Since the announcment of Microsoft and Nokia’s partnership back in February we have been waiting to see what devices will come from this union. On October 26, Nokia unveiled its first Windows Phone device line called Lumia. There are two models, the 710 and 800. The internals of both are very similar in terms of CPU, memory, etc. Although they are both available in several colors, the externals of the devices are very different.
The Lumia 800, which Nokia calls the first “real” Windows Phone, shares the Nokia N9’s attractive policarbonate body along with an 3.7″ AMOLED “true black” display.
The Lumia 710, the lower end device, is a bit bulkier and has a less impressive 3.7″ LCD display. The difference in screen quality is apparent when the two are photographed side by side.
Both look nice, especially the 800, but I’m not sure what differentiates them from any other Windows Phone device. I expected that Nokia was going to add features to stock Windows Phone 7.5 (aka “Mango”) but the only changes were a few new apps. Nokia’s relationship with Microsoft allows them to make changes to the OS, which other OEMs are not allowed to do, so I was expecting more. I’m not sure how they intend to compete against Samsung or HTC on the Windows Phone front except by their own brand name.
I was also surprised that neither device has a forward facing camera. Now that Microsoft owns Skype, I would think that video conferencing would become an important part of Windows Phone in the near future.
Both models will go on sale in Europe in November and December. They won’t hit American retailers until 2012. Missing the holiday season is unfortunate for Nokia and especially with new Apple and Google devices hitting stores now. Nokia assured the Lumia devices would support CDMA and LTE, so expect to see them on Verizon and/or Sprint sometime next year.
Both Microsoft and Nokia bet big that Nokia’s brand would bring its users over to Windows Phone. Soon we’ll see if that bet pays off.