The Forum, Turbine Hall in the heart of Johannesburg played host to the latest addition to the Nokia Lumia range. As per the invite, I was expecting the launch of the Nokia Lumia 900 smartphone, but the evening turned out to be so much more. Nokia have partnered with DC Comics and the Lumia 900 is officially the smartphone associated with the Dark Knight Rises movie (due out on the 27th July). With a twist to the script, the evenings proceedings included promotional material from Dark Knight Rises, including a lucky draw for a limited edition engraved Nokia Lumia 900.
If there was any high profile media campaign on which Nokia could choose to launch their new flagship device, you could not go wrong in selecting The Dark Knight Rises movie, which provided the perfect catalyst to a great event. Although it seemed to be quite a high profile event from the outside, Nokia decided to keep the event relatively small (in terms of the numbers), which provided a more intimate setting. After a few quick presentations from Gerard Brandjes (Nokia Vice President South and East Africa), Brian Gouldie (MTN Chief Sales Executive), Patrick Henchie (Nokia Head of Product South and East Africa) and Mteto Nyati (Microsoft South Africa Managing Director), we were ready for the evening’s proceedings and entertainment.
The Dark Knight Rises branding continued all the way through the building, with décor similar to the posters you would have seen around the Web over the past few months. On three occasions during the proceedings, actors would appear on stage performing scenes related to the movie. At one point, two security guards walked into the room, asking the audience if anyone had lost their bag. They then proceeded onto the stage, where a lethal gas from the bag killed them. A group of hostiles (resembling Bane’s gang) walked through the venue yielding axes and other weaponry. Despite this clearly all being an act, you could not help but feel anxious and intimidated by the performance, as the gang members growled, screamed and banged on chairs as they walked by your table.
In terms of dining, the chef had prepared a 3-course meal for us to enjoy, which a potato gnocchi and mushroom starter, medium seared fillet of beef with chunky potatoes and stir fried vegetables as the main, and a variety of finger foods as the dessert. Dessert was served at the upstairs bar, where Louis Carver graced the stage with her performance.
Despite a slight delay to the start of proceedings, I can honestly say that it was worth the wait. In stark contrast to the Samsung Galaxy SIII launch, the launch of the Nokia Lumia 900 was a much smaller event, but had the same high (if not more) entertainment value.
Before making my way to have dessert, I had to get some hands on time with the Lumia 900. At first use, you will notice that Nokia have done away with the curved glass you’ll find on the Lumia 800, mainly due to the increased screen size, now at 4.3 inches. The Windows Mobile OS has also been tweaked, fixing a few of the glitches which we’ve experienced during our review of the Lumia 800. Nokia have also announced that these changes will be made available for their entire range of Lumia devices.
Speaking of other Lumia devices, Nokia also announced the Lumia 610 smartphone at this launch, albeit as more of a side note, than a big hoorah. This device saw limited time in the limelight, and was not even available as a first glance at the event. But we all knew what we came to see, and along with the entertainment on the evening, the Lumia 900 surpassed my expectations. We’ll have a full review as soon as we are possible.
From the branded direction boards to the famous bat sign, it was clear that Nokia spared no expense on making this launch a success. The Nokia Lumia 900 is now officially released in South Africa and exclusively available from MTN for R369pm (does not include batman engraving). Enjoy additional photos from the event.