Is telecoms giant Nokia finally back on form? New Lumia 925 launched in UK in battle against Samsung and Apple

 

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The Independent Tech

Nokia unveiled a new flagship metallic Windows phone, featuring a hi-tech SmartCam which can takes 10 images at once, as it battles to wrestle market share back from Samsung and Apple.

The Lumia 925, launched in London on Tuesday morning, will be rushed to the market next month and sell for around £400.

The Finnish telecoms giant lost almost 5 percentage points of market share in the first quarter of 2013, according to research company Gartner.

Running on the Windows 8 operating system, the Lumia 925 boasts a 4.5-inch display, the “brightest” picture yet Nokia said, an 8.7-megapixel camera and, unlike the company’s previous plastic models, an aluminium chassis. The Lumia 925 is 8.5mm thick and at 139 grams is lighter than the Lumia 920 released last year.

Nokia claimed that the new handset offered the world’s most advance lens technology and imaging software. The Smartcam takes 10 images in swift succession, automatically picking the best and then allowing the user to edit them into an action sequence. The phone has six lenses, including a new glass physical lens.

Nokia has invested heavily in camera technology in an attempt to set its phones apart. A specially recorded video of Ed Sheeran in concert was played at the launch to demonstrate the camera’s video potential.

A Hipstamatic app will allow people to apply a number of different filters to their photos before sharing them on social networks like Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Foursquare and Instagram.

A Motion Focus feature, manipulates the background of a photo to introduce motion blur and give the effect of movement, as well as a feature that easily allows the user to replace faces.

The phone, which supports wireless charging, comes equipped with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage.

Jo Harlow, Nokia vice president in charge of smart devices, said: “The Lumia 925 has a beautiful, gorgeous design, great technology and software and a great Smart Camera for action shots and fun pictures.”

A strategic marketing partnership with Warner Brothers for the upcoming Superman blockbuster means Lumia 925 owners will get exclusive content from Man Of Steel.

Global sales figures for mobile phones rose 0.7 per cent in the first three months of 2013, driven by demand for smartphones and strong growth in the Asia Pacific region which helped to offset much weaker sales elsewhere.

However Samsung took much of the gains, remaining market leader with 23.6 per cent, ahead of Nokia on 14.8 per cent and Apple on 9 per cent. Nokia had held a 19.7 per cent share just a year ago.

Those figures followed a 13 per cent rise in sales by Samsung, a 16 percent increase by Apple, and a 24 per cent fall by Nokia, compared with the same period last year.

Gartner said that overall sales of the cheaper feature phones were slowing, as consumers kept hold of their phones for longer.

The research company said in its report: “Nokia's mobile phone share dropped 4.9 percentage points in the first quarter of 2013 mainly due to a steep decline in feature phone sales.

“Although Nokia's Windows Phone sales have sequentially improved, reaching a volume of 5.1 million units, Nokia is yet to see high growth in the smartphone segment. Nokia's position in the smartphone market dropped to No. 10 in the first quarter of 2013, from No. 8 in the fourth quarter of 2012.”

O2 will sell the white version of the Nokia Lumia 925 exclusively in the UK, with Vodafone offering a 32GB version of the handset.

The Finnish company last week launched a pair of new phones - the higher-end Lumia 928 for the U.S. market and the lower-end Asha 501 for more budget-conscious buyers.

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