Microsoft isn’t sitting and waiting for Apple to announce those rumored iPhone 6 devices. Early this morning the company announced two new colorful Windows Phone designed to hit Apple’s smartphone dominance where it hurts. The Microsoft Lumia 830 will attack the iPhone 6 head on with a large display and 10 megapixel camera. The Microsoft Lumia 735 will put some much-needed pressure on the low-end iPhone 5c.
Microsoft announced the Lumia 830 and Lumia 735 at a press conference at IFA 2014 early this morning, and both are completely designed to fill in gaps in the company’s smartphone ecosystem.
The most high-profile of the two is the Lumia 830. The brightly colored handset blends past designs into an all-new experience. The first thing users will notice on stores shelves is the rather large camera area on the rear of the device. That camera isn’t just endowed with Nokia PureView imaging technology and optical image stabilization. It’s a 10 megapixel sensor, completely trumping what’s available in most Windows Phones and every iPhone.
Packed into its colorful polycarbonate shell are tons of extras that rumors indicate won’t be in any version of the iPhone 6 Apple plans on launching next week. There’s wireless charging for users who don’t like cables, 1 megapixel front-facing camera for taking self-portraits and video chatting. The Lumia 830 only includes 16GB of storage space, however users can add more using a built-in MicroSD card slot. It’s powered by a robust-enough 1.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB of RAM. Microsoft is angling the device as an “affordable” flagship. In the long run, a low price will probably help it gain market share around the world. It’ll cost roughly $430 in US dollars when it arrives. No carriers in the United States have formally announced that they’ll carry the Lumia 830 just yet.
The Lumia 735 is a strange beast. Like most Windows Phones made by Nokia, the Lumia 735 is covered in polycarbonate plastic. There are no physical navigation buttons below the device’s 4.7-inch 720p screen. In theory users will be able to wave those on-screen buttons away when they’re watching video or don’t need them but that remains unclear now. Apps and games are stored in the Lumia 735’s 8GB of built-in storage, though again users can add more storage if they want. A 1.2 GHz quad-core processor handles all the heavily lifting along with 1GB of RAM. A low price tag of around $285 US Dollars and a 5 megapixel wide-angle front-facing camera are really the Lumia 730’s claim to fame. With the upgraded front-facing camera users can take better looking self-portraits without sitting in front of a mirror. A rear-facing 6.7 megapixel camera will capture slightly better images of everything else.
The Lumia 735 will support wireless charging built-in and users will be able to track their steps and count their calories with the SensorCore technology that’s also included in the Lumia 640 GottaBeMobile reviewed a few weeks ago. Speedy 4G LTE data networks are supported on the Lumia 735, but a nearly identical phone – the Lumia 730 – won’t include 4G LTE. Instead the Lumia 730 will support inserting two SIM cards. Typically, Lumia’s with dual SIM cards aren’t launched in the United States, so potential Lumia 735 buyers need not worry about purchasing the wrong device.
In keeping with tradition, Microsoft also announced a slew of new accessories and software updates with the Lumia 735 and Lumia 830. Both devices will come preloaded with Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 and what Microsoft is calling Lumia Denim. Features include folders for organizing live tiles, a new Apps Corner for separating work from play. Microsoft is promising users that the update will make loading the Lumia Camera app faster. In the case of the Lumia 830, users can say “Hey, Cortana” and have the personal assistant ready to take notes or set reminders. An update to Glance provides Lumia Windows Phone users with weather and other essentials without turning on their device.
GottaBeMobile will have more if any carriers in the United States announce plans to carry the Lumia 730 and the Lumia 830. Even if they don’t arrive in the United States, both devices should give the iPhone 5s and even the rumored iPhone 6 some competition abroad.