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Nokia debuts 1520 ‘phablet’ in SA

Nokia has launched its long-awaited “phablet””, the 6″” Lumia 1520, in South Africa, and announced a new Asha range of entry-level smartphones.

Nokia yesterday announced the arrival of its first 6-inch Lumia smartphone in South Africa, the Nokia Lumia 1520. The1520 is now available in black, yellow and white on contracts starting at R449 per month. The upfront price is R9899.

The new large-screen Lumia is joined by three affordable smartphones in the shape of the Nokia Asha 500, 502 and 503, all of which feature “”frost”” design and a new Asha OS featuring the Fastlane shortcut function. The new Asha range is expected to arrive in South Africa in March 2014.

The Nokia Lumia 1520 comes with a 1080p Full HD screen with an enhanced start screen, featuring an additional 3rd column of live tiles, allowing users to get to apps faster with less scrolling. A 20MP PureView camera with optical image stabilisation, oversampling technology and zooming capabilities, allows capture and edit of high resolution pictures. The Nokia Camera app integrates the most popular imaging modes – Pro, Smart, and video – into one seamless interface, while the bigger screen enables an imporved Microsoft Office experience.

‚””We are significantly expanding our Lumia portfolio in more ways than one with the Nokia Lumia 1520,‚”” said Shaun Durandt, Nokia’s GM for South Africa. ‚””With our latest imaging innovations and the best from Microsoft brought to a new form factor, we’re helping people to capture the world around them and do more on the go.‚””

The Nokia Lumia 1520 captures full HD video with crystal-clear audio. It uses Nokia Rich Recording with four microphones, providing directional stereo recording capability to capture distortion free audio from the preferred direction.

For the first time, PureView imaging meets HERE maps with the launch of Nokia Storyteller, merging the two signature Lumia experiences – automatically integrating pictures with location information into a chronological picture journey on a map.

Featuring integrated wireless charging, the Nokia Lumia 1520 takes advantage of the new portable wireless charging plate DC-50 from Nokia.

The new Asha range

The showcase also saw the announcement of three new devices in Nokia’s affordable Asha range of smartphones.

‚””We have expanded the Asha family with a trio of smartphones that offer consumers a choice of handset that suits their budget, each with stunning design, great social apps, and new imaging experiences,‚”” continued Durandt.

Nokia Asha 503 is a 3.5G device, and pushes the boundaries of affordable smartphone innovation with a unique layered design and a scratch-resistant, curved Gorilla Glass screen. With a five megapixel camera and LED flash, the Nokia Asha 503 provides ‚’swipe’ and one-touch social sharing. The Nokia Asha 503 has an estimated recommended retail price of R1199.

The dual SIM Nokia Asha 502 comes in at the same price, while the Nokia Asha 500 has an estimated price of R899.

The range features an innovation known as layered design, which combines an inner layer of bold, bright colour surrounded by clear transparency. The combination adds a distinctive look to the phone’s monobody design, as well as durability.

The new Nokia Asha range bring a fully redesigned user interface. Swipe is the main gesture for navigating the phone in answering a call, viewing notifications or closing an app. Swipe also activates a built-in camera. The user swipes up from the lock screen to start the camera and touch anywhere on-screen to take a photo. The camera experience is also more social, with the option to post an image to Facebook or Twitter with one touch.

Fastlane is a “”second screen”” that acts as a shortcut to the phone’s recently accessed apps, features and content, as well as future activity, such as calendar appointments. It’s the fastest way to access an app in its last state, as well as being the social hub of the Nokia Asha range. Deeper integration with social networks now enables live updates, which alerts people with notifications on Fastlane. By clicking on the Fastlane item with new notifications, users will be directed to the relevant post.

Nokia also took the opportunity to announce its sponsorship of World Design Capital 2014, Cape Town.

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