As expected, Nokia introduced its first Windows-based tablet and "phablet" smartphone handsets Tuesday at a special event in Abu Dhabi. The firm also announced some major new app additions for Windows Phone.
"Today, we're inviting people around the world to switch to Nokia," Stephen Elop said in a prepared statement. "With our latest range of Lumia and Asha products, we're delivering industry-leading design and imaging innovation to bigger devices at more accessible prices. And with Lumia and Asha smartphones enjoying quarter-on-quarter volume growth in Q3 2013, that quality and value is resonating with consumers around the world."
Though none of Tuesday's hardware announcements were unexpected—I had revealed the firm's first tablet back in September, and its phone offerings have been leaking in multiple forums—Nokia did offer a few nice surprises related to software: Windows Phone 8 will be getting native Xbox Video, Instagram, Flipboard, and Vine apps in the coming months.
From a hardware perspective, Nokia announced the following devices:
Lumia 2520. The firm's first tablet runs Windows RT 8.1, and sports a 10.1" 1080p display, a quad-core 2.2GHz ARM processor, 2GB of RAM, a 6.7-megapixel rear-facing camera (and 2.2-megapixel HD front-facing camera), and 4G LTE capabilities. It's available in four colors—red, cyan, glossy white, and matte black—and comes with free Nokia services through apps such as Nokia HERE Maps and Nokia Music. It will start at $499. Best of all, it can be paired with a Nokia Power Keyboard ($150), a wraparound cover that includes a gesture trackpad and up to five hours of additional battery life. You'll be able to buy one in the fourth quarter in the United States, United Kingdom, and Finland, and additional countries will follow shortly after.
Lumia 1520. Nokia's new flagship smartphone is a Windows Phone 8-based phablet with a 6" 1080p screen, a 20-megapixel PureView camera, and a quad-core 2.2GHz ARM processor. It looks much like existing Lumia unibody devices such as the Lumia 920 and Lumia 1020 and will ship in yellow, white, black, and glossy red versions. The out-of-contract price for this device is $750, and it will ship in the coming quarter in Hong Kong, Singapore, the United States, China, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Finland, and other European markets, with other markets to follow.
Lumia 1320. A lower-end (and, at $340, much lower-cost) version of the Lumia 1520, the Lumia 1320 also provides a massive 6" screen but features a lower-resolution 720p screen, a dual-core 1.7GHz ARM processor, and a lower-end 5-megapixel camera. This device is being offered in China, initially, but will quickly head to Vietnam, India, other Asian markets, and Europe.
Asha 500, 502, and 502. Nokia also introduced three new Asha entry-level smartphones, which are aimed at emerging markets.
I'll be reviewing the Lumia 2520 and Lumia 1520 in the weeks ahead. For more information about the new Nokia devices, stay tuned to the SuperSite for Windows, where I'll provide more detailed previews of the three new Lumia devices.