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MWC 2012: Nokia Shows Low-Cost Lumia 610 Smartphone

Max 'Beast from the East' Smolaks covers open source, public sector, startups and technology of the future at TechWeekEurope. If you find him looking lost on the streets of London, feed him coffee and sugar.

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Nokia has announced that its cheaper Windows Phone 7 handset will begin shipping in the second quarter of 2012

Nokia has premiered the affordable Lumia 610 at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona today. The entry-level handset is aimed at a younger audience. It aspires to introduce more users to the Microsoft’s mobile operating system, while helping it compete with the cheaper Android-powered devices.

Superscrimpers

Nokia arrived at MWC armed to the teeth, announcing six new phones and an array of new and updated services. Among these was the Lumia 610 – a bargain basement Windows Phone 7 device. Its main target group is teenagers, as implied by the smartphone’s bright, interchangeable metallic case.

The Lumia series has been criticised for the lack of a cheaper smartphone in the range, and 610 is designed to fill that gap. It is an entry-level phone, and the specifications are appropriate: a single-core 800MHz processor, 256 MB of RAM and 8GB of internal memory without any way to increase it further. The display measures 3.7 inches, and will display resolutions of up to 800 x 480 pixels. There is a five megapixel camera with an LED flash on board.

As with other Lumia phones, 610 will be able to choose from thousands of apps in Windows Phone Marketplace. Among software packages pre-installed on the phone are Xbox Live Hub, with Nokia Drive, Transport, and Maps. The smartphone will cost a recession-busting €189 (£160), and is expected to begin shipping in the second quarter of 2012.

Francisco Jeronimo, research manager for European Mobile Devices at analyst firm IDC, said: “Last year the analyst community advocated how important it was for the operating system and Nokia to deliver mid-price-tier Windows Phone smartphones to address the mass market, although no-one was expecting to see a device at this price point before 2013.”

“The Nokia Lumia 610 is a great example of how Nokia’s strengths and expertise will help the company to differentiate by delivering faster than its competitors. It’s also a great achievement for the Windows Phone ecosystem overall, as it will help it become a fierce competitor to other platforms,” he added.

In other news

On the same day, the company has also announced Lumia 900, Nokia’s first LTE-enabled smartphone, being made available in markets outside the US.

If that wasn’t enough, Nokia has also used MWC to launch its 808 PureView, a cameraphone with a very high definition 41-megapixel sensor, Carl Zeiss optics, and proprietary pixel over-sampling technology, which can distill seven pixels into one for stunningly sharp yet easy to store photos.

Nokia has also presented three new Asha devices – premium Asha 302 with full Qwerty keyboard, and the entry-level touchscreen-enabled Asha 202 and 203, designed for social network interaction and aimed at developing markets.

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