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Nokia unveils Lumia 1020 smartphone
Nokia has claimed its new smartphone "will bring new meaning to pictures" after unveiling the Lumia 1020 device featuring a 41-megapixel camera.
Launched in New York, the phone includes an enhanced zoom capability and image stabilisation technology which promises sharper images, even in low light.
The "dual capture" feature will allow a user to simultaneously take a 38-megapixel image for high quality use and a 5-megapixel picture suitable for sharing on social networks.
The Lumia 1020 - running the Windows Phone 8 operating system and available in yellow, black and white - will also have a new "Rich Recording" feature which is aimed at improving the quality of video and audio captured at gigs and in other loud environments.
Speaking at the launch event, Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop said the handset can capture pictures and video of "amazing quality and amazing clarity". He said: "Today I'd like to introduce to you all the next chapter in smartphone photography. The Nokia Lumia 1020 will change how you shoot and how you create forever."
The phone was revealed as the Finnish firm battles to arrest a steady decline in demand for its devices and reclaim ground lost to rivals Apple and Samsung. The iPhone 5 currently boasts an 8-megapixel camera, with the next Apple offering expected to feature 12-megapixels. A UK release date for the Lumia 1020 was not confirmed but the phone will be available in the US from July 26, priced at 299.99 dollars (£198).
Analysts hailed the device's camera as "staggering" but claimed Nokia was still struggling to find its true identity in the market. In the past two years Nokia has reportedly sold around 20 million Lumia devices, compared with 248 million iPhones and a staggering 800 million Android phones.
Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, said: "The Lumia 1020 truly takes mobile photography to the next level. With a staggering 41 megapixels, the 1020's imaging capabilities put the competition to shame. Whether the mother of all cameras will entice phone fans away from Apple and Android devices is questionable, though."
Malik Saadi, principal analyst at Informa, said the Nokia phone's camera had "put the bar far too high" for competitors to replicate quickly, but questioned the impact the technology would have on the device's battery power.
He said: "This smartphone is not just another evolutionary upgrade - it is packed with some revolutionary technologies, most of which are related to camera and computational imaging. It is impressive to see all this sophisticated hardware packed into such a beautiful and compact industrial design. However, it remains to be seen how the device will behave in terms of power consumption and sensor heating effect, processing such high-quality images requires advanced processing hardware."