AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) will be the exclusive U.S. operator to sell Nokia's (NYSE:NOK) highly touted Lumia 1020 Windows 8 smartphone, introduced today at a media event in New York. The device, which comes in yellow, black and white, will be available from the operator July 26 for $299.99 with a two-year agreement. AT&T will start taking pre-orders for the smartphone July 16.
During Nokia's launch event, CEO Stephen Elop showcased the new imaging capabilities for the device, which sports a 41-megapixel camera and is equipped with a backside illuminated sensor that is unique to the 1020. Nokia said that the 41-MP camera will also come with Zeiss optics and a 6-lens design. "Pictures will mean more to you. You will see things with this device that you have never seen before," Elop noted during the press event. "This will change how you shoot, create and share pictures forever."
The Lumia will have a 4.5-inch AMOLED PureMotion HD display in 1,280 by 768 pixels with a 16:9 aspect ratio. It will also use Qualcomm's (NASDAQ:QCOM) dual-core 1.5-GHz Snapdragon S4 processor and feature Gorilla Glass 3.
Ovum analyst Tony Cripps said that the Nokia 1020 sets a new benchmark in high-end smartphone engineering. However, he warned that the company will have to still overcome rivals and the slow adoption of Windows Phone. "At a time when macro-level innovation has seemed to be lacking in smartphones – due to the homogeneity of smartphone operating systems and the drive to appeal to the mass market – Nokia's Lumia 1020 demonstrates that there is still considerable scope to drive forward the user experience in core smartphone capabilities," Cripps said.
Nokia's focus on the high-end imaging capabilities of the Lumia didn't come as a surprise. Several news reports had been leaked over the past few days about the device's 41-megapixel camera.
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