Has Nokia staged its comeback?
The Nokia Lumia has a lot of small details .From a device perspective, the key is that lots of these small details add up to a holistic experience that creates aspiration. However, what ultimately sells is a collection of details properly integrated into a whole experience which needs a complete end to end eco-system integration. That could be a concern for Nokia given the Amazon and Apple strategies of putting their eco-systems as points of differentiation as against just the devices.
Being from the Nokia stable, there is little doubt these devices will stand out from the crowd in terms of hardware which will help the extra delta at retail. A quick look at whats in offer from Nokia –
The Nokia City lens Augmented reality app
- Nokia Maps is refreshed to include an add-on functionality is that of Offline availability. This is not the usual cached units, but a true offline feature which is important for data conservation. To top it, it has free turn by turn voice navigation.
- Nokia Maps also gets augmented reality. The Nokia City Lens is pretty slick in delivering augmented reality in what’s useful and not just a gimmicky manner. In scheme of things of Nokia’s business as a whole, Maps will be a big revenue driver going forward on top of a differentiator on their devices and City lens can be an important enabler in terms of the AR browser to provide a simple, fluid and intuitive experience to the user . Nokia location platform is now a core part of the WP8 platform
- The new Lumia range will support NFC with the only drawback that it connects only to other Windows devices. NFC plays music by placing it on the speakers.
- Glove dial is another good to have app which allows the capacitive screen to respond to touch by elements other than the human hands – for instance gloves.
- A first in the industry which was supposed to be Apple’s thunder is stolen by Nokia as it premiers the Wireless charging across the board. This is actually a new meaning to the term – Power Nap and the wireless charging keeps the battery topped off. Nokia has partnered the Fatboy recharge pillow such that the phone left on this recharging pad will top up the battery charge. Interestingly enough, even before its launch, Nokia has eco-system partnerships to promote its wireless charging feature through Virgin in its Heathrow Airport lounge, and Coffee Bean on its countertops using the wireless power consortium standard
- There is also an awful lot that has been integrated into the camera space
- Pure view on the new range of Lumia phones is more than a Megapixel count. SO there’s no point in getting misled by a 8MP count on the camera. The Pure View captures between 5-10x the light of any other camera in a phone and easily surpasses image stabilization of most DSLRs. The Floating lens technology used is used to stabilize the lens for HD video stabilization as well.
- Cinemagraph which essentially adds a video experience on a still photo. A hybrid between the still and video – it also allows frames customization.
- The Smart Shoot feature allows to get rid of unwanted parts of an image automatically.
- Nokia integrates the Photosynth augmented reality app too create a hyperlink navigated real time picture of the world indexed by photographs in the web. Photosynth takes a large collection of photos of a place or object, analyzes them for similarities, and displays them in a reconstructed 3-Dimensional space. Now that once done is a WOW!
The Microsoft Photosynth feature
The Nokia Cinemagraph feature
The Nokia fatboy Recharge pillow
The message through the launch event of Lumia is loud and clear -Nokia ecosystem is growing and Nokia has a direction. Music, Navigation and Imaging are the Nokia mantras – as Nokia delves deep into the consumer psyche of why and how the phones are used. While the absence of a launch date and pricing are huge dampeners, the new direction that the Nokia-Windows partnership is taking is pretty interesting.
The only problem remains is that Apple’ event scheduled for 12th September may see an immediate launch – and the absence of Nokia for the next 2 months will mean that the iPhone5 will take all the shelf space, operator space and consumer space – leaving Nokia out to fight its way back. But so far – it’s a new direction for Nokia and personally I am glad that Nokia-Windows seems to be putting a spirited comeback. The only silent fellow in this interim is Android which seems to be fast fading and loosing its colors.