Nokia Shows Off Its First Windows Phone Offerings

It was a bold move when Nokia announced that it hitched itself to Windows Phone, dropping what could have been a MeeGo future. This announcement came in February, 2011, and now finally there are real Windows Phones from Nokia. Today in London, Nokia demonstrated the first two smartphones in its Windows Phone-based Nokia Lumia range.

Lumia 800

The Lumia 800 features an outer design that's much shared with the MeeGo-based N9. Instead of the 3.9-inch on the N9, the Lumia 800 has to make room for Windows Phone buttons, so instead there's a 3.7-inch AMOLED ClearBlack curved display. It also packs a 1.4 GHz Qualcomm processor with hardware acceleration and graphics. The 8 MP Carl Zeiss optics with dual LED flash is activated with a dedicated camera button – something that the N9 doesn't have. It however, gives up a front-facing camera from the N9 in exchange for a status LED. It has 16GB of internal user memory and 25GB of free SkyDrive storage for storing images and music. For memory, the Lumia 800 has 512MB, down from the 1GB in the N9. The estimated retail price for the Nokia Lumia 800 will be approximately 420 EUR ($480), excluding taxes and subsidies – also down from the 600 EUR ($830) N9. Pick from cyan, magenta and black.

Lumia 710

The Nokia Lumia 710 is further down the line at 270 EUR ($370), excluding taxes and subsidies, but it packs much of the same hardware as the Lumia 800. It has the same 1.4 GHz Qualcomm chip with 512 MB of RAM. It saves costs, however, with the 5 MP camera with a single flash, hardware navigation buttons, 3.7inch LCD instead of AMOLED, and only 8 GB of on-board storage. Like the Lumia 800, it also does not have a front-facing camera. It comes in black and white with exchangeable back covers with black, white, cyan, fuchsia and yellow back covers.

Custom Nokia Software on Windows Phone

Nokia hopes that custom software will set its offerings apart from the rest of Windows Phone manufacturers. Both smartphones include signature Nokia apps, including Nokia Drive, which delivers a full-fledged personal navigation device (PND) with free, turn-by-turn navigation and dedicated in-car-user-interface; and Nokia Music introducing MixRadio, a free, global, mobile music-streaming application that delivers hundreds of channels of locally-relevant music. In an update delivered later this year, Nokia Lumia users will also gain the ability to create personalized channels from a global catalogue of millions of tracks. Also integrated in Nokia Music is Gigfinder, providing the ability to search for live local music for a complete end-to-end music experience, as well as the ability to share discoveries on social networks and buy concert tickets also coming in the Nokia Music software update delivered later this year.

Nokia also showed off new audio accessories: the on-ear Nokia Purity HD Stereo Headset and the in-ear Nokia Purity Stereo Headset, co-designed and co-developed by Monster.

The new Nokia Lumia 800 is now available in select countries for pre-order and is scheduled to roll-out across France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK in November. It is scheduled to be available in Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan before the end of the year, and in further markets in early 2012. Yes, that means it'll be 2012 before we see these Stateside, but they may be packing LTE and CDMA technologies.

The Nokia Lumia 710 is scheduled to be available first in Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan toward the end of the year alongside the Nokia Lumia 800, before becoming available in further markets in early 2012.