At Nokia World this morning, the Finnish cellphone maker finally unveiled its inaugural Windows Phones to the planet. As we all know, Microsoft spent a lot of time courting the company in an effort to expand their influence to developing markets: places where Nokia currently thrives. But does this pair of new hardware have what it takes to elevate Microsoft’s mobile efforts?
Microsoft is no stranger to dumping billions of dollars into what might be a lost cause. They did it with Xbox, they continue to do it with their online services like Bing and MSN, and it appears that Windows Phone isn’t going to be any different. These new Nokia phones – the similarly specced Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 – are bright, colorful, feature beautiful AMOLED displays (the best!), and aren’t even going to be available in the States until next year. That’s right, they’re bringing the phones out internationally first, but promise CDMA (Sprint/Verizon) and LTE support are coming, too. These new Lumias are also being unveiled before even the American carriers announce any details on the Windows Phones coming out here this year. While this is Nokia’s event, it’s still not hard to pinch Microsoft a little for not being any sort of consistent about their announcement plans with phones announced here and there without much in the way of specifics. But we’ve talked about this before.
These phones are gorgeous (if a bit too similar) and on the pricier side, but even with Nokia’s exclusive apps, like Drive (free turn-by-turn navigation right from the phone) and ESPN Sports Hubs, these phones, like the rest in the leaked lineup, still seem a little too close to spec to be very special. The fact that this comes hot on the heels of Google’s recent Android announcements just isn’t winning me back to the Windows Phone camp after being wowed by the Galaxy Nexus.
Well, best of luck this holiday, Microsoft. You’re gonna need it.