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  1. GoodThings2Life's Avatar
    Wednesday, September 5, 2012

    2AM ... Awaken and get ready for a long drive.
    3AM ... Depart for New York City from Youngstown, Ohio.
    4AM ... OMG, what was I thinking, I'm never going to make it if I keep swerving on the road.
    6AM ... OK, I'm still alive and I'm wide awake... I'm freezing and I have to pee, but I'm alive and awake and more than half way there.
    9AM ... OMG, how do people in New Jersey and New York City stand driving? I have road rage on far less traffic than this! But I'm excited and calm in spite of stop and go approaching the Lincoln Tunnel.
    9:30AM ... I'm parking the car at a lot across from my hotel.
    10:00AM ... I'm on site at the event, but outside. It's starting to rain to which I thought... Nice! Nokia and Microsoft are bringing a thunderstorm to the smartphone industry! I take shelter down the street at a café for breakfast, and I stream the webcast of the event.

    11:00AM ... I'm back on site waiting for press staff to come out. The I <3 Nokia Bus arrives waiting to transport staff and the press to the Motorola/Google event (for a little fun, but also as a courtesy for journalists covering both events... In spite of any taunting, it's a nice gesture). Nokia Staffer "Carol" asks if she can help me with anything... and we start chatting. She is stunned I actually drove all the way for the event. I said I'm unhappy with HTC and am weighing my options.

    12:00PM ... No sign of Daniel Rubino or Mary Jo Foley, but seems like they're still inside playing with demos and doing interviews. I continue to wait and check forums and Twitter... the world is abuzz with Nokia opinions-- good and bad, and that's the point. Love them or hate them, Nokia has got attention.

    1:00PM ... Carol is back and is with another staffer bringing me a chair and a tray of food. Wow, really?! They didn't need to do that... I was about to head back to the café for lunch. But they totally did. Here's a company that obviously is paying attention to their customers. This is good.

    2:30PM ... Carol is back with Matt Atkinson, Device Marketing Manager for North America. They tell me I've become quite "famous" among the staff for my trek and patience in waiting, and that they're going to "take good care of me tonight."

    4:00PM ... People are finally showing up for the event, and I get to chat with several people from on here and other sites. (I'm not sure of some of the nicknames on here, so make sure you say hi!) We all share our ideas and discuss the event from the morning and where we think the future is headed for Nokia and Windows Phone. One thing we all agree on... there's a LOT of potential, but they HAVE to start revealing information and they HAVE to market the **** out of it.

    4:30PM ... Nokia Conversations' Jeppe comes out with Carol to say hi and tell me he wants to interview me when I come in. I say sure.

    5:15PM ... I'm being taken in by Matt Atkinson. He hands me several items and says, "Congratulations. You're the first in the US to get these." He shows me around and I see a lot of the press are back (including Mary Jo Foley). I meet with Jeppe for the blog interview, and I emphatically announce that I'm officially going with Nokia for my next phone. After the way they've been so generous with me, how could I not? This is the kind of customer loyalty that I appreciate. I get a hands-on demo of the device, and YES, I was allowed to touch it (though limited ... not allowed to play with WP8, just the hardware and the software elements they show me). I'll write more about my opinions on the tech in the second post...

    6:00PM ... The party is beginning! People are filing in, and it's a great size crowd! Impressive turn out, for sure! I make my way over to Mary Jo Foley to introduce myself. I have LITERALLY followed her work for 20 years when I first got started with computers as a kid. We speak and make fun of ZDNet commenters, discuss WP, Nokia, predictions and such with several other folks that are with us. We speak to a few Nokia and Microsoft staffers as well and learn a few minor tidbits.

    8:00PM ... I finally sit down and chat with WPCentral member symbelmyne, and we enjoy the rest of the party.

    I walk out with a Play360, Monster Headphones, and the Monster ear buds. If you factor the costs, these freebies paid for my gas for the trip, and the generosity of the staff plus the awesomeness of the hardware seal the deal... Nokia Lumia 920 for the Win!
    09-06-2012 09:03 PM
  2. GoodThings2Life's Avatar
    OK, so here's some comments regarding the event and the news:

    I don't think anyone would see the live event or the webcast and come away saying, "Wow, those Nokia guys sure know how to wow the crowd!" I mean, they DID wow us all with the technology, but it wasn't the kind of crowd-pleasing demo that say, Bezos gave for the Kindle today.

    I was also disappointed that Microsoft didn't reveal anything new beyond the extensive camera features involving Lenses. In fact, I felt they got bogged down on that point. It's cool, and I know a lot of Instagram lovers that will love it, but it's time that should have been used for other things. Microsoft could have shown just one new thing that we didn't already know, and it could have left a completely different taste in the public's opinion.

    Lastly I was disappointed in no revelation of carrier availability. I understand the refusal to announce pricing, but carrier availability definitely should have been announced. That's what EVERY successful launch reveals. It's a rule... or it's vaporware. Microsoft needs to learn this.

    However. Those are my only criticisms.

    The Lumia 920 and 820 designs, while evolutionary, are very nice. I know people don't like the bulk or weight, but I want to point out that you really can't tell that when you actually hold it in your hands. It's only really evident if you put it next to another device, so I would advise you to visit your carrier and hold it and decide for yourself.

    The display is everything they said it is... it's crisp, clear, bright, and stunningly beautiful. I held it next to my Titan, and while I've always liked the Titan display, it suddenly seemed lifeless and dull. I want to stress that I was not able to get a feel for the "refresh rate" they described directly, but when they did video playback on it, I didn't notice any blurring effects, which I usually do. OH, but you know one thing that was really impressive... using the screen with gloves and fingernails. This is a simple but impressive feature.

    The wireless charging is MUCH better than I've seen in other devices, though my only exposure is the Palm Pre which required the device be precisely on the touchstone or it wouldn't work. The Lumia was barely touching the bases and it would start changing. I like the basic base, but the "pillow" version seems a bit unnecessary. The speaker/charger combo is brilliant... continuous playback without battery drain.

    The camera, well, despite foolish claims to the contrary, is remarkable and produces exactly the results you'd expect. I couldn't test the night images, but I did do the shaking hand effects and few lense effects, and I indeed produced stable images. I wish I could have played with this more.

    You might complain about any given spec... why not quad-core processor or why not higher MP camera. I could say something snarky like "why do we need it?" but that's lame. I'll just summarize thusly... cost. I want a $500-600 phone, not an $800 phone.

    Mary Jo Foley did have a conversation with a Nokia employee (I was standing by), and we were told that they ARE *CONSIDERING* Cyan and Magenta in the future, but the first round colors are to differentiate between last year's models and this year's models. I don't feel that's any guarantee or commitment, so don't hold your breath, but it doesn't hurt to keep voicing support for them.

    At the end of the night, I had my decision... the customer support, the hardware, and the known software improvements seal the deal, and I will have a red Lumia 920.

    I suggest that if you're unimpressed, get your hands on it for a few minutes at release and play. If you still see it that way, move on to the Samsung or HTC options. I have a feeling you might change your mind though once you actually see it in action.
    Last edited by GoodThings2Life; 09-06-2012 at 10:10 PM.
    09-06-2012 09:04 PM
  3. Reflexx's Avatar
    Thanks for the very thorough recap. It made me feel like I was with you in spirit!
    09-06-2012 11:47 PM
  4. GoodThings2Life's Avatar
    Oh, a couple things I didn't comment on above...

    Nokia Drive improvements -- I have to be able to use it to determine. Literally the only thing I don't like about Bing Maps today is the whole "tap" nonsense. They should have just dealt with that at the API level and fixed it. I read somewhere that Nokia drive doesn't announce street/exit names... if that's the case, I will be VERY disappointed, because that's one of the things that makes Garmin useless for me. (That and Garmin doesn't pause my music playlist when reading directions.) Since I know Nokia Drive is replacing Bing Maps in WP8, I wonder if we'll still have access to Bing Maps separately. On the announced side... offline maps mode = AWESOME. Now I don't have to worry about pay $75 for Navigon.

    Nokia Music -- I saw this as a demo at the event yesterday, and it was really cool. The demo I got was what I would call Pandora meets Zune SmartDJ and then store the playlist offline (up to 4 playlists at a time, I believe). That's pretty slick, and it was very simple to do.

    Nokia Augmented Reality -- Pure gimmick right now, but I see a lot of potential. I was in NYC for the first time in 10 years, so I could have seen myself holding up my 920 to get a view of a street I'm on and seeing what interest locales or sales or whatever I could get into. I can picture my mom and sister on Black Friday using it at the malls to find the best deals for holiday gifts too.
    Luminatic and Laura Knotek like this.
    09-07-2012 12:39 AM
  5. Nimdock's Avatar
    Thank you for your posts. They shed some light into the whole event and I am convinced the 920 will be my next phone unless something strange happens.

    I will say my one disappointment is that the 920 does not have microSD card. (Or at least that's what I keep reading).

    Specially after Microsoft said that users could side load or beta test apps by loading them into an SD card.
    09-07-2012 10:41 AM
  6. ncxcstud's Avatar
    At the moment, the microSD snub isn't a big deal for me. I have a 25GB skydrive and I don't even use all of my 8GBs in my focus at the moment. 32GB (+25) will seem like a vast ocean I can't fill...
    09-07-2012 10:45 AM
  7. larrynj's Avatar
    Nice report thanks for taking the time to write it.

    The gifts paid for your gas but not the tolls to get thru the tunnel and parking! :P
    09-07-2012 11:11 AM
  8. jhoff80's Avatar
    I read somewhere that Nokia drive doesn't announce street/exit names... if that's the case, I will be VERY disappointed, because that's one of the things that makes Garmin useless for me.
    It doesn't (in the current iteration of course). I'm more interested if it'll actually reroute based on traffic in WP8, because it doesn't do that now.
    09-07-2012 12:25 PM
  9. GoodThings2Life's Avatar
    ...The gifts paid for your gas but not the tolls to get thru the tunnel and parking! :P
    Yeah, it was LITERALLY highway robbery, lol!

    It doesn't (in the current iteration of course). I'm more interested if it'll actually reroute based on traffic in WP8, because it doesn't do that now.
    Yeah, I'm curious with their traffic options if it will do that. The area I live isn't too bad, but I travel a lot, so I'm sure it would come in handy!

    I will say my one disappointment is that the 920 does not have microSD card. (Or at least that's what I keep reading).
    I'm happy with the bump to 32GB. My music collection is about 15GB, so I've avoided syncing it all because I don't want to suck up all my space.

    I'm thrilled by the direct access to SkyDrive though... I have 125GB with them right now (and I use about 60GB of it already). :)

    I will add that I only want enough storage locally to hold what I require immediate access to... everything else is fine on SkyDrive, because I wouldn't need it immediately if I didn't have access to data connection.
    09-07-2012 12:34 PM
  10. Big Supes's Avatar
    Thanks for sharing, GoodThings. Sounds like you had a great time. Colour me jealous! :)
    09-07-2012 12:43 PM
  11. Nimdock's Avatar
    I'm happy with the bump to 32GB. My music collection is about 15GB, so I've avoided syncing it all because I don't want to suck up all my space.

    I'm thrilled by the direct access to SkyDrive though... I have 125GB with them right now (and I use about 60GB of it already). :)

    I will add that I only want enough storage locally to hold what I require immediate access to... everything else is fine on SkyDrive, because I wouldn't need it immediately if I didn't have access to data connection.
    My main disappointment with the lack of microSD card is not so much about available space... It's the ability to load apps from it. Unless I read that wrong.
    09-07-2012 01:09 PM
  12. GoodThings2Life's Avatar
    My main disappointment with the lack of microSD card is not so much about available space... It's the ability to load apps from it. Unless I read that wrong.
    Well, in order to sideload applications you STILL have to be a developer and use developer access, OR you have to be an business enterprise and use System Center tools to manage them. At least, that's my understanding... I could be proven wrong, but that was my take-away from previous presentations.

    I think you're going to be disappointed if you're expecting to just load a XAP file on a card and be good to go.
    09-07-2012 01:58 PM
  13. Luminatic's Avatar
    Thanks for this thorough and also humourous (is that spelled correctly?) report!
    09-07-2012 02:13 PM
  14. Nimdock's Avatar
    Well, in order to sideload applications you STILL have to be a developer and use developer access, OR you have to be an business enterprise and use System Center tools to manage them. At least, that's my understanding... I could be proven wrong, but that was my take-away from previous presentations.

    I think you're going to be disappointed if you're expecting to just load a XAP file on a card and be good to go.
    Yes, I am a developer and have an account..
    09-07-2012 03:08 PM
  15. scottcraft's Avatar
    Thanks for sharing your experience Goodthings2life!
    09-08-2012 10:30 PM
  16. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    I do not see it as a disappointment that Nokia was unable to announce availability/carriers/pricing. That was not their fault.

    This article from Forbes makes some good points:
    I can understand Microsoft wanting to co-ordinate the launch to show all the features of Windows Phone 8 as part of their ecosystem defining Windows 8 event next month. Steve Ballmer reckons he can land one massive punch with the Windows 8 laptops and desktops, the Surface tablet computers, and a wide range of Windows Phone 8 devices, all from multiple manufactures who have chosen to work within Microsoft’s vision.
    GoodThings2Life likes this.
    09-09-2012 12:14 AM
  17. GoodThings2Life's Avatar
    Yes, I totally agree with that attitude, and throwing them all out there at once after Apple's announcements gives Ballmer a chance to be a little more direct in what/how they present. I hope they will take a couple light-hearted shots.

    I'm just disappointed about the availability side, because people expect that in these announcements... You can announce, "Hey, we'll be available for pre-order on Carriers X, Y, and Z beginning September 13, and general availability is November 2. In the mean time, stay tuned to Microsoft, because they have a LOT more to show you!"
    09-09-2012 08:16 AM
  18. scottcraft's Avatar
    Yes, I totally agree with that attitude, and throwing them all out there at once after Apple's announcements gives Ballmer a chance to be a little more direct in what/how they present. I hope they will take a couple light-hearted shots.

    I'm just disappointed about the availability side, because people expect that in these announcements... You can announce, "Hey, we'll be available for pre-order on Carriers X, Y, and Z beginning September 13, and general availability is November 2. In the mean time, stay tuned to Microsoft, because they have a LOT more to show you!"
    I'm a bit disappointed carrier availability wasn't announced, especially since I'm hearing rumors the 920 will be an AT&T exclusive.
    09-09-2012 08:53 AM
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