Nokia recently got some journalists in an auditorium down at The Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa and did quite well to highlight what the company is working on bringing to the African market. Gerard Brandjes, Vice President for Nokia South and East Africa at Nokia, spoke on Nokia’s commitment to see to it that developers are constantly creating for the Nokia Store which currently hosts about 150,000 apps to support the Asha range and another 170,000 apps on the Windows Store for the Lumia series. This is obviously one of the main achievements that both Microsoft and Nokia have been working on. This shows that Nokia’s number of strategic partnerships earlier in the year in parts of Africa is working. For instance, Nokia has partnered with Kenya’s iHub and m:Lab hubs and similar hubs to get developers cracking their knuckles to produce some amazing Apps, partnered to produce the LIONS @ Africa initiative that was announced during the World Economic Forum in Ethiopia. To add to this list of working relationships, Nokia will be a Platinum Sponsor at this year’s DEMO Africa conference slated for 24th October at the Safari Park Hotel and Casino.
Gerard also spoke a bit on their lower end smartphone series, the Asha range, specifically referencing the Asha 210 and Asha 208 which feature MS Exchange enabling users to access corporate email relayed by an Microsoft Exchange server to any mailbox as well as provide a unique experience for anyone looking to own a smartphone with an affordable price tag either as a first device or an upgrade from a feature phone.
What else is coming to East and South Africa? Well, A Lot especially as far as devices are concerned.
For instance, the largest screen Lumia in the market, the Nokia Lumia 625 will be coming to South Africa and in the Sub Saharan Africa region. What is good about the 625 apart from the large screen is that it has LTE support for fast connectivity speeds. You can read more on the Lumia 625 in an earlier post here. Another key device from Nokia that will soon be available on shelves in Sub Saharan Africa is the Lumia 925 featuring a 4.5 inch amoled High Definition display (display here is our fancy way of saying ‘screen’), wireless charging capability, sunlight readability for those sunny days when you need to use your screen and a function that allows you to play around with camera settings like ISO as much as you’d like for that perfect shot. The design is also quite different in that this one has a lightweight aluminium casing around it for protection from drop-damage and for that warm well-rounded metallic feel. The camera, an 8.7 MP PureView that’s got 6 combined Carl Zeiss lenses shoots spectacular pictures and video in low light ‘situations’. Yes, you can effectively capture great pictures even in that dimly lit club scene.
NOTE: Business Insider’s Steve Kovach recently wrote on the Lumia 925 as The Best Windows Phone You Can Buy.
Also set to be available in this market is the Lumia 1020; the Nokia with the largest camera sensor in the Lumia range at 41 MP. This one serves amazing images using a technology called ‘oversampling’ which is much more advanced than in its PureView predecessor, the Nokia 808. In the Lumia 1020, the oversampling is adaptive and prioritizes the high amount of details in bright light, and the low noise in low light. What does this mean? This means that in bright light, 5 Mega Pixel images have higher sharpness and bit higher noise than on the Nokia 808. In low light, images here images use similar low noise tech. The Lumia 1020 has been well received all around the World. An example of its welcome reception is the story of Stephen Alvarez, a photographer with National Geographic. He liked it so much, he used it to circumnavigate the Grand Canyon in the US and documented it in a short YouTube video. He also made a series on the entire journey and posted it on the NatGeo.
Yet another example is of Kate Perry who’s recorded an exclusive-ish behind the scenes of her new video and taken selfies with a monkey using the Lumia 1020.
You can look at these amazing pictures taken using a Lumia 1020 on the LaptopMag Blog.
So what’s the verdict? If you were going to buy a 920, please save up for another week or so and get the 925 instead. If you wanted to buy the Lumia 620, you might as well go out there and buy the 625 instead.
My 56.9 year old dad’s got a Lumia 620. His 57 th birthday is in 29 days. Guess what I’m upgrading him to – Yep, a 625.