Nokia at MWC 2013: New phones, apps, and partnerships
Mobile World Congress 2013 is currently underway in Barcelona, Spain, where hundreds of companies are announcing the latest devices, apps, and more. Not to be left out, Nokia took the opportunity to reveal the Nokia Lumia 520 and 720, as well as the rebranding of many of Nokia’s top-notch apps like Drive, Maps, and Transit with great new features.
A cheap low-end device, the Lumia 520 features a 4-inch display with super sensitive touch, as well as a Snapdragon 1GHz dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of storage plus a microSD card slot, a 5MP camera, and a 1430mAh battery with 9.3 hours of talk time. The 124g device will come in black, white, cyan, red, and yellow. Nokia has also promised that it will be the most affordable Windows Phone yet when it launches in March for €139 (approx. $184) in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America, with T-Mobile and China Mobile to follow.
The Lumia 720, meanwhile, is a midrange smartphone with what Nokia claims is a best-in-class camera experience, thanks to the f/1.9 aperture on the 6.7MP Carl Zeiss primary camera and the wide-angle lens on the 1.3MP front-facing one. Beneath the 4.3-inch ClearBlack Display with Gorilla Glass 2.0, you’ll find a 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot, NFC, and a 2000mAh battery with 13.5 hours of talk time. The 128g Lumia 720 will go on sale in March for €249 (approx. $329) in glossy white and matte black, cyan, red, and yellow in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, and eventually China.
The more exciting announcement, however, is that Nokia’s excellent Drive, Maps, and Transit apps are now available on all Windows Phone 8 devices under the HERE brand. HERE City Lens has also been moved under the new branding, but it remains exclusive to Lumia devices. The apps are now much more interconnected than they used to be, allowing you to switch between HERE apps on the fly to view maps of nearby stations, sync data between apps and the HERE website, and much more. Many of the apps also include Nokia’s LiveSight technology and Place Tag camera lens.
While it’s hard to call Nokia’s choice of branding cool – Nokia Drive just sounds better than HERE Drive – the apps are still definitely worth downloading. But could Nokia be shooting itself in the foot by releasing these apps without the Nokia name on Windows Phones from competitors like Samsung, HTC, and ZTE?
Lastly, the Finnish manufacturer has announced new partnerships with companies like Burton, GoPro, FourSquare, DreamWorks Animation, and more. The first three will be using Nokia’s technologies to improve their apps, while DreamWorks and Nokia will be bringing exclusive “entertainment experiences” to Lumia devices later this year.[Nokia Conversations: 1, 2, 3 | Windows Phone Blog]