High-end camera will play a prominent role in the "Catwalk" smartphone Nokia will reveal Tuesday, according to a new TV commercial.
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Nokia is holding a press conference Tuesday and dropping hints about it left and right. The latest teaser from Nokia arrives in the form of a commercial that shows slow-motion close-ups of a camera lens, a dual Xenon flash array and the metallic back surface of the unnamed smartphone. Hungry for more?
The London event, which will begin May 14 at 10 a.m. GMT (6 a.m. ET), will reveal the newest Lumia hardware from Nokia, and the company is playing up expectations. The device Nokia plans to reveal is being called the Catwalk. The final, consumer-facing name hasn't been guessed, though Lumia 930 is a distinct possibility. The device will ditch Nokia's polycarbonate designs and instead use a mix of plastics and metal to offer a differentiated experience.
The camera will surpass the Lumia 920/928 in quality and should bear the PureView branding that Nokia reserves for its best imaging product. Nokia debuted the 808 PureView, a Symbian-based smartphone with a 41-megapixel camera, in February 2012. The camera may have produced fantastic images, but it was enormous and added incredible bulk to the 808. The Lumia 930/Catwalk promises to bring the best of the PureView technology to Nokia's Windows Phone line of devices in a much slimmer profile. The TV ad teases that the device will offer "more than your eyes can see," a reference to the incredible number of pixels Nokia is able to jam into the PureView sensors. The camera will include Nokia's optical image stabilization, as well, for sharper focus on both videos and images.
Camera technology has become the latest battleground in smartphones, with companies such as Apple, HTC and Samsung ramping up the features and capabilities of their imaging tools.
HTC's flagship for 2013, the One, includes a 4 "ultrapixel" camera. The pixels are three times larger than normal pixels to improve low-light performance. The camera can also capture what HTC calls Zoes, a collection of images and video that brings a short event to life in a novel way. Samsung's 2013 flagship device, the Galaxy S4, jumped up to a 13-megapixel imager and added a ton of features and modes to its camera software, such as the ability to record video with both cameras at the same time. Nokia offers a wide range of camera-based applications for its Lumia smartphones. It would be a surprise if Nokia doesn't show off one or two more when it launches the Catwalk in London tomorrow.
Nokia needs the Catwalk to find a solid niche with buyers who love good cameras, especially after the Lumia 928 snoozer. The company announced the Lumia 928 for Verizon Wireless last Friday. It's not an exciting new handset at all. Instead, it is a warmed-over Lumia 920 with a Xenon flash and support for Verizon's LTE 4G network.
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