Nokia today unveiled its latest Windows Phone 8 smartphone, the compact Lumia 620, at the LeWeb conference today in Paris. The Lumia 620 features a 3.8-inch screen, 1 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, NFC technology and 512 MB of RAM; moreover, the handset is Nokia’s cheapest Windows Phone 8 smartphone yet at $249.
As with Nokia’s other Windows Phone 8 smartphones, the Lumia 620 is available in a wide variety of mix-and-match colors. The handset has dual-colored shells in lime green, orange, magenta, yellow, cyan, white and black, giving the device a creative edge. And unlike its Lumia 920 sibling, the smaller Lumia 620 is softer and rounder for a more playful appearance.
According to Nokia, the Lumia 620 will be shipping to the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa in January, while launches in Canada and Europe will follow shortly thereafter. This smaller smartphone should help Nokia in its attempt to cater to the low- and mid-level range in emerging countries, where the Finnish handset maker has also been highly promoting its Windows Phone 7.5 devices.
High demand, low supply. That has been the trend since Nokia’s flagship Lumia 920 smartphone hit markets in early November. Because of the supply shortages, it has been difficult for analysts to determine just how well the Lumia 920 has been selling a month after launch. Despite the confusion, investment firm Canaccord Genuity recently performed channel checks and determined that Lumia 920 has indeed been attracting a considerable amount of consumer attention.
While the iPhone 5 was undoubtedly the highest selling smartphone in the United States last month, with the Galaxy S III trailing behind in second place, the Lumia 920 managed a respectable third-place finish in November sales. The Lumia 920 was the top-selling Windows Phone smartphone on AT&T last month, whereas the HTC Windows Phone 8X took the top spot on both T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless.
“While our checks indicated the Lumia 920 was the top-selling Windows smartphone at AT&T and #3 selling device at that channel, we believe iPhone dominated AT&T’s sell-through volume,” Walkley wrote in his research note.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has noted in the past that he plans on positioning Windows Phone as a legitimate third-place competitor, so the third-place Lumia 920 has already hit the sweet spot. It’s unlikely that any Windows Phone will ever surpass the iPhone or top Android smartphones in the foreseeable future, but Microsoft has proved that it can willingly compete alongside the two major platforms. And as a consumer, that’s music to my ears.
Last week, it was suggested that Nokia might be planning on switching to Android as its mobile operating system of choice for the smartphone lineup it carries. This claim was based on a job offering that Nokia had posted on its LinkedIn page, in which the company was looking for a software engineer that would focus on “Linux device software and hardware drivers for our exciting new products.”
Android is open-source software based on the Linux kernel, which fueled speculation that Nokia might switch to the platform in the foreseeable future. As reported by Zach Epstein at BGR, however, Nokia spokesman Doug Dawson on Sunday confirmed by tweet that the job listing is tailored towards Nokia’s mapping service in particular. “Our recently posted job is linked to our HERE Maps support for other platforms, including iOS and Android,” Dawson tweeted.
Nokia does have a backup plan in place should its Windows Phone experiment turn sour, but it doesn’t look like they’ll be executing it right now. Due to widespread supply shortages and constraints on popular Windows Phone devices, including Nokia’s own Lumia 920, it has been difficult to gauge just how successful demand has been for devices running Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 software. As the holiday shopping season wraps up, sales figures should become clearer.
[Twitter via BGR]
Walt Mossberg for All Things Digital shares his viewpoints on the Nokia Lumia 920 smartphone:
“I’ve been testing the Lumia 920 and consider it a handsome, high-quality phone with attractive features that worked well for me. Not only that, but it costs half of what most other top-of-the-line smartphones set you back, and yet gives you twice the typical memory. It is greatly improved from the first flagship Lumia, last spring’s Lumia 900.”
Although it’s rather late, the full review is worth checking out. Mossberg provided some great points.
If you own a Nokia Lumia 810, 820, 822 or 920 you can download the official YouSendIt app from the Windows store, starting today. While many have opted to use Microsoft’s SkyDrive or other alternatives such as DropBox, some are attached to the Nokia file storage service, YouSendIt. The app was announced as a Nokia exclusive in September, but exclusivity makes some sense in this case, with the app and phones both being developed by Nokia. It’s comparable to Apple releasing the Podcasts app on the App store.
The service is available in three flavors, including Free (2 GB), Pro (5GB), or Pro Plus (unlimited). With the app’s focus on sending files, it’s very similar in ability compared to Microsoft’s own SkyDrive, and while many may consider SkyDrive to be the better deal, YouSendIt has an advantage due to the fact that Businesses have been using it long before Microsoft’s service even existed. The service has long been known as a simple solution for sending large files across the web, and its Windows Phone 8 counterpart is available on Nokia devices here.
There is perhaps no better time of the year for great deals on consumer electronics than Black Friday, so it’s unsurprising to hear that, per Neowin, AT&T is discounting Nokia’s flagship Lumia 920 smartphone to just $49.99 for its Black Friday 2012 sales event. AT&T will be placing the Windows Phone 8 device on sale from this Friday through Sunday, while supplies last. That last bit is very important, as the Lumia 920 has been experiencing supply shortages and is currently on backorder at a number of AT&T locations and elsewhere.
If you’re able to get your hands on the Lumia 920 at this lower price, however, it’s quite a good deal. The smartphone typically carries a retail price of $99.99, so you’re getting a 50 percent discount. Just keep in mind that all these prices we’re talking about are subsidized, meaning you’ll have to lock into a new service agreement with AT&T. Better yet, WPCentral reports that early adopters of the Lumia 920 can call AT&T and get a $50 credit added to their accounts. If you’re planning on getting a Lumia 920, it’s best to wait until this weekend.