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Nokia Launches New Lumias, Feature Phones at MWC

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 10:10am
Ben Munson

Kicking things off early on the first official day of Mobile World Congress, Nokia made a splash by announcing four new phones. The Finnish handset maker unveiled two new Windows Phones, the Lumia 520 and 720, as well as making good on rumors by showing off two new budget friendly feature phones, the 301 and 105.

The 720, due in Europe in March and priced around $330, showed up pulling down HSPA+ and bragging about its 6.7 megapixel camera’s aperture size (f/1.9). That goes along with its 4.3-inch display, 8GB of storage (expandable via MicroSD), 512MB of RAM and 2000 mAh battery.

The 520, which will show up in the U.S. on T-Mobile, is easier on the wallet at $185. Its 4-inch display is slightly smaller than the 720’s but many of its specs, like processor speed, RAM, storage and battery life are comparable. Its camera shoots photos at 5MB and video at 720p.

The first of Nokia’s two new feature phones, the 301, packs a lot of clever camera tricks like a self-timer, panoramic function, voice-assisted self-portrait mode and sequential shot mode, which allows you to snap a bunch of pictures quick and then pick the best shots after. The phone will be priced around $85 next quarter when it’s released and one-month battery life (standby), HSPA support, data compression, storage expandable up to 32GB and dual-SIM capabilities helps to compensate for no QWERTY or touchscreen.

The 105, due for release in the second quarter, carries an almost afterthought price tag of $20 along with its functions like flashlight, FM radio and 35-day standby battery life. The phone also boasts a dust- and splash-proof keypad and a color screen.

In a press release, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said, “The launches today reflect our commitment to broadening our devices and services portfolio to meet the demands of people and businesses around the globe.”

The global mobile phone market is crucial for Nokia and the company’s dominance is starting to come into question. The latest numbers from Gartner show Nokia had been bumped into second place in terms of global mobile phone market share, down to 19.1 percent, behind Samsung’s 22 percent. The same study noted that Nokia had claimed 23.8 percent of the worldwide phone market in 2011. In addition to Samsung, both ZTE and Huawei are considered threats to Nokia’s global presence.

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