Starting off the big speeches on day one at Mobile World Congress, Nokia did some filling-in around its Lumia range, but left the high-end untouched. A shame, as rest of the show focuses on the future of mobile.
The Windows Phone 8 Family Grows
While the Lumia 620 is already available for free on contract around Europe and Asian territories, America still waits for a decent budget Lumia device running Windows Phone 8. When these new models turn up, we'll have a decent range to pick from running from the new 520 dual-core powered device to the quad-core 720, all the way up to the top of the range in the existing 920.
The Lumia 520 comes with a 4-inch LCD display with a functional resolution of 800 x 480, powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor with 512MB of RAM, 8GB storage and microSD for expansion (all broadly similar to the Lumia 620) down to the a five-gigapixel camera. It will be available through T-Mobile US, most likely free on contract or $180 without.
On the software side there's the usual Here Maps, Here Drive with turn-by-turn navigation (which are also being made available for non-Nokia Windows Phone devices), and Here Transit with clever social recognition and other tricks built into the photo software.
Spinning For A 720
The Nokia Lumia 720 is a more capable beast offering a quad-core processor, but lacks LTE, so will be sold in Europe and 3G-happy Asian markets first. It is aimed at socially-connected younger users who want some power, but not all the bells and whistles. As such, there's a lot of focus on the camera with its nightlife mode for shooting in less than ideal conditions, Skype HD for quality face time and social media apps.
Anyone hoping for big, huge, news from the conference was left disappointed, a theme that may appear in most mobile events this year. The mission is now for companies to sell cheaper smartphones to the masses, hoping they migrate to the high end. For example, we've already seen the Asha 310 positioned as the smartphone for the rest of the world Nokia's cheapest phone, the 105 is just $20.
Not much was made of the Windows Phone 8 ecosystem, this was Nokia selling Nokia phones as it used to, and with the range soon to be available, it could well see wider success. In a refreshing note, questions were taken during the show, you can see some of Stephen Elop's responses to issues such as more app support, here. Apple take note!
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