Microsoft’s first smartphones to do without the Nokia brand name are launching in Australia. The Microsoft Lumia 435 and the Lumia 532 will be available from early March at prices that make Motorola’s budget Moto E appear expensive.
Pricing has been set at $129 for the Lumia 435 and at $149 for the Lumia 532. The inexpensive price tags will help Microsoft sell the smartphones in high numbers; a strategic move aimed at increasing the company's Windows Phone audience.
Both smartphones champion the latest version of Windows Phone 8.1. Windows Phone has an application store 500,000 strong and comes with Microsoft’s Cortana personal assistant.
The Lumia 435 is a dual-SIM smartphone equipped with a 4-inch, 800x480 resolution screen, a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU and 1GB of RAM. Internal storage is 8GB and can be expanded with a microSD memory card up to 128GB in size. Powering the smartphone is a 1560 milliamp-hour battery.
Offsetting its low price is a 2 megapixel rear camera and a VGA front-facing camera, along with HSPA — and not 4G — network compatibility.
More impressive is the Lumia 532, which is being offered in both single- and dual-SIM variants. It differs from its sibling by packing a more powerful 1.2GHz quad-core CPU, and by having higher resolution 5- and 2-megapixel cameras.
The two smartphones are the first not to don Nokia branding as Microsoft follows through on its strategy to phase out the brand.
The Microsoft Lumia 532 will be sold from Optus, Big W and Woolworths stores from early March. Dual-SIM variants of the Lumia 532 and Lumia 435 will go on sale at major retailers, such as Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi.