“Today we are broadening our innovations. We are bringing innovations of our high-end flagship devices to more price-points and, therefore, to more people. …” Thus, Stephen Elop, President and CEO, Nokia, set the tone for the launch of the latest devices by the Finnish giant.
On the first day of the Mobile World Congress here , Nokia rolled out four new phone models catering to customers on different points of the price spectrum – the Nokia 301, Nokia 105, Nokia Lumia 520, and Nokia Lumia 720, the latter two joining the rest of the Lumia series on the Windows Phone 8 platform.
“Our competitors have tried to replicate some of our innovations in the high end. We’ve taken a broader approach; we’ve expanded our portfolio.
“We started by bringing innovation to more price points without losing any of the aspiration found in the Nokia Lumia 920. We’ve also improved the competitiveness of our mobile phones business by bringing innovations like dual-SIM, full touch categories, most notably with our Asha product line,” Mr. Elop said.
Elaborating on the key principles driving the new phones , Marko Ahtisaari, head of design, Nokia , said, “We’re going broader, and we’re doing it by being better. In our industry there’s a lot of talk about being different ... But being different for the sake of being different is not interesting. What’s interesting is doing something meaningfully better. And, we’re doing this in fundamentally two different ways.The first is we’re bringing in one unified design approach across our portfolio.
The second way we’re doing things better is by simple things, those things that people do on their phone every day, be that taking photographs or music while taking the bus to work, or even just making a call. We focus on those and make them better.”
The dual-SIM Nokia 301 comes with a 3.3 megapixel camera and a 2.4-inch screen. “It’s a beautiful expression of personal choice. If you were to have the Lumia 920 next to it, you know that they come from the same place, the same identity, the same design,” Ahtisaari added.
The camera experience has been upgraded through the addition of features such as panorama shots, sequential shots , and a voice-enabled self-portrait assistant that lets you know if you’re perfectly centred in a picture. “What’s key here is we're taking innovations accepted in much higher-end smartphones and bringing them into more and more affordable phones,” said Ahtisaari,
Introducing the Nokia 105 as the “entry point into the Nokia brand”, Ahtisaari said the phone would be a successor to the widely popular Nokia 1280. “2.7 billion people in the world are still without a mobile phone. This is a great first phone for them. At 15 euros, it's an ideal first phone.”
The phone is expected to hit the market in the first quarter of 2013.
At 139 euros, the Lumia 520 is the most affordable Windows Phone 8 from Nokia. With a four-inch super-sensitive touch screen, the same digital camera lens that comes on the Lumia 920, features like the Photobeamer (where you can take over the screen another device), preloaded HERE Maps and HERE Transit, and Nokia Music, the Nokia Lumia is a welcome newcomer for those looking to upgrade to Windows Phone 8.The phone is expected to hit the market this quarter.
The Nokia Lumia 720 comes with a 6.7 megapixel Carl Zeiss main camera, 1.7 megapixel wide angle front camera (touted to be the best performance front camera from the company among all its smartphones), and a curved 4.3-inch clear black display.
The phone is also capable of wireless charging with snap-on cover. “The phone reinforces our aim to bring wireless charging to all our mid and high-end Lumia smartphones,” said Ahtisaari.
(This correspondent is in Barcelona at the invitation of the company).