In case you’re somehow immune to all of Nokia’s incessant teasing, the company’s going to unveil a shiny new smartphone on Thursday in hopes that a tremendous camera will endear the thing to the masses.
The folks at WPCentral got their collective hands on a new render of the forthcoming flagship — which is apparently going to be called the Lumia 1020 after all — along with some juicy tidbits about what else Nokia’s camera-crazy device has going for it.
To briefly run through the laundry list, Nokia’s new Windows Phone will reportedly pack 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage (alas, there’s no microSD slot here) and NFC. Of course, the real moneymaker is the device’s camera, or so Nokia hopes. It’s no secret that the 1020 will sport a whopping 41-megapixel rear camera sensor, but WPCentral’s Daniel Rubino has shed a bit more light on how the device will handle those images. Should his intel hold true (and I’m willing to bet it does), the 1080 “takes the image in a 32MP and 5MP at the same time in 16:9.”
Also onboard is an f/2.2 lens, which just so happens to match EXIF data from an image apparently posted from the device by Windows Phone chief Joe Belfiore. And for you strident mobile camera nerds, the 1020 is said to sport optical image stabilization, a feature that didn’t even make it into the phone’s ambitious (and chubby) ancestor.
Smartphone manufacturers are constantly latching onto anything they think will afford them an advantage against the other guys, and considering the absolutely stupid popularity of mobile photo sharing, engineering a top-flight camera for a phone is perhaps par for the course. What’s interesting is to look at just how these companies go about their business in this regard. I’ve already ranted a bit about this smartphone camera war and the issue of diminishing returns that could stymie it, but Nokia’s approach stands in stark contrast to, say, Samsung’s. Samsung was content to cobble together a cameraphone that was more camera than phone, a move that has the potential to seriously limit the S4 Zoom’s mass-market appeal. I mean really, who (save for the most ardent mobile photogs) would walk into a store and purchase a phone with a tumor-like camera pod protruding from its back?
But a staggeringly good camera in a package that doesn’t look like a misguided point-and-shoot? At first blush, that certainly seems like the smarter way to go. Then again, Nokia simply has to play it smart — they don’t really have the sort of resources to throw lots of things at walls in the hope that something sticks the way Samsung often does. And, as crappy as it is, thought engineering and envelope pushing aren’t always enough to make a device a financial success. As always, Nokia is gambling here — it hopes the promise of a game-changing camera is enough to load the die, and we’ll soon see if the company is right.