Like all Windows Phones, its interface uses Microsoft's Metro interface and Live Tiles, which display real-time updates from social networks, e-mail, messaging, and other services, directly to the home screen.
Nokia and T-Mobile are aiming the Lumia 710 at consumers who aren't looking for a top-of-the-line phone, but still want solid performance and all the basic features of a smartphone. "Our research shows that nearly everybody in the U.S. wants a smartphone, but many believe they can't afford it," said T-Mobile USA chief marketing officer Cole Brodman, in a statement.
Nokia Americas president Chris Weber said the device is "the perfect first-time smartphone: a well-designed product that delivers the most compelling Windows Phone experience in its price range."
Nokia does plan to introduce higher-end Windows Phone offerings into the U.S. market. Next in line is the Lumia 800. The 800 is armed with an ultra-bright ClearBlack Amoled screen that adds cyan and magenta to the standard RGB electronic display spectrum. It's also got a camera that uses Carl Zeiss optics and HD video playback.
A U.S. ship date for the Lumia 800 has not been specified, but at his keynote presentation at CES Monday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said the device would be available "in the growing base of Microsoft physical stores, unlocked, in the next few months."
Also in the pipeline is the Lumia 900, which will be Nokia's first Windows Phone designed to run on AT&T's high-speed LTE network. Ballmer said the "blazing fast" Lumia 900 would be "heavily promoted" in all of AT&T's 2,400 U.S. stores. Microsoft did not provide ship dates or pricing details for the Lumia 900, though it's expected to debut within the next few months.
Microsoft and Nokia announced a broad alliance last February. Under the deal, Nokia, which is now headed by former Microsoft exec Stephen Elop, will eventually make Windows Phone its exclusive operating system for mobile products.
Ready to catch the Metro? Windows 8 is a major shift, with features borrowed from desktop gadgets and mobile devices, and it brings a slew of new paradigms for developers. Our report, IT Pro Impact: Windows Developer Road Map, shows you what you need to know. (Free registration required.)
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