Nokia has thrown its hat into the budget ring with the Lumia 530, an affordable handset with low-end yet capable specs. The 530 is the cheapest Windows Phone device yet, offering a 4-in display and quad core processor.
Though we tend to pay more attention to high-end, flagship handsets like the LG G3 or Samsung Galaxy S5, there’s a growing industry trend of low-cost smartphones with low-end but reasonably capable internals. Devices like the Moto E, with its low-powered quad core CPU and reasonably spacious but low quality display, personify this trend.
Spec-wise, the Lumia 530 isn’t anything special, offering a 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 (the same chip found in the Moto E) and a 4-in FWVGA display with a resolution of 854 x 480, giving it 245 pixels per inch. That isn't even close to the amount of pixels than you’ll find on a high or even mid-range display, but since the handset does retail for significantly less than a device in either of those categories, that shouldn't be too surprising.
At 512 MB, there’s a little less RAM than some devices in this category, but the 4 GB of internal storage is pretty standard. Luckily, the device is fitted with a microSD slot, allowing for expansion up to 128 GB.
The handset runs on Windows Phone 8.1, giving it access to Cortana, Microsoft’s alternative to Siri or Google Now.
A portable speaker will launch alongside the handset, known as the the Bang mini by Coloud. The miniature speaker connects to the Lumia 530 (or presumably any other device) by means of its 3.5 mm headset jack. The speaker is rechargeable, lasting 8 hours before it needs plugging in again, and users can chain several of the speakers together for a bigger sound. Like the Lumia 530, the Bang mini is designed for budget minded consumers, and will retail for €19 (US$26).
As for the Lumia 530 itself, it will be available in both single and dual SIM versions and will retail for €85 ($114) before taxes and subsidies. The 530 will be rolled out globally starting in August 2014. There’s no word on which regions will get the handset first.