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Will City Lens be the Nokia Lumia 920's 'killer app'?

Nokia has taken the wraps of an 'augmented reality' app called City Lens. Will it persuade users to make the switch to the Lumia smartphone line? 

By Matthew Shaer / September 11, 2012

The Nokia Lumia 920.

Reuters

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Last week, in an effort to get out ahead of the impending iPhone 5 launch, Nokia unveiled a pair of Windows 8 phones: The Lumia 920 and the Lumia 820. The Lumia 920 is the more high-end of the pair, with a big 4.5-inch HD screen and an 8.7-megapixel camera, but both devices will get the 1.5GHz Dual Core Snapdragon S4 processor and an in-house application called City Lens. 

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The new 'augmented reality' app from Nokia.

City Lens is typically classified as "augmented reality" software – a program that drapes a digital layer over our everyday surroundings. Lumia users will be able to access City Lens via the camera viewfinder. Boot it up, and you'll get real-time feedback on your surroundings. So let's say you're in midtown Manhattan, and you're hungry. You might point your camera at the nearest restaurant and then scroll through a few recent Yelp reviews. 

"The upcoming version of Nokia City Lens for Nokia Lumia 920 and Nokia Lumia 820 is also going to make more use of Windows Phone unique features," Nokia's Pino Bonetti wrote yesterday on the Nokia blog. "For instance you will be able to pin to start any category tile, to find faster what you are looking for, anywhere you are. You can also customize the Nokia City Lens menu by adding your own favorite searches. Last but not least you can also use Nokia City Lens in both landscape and portrait mode."

In addition, Bonetti announced, Nokia was releasing a version of City Lens for the Nokia Lumia 900, Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 710. Check out video of the app down below, and to download City Lens, scan the barcode on the right rail of Nokia's product page

It's a nifty feature. Of course, as Angela Moscaritolo notes over at PC Mag, even with features such as City Lens, consumers may be hesitant to actually pick up a new Nokia handset. Moscaritolo cites a recent survey from CouponCodes4u.com, which found that while the majority of respondents liked the look of the forthcoming Lumia 920, 52 percent were unwilling to ditch their current handset to get it. Not exactly heartening news for Nokia. 

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