Microsoft's 'selfie' Lumia 730 looks set for September release

Microsoft has hinted at its next smartphone release, expected to be the Lumia 730 with a five-megapixel front camera.

Image: Microsoft

All eyes might be on the launch of Apple's iPhone 6 this September, but before it hits the shelves, Microsoft looks set to unveil a new mid-range phone for the selfie-obsessed.

The Lumia 730 has been widely leaked already and is expected to be the handset Microsoft unveils at consumer electronics fair IFA in Berlin next month.

The existence of the Lumia 730 came to light this June after leaks revealed Microsoft's next batch of devices codenamed Rock, Tesla, and Superman . The latter is supposed to be the Lumia 730, while the Tesla is allegedly the Lumia 830.

A 'save the date' email sent to the press on Monday, which asks "ready for more?" — with the letter O filled with a big camera lens — is being taken as a hint that the Lumia 730 is on its way.

One of the reasons the 730 is being called a 'selfie' device is the five megapixel front-facing camera it's expected to feature.

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For comparison, the US-only Lumia 929 has a 1.2-megapixel front-faciang camera, while the Galaxy S5 has a two-megapixel equivalent — meaning the 730 should offer clearer selfies than the star-studded one Ellen DeGeneres took at the Oscars this year, which prompted Samsung to donate $3m to charity.

Microsoft devices boss Stephen Elop used the phrase "selfie phone" to describe the 730 in an internal meeting, according to The Verge.

Whichever device launches in September, it will be the third Lumia smartphone Microsoft has released since taking over Nokia's devices business in April. So far, it's launched the cheapest Windows Phone yet, the Lumia 530 — itself the successor to the popular Lumia 520 — and its flagship, the 930.

Microsoft is also expected to release the Lumia 830 around the same time as the 730.

While neither are high-end devices, they will no doubt add bulk to Microsoft's mid-range portfolio, which should in turn help it gain the share it needs to push its own cloud services to consumers.

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