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Nokia Lumia 710 coming in March

  • Optus and Virgin sole carriers
  • Entry level Windows Phone
  • Priced at $370 outright
Written by Adam Wajnberg
15/02/2012

 

Nokia has announced that they will be releasing their Lumia lines of Windows Phones in Australia, starting with the Lumia 710 in March. The phone will be carried exclusively by Optus and Virgin at launch.

The news follows an announcement at the end of January that the Lumia 800, a higher-specced version, will also be launching in March, on Optus, Vodafone and Telstra. The announcement was met with concern across the Aussie tech scene with speculation that the 800 model would retail at $899, when the prices on most electronics (including phones) have been coming down. The 710 model will sell outright for $370, though both phones will likely be available at reduced prices on 24 month plans.

Little Brother

The 710 will lack the polycarbonate frame of the 800 and the currently available N9, which is running the now defunct Meego operating system. The Lumia line is the first line of phones to come from Microsoft's strategic partnership with Nokia. Both of the big firms have been caught off guard by the emergence of Apple, Samsung and Google's Android in the mobile space in the last few years.

The 710 will run Windows Phone 7.5 ("Mango"), which contains over 500 improvements over Windows Phone 7. The Lumia 710 will be the second phone launched officially in Australian running 7.5, the first being the Samsung Omina W, now available through Telstra.

Successor to Windows Phone 7

Windows Phone 7 is available on a small range of handsets from HTC that have received little or no promotion, lending credence to the speculation that Microsoft is holding off on a big push of their hotly anticipated operating system until their partnership with Nokia has had time to breathe in the marketplace. But with the Windows Phone OS being a closed system, similar to Apple's iOS, it's worth considering that we may never see a huge range of phones carrying the operating system, the way Android has. This might be a good thing - Android phones are experiencing severe fragmentation, leading to some consumer confusion and developer frustration, having to develop apps that work across several different screen sizes and with different capabilities.

The 710 will carry some proprietary Nokia apps, including Nokia's own Navigation maps. It is expected to ship with a stero headset developed by Monster, the makers of high-quality stereo cables and the wildly popular Beats by Dr.Dre line of bass-heavy headphones.

Those interested should head on over to the Optus and Virgin pages to check out their range of plans, so you can be ready to take advantage of this release when it hits in a few weeks. Optus' best value plan right now is the $49 Cap Plan, which comes with a big $550 talk and text value, and a generous 1.5GB of data. Virgin's $49 Fair Go cap comes with $400 value, but 2GB of data for those who prefer email to texting.

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