September 5 is going to be a big day in the smartphone world. Nokia and Microsoft are hosting a joint press conference in the morning, and Motorola and Verizon Wireless are hosting another in the afternoon. You can be sure we'll see some cool new hardware. But what, exactly, will it be?
All signs point to one or two Windows Phone 8 devices from Nokia and one or two new Android devices from Motorola. Nokia and Microsoft kick things off first. Based on a spate of leaks over the past couple of days, we have a pretty good idea of what's going to be announced.
The Lumia 920 PureView and Lumia 820 are the two devices that Nokia has on deck for Wednesday's big show with Microsoft. These colorful smartphones will run Windows Phone 8 and come in a variety of shades. The 920 is believed to feature a 4.5-inch HD display and pack a dual-core processor. It will also feature Nokia's PureView camera technology, which offers lossless zoom.
[ Nokia is the clear leader in Windows Phone manufacturers, but how significant is that market? Read more at Nokia Rules Windows Phone Market. ]
The Lumia 820 will be slightly smaller, with a 4.3-inch display. The 820 is also believed to feature exchangeable covers and support for microSD cards. Beyond the size and wide range of color choices, few details have leaked about the 820 itself.
The Verge was able to suss out one really neat feature shared by the devices: wireless inductive charging. This technology has been around for a while (first brought to market by Palm, with the Pre in 2009), but it has been slow to catch on. It uses magnets to wirelessly charge smartphone batteries, which means the device can be placed on a desk or pad rather than plugged into an electrical outlet.
The new Lumia devices will certainly be important for Nokia, but they'll be equally important for Microsoft. They'll be some of the first to run Windows Phone 8, which is a complete overhaul of its smartphone platform. Windows Phone 8 has been timed in conjunction with the release of Windows 8, Microsoft's brand-new desktop operating system. Nokia has been quick to take the lead in Windows Phone sales, but the numbers are still meager compared to raging sales of Android smartphones and the iPhone. Microsoft has provided some details about Windows Phone 8, but we'll get the full scoop on Wednesday morning.
What about Motorola? Several Motorola devices have leaked in recent days. The first is called the RAZR M. It appears to be a successor to the Droid RAZR and RAZR MAXX, both of which are sold by Verizon Wireless. The RAZR M may feature a 4.3-inch qHD display, a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 8-megapixel main camera, and of course support for Verizon's 3G and LTE 4G networks.
But Motorola's invitation suggests something "HD" will be on display. The RAZR M's specs don't include an HD screen. Over the weekend, images leaked of a device that features edge-to-edge screen technology -- think something akin to the Samsung Galaxy Note. This new device is likely going to be the star of Motorola's show with Verizon Wireless on Wednesday. It will run Google's Android platform.
Nokia and Microsoft's press conference begins at 9:30 a.m. EDT, and Motorola and Verizon Wireless's press conference begins at 2 p.m. EDT. InformationWeek will be reporting live from both.
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