Nokia Lumia Phones Are Beautiful, but Hardly Competitive
After having trouble competing with Android and Apple smartphones Nokia today came out with the new Nokia Lumia phones in hopes of bringing back some of its former glory. Nokia calls these the first “real” Windows Phones, and they’re a product of a partnership it recently struck with Microsoft.
The star of the Lumia line is Lumia 800 with an almost identical design to that of N9, a 3.7-inch screen, a single-core 1.4Ghz CPU, 512Mb of RAM, 16GB of storage (no SD card slot), and an 8 megapixel camera capable of recording 720p HD video.
The lower end Lumia 710 has a different design, a little bit thicker and cheaper looking, and features 8GB of storage, and 5 megapixel camera.
Of course, both run the latest Windows Phone 7 Mango and also feature a few of Nokia’s own apps.
I have to say this is actually rather underwhelming from the get go. Competing iPhone and Android smartphones have dual core processors, more storage offerings, and are able to record 1080p video. They also have a front facing camera which Nokia seems to have completely forgotten about.
It certainly isn’t a bad smartphone in its own right, and it might even be among the best Windows Phones, but I strongly doubt this will be enough to woo people away from the likes of Samsung Galaxy S2 or iPhone 4S. And they’re certainly not doing Microsoft any favors by making this a flagship Windows Phone.
To really be competitive, and to make the Windows Phone 7 platform much more attractive they need to at the very least match if not exceed the functionality and power of other phones, or otherwise offer an obvious killer app to compensate. I don’t see Nokia doing either of those things.
It does have some things going for it, which might win it some staying power even if it wont make a dent to the Android-Apple duopoly. It is probably the best looking Windows Phone. The design is quite slick and beautiful, even if it is the one we’ve already seen. Want a slick Windows Phone that isn’t HTC? Lumia 800 might be a good choice.
It might also attract some people on the basis of manufacturing in Europe as opposed to using cheap labor in Asia, although something tells me only a minority is really aware of or cares enough of this difference to dictate much of their purchasing decision.
In addition to the Lumia series Nokia also launched an Asha line of lower end phones running Nokia’s Series 40 system. They are the Asha 200, 201, 300 and 303.
Asha 200 and 201 have a full size keyboard and a relatively small screen, and comes in a variety of colors. Judging from the ads the main target market appear to be young people who don’t necessarily need everything a full scale smartphone offers, or can’t afford it anyway.
Asha 300 and 303 both feature a touch screen in addition to a physical keyboard, but Asha 300 only has a standard numpad while the 303 offers a full size keyboard. Of all of them Asha 303 comes closest to being a full blown smartphone as we know them.
These obviously don’t belong in the same category as Lumia, but show that Nokia is still intent on holding on to the low end markets, which may help its bottom line. However, as the future progresses and full blown smartphones continue replacing feature phones I think Nokia is gonna have to do a little better than Lumia to really get ahead.