Selfie Lumia and mid-range flagship Lumia coming this month

Microsoft logoMicrosoft announced three new mid-range Lumia phones at IFA today. The Lumia 730, 735, and 830 are mid-range, mid-size handsets that will be launched globally this month.

The 730 and 735 are positioned as the ideal phones for Skype and selfies. The two are close siblings in a similar style to the Lumia 630 and 635the 730 is a dual SIM, 3G handset; the 735 is a single SIM, 4G LTE device.

Stylistically, they look like so many Lumias before them: brightly colored polycarbonate unibody handsets with gentle curves.

Lumia 730

The 730/735 have a 4.7-inch 1280×720 OLED, 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400, 1GB RAM, 8GB flash, with microSD expansion. Their big feature is their front-facing camera: a 5MP wide angle camera with an f/2.4 aperture. The rear camera has a 6.7MP sensor with an f/1.9 aperture, Zeiss optics, and an LED flash. The 735 also has Qi wireless charging built-in.

As devices tending toward the lower end of the spectrum, the 730 and 735 lack the physical buttons on the front of the phone and also omit the camera button. Given the emphasis on the cameras, it's a little surprising to see this design decision.

The 830 is described as an "affordable flagship." It's essentially a cheaper version of the high-end Lumia Icon/930. It's a little bit squarer than most other Lumias, and it has the same two-tone coloring as the Icon/930; one color on the back, another on the sides.

As with the 930, the 830 has a 5-inch screen. It comes with a lower 1280×720 resolution and LCD rather than AMOLED. The processor is also lesser; like the 730/730, it's a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400, again paired with 1GB RAM. Internal storage is bigger at 16GB, and there's a microSD slot. Qi wireless charging is built in.

Lumia 830

The cameras on the 830 are a mixed bunch. The rear camera is a 10MP unit with an f/2.2 aperture and optical image stabilization, so it should be a relatively high-end unit. The front-facing camera, however, is just a 0.9MP f/2.4 device. While this is better than having no front-facing camera at all, it's substantially inferior to the 730's camera.

As befits its higher end position, the 830 also has hardware buttons on the front of the phone, plus a dedicated camera button.

All three devices are going to become globally available at some point this month. The 730 will cost around EUR 199, the 735 around EUR 219, and the 830 around EUR 330. It looks like the 735 and 830 will also be coming to the US, though when and on which carriers hasn't been revealed just yet.

All three of these handsets will ship with Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, paired with the latest Lumia-specific firmware. Nokia included a bunch of Lumia-specific features in its series of firmware updates (Amber, Black, and Cyan), and Microsoft is continuing this trend with "Denim."

These Lumia firmwares have provided a range of extra features such as double-tap-to-wake on most phones, Glance (which shows the clock and notifications even when the screen is "off") on some models, and a custom camera app. Denim replaces the old Nokia Camera app with a new, faster, Lumia Camera app, 4K video capture (on some models), HDR pictures, and an enhanced Glance that can show weather information or health data. With Denim, some Lumias will also get an upgrade to Cortana. Denim will enable Cortana to be always listening. It will spring into life when it hears you say "Hey Cortana." Some Android phones have a similar "always listening" capability for Google Now.

Denim will be made to existing Lumia devices starting in the fourth quarter.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Microsoft, smartphones, Windows Phone 7

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