Soon-to-be-Microsoft-Employee (CEO perhaps?) Stephen Elop took the stage at Nokia World this morning in Abu Dhabi to show off Nokia’s new wares. The worst kept secret in tech made it’s appearance, and we all finally got to confirm what the rumors and leaks have been feeding us for a couple months now. Nokia is making a phablet, and the Lumia 1520 looks like it’ll be a formidable piece of gear.
The 1520 will sport a 1080p six inch display, the highest resolution screen ever put into a Nokia or a Windows Phone. The Qualcomm 800 is unsurprisingly confirmed as well, boosting Windows Phone into more current quad-core processors. Along with the GDR3 software update (now called Nokia Black), the screen size has allowed Nokia to add a third column of Live Tiles to the home screen. It’ll have 32GB of storage on board and will be the first premier Lumia to finally include a MicroSD card slot for expanded storage (up to 64GB). Nothing like walking around with almost 100GB of flash storage in your pocket to make you feel powerful. The purchase of a 1520 will also include an additional 7GB of Skydrive storage free.
The Lumia 1520 sports a new 20MP Pureview camera, something of a halfway point between the Lumia 9xx series and the monster 41MP Lumia 1020. It’ll sport optical image stabilization and oversampling software tech, which means we’ll probably get some of the zoom and crop capability from the 1020, and photos downsampled to 5MP for uploading online should look pretty good. Also of note, the camera app is getting a refresh. Dubbed ‘Nokia Camera’, most of the features from the separate Nokia Pro Camera, Smart Camera, and Video camera apps are getting rolled into one interface. I would expect the horsepower of the Qualcomm 800 to improve on the auto-focus and white balance speed of the sometimes pokey dual-core in the Lumia 1020.
All of that camera goodness wouldn’t mean much without Nokia’s dedication to good mics. The Lumia 1520 has four microphones for enhanced stereo imaging and advanced noise reduction. This is likely the phone that concert recordists will block your view with in the near future…
Nokia also unveiled ‘Nokia Storyteller’ which helps you organize your photos via location and time. It’ll play bursts of shots from a specific time like a gif or cinemegraph, and at any point you can zoom out of the photo to see where that pic was taken on a HERE map.
At launch the 1520 will be available in Red, Yellow, White, and Black. Lastly, the black 1520 will be made out of recycled polycarb, making it the handset to pick if, like me, you prefer a matte finish and a way to assuage your liberal guilt over e-waste. It’ll sell for $749 unlocked later this year.
For foreign markets, Nokia also unleashed the Lumia 1320, another 6″ screen this time with a 720p resolution and a dual-core processor. Backed up by a 5MP camera, this is a large screen solution for developing markets to go up against Chinese Android phablets. Though, honestly with its $339 unlocked price tag, it could probably find some love here in the United States.
And finally, Nokia is getting into the tablet game in a big way. I can’t think of any company which might have a better shot at legitimizing Windows RT. Taking the wraps off the Lumia 2520, we got to see the first and final Tablet to be delivered by a stand alone Nokia before their merger with Microsoft.
Featuring the current Nokia aesthetic of a brightly colored polycarb unibody with ergonomic tapered edges, it stands in stark contrast to more business oriented Microsoft Surface 2.
Ditto the Qualcomm 800 chipset on board, this tablet will also come standard with LTE radios for constant mobile connectivity. The camera app from the Lumia phones migrates over along with a 6.7MP camera module featuring Zeiss optics and an f1.9 low-light friendly aperture.
The power of the 800 series quad-core makes productivity more feasible on a slab like this, and Nokia showed off a new video editing app called Video Director. You no longer have to show your friends and family individual clips from your vacation, you can finally just subject them to a “Best Of” reel of your adventures.
Also of note, as it has GPS radios on board, and you can download HERE maps for offline navigation, this might be one of the better tablet based solutions for road warriors. Those same on-the-go folks might also appreciate the tablet’s quick charge capabilities. Nokia estimates about 40 minutes to get a 50% charge on the Lumia 2520. Again, this is likely aided by the Qualcomm internals, as we reported on Qualcomm’s fast charge capabilities earlier this year.
And this wouldn’t be a Nokia product without some cool accessories. The Lumia 2520 can dock into a Power Keyboard cover which protects the screen and can prop the tablet up for a quasi-laptop experience. The Cover also includes a small battery good for an additional 5 hours of runtime (totaling about 16 hours of screen on activity).
Best of all, this might be one of the more affordable LTE solutions on the market starting at $499. Add another $149 for the keyboard cover.
A really exciting day for the Nokia faithful, and a great last hurrah from the company as they start looking towards their Microsoft acquisition. At least they’re going out with a bang.