News by Andrew Kameka on Tuesday February 26, 2013.
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The Nokia Lumia 920 has one of the best smartphone cameras on the market, but the Windows Phone 8 device is known more for its resulting photo quality than it is for the software that captures those images. Surprisingly, the Nokia 301 feature phone has a new camera mode that could enhance the Lumia 920 and other Nokia smartphone cameras.
While I was more interested in reading up on the new Lumia 720, Nokia also announced the Nokia 301. A feature phone rarely has anything that catches my attention, but DailyMobile's Kevin Everett noticed that the Nokia 301 uses voice guidance to help users take better self-portrait photos with the rear camera. The self-portrait mode prompts the user to adjust the position of the phone to ensure that their face is clearly visible and in focus, and then says "Okay" when it's time to keep still and wait for a picture to be taken.
Voice guidance is something I'd like to see in a software update for the Nokia Lumia 920 camera. The rise and improvement of front-facing cameras has led to more consumers opting to take "selfles" with the lens that they can see more easily, but front cameras are still not as good as the rear shooters. Yes, its great to see devices like the HTC 8X introduce wide-angle lens, and the Lumia 920 already has a decent 1.3 megapixel front camera, but the rear 8.7 megapixel lens with a bevy of optimizations is miles ahead in terms of quality. I'd much rather take pictures with that lens.
Samsung and LG have both introduced smartphones that can take photos using voice commands, so it's easier to take pictures by holding up the phone and saying "Cheese" to have the rear camera take a self or group portrait. It would be great if Nokia did something similar but provided the added bonus of issuing voice prompts to make sure the camera is in focus and the subjects are positioned well. That could help end the awkward dance of taking a photo and then repeatedly flipping back to the screen to see a blurry image or people out of frame. One can only hope that someone on the Nokia 301 team pushes that idea up the food chain so Lumia smartphones can guide users to smarter pictures.
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.