Round up: Nokia blogger Meeting in Düsseldorf, Germany

WP_20130206_004On Wednesday Nokia had a little blogger meeting in Düsseldorf, Germany. It was not only for fun, but Nokia also shared some information about its future and future developments. There was a presentation with David Akinjise (Nokia product manager; a little interview will follow), Pino Bonetti (Here maps development) and Dirk Ellenbeck (Vodafone Germany). Of course I don’t want to keep all this for myself, so here is a little summary of everything important:

Hands-On Nokia Lumia 620

Principally the main thing that day was the sales launch announcement and first hands-on of the Nokia Lumia 620. The affordable 269€ device will only be available from the 11th February in Germany but we could already take a look at the handset.

First of all the device feels great! It is solid, not too heavy and the plastic does not feel cheap. The design is also nice; this two-color look is unique and beautiful. The device has a nice size, but it is a little bit too big for this screen size (3.8”) with much space wasted at the bottom of the fascia.

Like the Lumia 820 the 620 also offers changeable covers. At first it was kind of hard to remove the back cover, but when I discovered that I needed to press on the camera it was very easy. The cover does not crunch or jiggle. The back covers are available in several colors; some are glossy and some are matte.

Despite its affordable price, the Lumia 620 does offer everything a modern smartphone should: NFC, a 1 Ghz dual-core processor, 512 MB of RAM, a nice 5 MPX camera and a nice 3.8” screen with a resolution of 480 by 800 pixels. I had concerns that because of the 512 MB of RAM not all apps and games will run on the device, but Nokia said, everything that runs on the 920 also runs on the 620, which I found very surprising and reassuring.

Of course the 620’s performance is not as good as the 920’s, which is more powerful, but a real difference is only noticeable in a direct comparison. Normally on the 620 everything runs smooth and fast, but it is still a little bit slower than the 920 or 820.

The camera does a respectable job for this price range. Of course you cannot expect camera quality like the 8X or Lumia 920, but I’d say it has the best camera in its price range.

What I found out is that the prototypes which we could test had a newer firmware which included flip to silence; so maybe this feature, which was available on WP7 Lumias, will also come to the other WP8 devices.

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Here Maps

Like I said, Pino Bonetti also had a little presentation. He works in Berlin for Nokia’s Here Maps development. He presented what Here Maps will look like in the future, and I am really excited about some things he showed us.

  • He showed a feature which is called “LiveSight”. It uses a very accurate 3D model of regions for augmented reality which makes the information much more accurate.
  • Real time information while navigating: The navigation system will contain information like “you cannot take this road because your car is too heavy”; “this tunnel is not tall enough for your vehicle”
  • Augmented reality with social networking: Software like Nokia City Lens will not only tell you which places you are looking at, but also what is happening there (like “Your friend Tim took a photo here” or “Christina checked in here”)
  • In the future Nokia will not only collect information about if there is a road and what it is called, but also for example what it looks like.
  • Nokia City Lens will bring indoor map support.
  • Sharing via Here Maps (“Where are you?” “I am here!”)
  • Real time map updates.

Then there were some other information, mostly at the beginning of the presentation. It was for example said that Nokia is working on bringing more Apps (Instagram was named as an example) to Windows Phone (currently 125.000 Apps and Games).

At the end I’d aslo like to thank the Nokia Germany PR team for the invitation and the nice day! It was great!