Microsoft strips Nokia name from new budget-friendly Lumia phone

Microsoft debuts a new Lumia, without the original Nokia name.

Microsoft
At a $140 price point, Microsoft's Lumia 535 is targeting a budget-conscious section of the global smartphone market.

Microsoft revealed its newest Windows phone on a company blog post late Monday. While Microsoft acquired the phone manufacturer well over a year ago, this is the first time the company decided to forgo the Nokia branding on a Lumia device. In its place is the Microsoft brand name on the front and the minimal Windows logo on the back.

Microsoft calls the 535 model a “5x5x5” package, meaning it packs: a 5-inch screen, 5-megapixel cameras, and “free integrated Microsoft experiences” such as SkyDrive and OneNote. The phone will retail for about €110, just short of $140.

The phone features a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, and 8 GB of storage expandable with microSD cards. Of note is the phone’s front-facing camera, which touts a 5 MP resolution. This is huge compared to the 1.2 MP front-facing camera on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The specs are as you’d expect for a $140 phone -- moderate, not mediocre.

This isn’t the first nor will it be the last time Microsoft plays around with phones marketed toward budget-conscious markets. Earlier in April 2014, the company released three Nokia Lumia models, the 630, 635, and 930. The first two were budget models that had slight differences; one had a glossy surface and the other matte, one was released primarily for international markets and the other played nice with stateside carriers.

The 930, however, was on the higher end of the spec scale, touting a 20 MP camera, and that’s not even the furthest that Nokia went for the Lumia line’s rear camera.

That said, the Lumia name is looking a lot more like a sandbox to see what niches it can satisfy in the global market. The phone will most likely be marketed toward Asian markets, seeing that it's touting a dual SIM slot. It’s probably wise that they decided to eschew the US market with the 535 at a time when it’s still effusively preoccupied with the release of the iPhone 6/6 Plus and Samsung flagship phones.

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