The newest and lowest priced member of the Windows Phone 8.1 family has been announced: the Lumia 530, set to retail at a price of 85 euros before taxes and subsidies, approx AUD $120 at time of publication.
Going on sale in August in "select markets" first before becoming much more globally available throughout the year, this is Microsoft's price-led attempt to get as many new users, new developer attention and new apps as possible.
Starting off on the right foot for a low cost smartphone, the Lumia 530 promises surprisingly smooth performance, just as its predecessor, the Lumia 520 offered on even lower hardware specs.
The low price naturally involve trade-offs, with the 530 sticking with still-fast 3G HSPA+ connectivity but not having 4G, having a "small" 4-inch screen when compared with the larger screen sizes now out there, and only have a 5 megapixel rear camera without flash - and no front facing "selfie" camera.
If you want 4G, you'll need to look at the $279 RRP Lumia 635, already available cheaper online, or the flagship Lumia 930 with an even faster 4G chip at $729 RRP, or $669.95 as seen from one Australian online mobile phone store.
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On board is a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor, a 4-inch FWVGA LCD display, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal eMMC storage, expandability up to 128GB with a microSD card slot, 5 megapixel rear camera, Windows Phone 8.1 and a 1430mAh battery with 13 hours of 2G talk time and up to 22 days standby.
It will be available in single-SIM 3G and dual-SIM 3G variants, and has the Windows Phone 8.1 features you expect - the new Swype-style finger slide keyboard capability, various Nokia Lumia apps, 15GB of free OneDrive cloud storage, the swipe down notification bar and more.
Jo Harlow, Corporate VP of Microsoft's Devices Group said: "We are moving quickly to help more people experience the uncompromised Lumia technologies, third-party apps and Microsoft services that we deliver on our flagship products.
"Lumia 530 underscores our commitment to making affordable smartphones for everyone, and introducing more people to the best of Microsoft."
Microsoft also announced the rechargeable "Bang by Coloud" portable speaker that can be daisy chained with other Bang speakers for a loud daisy chain of sound.
Like the Lumia 635, the 530 comes with changeable cover shells in "bright orange, bright green, and stylish neutrals dark grey and white".
Launcing in August in "selected markets", Australia will see the phone arrive later this year, although mobile phone grey import stores are likely to offer the phone locally before it's official release.
Lumia 530 specs:
- Windows Phone 8.1 with Lumia Cyan
- 4-inch FWVGA LCD display
- Up to 22 days standby, 13 hours of 2G talk time. Battery capacity: 1430mAh
- 3G HSPA+ 21Mbps/5.76Mbps, Wi-Fi (b/g/n), BT 4.0, micro-USB
- 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200
- 5 MP rear camera
- 512MB RAM, 4GB eMMC with up to 128GB micro SD card support