It’s apparently Microsoft’s hope that users looking for big savings will skip over Apple’s pricey iPhone 6 and for its Lumia line of Windows Phones. Today, the company announced the Microsoft Lumia 435 and the Microsoft Lumia 532, two new Windows Phones that are astonishingly cheaper than the iPhone 6 while offering some key extras.
Microsoft announced its two newest Lumia devices earlier today in a post on its Lumia Conversations blog. Both the Lumia 532 and Lumia 435 look as you might expect, their bodies are dominated by brightly colored polycarbonate plastic and a rear facing camera.
Inside the Lumia 532’s brightly colored polycarbonate shell is 1GB of RAM and a quad-core processor that’ll easily surpass what other cheap Windows Phones made by Microsoft have been able to do. The amount of RAM will, at the very least let Lumia 532 buyers finally play some of the more exciting games that have come to Windows Phone in recent years that require more horsepower.
The front of the Lumia 532 is dominated by a 4-inch 800 x 480 display that won’t necessarily do high-definition video justice, but should look just fine. There isn’t a rear-facing flash module on the Lumia 532. Microsoft left those out so that it could hit that amazing price. The Lumia 532 will arrive on store shelves this February for around 79 EUR or $94 in the United States. That’s without a two-year service agreement or any discounts. Only 8GB of storage is built-in, but users will be able to add more on their own using a built-in microSD card slot.
The same is true of the Lumia 435. Inside it is a less robust 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. The Lumia 435 has a 4-inch 800 x 480 display too. Its body style is almost identical; Orange, white, black and green are among the colors Lumia 435 buyers will have to choose from. Microsoft is pushing it’s selfie camera app with both of these devices; the Lumia 435 also has a front-facing VGA camera. Users won’t be able to capture amazing photos in low-light with the Lumia 435 either since it also doesn’t have flash. The Lumia 435 will cost roughly $82 or 69 EUR.
Both the Lumia 435 and Lumia 532 will come equipped with Windows Phone 8.1 and the Lumia Denim update. Windows Phone 8.1 is the latest version of Windows Phones to be released to users. It adds support for the Cortana personal assistant that’s already coming to notebooks, desktops and tablets with Windows 10. There are new personalization options in the update too. For example, users can finally choose a photo to show in their background. There’s also support for syncing passwords, browsing history and more between these devices and those running Windows 8.1, Microsoft’s latest operating system for traditional devices.
Microsoft is hoping to attract first smartphone buyers away from Apple’s iPhone with low prices for the Lumia 532 and Lumia 435. That makes sense on some level, in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Windows Phones are more popular. Microsoft needs to have cheap devices ready for those who are just buying their first smartphone or are looking to step away from older iPhones that may not be receiving updates anymore.
The problem for the company going forward is the United States. It’s been way too long since Microsoft released a high-end iPhone competitor for users to get excited about in the United States. Apple’s decision to produce new high-end smartphones then make older models cheaper seems to have worked out in the United States. Meanwhile, Microsoft is practically ignoring the U.S. altogether.
Microsoft says both the Lumia 532 and Lumia 435 will have dual-SIM counterparts. This will allow users to drop in multiple SIM cards so that they can switch between networks for the best calling rates.