Nokia introduces Windows Phone 8 phones

The next iteration of Windows Phone is here.

Nokia and Microsoft held a joint press event this morning in New York City to showcase the next chapter in their efforts to compete against Android and the iPhone.

Nokia has become almost synonymous with Microsoft’s mobile platform these days, and it of course is the first to show off a Windows Phone 8 device.

Among the features that will be coming to WP8 and the newest Nokia Lumia phones are an augmented reality function called City Lens, the ability to wirelessly charge the devices, and full integration with Nokia’s ambitious PureView high-end smartphone camera technology.

City Lens is perhaps one of the neatest features. It allows users to hold their phone up to a restaurant or other venue to receive instant information about that location.

Also part of the new Lumia products is a more advanced LCD display, which Nokia calls the fastest display ever on a phone. In addition, it allows users to use the touchscreen even with gloves or mittens on.

It also employs curved-glass technology, making it more durable to falls and scrapes.

As for Microsoft, CEO Steve Ballmer was even on hand to praise Nokia for a great partnership over the last 18 months. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop called the new Lumia “the world’s most innovative smartphone.”

The new phones are the Lumia 820 and the Lumia 920 (pictured). They will launch in October.