Nokia’s City Lens beta is the sole Windows Phone entry in the company’s Beta Labs. Back in the day, its existence was one of the best reasons for owning a Symbian phone, and Nokia continues to contribute to the cause before publicly launching software.
City Lens is Espoo’s entry into the augmented reality field, which entails combining the phone’s camera, GPS and compass to find local hot spots such as restaurants, hotels and public transport. The interface projects the results on top of what your camera sees, and rotates according to your orientation.
Tapping on a result opens up a brief description of the place — descriptions are provided by external services like WCities and HRS — along with a phone number or address, if available. The simple nature of the app will keep it from replacing Yelp’s Monacle, but for Windows Phone users who don’t have access to that feature it’s the next best thing.
City Lens’ biggest competition on the platform is Wikitude, which provides similar results but includes restaurant reviews in its selections.
If you have a Nokia Windows Phone, check out the excellent City Lens beta.