Today, Microsoft and American wireless carrier T-Mobile finally revealed more information about the low-cost Lumia 635. Those details include the Lumia 635 release date and how users will be able to save on the device’s cost overtime.
T-Mobile was the first to reveal key details about the Lumia 635 release date in a press release sent to GottaBeMobile. Microsoft and T-Mobile are partnering with television and online retailer HSN to offer the Lumia 635 to users first. There it’ll be available to shoppers who are willing to sign up for a Simple Choice prepaid plan directly through the service, though we don’t yet know for how much.
Lumia 635 release date buyers who would prefer to deal directly with T-Mobile or Metro PCs will have to wait for a couple of weeks to pick up the device. Today’s press release from T-Mobile and MetroPCS notes that it won’t launch at MetroPCS stores until July 18th and T-Mobile stores until July 16th. Users who want to pay for the Lumia 635 up front entirely will get a special promotional price for $99 for a limited time. Lumia 635 release date buyers on T-Mobile who prefer the carrier’s Equipment Installation Plan won’t be charged any money down for the phone, but will need to pay for it in $7 increments on top of their service plan each month. Users who want an EIP plan will be able to purchase the Lumia 635 at T-Mobile’s website beginning July 9th.
Finally getting the Lumia 635 release date out of Microsoft and T-Mobile is probably the most important news for Windows Phone we’ve seen all summer. That’s because the Lumia 635 is key to Windows Phone’s near term success.
Low-end Windows Phones completely and utterly dominate Windows Phone sales. More specifically, this device’s predecessor the Lumia 520 is the most popular Windows Phone in the world. The Lumia 635 will hit $99 but offer a ton of hardware features not seen in low-end Windows Phones devices before. The Lumia 635 will sport a 4.5-inch IPS display. It’ll also include a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera for users to take some basic photos with. Rounding all this out is a quad-core processor that’s never been included in a Windows Phone priced this low before.
That quad-core processor is key to beating low-end devices from other smartphone makers, particularly the Moto G.
With maximum talk time of around 14 hours and music playback at 58 hours, Microsoft is hoping that the Lumia 635 will catch on with users who just need a basic phone that does things more premium phones can at half the cost. For example, on the Lumia 635 release date users will find that they can turn the device into a fitness tracker without any extra accessories.
On release day, the Lumia 635 will be the only phone released in the United States running Windows Phone 8.1, the latest version of Microsoft’s mobile operating system. That’s the other big reason the Lumia 635 release date is a big deal.
Windows Phone 8.1 includes a ton of key features that Microsoft will want to get in user’s hands as quickly as possible, like Cortana, Windows Phone’s new voice assistant. When it revealed the Lumia 635 Microsoft also announced another phone that would feature Windows Phone 8.1 on board: the Lumia 930. That device is also known as the Nokia Lumia Icon in the United States, and won’t be coming to any new American carriers because it’s exclusive to Verizon. Anyone who isn’t a possible Lumia 635 release date buyer will be stuck waiting for their carrier to roll out the Windows Phone 8.1 update on their own schedule.
To its credit, today’s press release from T-Mobile also included news about the Windows Phone 8.1 update. Lumia 520 and Lumia 925 owners and buyers will get Windows Phone 8.1 sometime this year. That’s isn’t much to go on, but it’s the only release date details for the update announced by a carrier recently.