Microsoft announces new Lumia 530, a cheap Windows Phone for the masses

Nokia logoIf analytics companies are to be believed, the lowly Lumia 520 and its variants have been the most popular Windows Phone handsets ever. Today, Microsoft officially announced that phone's successor, the Lumia 530. It will come in both single- and dual-SIM variants, though it's safe to say that only the single-SIM version will end up making it to the US, and Nokia expects both to be priced at around "€85 (about $114) before taxes and subsidies."

The 530 is a somewhat cut-down version of the Lumia 630 that was introduced earlier this year, and the devices share many design elements—eye-melting neon color options, software navigation buttons rather than hardware or capacitive buttons, and no dedicated camera shutter button. Microsoft has made some changes to Windows Phone to make it easier for OEMs to put it on lightly modified Android hardware, and these two Lumias showcase those changes.

Nokia Lumia 530

On the inside, the Lumia 530 is a combination of small upgrades and small downgrades from the 520. Both phones share the same 5MP camera and 512MB of RAM. Storage is down to 4GB (from 8GB in the 520), but the phone's microSD slot will now support cards up to 128GB in size. The resolution of the 4-inch screen increases slightly to 854×480. The 530 uses a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 200 SoC rather than the 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 in the 520, but overall performance may break roughly even since the S4's Krait CPU architecture is faster clock-for-clock than the 200's Cortex A7 architecture. Finally, the GPU takes a minor step down from the Adreno 305 GPU to the Adreno 302. New buyers will still get a solid budget handset, but current 520 users won't need to rush out to buy this one.

For US customers, T-Mobile has announced that the Lumia 530 will join its lineup "later this year." Given the popularity of the cheap Lumia 520 as an inexpensive prepaid phone, we wouldn't be surprised if the 530 shows up on other US carriers shortly thereafter.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Microsoft, smartphones, Windows Phone 7

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