New Delhi: The Lumia 625 is a low-spec, low-cost oversized handset that could well have mass appeal.
Rumors and, of course full-blown leaks -- including press shots and specification sheets -- hinted strongly that the "Something Big" that Nokia was set to launch was an affordable Lumia phablet. And low and behold, at 9 am UK time Tuesday morning, the Finnish phonemaker unveiled the Lumia 625 -- the world's first Windows Phone phablet.
Despite being the biggest Nokia to date, the 625 will sit rather low in the deck in terms of performance. This is a low-to-mid-range device with a large 4.7-inch IPS LCD (i.e., low resolution) display, a dual core processor, 512 RAM and 8GB of internal storage -- which at least can be expanded to 64GB via microSD card (7GB of free SkyDrive cloud storage also comes as standard).
The phablet's 5-megapixel rear-facing camera will still pack quite a punch though, and results will be even better still thanks to Nokia' suite of apps, features and supporting technologies. What's more, it also supports 4G LTE for the fastest mobile internet connections.
The comparatively low specs suggest that Nokia is dipping its toes in the phablet pond: the device won't cost curious consumers an arm and a leg and if the device doesn't catch on in the way that Nokia hopes, it won't be too much further out of pocket.
The latest rumors point to Apple also getting ready to explore larger iPhone and even iPad screen sizes.
It's only 11 days since Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop took to the stage in New York to wow the assembled crowd with the photo-taking capabilities of the Lumia 1020, the world's first 41-megapixel camera smartphone and one that redefines smartphone photography.
In recent days, though the company reported further financial losses, it has also shown that there is clearly space for a third operating system when it comes to handheld mobile devices. Nokia's range of Windows 8 phones are outselling BlackBerry, with 7.4 million in the last quarter compared with 6.8 million for the Canadian firm (and Nokia's figures don't include HTC's and Samsung's Windows Phone handset sales), and almost a year after their launch, some of the bigger app developers are finally coming on board.
There still may be no sign of Instgram or any of Google's services, but a number of big names, including Flipboard have confirmed that Windows Phone 8 apps will be coming shortly, while earlier this month Bloomberg announced that it has launched an exclusive ‘hub' app for Nokia's Lumia range, giving users access to everything from news and video to tips sharing and stock market analytics tools.
With the Lumia 625, which will come in a range of colors including orange, green, yellow, white and black, the company now has yet another flavor of Windows Phone to offer potential consumers from China to the US to Europe who are willing to make the jump from Android or Apple or who are moving from feature phones to smartphones for the first time.
And while potential owners will need bigger hands and deeper pockets to carry the device, they won't need to be particularly strong as it only weighs 158g. Although final prices will depend on network carriers and contracts, the device is valued at €220 and is set to launch in China, Europe, Asia Pacific, India, Middle East, Africa and Latin America in Q3 2013.
First Published: Tuesday, July 23, 2013, 19:21