Months of leaks and speculation on what Nokia's inaugural Window Phone 7 smartphones would look like did not disappoint at Nokia World in London. The flagship Lumia 800 (codenamed "Sea Ray") gets the bold look of the N9 and runs Mango rather than MeeGo, while the Lumia 710 (codenamed "Sabre") is the budget Nokia WP7 with the same perks as the 800.
Free perks that are bundled with both Lumias were the real surprises this morning as most of their specs and photos have already been well leaked ahead of Nokia's official announcement.
Lumia 800 and 710 owners will get to enjoy these free apps and services out-of-box: the turn-by-turn voice assisted navigational service Nokia Drive, Nokia Music's MixRadio streaming app to discover local music around the world, and the ESPN Sports Hub for the latest news, stats and highlight reels. As WP7 devices, both phones will also include 25 GB of free SkyDrive cloud-based storage from Windows. Nokia also teased that Electronic Arts and Sesame Street have signed up to be app partners but would not reveal any more details than that.
As expected, neither of these phones will be coming to America until early 2012 even though they are ready to ship from Nokia's Finnish factory to the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain this November. Hong Kong, Taiwan, Russia, Singapore and India will be getting both phones before the end of 2011. The Lumia 800 is priced at 420 Euro, which is approximately $585 USD, while the Lumia 710 is much more affordable at 270 Euro or $376 USD. You can pre-order the Lumia 800 on Nokia.com immediately. Nokia President and CEO Stephen Elop hinted that a LTE/CDMA version could be on its way for particular markets so a variant could be coming to Verizon according to CNET. Nokia's press release also lists T-Mobile UK as a carrier so it's possible its American counterpart could carry these Nokia phones in the U. S.
Elop and his team were obviously thrilled to finally take the wraps off the Lumia 800 and 710 phones but he went a bit overboard by declaring the Lumia line as "the first real Windows phone." (I doubt HTC and Samsung would agree.) Knowing full well that neither Lumia will any spec awards, Nokia instead channeled Apple by putting the spotlight on what Mango and their phones can do for users and playing up the Lumia 800's good looks. As head of Nokia's smartphone team Kevin Shields said, "while [the Lumia 800 is] a beauty on the outside, it's a beast on the inside." So what do the innards of both WP7 phones look like?
Nokia Lumia 800
Nokia Lumia 800 in Black, Cyan and Magenta. Image by Gloria Sin
Elop also briefly introduced a new line of accessories called Nokia Purity by Monster to color coordinate with the new WP7 phones, though he did not offer much details beyond flashing an image of them on screen (see below.
Nokia Purity accessories for Lumia 800 and 710 by Monster. Image by Gloria Sin
With the pace that new phones are entering the U. S. market now, I'm not sure how the Lumia 800 or 710 will stack up against its competition in 2012, or most importantly, whether Nokia will be able to sustain Americans' excitement toward these WP7 devices all the way till next year. I think putting WP7 into the much-lauded body/design of the N9 is a great first move (it certainly explains why the N9 won't be making an official appearance stateside), the rest is really up to consumers who are invested in the Microsoft ecosystem (Xbox, Microsoft Office) to opt for the aesthetics and construction of a Nokia product over rival phones likely with better specs in 2012. For Nokia and Microsoft's sake, they need to develop some intense brand loyalty (think Apple fan level) just to survive, nevermind thrive, in America.
Do you think Nokia's Lumia WP7 phones stand a chance in the U. S.?