updated 05:30 am EDT, Wed October 26, 2011
Nokia makes comeback attempt with WP7 phones
Nokia has formally unveiled its first Windows Phone 7 mobile devices. CEO Stephen Elop took the wraps off the new devices at its London Nokia World 2011 special event. Two phones will be heading the Nokia charge, the Lumia 800 (Sea Ray) and the Lumia 710 (Sabre).
As leaks ahead of the official launch had indicated, both devices have quick 1.4GHz single-core Snapdragon processors matched with 512MB of RAM. The flagship Lumia 800, which closely resembles the acclaimed design of the Nokia N9, packs 16GB of storage and 25GB of free SkyDrive space. It also uses a 3.7-inch ClearBlack AMOLED display. On the rear of the device is an 8-megapixel Carl Zeiss camera with a wide f2.2 aperture for taking quality images in low light conditions.
The Lumia 710 includes 8GB of storage and centers on a 3.7-inch ClearBlack LCD display. It incorporates a 5-megapixel with an f2.4 aperture. However, unlike the Lumia 800, it includes a microSD storage slot that will accommodate a 16GB microSD card for a total of 24GB of storage.
Music lovers will also appreciate both handsets as they support FLAC lossless audio and sport Dolby Digital Plus signal processing. Nokia has also teamed with Monster to deliver a new high-quality Purity headphone range that work with the new handsets. Both phones also incorporate world radios that will work on CDMA and GSM networks with speeds on HSPA up to 14.4mbps. Mapping is also a centrepiece of the devices, with full turn-by-turn navigation built-in for free.
The new phones, of course, run Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) and formally marks the end of the Symbian era and the beginning of Nokia's focus on the ongoing development of Windows Phone mobile devices. The move to dump Symbian, Nokia's in-house mobile OS, while painful for the company, was ultimately inevitable as the Symbian OS could not match the power and features of both Apple's iOS and Google's Android platforms.
Microsoft is rumored to have paid Nokia $1 billion to help seal the deal. Although largely well-received critically, Windows Phone 7 has failed to gain traction against both iOS and Android to date. However, its recent revamp of the OS has helped to put the OS on a much more even footing. Nokia's recent Q3 results, while showing some encouraging signs for its low-end phones, continued its downward slide in the high-margin smartphone segment. It will remain to be seen whether its big gamble to switch to Windows Phone 7 will turn both its, and Microsoft's smartphone ambitions around.
The Lumia 800 will ship to France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK in November, before making rolling out to Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan, by the end of 2011. It will come in three colors (cyan, magenta and black) and retail for the equivalent of $585 and is already up for pre-order on Nokia's website.
The Lumia 710 will ship Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan by the end of the year, with other markets coming online in the first part of 2012. It will come in five colors (black and white with black, white, cyan, fuchsia and yellow back covers) and retail for the equivalent of $375.
Nokia has stated that it plans on bringing a portfolio of Windows Phone 7 mobile devices to the North American market in early 2012. These will also include handsets with LTE capability for certain markets.