MWC 2013: Nokia aims to broaden Windows Phone appeal with new Lumias

Nokia has introduced four new mobiles at Mobile World Congress 2013, including new Lumia models and lower-end devices aimed at emerging markets.
Written by Ben Woods, Contributor

Nokia has announced four new handsets that will join its portfolio of Lumia and Asha devices that will share design cues across the ranges, and aim to bring smartphone functionality to more cost sensitive markets.

Stephen Elop, chief executive of Nokia, introduced the Nokia 105, Nokia 301, Lumia 520 and Lumia 720 on Monday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The Nokia Lumia 720. Picture credit: Nokia.

The devices will share a unified design approach and were described by the company as "pure", "human" and "advanced". For the lower-specced devices, the aim is to bring the features of its high-end siblings to a lower priced device.

Elop said that people deserved the same rich experience in a handset, regardless of how much was spent. He also noted that the Windows Phone app store was now home to more than 130,000 apps.

"We are bringing elements of our high-end flagship Lumia devices to more prices and therefore to more people," Elop said.

The Lumia 720 includes a 4.3-inch ClearBlack display with an 800 x 400 pixel resolution and like its older 920 sibling, the 720 puts some emphasis on its camera performance. It includes Carl Zeiss optics and a wide aperture lens to let in more light, as well as a 6.7-megapixel camera on the rear and a 1.3-megapixel snapper on the front for video calling or stills.

Ahtisaari said the 720 was "engineered for non-LTE markets" and is "a sleek expression" of the best Lumia elements.  It's also the first of Nokia’s handsets to have a unibody design but also support microSD cards.

The Lumia 720 will arrive in Asia in the first quarter of 2013 and will cost €249 before taxes and subsidies, Elop said.

The Lumia 520, described by Nokia as "the most affordable Windows Phone 8 smartphone", brings some of the camera features found on higher-end devices such as Panorama and Cinemagraph and also includes popular Nokia services such as the HERE Suite (HERE Maps,  HERE Drive and HERE Transit).

The 520 is due to go on sale first in Hong Kong and Vietnam this quarter and will be followed by Europe and the US in the second quarter of the year.

"We're going broader, and we're doing it by being better. In our industry there is a lot of talk about differentiation, but doing something different for the sake of being different isn't better," Marko Ahtisaari, head of Nokia design, said.

Nokia 301 and 105

The Nokia 301 will come in a number of different colours, like many of Nokia's cheaper handsets, and includes a number of camera-specific features usually found on more expensive Lumia devices. It will also come in either single or dual-SIM variants. It also includes mail for Exchange and HD voice features.

"We are bringing elements of our high-end flagship Lumia devices to more prices and therefore to more people" — Stephen Elop, Nokia

The Nokia 301 is due to go on sale in 120 countries during Q2 and will cost just €65.

Nokia also introduced a basic handset designed as a successor to the Nokia 1280. Ahtisaari said the Nokia 105 had an "amazing battery life" that could be charged just once per month.

It will cost just €15 and is due to go on sale in China, India, Indonesia, Russia and the Middle East before the end of Q1.

The event is still going, so stay tuned for more.

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