Telstra is already testing the new Nokia range of Windows 8.1 smartphones which will be the first smartphones in Australia with the new OS according to sources.
Among the new Nokia models to be launched by Telstra who are a key partner of Microsoft the now owners of Nokia is the Lumia 635, a 4G LTE/HSPA+42 smartphone.
The Lumia 635 will be the first device sold in Australia powered out of the box by the new Windows Phone 8.1 OS Telstra sources have confirmed.
At a Microsoft event last night Nokia executive VP Steven Elop said the device and a planned 3G version, called the Lumia 630, would bring the Lumia line “to much lower price points” and would be available in Australia by late July early August.
Elop also announced that the new Windows Phone 8.1 OS will be available as part of an over-the-air update for all Lumia phones this summer “following testing and partner approvals.” The update, called Lumia Cyan, will also incorporate new Lumia features.
At the Microsoft Build conference, Nokia also unveiled the higher end Windows 8.1 Lumia 930 with 5-inch FullHD screen and $599 price before taxes and subsidies, but the product won’t be marketed in the U.S. because it is similar to the Lumia Icon already available here, Elop said.
During the event, Elop described the 630 and 635 as an “entry point to Windows Phone without compromising performance.” The phones feature 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm CPU, 4.5-inch 854 by 480 display with 221 ppi, 512MB RAM, 5-megapixel main camera, 8GB capacity, 128GB MicroSD slot and Bluetooth 4.0.
The 3G 630 incorporates HSPA+21Mbps cellular-data technology in place of the 635’s HSPA+42Mbps and LTE technologies.
Both models also incorporate sensors to track location and motion for use with a Bing Health and Fitness app and other planned fitness apps. They also come with changeable color shells, Microsoft Office, free Nokia MixRadio streaming service and free Here global maps with turn-by-turn navigation.
New features enabled by the Windows Phone 8.1 OS include a Siri-like voice assistant called Cortana, a central hub for notification of messages from different apps and services, and Word Flow, said to be an intuitive smartphone keyboard that lets users glide a finger over the screen to let the device predict what users are going to type.
Windows Phone 8.1 also adds new Start Screen personalization features, such as an extra column of Live Tiles and ability to use pictures as background for each tile.
Also new are individual volume settings for such things as ringtones, music playback and the like.