A lower-end device than the Lumia 820 doesn’t exactly draw throngs of people at the start. But when you find out that a rather competent (in the spec department) Lumia is going to hit the street for a mere $250 unlocked and subsidy free, things get a bit more interesting. Sure, it isn’t going to be a hit in the U.S. market where most every device is subsidized heavily to the point $600-$900 phones are selling for a few hundred dollars. Globally, however, subsidies are a rare oddity with full-price phones being the norm. It is in those markets where the $249 Lumia has a real chance to get Windows Phone into the market.
Specs are as one would expect at this level – 3.8-inch WVGA (480 x 800) display, 1 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 512 MB of RAM, 8 GB of built-in storage w/ support for up to 64 GB via microSD card, 1,300 mAh battery and a 5-megapixel camera w/ LED flash.
Some may baulk at the display size and resolution. But honestly, it’s not that bad at all. If you have’t experienced Windows Phone, we’ll say that it functions (and looks) well at lower resolutions than probably any other mobile OS. The Lumia 822 we recently reviewed had the same resolution with a bigger, lower ppi display, and we noticed the lack of 720p resolution wasn’t nearly as noticeable as others. In fact, the display held its own. So now that it’s down to 3.8-inches (a sub-4-inch size that many people prefer) it features even higher ppi. Add to that, the Snapdragon S4 processor is a highly efficient, powerful mobile processor. Even with its 500 less MHz compared to most devices on the market, Windows Phone is again incredibly efficient and easy to drive.
Look for the Lumia $249 to start hitting the streets in Asian streets this coming January with Europe, the Middle East and other countries soon thereafter.