Nokia City Lens for Windows Phone hands-on
Nokia City Lens is an augmented reality browser that allows you to find the best of everything in town simply by holding up your Nokia Lumia smartphone. It makes perfect sense on the larger Nokia Lumia 900 but also rocks on the Nokia Lumia 800. Check out what it has to offer with our Nokia City Lens for Windows Phone hands-on.
We’ve been testing out Nokia City Lens for Windows Phone on our Nokia Lumia 900 and it’s almost as if this app was designed for the 4.3-inch display. That’s because City Lens makes the most of the camera and the GPS in your smartphone to overlay a map of what’s happening in the local area so you can instantly see where you need to head.
Nokia City Lens for Windows Phone can be downloaded from the Nokia Beta Labs for free, there is even a QR code on the page that allows you to scan it in using Bing and it will take you straight to the page, how easy is that?
Fire up the app and the first thing you’re presented with is an Explore page that gives you eight boxes comprising Nearby, Food, Hotels, Shopping, Famous, Fun, Sights and Transport giving you an instant hit on what’s happening.
Nokia City Lens for Windows Phone works in two quite different ways. Lay your Nokia Lumia 900 flat and you’ll find the app goes to map mode, so you can get a general idea of what’s going on in the area, as well as further away. Hold it up and your smartphones camera kicks in and the mapping software turns into augmented reality view!
Nearby is pretty much an overview of what there is in your immediate vicinity, while the other options allow you to fine tune your searches to more focussed needs. The first time you use the app you need to swing your Nokia Lumia around in a figure 8 motion so that the GPS sensor and compass pick up your exact location. From then on in, it’s plain viewing.
Once you’ve got a good overview of what’s going on, or have located the place you were after, you can tap onto the icon on the Nokia City Lens screen and you’ll be moved to a page about that place giving you a run down of location, opening time and even category of establishment it is!
That’s not all, swipe right and you’ll find any reviews that have been posted about the place, while the Nearby page gives you a headsup of the types of places that it’s near, which is a nice touch as it allows you to get a feeling for the location you’re heading into.
We love Nokia City Lens for Windows Phone as it really delivers on what a great augmented reality app could and should be. It’s hard to believe it’s still in Beta mode!
Nokia City Lens for Windows Phone is an amazing app that really gives you an idea of how we’ll all interact with location based services in the future. The fact that it’s here today for your Nokia Lumia smartphone is another example of how Nokia is innovating and pushing the limits of what a smartphone can and should be
Check out our Nokia City Lens for Windows Phone review photo gallery: