Nokia launches first tablet with Lumia 2520, new Windows phones
Nokia is continuing to expand its line-up of Windows phones with the introduction of its first tablet computer, all sporting the powerful camera technology found in its flagship Lumia 1020 smartphone.
The struggling mobile phone maker is turning to the camera to differentiate its phones from competitors. The Lumia 1020 has a 41-megapixel camera with technology designed to produce better low-light shots and offer greater manual controls than most smartphones.
Nokia Lumia 1520 will use Microsoft Windows and come as Microsoft aims to complete its $8 billion deal to buy Nokia's phone business and patent rights with the deal expected to close early 2014.
Nokia's first tablet will be the Lumia 2520. It will run on Windows 8.1 RT, meaning it will share the tile-based interface of the phone software, but can also run various apps designed for Windows tablets. However, the RT is a lightweight version of Windows, so it will run only applications that are specifically designed for it. Other regular versions of Windows 8.1 can also run apps for previous versions of Windows.
All versions of the 2520 will come with built-in 4G mobile data access as well as Wi-Fi connectivity. By contrast, iPads and most other tablets make mobile data access optional, with their low cost models only capable of using Wi-Fi for internet access.
The 10.1-inch tablet will cost $US499. An optional cover with a physical keyboard and extended battery life is $US149 extra. The camera is 6.7 MP, but shares the low-light technology and manual controls found in the Lumia 1020.
Nokia's new Lumia 1520 smartphone-cum-tablet, or "phablet", will have a bigger screen, measuring 6 inches diagonally, compared with a 4.5 “ on the 1020 model. Nokia said the new phone's camera will have only 20 megapixels in order to keep the camera sensor smaller and the phone thinner. But that's still better resolution than most other phones.
The 1520 will also come with new application designed to organise photos based on where you take the shots and to give you more flexibility in determining – after the fact – where the image should be focussed.
Nokia will also make a cheaper version, the Lumia 1320. It will have a good 5-megapixel camera and a slower processor than the 1520. Both will run the latest version of Windows Phone 8, which will new features to accommodate larger screen sizes.
The cheaper 1320 will sell outright for $US339 while the more expensive 1520 will cost $US740.
All three devices will come in different colours and a hard, plastic back moulded onto the device. The devices are expected to go on sale by the end of the year, though Australian pricing and release times have yet to be announced.
Three new low-cost smartphones – Nokia Asha 500, Asha 502 and Asha 503 – are mainly targeted at developing markets in Asia and Africa.
The Asha 503, which have a 5MP camera and comes with a dual SIM option, is the most expensive of the three costing about $US99.
Nokia, a Finnish company, has seen its mobile phone business unravel since Apple revolutionised the way people use handsets with the 2007 introduction of the iPhone. Microsoft, meanwhile, is still struggling amid declines in sales of traditional PCs in favour of smartphones and tablets.