Nokia unveiled the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 on Wednesday in London at the annual Nokia World gathering for customers, partners and developers. (See Nokia Has to Rock Its World and Nokia Launches Windows Phones.)
During the Nokia World webcast, there was even a video call with the head of Nokia's manufacturing facility in Salo, Finland, who was boxing up the Lumia 800s to load onto trucks bound for those initial six European markets -- an effort to show that the devices are actually shipping and ready to reach consumers.
The flagship Lumia 800, which costs €420 (US$585), will be available in November in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the U.K. Before the end of the year, it will also be available in Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan. Additional markets will be added early next year. The device can be pre-ordered from today.
The less-expensive Lumia 710, which costs €270 ($376), will be available in Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan by the end of this year. It is expected to come to the U.K. in early 2012.
The Lumias will ship to China in the first half of 2012.
What about the U.S.? Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said the company will have a Windows Phone-based portfolio for the U.S. market in early 2012.
Kevin Shields, Nokia's senior vice president of program and product management for smart devices, introduced the Lumia 800 and 710 smartphones and declared in Steve Ballmer-esque style, "Our ambition is to surprise you at every turn … First of all, it looks awesome!"
He described the 800 as a "beauty on the outside … a beast on the inside." And here's what it's got:
- 1.4GHz processor (Qualcomm's Snapdragon)
- 8-megapixal camera
- High-definition video playback
- 3.7-inch AMOLED curved screen
- 16GB internal memory
- the Live Tile user interface that continuously updates apps on the homepage, such news and weather.
Trying to set these devices apart from other Windows Phone smartphones, Nokia has added three new services: Nokia Drive, voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation; Nokia Music, a free collection of full-length tracks and hundreds of mixes; and a sports service developed in partnership with ESPN.
Elop said Nokia has signed up 31 operators and retailers in the initial six European markets. "Each is committed to significant levels of marketing investment," he said. "It's three times the level of marketing investment compared to any launch in Nokia's history."
And that's an important note, because now Nokia has to sell these smartphones.
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile