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Aluminum Nokia Lumia looming, 'sources' say

Nokia's next Lumia device design could shift from a polycarbonate body to a metal chassis.

Nokia Lumia 920
Today's Nokia Lumia 920 comes in polycarbonate. Tomorrow's could be aluminum.
Josh Miller/CNET

Call it the Nokia aLuminum.

If "sources" are correct, the next Lumia we could see land on shelves will be made not of the typical polycarbonate that's composed every Lumia since its inception, but of aluminum. The report comes from The Verge, citing "sources familiar with Nokia's plans."

Allegedly code-named the Nokia Catwalk, the future Lumia variant will succeed this fall's Nokia Lumia 920 flagship Windows phone. Hardware specs won't vary much in this model, if the rumor proves true, a point that's sure to bum out Nokia fans waiting for that 41-megapixel Lumia PureView phone.

In addition to the Catwalk, another phone is also slated for 2013, if sources are correct.

Nokia N8
2010's stylish Nokia N8 featured an aluminum body and a variety of bright colors. Stephen Shankland/CNET

Nokia is no stranger to aluminum design. Its gorgeous N8 from 2010 featured a stylish, contoured metal casing in a variety of colors, and the then-flagship Symbian phone also packed a 12-megapixel camera. Revisiting the N8's well-received design language would be a smart move for Nokia.

I have no doubt that Nokia has other Lumia smartphones planned to take on the Android and iPhone big guns, and phone design does have some sway. The Lumia 920 is a large, thick, and heavy device. Nokia's attention to design has long been a strong point, and an aluminum chassis would be a welcome departure from polycarbonate -- provided its finish doesn't scratch or chip.

However, a future phone's weight and depth are also going to be key, as well as its high-end hardware prowess, especially its camera.

I don't expect a huge showing from Nokia at CES this year, since the Lumia 920 and 820 series are both so fresh in the market, but I do expect major announcements in late February at Mobile World Congress, traditionally a central stage for Nokia. Keep your eyes peeled then for aluminum bodies, and other Lumia advancements.

Now playing: Watch this: Heavy Nokia Lumia 920 makes an impression