about its specs, its capabilities, what Damian@Nokia had in store for us in the future etc so I shot off an informal email and thankfully he responded. We ended up having a few emails going back and forth exchanging our thoughts. I am basically going to copy and paste most parts of the email but please note that not all the numbered questions below were actually asked as a question. Damian just responded to some of my thoughts and I just included them as part of this post as I thought it was worth sharing.

Questions & Answers

1. What is the maximum ISO value capable by the 808’s sensor technically?

“1600 is the maximum available”

2. Why was it limited to 1600 when it surely could have done at least 3200 or 6400 going by the noise level shown at 1600?

“There is actually more gain applied than n8. N8’s ISO range was 100 – 800 which is 8x gain, whereas 808 is 50 – 1600 which is effectively 4x more gain than the n8. This was made possible through various improvements in the sensor processing as well as of course oversampling.”

3. Is there a possibility to get an update that enables higher ISO later?

“Theoretically possible, but we spent a LOT of time considering this and felt that in manual ISO providing 1600 was the best way forward for those users who knew what they were doing. In other modes it’s limited to 800 to ensure very high satisfaction related to what we knew would be a very high expectation. The challenge we have sometimes is in making sure people respond in a positive way. We know we can’t please everyone. So whilst some may tolerate the higher noise level, others may aim to create a negative reputation based around noise being higher than expected. We wanted to make sure we really delight people, sometimes that may mean a trade-off in the eyes of some to achieve that. It’s always very challenging to cater for so many different opinions. It’s one of the main reasons we spend so much time listening to people to try and get the balance right for as many as possible.”

4. What is the auto-ISO range used when recording videos? (I know you don’t do videos but just in case you knew)

“It’s equivalent to 800 ISO”

5. Is the ADC used in 808 Pureview 12bit or 14bit?

“Not sure if I am allowed to reveal such info…”

6. It seems it’s quite clear that PureView technology will be used in future WP8 Nokia phones. I admit that I’m walking on thin ice here but are you able to even hint that what we will see relatively soon (within 2012-2013) could possibly be the “same” (sensor size/MP count) or “better” than what we currently have in 808 PureView?

“What we have stated is that you will see PureView used in future products, but we have not stated when or in what way. PureView is about high performance optics, high performance sensors and leading edge image processing. Those elements can be used in a number of different ways and you will see us applying these in dfferent ways.”

"I'm not a fan of dong stuff just because digital cameras do and I don't think any digital camera currently available as what I would consider to be a reference."

7. Will we ever see a real enthusiast version of a device using PureView? (full manual aperture/shutter speed control, RAW support, jog dial or rotating lens ring controls etc) Basically more of a high-end compact camera with phone capabilities. =)

“There is a lot of change currently and I expect a lot more to come. Looking at what digital cameras is like looking in the rear view mirror. As DP review reported this week as a result of the soon to be available camera extras for Lumia products, the camera industry is now moving slowly and being left behind, still stuck to years of legacy. We are breaking free from that legacy and the 808 is the first true example of this. This means we will NOT implement elements just because they are in digital cameras, but only if we feel they make sense for the variety of users we aim to serve.”

8. Were any of the listed features that I put down as my wish list to you&Nokia been in any way mentioned in any part of your meetings? (I mean in general. I’m not saying that I was the first for any of these ideas) Such as: Displaying more exposure information at time of exposure/focus, custom function volume buttons, noise reduction setting, shutter speed priority mode etc)

“What I can say is that all of those we had discussed already ourselves. Some may come in the future, while others are not possible and others we chose not to do for various reasons, most likely because there is a missing enabler of some kind. In summary if they come they come, if they don’t, probably a very good reason why not.”

9. I can understand how high ISO noise could result in “See I told you, what do you expect cramming 41MP into a tiny sensor?” type of comments. But at the same time, I also feel that it’s little things like this which make it less of a camera than it could be. It’s a double-edged sword I know. As you are oversampling anyways, you could have made ISO 3200 option only available at 5MP or 3MP PureView mode and not Full resolution. (Note – this was not a question and was part of our email conversation later on)

“The idea of possibly having a higher ISO setting just in PureView mode is an interesting one, will take a look, but can’t promise anything, I think there was another limitation to 1600 as well but can’t remember what it was as it was academic in the end because of the reasons I outlined before.”

10. Many actually now think lower mega pixel (=density) has better IQ. Nearly all of my friends/collegues care more about low noise without flash than zoom/crop/high MP also. If Nokia made 808 Pureview with same size sensor but made it 5MP with RAW/advanced features/ISO12800 capability, I would snap one up no matter what! (Note – this was not a question and was part of our email conversation later on)

“Regards to 5mp vs 41mp, this wouldn’t have enabled zoom and that was our main driver behind the hi res sensor. 5mp sensor of the same size actually would not give any dfferent performance. Calculations have shown that the with the oversampling our performance is the same as would be possible with a same size 5mp sensor. So this way you get the best of both :)”

I would like to thank Damian Dinning again for taking time answering my questions and exchanging our different thoughts.