Nokia Windows Phone 8 launch as it happened

We’re here in New York, for the launch of Nokia’s first Windows Phone 8 devices.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop will be on stage to demonstrate the new products, and talk about the troubled smartphone maker’s future prospects.

Full story: Nokia unveils its first Windows Phone 8 devices

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  • And that’s it… we’re heading off for demos
  • Elop takes a swipe at Samsung in Q&A, saying he was proud “to show you the first working Windows 8 device.” However, he won’t confirm prices or availability of new Lumias, saying merely Q4.
  • Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer joins Elop on stage. Ballmer says “this is the year of Windows”. “In the next year, we should sell close to 400m new devices running on those OSes (Windows 8 and Phone 8),” said Ballmer. “The next app developer to hit it really, really big will be a Windows developer,” he boasts.
  • Apologies – we lost the wireless connection there… Nokia also announces Lumia 820, slightly smaller, less capable handset, with interchangable covers, 1,600mah battery and memory card slot.
  • Nokia now demonstrating a new variant on Angry Birds, which has videos demonstrating the tricky levels… Pfft.
  • First demo jitter, as Nokia’s Shields shows how merely touching phone to JBL speaker plays music through the speaker system. Except it takes him three attempts to make it work. To be fair, there’s enough wireless interference in this room to down a 747.
  • Nokia claims Lumia display is 20% brighter than “its closest rival”, whatever that may be. Touchscreen still works when you’re wearing gloves, as Nokia’s Kevin Shields demonstrates using a pair of thick ski mittens.
  • Lumia 920 to be available in bright yellow, “lipstick” red and slate grey.
  • Windows Phone 8 “blink lens” uses mulitple exposures of the same subject to imrpove quality of photos.
  • Windows Phone 8 to include “application lenses”. Allows apps such as photo editors to take over the camera, applying filter effects in the viewfinder before the snap is taken.
  • Windows Phone 8 now supports screenshots, much to the delight of journalists, if not anyone else.
  • Live tiles can now be made even smaller. Thumbnail size photos of contacts, for example, with a little number in the tile showing the number of outstanding alerts for that person. Now three different sizes of tile for the Start screen. Could got messy.
  • Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore now showing off new Windows Phone 8 features. Well, we say new. It’s the same features we saw back in June, for now.
  • Wireless charging accessories now being shown off, including Fatboy Wireless Pillow. Nokia working with several partners to create charging accessories. Also partnering with Virgin to put chargers in airport lounges, and coffee shop chains.
  • Lumia 920 comes with 2,000mah battery, “the largest in any smartphone”, and Snapdragon S4 processor.
  • Lumia 920 has Pure Motion HD+ screen, which is “better than Full HD” according to Harlow, without further explanation of resolution.
  • Nokia City Lens – point camera at local street, and augmented reaity overlay will show details such as local restaurants and bars. This will go down well with the PC Pro team at 2am on Saturday mornings…
  • Harlow now talking up the pre-loaded maps for the Nokia Drive satnav on Windows Phone 8. Will use traffic data to tell you when you need to leave to reach destination on time.
  • The Lumia 920 “captures better video and photos than any rival smartphone,” boasts Harlow. “It captures between five and ten times the light” of any rival smartphone, thanks to floating lens tech, she adds. Flaoting lens is stabilised, thus allowing you to shoot at lower shutter speeds without blurring.
  • Lumia 920 includes PureView camera – but will it have the 41mp sensor? Doesn’t look like it from the unit. Also includes wireless charging.
  • The stage has gone all Matrix, as executive vice president, Jo Harlow, unveils… Lumia 920
  • “Most important step we took… was to change the way Nokia operates,” Elop claims, calling it a “remarkable transition.” Talks of bringing devices to market more quickly.
  • Windows Phone store has gone from 700 to 100,000 apps, Elop claims. Number of apps growing three times faster since Nokia signed up, he adds.
  • “Nokia needed to be part of an ecoysystem,” says Elop. “We shared a vsion with Microsoft that we could create a new kind of ecosystem.” Talks about creating an alternative to the “faceless monoblocks” on the market today.
  • And we’re off.
  • Stephen Elop is expected on stage shortly…

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