The software is the biggest innovation. The phone’s home screen consists of colorful tiles that display important content, such as news, weather forecasts, and social network updates. There are no buttons on the front of the handset. A user would navigate back to the home page by swiping. A feature called People Hub aggregates information on a user’s contacts from different social networks alongside a “what’s new” feed.
The Nokia phones use the latest Windows Phone 7 operating system, called Mango, which lets apps run simultaneously. An Xbox Live hub also provides a central location for games, and integration with a user’s home console. Kevin Shields, Nokia’s senior vice president of program and product management, emphasized custom applications that were created for its Windows phones, including a voice-guided GPS navigation system and a music-streaming service.
The Lumia 800’s 16 gigabytes of storage may be low for some, but it does come with 25 gigabytes of Skydrive cloud storage. Cloud computing is likely to be an important feature of newer smart phones. Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 5, includes iCloud, which stores images, music, documents, and other content, and syncs that content between different devices.
The Lumia 800 goes on sale next month at around 420 euros (U.S. $584) in the U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands. Nokia said it would launch the phone in Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore, and Taiwan by the end of the year, adding that it would release a “portfolio” of Windows phones in the U.S. early next year.
The Lumia 710, at around 270 euros (U.S. $360), is aimed at the more budget-conscious, with the same processor but eight gigabytes of internal storage, 15 gigabytes of Skydrive storage, and a smaller battery. It has a slightly different design, with curved edges.
Nokia also unveiled several non-Windows phones—the Asha 200, 201, 300, and 303—aimed at emerging markets.