**Editor's note: Please click here for our list of August's hottest selling smartphones to see how Nokia phones stacked up against the competition.**
Praying to reinvigorate interest in its smartphone brand, Nokia on Wednesday introduced two devices based on Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system: the high-end Lumia 920 and Lumia 820.
A state-of-the-art camera, Nokia's biggest-ever battery and other features could give the phone-maker the leverage to more effectively compete with the iPhone and devices running on Google's Android platform.
"The arrival of WP8 is a welcome boon for Nokia and the wider WP ecosystem in general," observed David McQueen, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, in a statement. "The ability now to pack better hardware into the devices gives Nokia and other WP OEMs the opportunity to level the playing field against the likes of Apple iPhone and the best that Android can offer."
Nokia, which recently was supplanted by Samsung as the world's largest mobile-phone supplier, plans to debut the LTE- and HSPA+-capable devices later this year in various markets. Pricing hasn't yet been announced on the Lumia 920 and 820.
Finland-based Nokia hopes the devices will have a meaningful impact in the U.S. smartphone market where the handset-maker has struggled with uninspiring sales compared to Samsung, LG and other rivals. Launched in April, even the high-end Lumia 900 that AT&T carries hasn't achieved astronomical sales, according to various media reports.
The debut of the second-generation Lumia phones is an important one for Microsoft as well, according to Tony Cripps, Ovum's principal analyst, devices and platforms. The software giant "needs to pull out all the stops to guarantee greater awareness and demand for Windows Phone 8 devices, among consumers, business users and carriers," he said in a statement.