Nokia Launches Two Smartphones That Charge Wirelessly
Technology Editor, CNBC.com
Nokia and Microsoft unveiled two Windows Phone 8 smartphones that both feature a built-in wireless charging capability.
Jo Harlow, Nokia's executive vice president, introduced the first smartphone, the Lumia 920, at a press event Wednesday in New York City. Nokia senior vice president Kevin Shields introduced the smaller Lumia 820.
"Whenever you recharge, your phone can recharge too," Harlow said. "It's the start of a new era in smartphone power management."
Nokia is forming new partnerships to build wireless charging stations so that Nokia mobile users can recharge on the go, Harlow said. Some current partnerships include Virgin Atlantic, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.
The 920 smartphone, which has a 4.5 inch curved glass display screen, also features Nokia's PureView technology, which enables the phone's camera to capture images in very high megapixels.
"The Lumia 920 camera captures five to ten times more light than other smartphones," Harlow said.
The Lumia 920 also features augmented reality technology that allows users to view detailed information about their surroundings through the smartphone's camera.
The innovations in the new Lumia devices demonstrate how Nokia is working to turn move the company forward, Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop told CNBC after the event on Wednesday.
But the stakes are high for Nokia as it tries to find its place in the smartphone ecosystem. While Nokia once dominated the cellphone market, the Finnish company has struggled to compete against Apple, Samsung and Google . (Read More: Nokia, Microsoft Head For 'Last Chance Saloon' With New Lumia Phones )
Still, Elop, who has worked as Nokia's CEO for two years, said Nokia has made "strategic changes" to the company since February 2011 when the company outlined a new strategy, which included leadership and operational changes.
"We declared that there is an issue and now we are step by step demonstrating how the full power and might of Nokia can be brought to bear on the next smartphone experiences," Elop said.
Making smartphones that run primarily on Microsoft's Windows Phone software was part of the company's major changes, Elop said.
Nokia introduced the first series of Lumia smartphones in late October last year, but the company is really placing its hope on the launch of its latest Lumia phones.
"There's a lot more steps ahead. What we have to do as a team is make sure this translates into the right level of consumer interest and delight," he said. "And based on the reactions we are seeing even here today, as we show off these new capabilities, we're very hopeful of what this represents."
Nokia and Microsoft's announcement comes just before Apple's announcement next week, where it is widely expected the company will announce its latest iPhone. (Read More: Apple Will Make Big Announcement Next Week, Hints at iPhone 5 )
Later today, Motorola Mobility will also host its own event, where it is expected to introduce a new Android Phone or tablet.
Samsung also launched its own Windows 8 smartphone, the Samsung Ativ S, last week.