Last week was Nokia's turn to show what's coming from the Finnish company at their own Nokia World 2011 expo. While they were keen to unveil prototypes that included a phone with a screen that can be twisted and flexed, the company's next big thing was undoubtedly the official launch of the Lumia Windows Phones.
The Lumia 800 will be Nokia's first Windows Phone 7.5 smartphone. It shares many attributes with the MeeGo-powered N9, including its single-piece polycarbonate construction -- in fact both phones are nearly identical on the outside. The 800 is powered by a single-core, 1.4GHz processor, 16GB of internal storage, 512 MB of RAM, an 8-megapixel camera, 720p video capture and a 3.7-inch, WVGA resolution ClearBlack AMOLED display. It will be available in select markets for ~$585 starting next month, but the U.S. will have to wait until next year.
It's clear that Nokia wants to play to its strengths when they opted to go after the European market first, however it's also true that for Windows Phone to succeed and become a widespread platform that can attract developers en masse, they need a reputable global partner that can scale in the same order of magnitude as competitors Samsung, Motorola, Apple, and others who have leveraged support for the Android and iOS ecosystems.
Meanwhile, Windows Phone has HTC and Samsung, but neither is fully committed to advance the platform. Nokia was meant to be that partner, especially after they essentially abandonded the MeeGo operating system. On that same note, Microsoft will hold a Windows Phone event next November 7th, where hopefully we will learn more about their U.S. plans and Nokia's involvement or lack thereof.
Our friends at MobileBurn traveled to London for the launch event,
here's a brief video showing the smartphone in action.
Whether users will be willing to drop an iPhone or say, a Galaxy S II, for the Lumia 800 and Windows Phone is hard to predict. If you watch the video above you might notice there's something iconic about Nokia's WP 7.5 flagship handset. So you could say the hardware and software is there, but the platform is still in its infancy by sheer usage numbers and that translates into limited app support in comparison to Android, or let alone Apple's app store.
The Nokia Lumia 710 is the second WP 7.5 smartphone announced by the manufacturer. It is a lower-cost model, which can be witnessed by its cheap feel when compared to the fancier 800 model. The Lumia 710 has a 3.7-inch ClearBlack TFT LCD display and is powered by the same 1.4GHz Snapdragon processor. Both phones will go on sale in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK in November, and in Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan by the end of the year.