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Amber update starts rolling out to Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8 devices

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Nokia Smart Camera, part of the Amber update

Nokia's major Windows Phone 8 update has begun rolling out to its Lumia range, bringing a host of improvements to the Nokia Lumia 920, 820, 720, 625, 620 and 520.

Amber is built on top of the most recent Windows Phone 8 update from Microsoft itself, which adds a new FM radio player and improvements to Internet Explorer and Xbox Music.

But Nokia's tweaks and additions go much further. Perhaps the biggest improvement is to the Nokia Lumia range's camera abilities, which are already pretty strong. Nokia has improved the algorithms that handle noise reduction, colour reproduction, exposure and autofocus across the range.

Individual Lumia handsets will benefit further from the Amber upgrade when it comes to taking pictures. The Nokia Lumia 920, for example, you now get controls to adjust the ISO from 800 to 3200.

The whole range now has access to the Nokia Smart Camera app which debuted on the Nokia Lumia 925, but its abilities vary according to the handset. If you own a Nokia Lumia 720, 620 or 520, for instance, the app's burst mode will only be able to fire off seven 1-megapixel images instead of ten 5-megapixel images.

Away from photo taking, the Amber update adds Nokia Glance Screen to all Lumia phones except for the Nokia Lumia 520 and 625. This adds a subtle clock to your inactive phone, as well as a battery indicator and whether your phone is running in silent mode.

All Lumia phones get the ability to mute calls by flipping over the phone, as well as the ability to double tap the screen to unlock the phone.

Updating HERE Maps will now be faster too, as you won't have to re-download whole countries every time the smallest amount of data is added.

All in all, a pretty sizeable update for Nokia Lumia owners. Amber will be rolling out automatically, first to Nokia Lumia 920 and Nokia Lumia 820 owners (Nokia Lumia 925 owners already have it), and it should reach all Lumia phones by the end of September.

Next, read our Nokia Lumia 1020 vs Nokia Lumia 925 vs Nokia Lumia 920 comparison.

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