The world may be anxiously awaiting iPhone news, but with three new smartphones and some brand-new accessories to show off, it's business as usual for Microsoft.
Marking the end of the Nokia Lumia era, Microsoft's Lumias 830, 735 and 730 will all be available globally at the end of September. Here's what to expect from the new Windows Phone devices.
The selfie phones - the Lumia 730 and Lumia 735
If you’re a frequent Skyper or selfie enthusiast, the Lumia 730 and 735 mid-range devices are all about the camera. Both handsets include a wide-angle, 5-megapixel HD front-facing camera, as well as a 6.7-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash.
The front-facing camera is ideal for video calls and Skyping, and each device will also include one-tap Skype video call access during voice calls (as well as a free 3-month Skype Unlimited World subscription in some regions).
Each device has a 4.7-inch 1280x720 display, and will run Windows Phone 8.1 and receive the upcoming Lumia Denim update. Both the 730 and 735 feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and include 1GB of RAM and a 2220mAh battery. Each phone only includes 8GB of storage, but luckily Microsoft has added a microSD card slot to both handsets
So what’s the difference between devices? The Lumia 730 includes dual-SIM support, the Lumia 735 doesn’t – but it does support LTE, unlike the 730, and can be used with a wireless charging shell.
Both handsets come with a free 15GB of OneDrive storage, with the Lumia 730 priced at €199 ($257 US) and the Lumia 735 selling for €219 (around $283 US).
Lumia 830 - a mid-range flagship?
Next up is Microsoft’s new ‘affordable flagship’, the Lumia 830. Spec-wise, the 830 is a little more streamlined than other high-end devices, with a 1.2Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 40 processor, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage.
Featuring a 5-inch, 1280x720 display, the 830 includes a 10-megapixel PureView rear-facing camera with Zeiss optics, and what Microsoft is calling its ‘thinnest’ optical image stabilization system so far on a Lumia device. However, with a comparably unimpressive 1-megapixel front-facing camera, the 830 lacks the selfie-taking prowess of Microsoft’s other new Lumia releases.
The Lumia 830 also features a removable 2220mAh battery, integrated wireless charging, and runs Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8.1 operating system, with an over-the-air update to Lumia Denim coming soon. Each owner will receive 15GB of cloud storage via OneDrive as well as Microsoft Office Mobile, and can track their fitness with Microsoft’s SensorCore pedometer.
Microsoft plans to price the Lumia 830 at €330 before tax (about $427 US). While certainly not cheap, it's definitely a more budget-friendly price than what we can expect from the soon-to-be-announced iPhone 6 and other high-end devices.
Lumia Denim and smartphone accessories
Microsoft will be releasing several new Lumia accessories - including the DT-903 wireless charging plate, which has Bluetooth support, charges through the QI standard and can deliver alerts and notifications such as missed calls and texts.
The company has also announced the awkwardly-named Microsoft Screen-Sharing for Lumia Phones HD-10, which is a screen-sharing dongle that allows Lumia and Surface owners to send content from their devices to a HDMI display.
Finally, Lumia owners can look forward to the newest Lumia Denim update to Windows Phone 8.1 later in the year, which includes improvements to Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant (including the addition of always-on ‘active listening’) as well as a faster Lumia Camera app with 4K-quality video recording.