Remember when Microsoft decided to retire the Nokia brand? It’s finally done and dusted, and the first two phones to sport the “Microsoft” name have landed, and they’re budget models, too.
When it comes to cut price mobile phones, Android gets most of the love, with feature phones and dumb phones still getting in there, too. You won’t find a lot to either of those last two — just the phone, and maybe a barely usable camera, too — but Android competes pretty aggressively on price in this sector, and it’s about to have some competition from the likes of Microsoft.
Yes, the company responsible for Windows is throwing in a couple of phones of its own, and while Nokia previously made them, gone is that old name with the Lumia line-up now featuring Microsoft’s name instead.
The two phones being introduced this week are the first two to be called “Microsoft” phones that Australia has seen, and they arrive in the form of the Lumia 435 and the Lumia 532, two similarly priced models that bring just enough performance for people who want the simplicity of Windows Phone on a budget, with that last part being the big deal.
First there’s the Lumia 532, a slight change to the Lumia 530 that has been selling in Australia for a few months now, with a 4 inch screen (same size), a slightly different resolution (480×800 on the 532 versus the 480×854 on the 530), the same quad-core chip, the same 5 megapixel camera, same 3G technology, same Bluetooth, same WiFi, but a doubling of storage and RAM upgraded to 8GB storage and 1GB RAM.
This one arrives in Australia for a recommended retail price of $149, and with that value, appears to be replacing the 530, though we’re checking with Nokia— err, Microsoft to see if that is the case, and if the older 530 will take a tumble in price for people who don’t care about the changes.
It also arrives alongside another new phone, with this model even managing a more budget friendly price than the 532.
The new budget king for Microsoft/Nokia appears to be the Lumia 435, a model announced at CES earlier in the year that is ready for Australia.
From what we can tell, the 435 is very, very similar to the 532, with the same screen, same resolution, save storage, same RAM, and same VGA front-facing camera, with the difference being the rear camera sitting a 2 megapixels instead of 5 and the processor switching to a dual-core instead of the 532’s quad-core.
These two differences sends the Lumia 435 down $20 — exactly that, it seems, with an RRP of $129 — which surprises us since this feels more like it’s a play for the sub-$100 market given the specs. That said, this one is specifically a dual SIM device, making it the first dual SIM Windows Phone handset Australia has officially seen.
“Innovation is for everyone, and we’ve consistently worked to bring meaningful innovation to even more accessible price points,” said Steve Lewis, General Manager of Microsoft Devices in Australia and New Zealand.
“The Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 appeal particularly to those looking to buy a smartphone for the first time, both incorporating an operating system that is intuitive and deeply personal.”
Both phones will launch with Windows Phone 8.1 and the latest update, Lumia Denim, with 30GB Microsoft OneDrive support also included in the package.
As for availability, you should see both in stores in early March, with Optus getting the Lumia 532 in white, and Telstra getting it in black from Big W and Woolworths. Colourful versions should be along shortly, too, with electronic retailers grabbing the handsets in black, orange, and green in early March.