Nokia unveils first Windows Phone devices, €420 'hero' handset Lumia 800 due to hit Europe in November

Coupled with budget-conscious Lumia 710

Nokia unveils first Windows Phone devices, €420 'hero' handset Lumia 800 due to hit Europe in November
Nokia might not own its leading smartphone platform, but at Nokia World in London, CEO Stephen Elop outlined the firm's plan to firmly take charge of Windows Phone's future.

The headline announcement was the unveiling of Nokia's first two Windows Phone handsets: leading the line is the Lumia 800, which sports a 3.7 inch AMOLED curved display, 16GB of internal memory, an 8MP Carl Zeiss lens equipped camera and a 1.4 GHz processor.

Launching for €420 in major European territories this November – the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands the first up – Nokia confirmed Lumia 800 will cross the Atlantic to the US in early 2012, before rolling out across China during the first half of next year.

Aiming for amazing

Lumia 800 will be coupled with a major marketing campaign – which, in the UK at least, has already kicked off – pushing the tag 'amazing everyday'.

Interestingly, Nokia will also put Windows Phone's tile-based UI at the forefront of all its marketing activities, with Nokia's Kevin Shields claiming the firm is determined to show consumers there is an alternative to "lame grids of app icons, sat there doing nothing" with what Nokia was keen to bill as the "first real Windows Phone".

As expected, Nokia will also bring its own software into play to differentiate its devices from other Windows Phone handsets.

As standard, Lumia 800 will ship with Nokia Drive – a turn-by-turn navigation tool with scores of locations and points of interest pre-programmed into the app.

The firm also announced a new music portal – Nokia Music – which will stream tracks from specific audiences, or even download whole mixes to your device to play when out of signal range, all for free.

Finally, Nokia unveiled a partnership with ESPN to deliver a Nokia-only sports app for Windows Phone, plus a dedicated augmented reality tool designed to make the most of the handset's camera.

Second string

All such apps will also ship on the firm's more budget-conscious Lumia 710.

Available for €270 - and, for the time being at least, exclusive to Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan - Lumia 710 packs in the same 1.4 GHz processor and graphics accelerator as the Lumia 800, and will come in both black and white.

Harking back to Nokia's roots, users will also be able to change the handset's back plate to match whatever colour theme for the OS they opt for - black, white, cyan, fuchsia and yellow back covers all available.

It's the firm's updated Series 40 devices – branded under the new family name of Asha – that will really spearhead the firm's attack on emerging markets, however, with Nokia aiming to tap up the next billion smartphone consumers.

The Asha 300, Asha 200, Asha 201 and Asha 303 will benefit from an Angry Birds deal with Rovio, all retailing between €60 and €120 at launch.

But it's with the Lumia 800 that Nokia will look to fend of the rise of iPhone and Android in the west, with pre-orders for the device kicking off on the firm's website imminently.

[source: Nokia]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.