The new Nokia Lumias 820 and 920 – my take

I am not a big fan of the Microsoft Nokia partnership and I am not a big fan of Nokia phones. There, let’s get that out of the way – You know my bias. I saw the joint Microsoft-Nokia Windows Phone/Nokia Lumia announcement and was predictably unimpressed. It had all the things I expect from Nokia.

  • Large Phone
  • Blocky Edges
  • Glossy colors
  • Emphasis on photography
More distressing is that I think that the press conference missed the point. It seemed to me that it was a briefing that described many parts but the sum of those parts did not form a coherent whole. I was left confused.
  • What is Windows Phone 8?
  • Is Windows Phone 8 more than the features Joe Belfiore showed in the demo? (Of course)
  • When do we find out more about the phone Operating System? (October 29th?)
I know this was a technical preview just for the press but in my mind, it left me wanting. It seems to me that this should have been a Microsoft Windows Phone 8 event describing Windows Phone 8 and ONLY THEN bringing out Nokia and Samsung to show what their phones could do. This was the reverse and it felt out of sync to me. Since Microsoft haven’t really launched Windows Phone 8, what we ended up with was some kind of hybrid pseudo-launch for a Phone Operating System and a flagship phone at the same time. And then right on cue, they did it again – the photography emphasis. Yes Yes Yes I get it –ย the phone has a GREAT camera that takes GREAT video and pictures. I understand that you can do Matrix type special effects on the photos both before and after you take them. I get it. I really do. [caption id="attachment_24038" align="alignnone" width="640"]Nokia Lumia - Cinemagraph - animate your photos Nokia Lumia – Cinemagraph – animate your photos[/caption] The problem is, that’s almost irrelevant. A successful Windows Phone effort from Nokia and Microsoft will not be decided because the phone has a great camera. It won’t be decided by “wireless charging”.
Sidebar: Wireless charging to me is the biggest marketing crap gimmick since 3D TV. Charging is still a pain in the ass because you still have to go and find the “wireless charging base”. Saving me one second of attaching a cable sounds good in theory but…
[caption id="attachment_24039" align="alignnone" width="640"]Nokia Lumia Wireless Charging Nokia Lumia Wireless Charging[/caption] The demo was full of VERY cool features and gadgets (using gloves to type etc). I have to acknowledge that it sounds like a very technically sophisticated phone. The problem is that technical gadgets and gimmicks will not sell people on Lumia Phones (at least not here in the US). A successful phone has to create a bond between the user and the device. This is based on a magical special blend of the right OS and the right hardware. The iPhone, The Samsung S3 and all the other successful smartphones have that in common. A successful phone also has to be relatively easy to use. Can older people use these features easily? A successful phone has to do the common phone functions we have come to expect really well – email, web, chat, text and phone. How will those work? Nokia in my humble opinion should have done their Lumia Launches the day of or the day after the Windows Phone 8 launch (October 29th or 30th). There would have been a lot more synergy between the brands that way and it just seems to make sense that you would announce hardware in detail AFTER the OS is out. From the videos I saw, it has the same challenges as the Nokia Lumia 900 –ย I love to play with them in the store or when I see them with other people but it’s never really a serious contender in my mind. I think we need to know a lot more about Windows Phone 8 before Nokia can have a home run.
Sidebar: Here’s the crazy part – somehow Nokia need Microsoft and Microsoft don’t really need Nokia now. How did we get to this point?
I could be wrong but that’s my opinion. What did you think of the new Nokia Phones?]]>

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