With a retail price of €99 (around $135), the Nokia Lumia 530 promises to make Microsoft's mobile operating system accessible to a wider clientele. In light of its low price, it's no surprise that this four-inch Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone is not 4G-ready.
In terms of components, the Lumia 530 comes with a four-inch screen (854x480 pixels), a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 200 processor, a single 5MP camera, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage, which can be extended through a MicroSD card. Several Microsoft programs including Skype and Office come pre-installed.
The new model will be rolled out globally starting this August and will be offered in a single or double-SIM version. Users will be able to customize the phone with a variety of interchangeable cases available for €9.90 each (around $13) or with a special case with a screen-protection flap.
The Lumia 530 is the latest addition to the line crowned by Nokia's flagship phone, the Lumia 930, which sells in Europe for around €550 (around $740). A 4G smartphone with a five-inch screen of an impressive 441ppi resolution, the Lumia 930 is powered by a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor. The device also includes an NFC chip and a 20MP PureView camera with a stabilized Zeiss lens.
The family also includes the Nokia Lumia 630 and 635, marketed as more affordable alternatives that still deliver all the advantages of Windows Phone 8.1. Both devices are sold for around €169 ($229).
All of these Lumia handsets run Windows Phone 8.1. The latest version of Microsoft's mobile operating system presents several new features, including the Action Center for managing notifications, the intelligent personal assistant Cortana (in beta version), a configurable lock screen, a Word Flow screen for typing without lifting a finger from the screen. Finally, the new version also offers access to a revamped and revised Store, which is now better at highlighting apps that could interest a user and at automatically updating installed apps. While all of these elements are new to Windows Phone, equivalent features already exist on Android and iOS, which are currently the world's leading mobile operating systems.