Microsoft’s first Nokia-less smartphone brings 4.5 inches to under $250

The speed of 4G is well and truly beginning to take over the budget market, as Nokia— sorry, Microsoft gets a device ready for release in Australian, bringing 4.5 inches to a more compelling price point.

Microsoft’s first phone now that Nokia sits under the “Microsoft Mobile Devices” banner is just about here, and it will be the first model to come equipped with Windows Phone 8.1, the latest update to Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system that brings a drop down notification bar, gesture typing, and some neat enhancements to other aspects of the operating system.

The phone is the Lumia 630, a model for Nokia/Microsoft Mobile Devices that was announced earlier in the year and packs in a 4.5 inch IPS LCD with 854×480 resolution, with protection handled by Corning’s scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 3 and a pixel density of 221 pixels per inch (100 below Apple’s Retina-grade iPhone 5S).

Inside the phone is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 400 quad-core chip clocked at 1.2GHz and paired with 512MB RAM and 8GB internal storage, with connection options catered for other 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, microUSB, and 3G.

Sadly, there’s no 4G in this handset, but you will find a 5 megapixel rear camera at the back, though there’s no camera at the front.

Windows Phone 8.1 is also included, the first handset in Australia to be sold with the update, though it’s unlikely we will be seeing Microsoft’s Cortana with it, the company’s opposition and competition to Apple’s Siri and Google’s Now.

“The Lumia 630 continues the high standard we have set in the affordable smartphone market – giving people the best of Lumia and Windows Phone with no compromise,” said Steve Lewis, Managing Director of Microsoft Mobile Devices in Australia and New Zealand.

“Wrapped up in a stylish and colourful design, it not only looks the part but is packed with all the features you’d come to expect and more – but without the price tag.”

The colourful exterior is something Nokia— sorry, Microsoft Mobile Devices — keeps across its handsets, and it’s no different here, with a polycarbonate case that can be changed to give you a colourful phone.

There’s only one problem we have with the Lumia 630, and that’s the naming convention, and it’s like we’re the company wants to confuse people.

For instance, in the past year, you’ve been able to find the Lumia 620 as well as the Lumia 625, each having a 3.8 inch and 4.7 inch screen, respectively. Now, we have the 630 with its 4.5 inch screen, comparable to the Lumia 920, 925, and 1020.

The specs inside are different again from the other models, and the design has been changed too, with no camera shutter button on the side.

While it’s a totally different phone from some of the others we’ve seen, a little consistency in the naming would be nice.

We’re not sure you’ll get that, that said, and if the numbering doesn’t bother you, well you’ll find the Lumia 630 in stores later this month for a recommended retail price of $249.