Books & Review | Jessica Durham
Updated: Oct 06, 2012 11:15 AM EDT

Lumia 920

Nokia's Lumia 920, 820, 822 can crush other Windows Phone 8 competition with specs and top U.S. carriers AT&T and Verizon. (Photo : Reuters)

Many are waiting for Nokia's flagship Windows 8 phone, the Lumia 920.

Some may be having doubts that the Lumia 920 can compete with big rivals such as Apple's iPhone 5 and Samsung's Galaxy S3.

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Earlier in September, Reuters reported that the new Lumia 920 drew thumbs down from many analysts, who felt it lacked the "wow" factor to make big inroads against rivals.

They were also unsettled by Nokia's refusal to say when the phone, and the smaller Lumia 820 models, would go on sale, or to give details on the price and operator partners.

Is this true? Let's look at five ways the Lumia 920 could stand out.

High Third Quarter Sales

According to UnwiredView, the expectations for Q3 results are extremely low. Nokia's previous Windows Phone 7x devices not being able to upgrade to Windows Phone 8 plus a premature Lumia 920 device announce, some have thought that Nokia Windows 8 smartphone sales must have plummeted.

However, during Q2 conference, Stephen Elop and Nokia did not issue another profit warning about precipitous decline of its smartphone sales in Q3 if sales dropped below four million, according to UnwiredView.

"So if Nokia somehow managed to ship anywhere near 4 million Lumias in July-September - that would be very good news. Even if they've lost a bunch of money doing that. Then, if Nokia can report that they are starting to get some traction on the new Asha phones and deliver some growth and profits in the mobile phones division - it'll make for a nice Q3 surprise," the website reported.

Surprise Launch/No Release Date

UnwiredView reported that Nokia needs a new approach because the old one wasn't working. With announcing the phone with no price or release date, it could be a good strategy against rival phones.

According to Wired.com, an analyst said that it might be a business decision or the final arrangements are still being finalized.

"In some cases it's a desire to announce the product before others announce their competing platforms," said Francis Sideco, an analyst for industry forecaster IHS. This seems like it could be the case with Samsung, Motorola, and Nokia, who announced new handsets in a flurry of events just before Apple's on Wednesday. "Other times, it could be a business decision that was made for various reasons," Sideco added. "And in others, it could be that final channel arrangements are still being finalized."

For strategic reasons, manufacturers rush out product announcements before they've settled on price structures or release dates, according to Wired. Blog WMPoweruser points out that by announcing it's new top-of-the-line handset before the iPhone, Nokia has become a constant part of the iPhone 5 conversation, with several commenters calling the Lumia the superior smartphone. It also means Nokia will get extra stage time when the various carriers announce they'll be carrying it in the coming months.

PureView Camera

The PureView camera has 8.7 megapixels with a Carl Zeiss lens.

Jo Harlow, head of Nokia's mobile phones business said will capture 5-10 times the amount of light of any competitors' smartphone cameras via a "floating lens technology that surpasses the optical image stabilization system of most digital SLRs," according to PC Mag.

The Lumia 920 includes an 8.7-megapixel rear-facing camera and full 1080p HD video capture at 30 fps. There is a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera with 720p HD video capture.

"The technology reacts to the minute movements in your hand to balance the lens, so the shutter can stay open longer, and more light means brighter, clearer images without flash, even indoors and at night," Harlow said. "The Nokia Lumia 920 also replaces your HD camcorder because another benefit of this floating lens technology is that the lens is stabilized for taking smooth and professional-looking video."

According to CNET, the Lumia 920 wins the pixel race, offering 1.2 megapixels compared to the iPhone 5's 720 pixels.

The Examiner did a "multimedia showdown" between the iPhone 5, Galaxy S3, and the Lumia 920.

"The winner: It's hard to call, but it looks like the winner may be the Lumia 920," the Examiner concluded. They got this answer because of the Lumia 920's 8.7MP camera, which is said to be the most capable camera yet on a smartphone. Also, the PureView sensor has not only has optical image stabilization, but the latest generation BSI sensor. It also has a Carl Zeiss lens. The camera on the Lumia 920 is said to be an easy digital camera replacement, reported the Examiner.

The Lumia 920 also beat the iPhone 5 with software-based image stabilization because of Nokia's OIS and sensor-shift technology for image stabilization, according to Gottabemobile.

Display/Screen Size

ZDNET explains: "The PureMotion HD+ display automatically adjusts to sunlight glare, has those gorgeous deep blacks, provides super smooth scrolling through pixel translation speeds that are 2.5x faster than other phones, and works with fingernails, fingertips, and fingers covered with gloves. This new display just works and does so in nearly any environment you need."

The Lumia 920 has a larger and sharper screen than the new iPhone 5. It has a 4.5-inch display with 1,280x768 pixels at 332 ppi. The iPhone 5 has a 4-inch screen with 1,136x640 pixels at 326 ppi.

Wireless Charging/NFC

PC Mag reports:

"Harlow pointed to a recharging pillow from Fatboy, while Shields featured a line of speakers from JBL. Using NFC, Lumia 920 users can tap their smartphone on the JBL speaker and music playing on the smartphone will start playing on the speaker. Once music is transferred, place the Lumia 920 atop the JBL speaker and the phone will charge.

In addition, Nokia Lumia 920 recharging plates will be installed in the Virgin Atlantic clubhouse at London Heathrow Airport, as well as various Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf stores around the country."

These five features could help Lumia 920 dominate the market.

PhonesReview reported that the release date for AT&T seems to point to Nov. 4. First reports said it would be Oct. 21. However, Microsoft is holding an event on Oct. 29 in California.

"It makes sense that Nokia and AT&T will want to be among the first to get a smartphone running Windows Phone 8 on the market and November 4 is the first Sunday after the unveiling of WP8, making this seem like a promising date for release. WPCentral reports this news as a 'confirmed' release date and while we wouldn't go that far until we hear it from Nokia or AT&T, it certainly looks as though the Lumia 920 is highly likely to hit the shelves on that date," PhonesReview reported.

According to Wired, Europe got numbers on Thursday.

"The unsubsidized cost of the higher-end Lumia 920 is around $800 U.S. - based on Thursday's exchange rate, and prices vary slightly between European countries. That's more than the current unsubsidized market price of competing Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S III, and price-wise, puts the Lumia 920 close to the Apple's new iPhone 5. The middle-tier Lumia 820 is around $650 unsubsidized."

Prices should come down when the phones hit the U.S. market. Apple and Samsung phones are around the $200 mark, so Nokia has a lot of pressure to lead in the smartphone market.

The Lumia 920 runs on Microsoft Windows Phone 8. It takes many of the physical design elements from previous generations of Lumia handsets, but improves on internal hardware and display technology. Some of the new tech specs include PureMotion HD+ 4.5 inch display (1280 x 768 resolution), Dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, NFC chip, 2,000mAh battery, and Qi wireless charging. Nokia is touting the Lumia 920′s premier feature as its new camera lens, the Carl Zeiss lens. It has rounded edges and colorful covers with a PureView camera.

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