Nokia thinks it has the perfect summer smartphone for you. Today, the Finnish smartphone maker announced the Lumia 928, a Windows Phone with a 4.5-inch display, improved camera capabilities and sound capabilities. The Lumia 928 will be available through Verizon starting next week for $99 on a two-year contract.
Yet, if you are thinking that this new Lumia is giant leap forward for Nokia and Windows Phone, you are mistaken.
Nokia calls the Lumia 928 a “new expression of the world’s most innovative smartphone.” Presumably, Nokia is referring to last year’s release of the Lumia 920 as the most innovative smartphone. Essentially, what Nokia is saying is that the Lumia 928 is an iterative update to its last flagship device, except this time it is coming exclusively to Verizon.
The specs on the Lumia 928 are proof that this is not a giant leap ahead for Nokia. It sports a 1.5-GHz Qualcomm processor, 2000 mAh in battery, a 1280x768 display on its 4.5-inch screen (334 pixels per inch), 1 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal memory. The camera is improved over the Lumia 920 with a 8.7-megapixel back camera with Carl Zeiss optics and Nokia PureView technology and Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). For the most part, these specs are only marginally better or equal to the Lumia 920 that has been available since the end of 2012.
If you put those specs up against those from this year’s two biggest Android smartphones, the Lumia 928 does not stack up. The HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 both sport quad-core processors from Qualcomm (at 1.7 GHz and 1.9 GHz clocks, respectively) and crisper displays (469 ppi for the HTC One, 441 ppi for the Galaxy S4), better batteries (2300 mAh the One, 2600 mAh for Galaxy S4).
Nokia wants to differentiate on the camera. That is an increasingly hard position to take in the market, as every single smartphone manufacturer thinks it can differentiate on the camera and have worked extremely hard to create unique capabilities. HTC sports its “ultrapixel” camera, which works extremely well in low light situations. Samsung has a 13 megapixel camera with the Galaxy S4 and a variety of nifty features. Apple and BlackBerry also sport innovative, quality cameras for their flagship smartphones. It is well and good for Nokia to continue touting PureView and Carl Zeiss, but at this point those have become marketing buzzwords bereft of much meaning to the actual consumer.
So, take the Lumia 928 for what it is: a slightly better Lumia 920, only this time exclusively for Verizon.