Well, it looks like our speculation was right on as T-Mobile will be bringing the first Nokia Windows Phone to the United States when the Lumia 710 lands Jan. 11 for a cool $50.
Nokia and T-Mobile are squarely aiming for the first-time smartphone buyer with this move, as the $49.99 price point (after a $50 mail-in rebate) and the $49.99 service plan should alleviate some concerns about cost. While not as feature-packed as its older brother, the Lumia 710 is quite a powerful device in its own right. The handset has a 3.7-inch Clear Black screen, a 1.4 GHz processor, 5-megapixel camera and it will be able to utilize T-Mobile’s 4G network up to 14.4 Mbps down.
The Lumia 710 will also come with Windows Phone Mango and a few special Nokia apps. The first is Nokia Drive and it offers free, audible turn-by-turn directions and it should be a welcome addition. ESPN will also be creating a special app for this Nokia Windows Phone and Nokia’s Mix Radio should land in the Marketplace soon and it offers free streaming music, similar to Pandora. Nokia said the Netflix app will also be preloaded and you can also expect some T-Mobile apps to be on the device.
One thing I really like is that Nokia will be setting up a concierge service which offers free assistance over the phone. This could be about setting up your device, power user tips and tricks or nearly any other form of troubleshooting. This is a good way for first-time smartphone users to get some free help and it could also help Nokia relaunch itself back in the United States.
I had a chance to play with the Lumia 710 at Nokia World and it’s definitely a nice device but I question the strategy of bringing the lower model in first. I’m a firm believer that first-time smartphone buyers should get the best smartphone they can afford because that extra $50-$100 won’t really matter over the life of the contract but the performance of the higher-end device in 16 months will.
With that said, the Lumia 710 is not clunker and it should be a nice device that’s well-received. Nokia stressed to me that it and T-Mobile will make a larger push to emphasize the user interface and people-centric nature of Windows Phone during promotions, so perhaps that can resonate and help Microsoft gain some traction. Check out our hands-on time with the Lumia 710 from Nokia World and you can view all the press shots T-Mobile sent us below the video.
Any of you tempted to pick this up?