Next Nokia phones to feature 4G, NFC, Windows Phone 8

If there was any doubt that Nokia would be pushing hard with new Windows-based phones, that can now be thrown out, with the once-leader announcing two new handsets running on the next generation of Microsoft’s mobile operating system and supporting 4G LTE.

Announced in New York City overnight, two new Windows Phone models are on the way from Nokia, likely hitting Australia before the end of the year and probably near the release of Microsoft’s next operating system, the tablet-friendly Windows 8.

The new handsets are evolutions of models announced both late last year and early this year, with new technology, new designs, and an all new version of the Windows Phone operating system that won’t run on older hardware.

Moving on from the Lumia 900, Nokia will introduce the Lumia 920, a smartphone with a 4.5 inch high-definition 1280×768 display with ClearBlack technology running on an In-Plane Switching (IPS) screen, the same sort of display technology found on the HTC One X and Apple iPad.

Nokia has enhanced the display with some interesting technology that it claims will make the touchscreen more sensitive and better used with fingernails and gloves, so there’ll be no excuses or complaints when the colder seasons return and you’re forced to use gloves.

The regular staple of connectivity options is here, with microUSB, a 3.5mm headphone jack, GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, and Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology, as well as support for high-speed 4G LTE, which should be useful on either the Telstra or Optus 4G networks by the time it arrives.

There’s 32GB of storage here, though it looks like support for microSD has been omitted from this model, just like it was on the original Lumia 800 and 900 models.

Some work has apparently been made on the cameras, with an 8 megapixel rear camera with an f/2.0 lens, 1080p video capture, Carl Zeiss optics, video camera stabilisation, and an improved camera support using “advanced floating lens” tech to apparently allow for more light in shots without the flash.

Wireless charging is also present in the Lumia 920, with Nokia integrating Qi wireless recharging, which can be handled from an optional recharge stand, plate, or even a comfy battery charging pillow, which will be coloured to match one of the several colours that the Nokia Lumia 920 arrives in, including yellow, red, white, grey, black.

The other handset being announced one-ups the Nokia Lumia 800, bringing the new model to the Lumia 820.

Like the 920, this model will grab compatibility with 4G LTE networks, NFC, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, GPS, Bluetooth, microUSB, 3.5mm headphone jack, an 8 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, and a 4.3 inch OLED screen with 800×480 resolution.

You’ll find 8GB of storage here, much lower than the 32GB in the Lumia 920, although the 820 does get the added bonus of having a microSD slot for expanding the memory significantly.

Both smartphones run on a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and feature latest version of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8, an operating system that was announced earlier this year and features more interactive animated tiles, bringing the look and feel of the phone closer to what Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 will be like.

High-end audio company JBL will also be teaming up with Nokia for the new products, announcing speakers with using NFC and Bluetooth that can not only play music wirelessly, but also charge a phone wirelessly while the handset is streaming music.

You won’t be able to find these new models in stores until later this year, with Nokia’s Australian division yet to announce when the new Nokia Lumia 820 and 920 models will land, and whether or not we’ll receive the 4G models or just 3G versions instead.

Here’s hoping this is the 4G Windows Phone some people have been waiting for.