Nokia introduces unlocked $249 Windows Phone 8 device, Nokia Lumia 620 — no contract required

Android has proliferated the world in part due to cheap low-end and mid-range Android handsets. When Nokia first teamed up with Microsoft on Windows Phone, it promised to challenge the competition (i.e. Android and iPhone) on price. So far, Nokia really hasn’t been very aggressive, in terms of price, to put heat on Android or iPhone. Sure Nokia has introduced some modestly priced Windows Phone handsets, but nothing really noteworthy. Until now.

Nokia has just unveiled Lumia 620, a Windows Phone 8 for $249 unlocked and without contract. That means you can go purchase this device for $249 (plus tax, depending on where you live) without having to sign a cumbersome contract with a telecom. However, unlike Google who featured the top-of-the-line Nexus 4 for $299, Lumia 620 is more mid-range (maybe even low-end, depending on who you ask). How much mid-range, you ask? This much:

  • Display: 3.8” TFT WVGA 800×480, ClearBlack
  • Processor: 1 GHz Dual Core Snapdragon (TM) S4
  • Memory: 512MB RAM (8GB internal memory, Micro SD support up to 64GB)
  • Camera: 5Mpix autofocus, LED flash; Video capture: HD 720p@30fps; VGA front camera
  • Connectivity: NFC, WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4Ghz + 5Ghz, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS/A-GPS, Glonass, micro-USB, 3.5mm audio connector (AHJ + WP Controls)
  • Size & weight: 115.4 x 61.1 x 11.02 mm; 127g (including battery)
  • Networks: WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100
    GSM/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
  • Battery Talk time: (GSM/WCDMA) Up to 14.6 h/ up to 9.9 h; Standby time: Up to 330 h

The big question here is: is $249 enough to entice consumers? Hmm… I don’t know.

While it is nice to see dual-core Snapdragon, dual-band WiFi, NFC, and expandable storage, it is hard to see how a 3.8-inch device will challenge cheap Android phones from the likes of Huawei, ZTE, and other Android manufacturers in 2013. Or even Google; for $50 more you can grab a top-of-the-line Android device (which, admittedly, doesn’t have up to 64GB expandable storage). It doesn’t matter how smooth performance the phone may have (or may not have — I haven’t tried it myself so I cannot vouch either way); screen size is very important to most smartphone buyers and with even cheap Android devices coming with screens larger than 4-inches nowadays, 3.8-inches may not cut it. Then again, some people may like it smaller. (No sexual innuendo implied. Get your mind out of the gutter.)

In any case, Lumia 620 will be available for $249 (plus tax, if applicable) in Africa, Europe, and Asia starting Q1 2013. Yep, it doesn’t seem like the phone will be available across the pond, sadly enough.

[via Nokia]

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