Microsoft in with another budget-friendly phone

There are cheap phones, and then there are cheap phones, with an emphasis on that last cheap. Microsoft Devices (formerly Nokia) might have something for that category, and while it isn’t quite ready for Australia, we’ve heard rumblings it might be on its way.

If last week seemed like the most suitable time to launch a phone — you know, CES and all — you’d be right, because HTC did. But hey, it’s always the right time to show off a new phone, and Microsoft is doing just that this week, announcing a new model built from the Nokia heritage that manages to sit under the lowest phone it presently has, and look like it can possibly outclass it in some ways.

The phone Microsoft Devices is talking up is called the Lumia 435, and it’s a 4 inch phone bringing a small amount of specs and just enough features to low prices, with a 4 inch 800×480 display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 8GB storage, Windows Phone 8.1, and two cameras, with a 2 megapixel rear camera and a 0.3 megapixel front facing camera.

But that front facing camera is one of the things that separates the Lumia 435 from its budget cousin, the currently released Lumia 530, which looks to feature a similar screen and processor, but misses out on the front camera and cuts the storage in half.

Pricing around the world for the Lumia 435 is sitting around 69 euros overseas, which plonks it down at $99 locally when converted, suggesting this — if launched locally — could be even lower priced than Nokia’s 530, which currently sits at a recommended retail price of $149.

In the past few weeks, you’ve been able to find Nokia’s 530 for even less, just under $40, and we’re seeing plenty of $99 Android phones, so we know there’s a market for the sub-$100 smartphone, and we suspect Microsoft will want to be there.

Now all we need is confirmation that it will be with this phone. We’ve heard rumblings that Microsoft is looking at this for release in Australia, but nothing is confirmed as of yet. We’ll let you know if that changes.