back to article 3 spectastic Lumias for price of 1 rival flagship: Microsoft sells biz on cheapie experience

Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop emerged from cryogenic storage at Microsoft to announce two new phones and give a glimpse of mobile Office for Windows 10. But not a lot – more will be revealed at Microsoft’s developer event, Build, in April. Elop, who hasn’t been seen much since Microsoft completed its acquisition of Nokia’s …

  1. Arnold Lieberman

    Excellent pricing

    Looks like they are doing for phones what they have recently done with tablets - with those prices they're giving the Chinese brands a run for their money - dual SIM LTE for £200 is what I paid for a Zopo ZP999 (which admittedly has a faster processor). If only they weren't running Windows... unlike the tablet I picked up for £140 which runs Windows 8.1 pro on a 2048x1536 screen and fits iPad Air accessories.

    Until people actually want Windows on a phone it's going to be a tough sell.

    1. JimmyPage

      Re: Excellent pricing

      Until people actually want Windows on a phone it's going to be a tough sell.

      It seems to be the phone of choice in "House of Cards 3" ...

      1. AceRimmer

        Re: Excellent pricing

        "It seems to be the phone of choice in "House of Cards 3" ..."

        Thanks for the spoiler warning!

        1. JimmyPage
          Happy

          HOC S3 spoliers

          you're welcome ;)

          MrsJP and I are watching an episode a night (because we're old !). With going to a live event (yes, we still get out) on Friday, we're looking forward to E3 tonight.

          There's a couple of scenes where phones - Windows phones - are quite clearly identifiable. Either visually, or aurally.

          However Macs are also quite prominent ....

          1. cambsukguy

            Re: HOC S3 spoliers

            And the Will Smith movie Focus on at the moment in theatres near you has two main characters using Lumia 1020s, very obviously in one particular scene - more noticeable than other phones I guess.

            1. jgarbo
              Trollface

              Re: HOC S3 spoliers

              Gee, do you think the stars actually chose their phones for the movie? Or MS paid a packet to get the things on screen? A mystery.

      2. asdf

        Re: Excellent pricing

        >It seems to be the phone of choice in "House of Cards 3" ...

        That desktop monopoly sure can fund some sweet product placement even if not share in other markets.

    2. Robert E A Harvey

      Re: Excellent pricing

      Yes, that's my feeling too. Sensible prices for what you get, if only you got something else.

    3. dogged

      Re: Excellent pricing

      which tablet was that, Arnold?

      1. Arnold Lieberman

        Re: Excellent pricing

        Thank you for asking :)

        Teclast X98 Air II. Cheekily named, basically a shell the same size as an iPad Air 1 with the same screen but with an Atom 3736F processor. Can run Windows and Android, even has a dual boot option.

        So far it seems to do the job more than adequately and once the correct drivers were installed battery drain on connected standby was down to 70mAh (this was an issue until recently). There's a large XDA thread on it and the 3G-equipped version.

        1. chris 17 Silver badge

          Re: Excellent pricing

          @ Arnold Lieberman

          how many hours do you estimate you spent setting up and optimising this to work as you like it?

    4. petur

      Re: Excellent pricing

      The problem is companies are buying this...

      Second company/customer I've seen this rolled out now, replacing featurephones 'if sms/mail/calendar works it is ok'. Apps are not missed...

      Battery life didn't arrive so well with the former featurephone users, they were advising each other to switch off wifi and use mobile data only, I guess they'll be in for a surprise when that phonebill comes :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Excellent pricing

        "Battery life didn't arrive so well with the former featurephone users, they were advising each other to switch off wifi and use mobile data only"

        Battery life and performance on Windows Phone is significantly better than Android on the same hardware. This was demonstrated last year when a manufacturer released the exact same phone in both a Windows Phone and an Android version.

    5. JonP

      Re: Excellent pricing

      Until people actually want Windows on a phone

      I'm sure it's been mentioned before, but Microsoft continuing to call their phone OS "Windows" is probably 90% of the problem.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Excellent pricing

        Maybe they should call the OS "Bob"?

        1. Bob Vistakin
          Pint

          Re: Excellent pricing

          @Mark 85 Steady on now...

      2. asdf

        Re: Excellent pricing

        >Microsoft continuing to call their phone OS "Windows" is probably 90% of the problem.

        Not sure why the fanbois are down voting you except perhaps because they enjoying being the app challenged outliers.

      3. Richie 1

        Re: Excellent pricing

        > Microsoft continuing to call their phone OS "Windows" is probably 90% of the problem

        What's a word for a small window? Gets thesaurus out...

        *LucarneOS*

        Much better. That'll be $5M please Microsoft.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Excellent pricing

      "Until people actually want Windows on a phone it's going to be a tough sell."

      Windows Phone already has 26% of sales in the UK enterprise and SME markets - that's only 2% behind Apple....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Excellent pricing

        So in the one market you would expect to see Microsoft to dominate (Enterprise) they are in second place.

        And that market is a very small sliver of the total market place.

        I know you think you are bragging but I see it as another example of Microsoft's failing to capture market share (That is not a statement of the worth of the product just the facts of where the sales are - you can fill in the reason that works for you)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Excellent pricing

          "So in the one market you would expect to see Microsoft to dominate (Enterprise) they are in second place."

          Third place - Android is first. Windows Phone enterprise market share is growing very rapidly. And I do expect them to be first in the next few years, but they needed a mature product to get there, and Windows Phone has only relatively recently reached that state.

          "And that market is a very small sliver of the total market place."

          But it's a particularly profitable section of the total marketplace.

          "I see it as another example of Microsoft's failing to capture market share"

          26% and growing rapidly doesn't sound like a failure to me. In the enterprise sector at least they are growing much faster than the competition.

          1. asdf

            Re: Excellent pricing

            >But it's a particularly profitable section of the total marketplace.

            Enterprise? Where bean counters look over every expense? If enterprise was so much more lucrative than consumer, Apple wouldn't be two to three times bigger (depending on measure) than Microsoft now.

      2. asdf

        Re: Excellent pricing

        >Windows Phone already has 26% of sales in the UK enterprise and SME markets - that's only 2% behind Apple....

        Way to cherry pick a market they are doing well in and a giant one at that (not so much).

  2. marky_boi

    I bought one in AU for $39

    I bought one to see why people who had previously owned one hated it with a passion. I cant type the long list of minor annoyances that added up to me putting it in the bin. Number 1 pet peeve was internet exploder, slowing and then dying ALL the time. Couldn't stream live music from the local radio station, it was death by 1000 cuts.

    I can now say I have had one, and will never ever encourage anyone to buy one....I don't was the blame and wrath directed my way

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Re: I bought one in AU for $39

      Interesting, I stream music on a 40 mile trip with no issues. Granted it's Nokia's app, not local radio, half of whom seemed to be still stuck using flash, but for me, streaming is no issue.

      Never have an issue with IE and of course, you could always use Opera, if it was that big a deal.

      So I'm happy to recommend one to people.

    2. dogged

      Re: I bought one in AU for $39

      I can see the previous owner sold that one - it was obviously a duff model.

      Not one single reviewer (who doesn't outright work for Google) agrees with you.

    3. RyokuMas

      Re: I bought one in AU for $39

      "internet exploder, slowing and then dying ALL the time"

      What sites were you browsing? I develop cross platform apps and games, and obviously I'm trying to keep the UX as close as possible between platforms (while staying true to native features, naturally). I've yet to see any browser slowdown on any of my test devices, so this would be useful info to have. Cheers!

    4. Hellcat

      Re: I bought one in AU for $39

      You bought a handset that has only just been announced for less than the announced cost? That's impressive.

      Unless you meant in general, but then I've owned my 1020 for over 18 months and don't see any of the issues you suggest. The browser seems to run at a decent speed, and renders most websites fine in desktop and mobile versions. The couple of radio stations I've tried to stream worked fine, however I prefer to use Tunein to get a standardised experience free from bloat and adverts.

  3. Sir Gaz of Laz

    I surely can't be the only one who immediately thought 'balloon...hot air'?

  4. Waspy

    I have a high opinion of WinPho

    It isn't perfect but I think it is probably more appropriate for many people than an iphone or samsung which costs 3-4 times the price. This is when you discover there are two types of people in this regard: the ones who have never heard of WinPho "hahaha, windows on a phone? Why would I want that, is it gonna crash all the time..." etc etc. And the second type who have actually used it and on the whole seems to really like it.

    Good luck to MS, seems like if they can make more inroads with this strategy into enterprise then people will be exposed to WinPho more (and possibly actually want to use it personally). And don't get me started on businesses that waste thousands on iphones when Lumias and Moto Gs exist...

  5. Michael B.

    Cheapie LTE World Phone

    According to the band listing on GSMArena the Dual Sim LTE variants support 9 LTE bands a piece which would make it a great world phone for me, Dual SIM and a high likelihood of being able to get LTE service where ever I go.

  6. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Shurely shome mishtake?

    You also get 60 landline minutes a month and 1TB of data

    Sounds like a torrentor's dream and would probably burn through even Microsoft's vast cash pile pretty quickly.

    1. d3vy

      Re: Shurely shome mishtake?

      I suspect the 1tb of data means 1tb of cloud storage on One Drive (This is standard with Office 365 as far as I remember) there is NO WAY that it means mobile data.

    2. dogged

      Re: Shurely shome mishtake?

      Good point. Well spotted. This might be a misinterpretation of 1TB SkyOneDrive data storage but is very unlikely to be 1TB of actual data.

      Although if it is data, I want one.

    3. Tokoloshe

      Re: Shurely shome mishtake?

      That'll be 1TB of OneDrive space - MS offer the same with a standard Office 365 subscription.

  7. Roger B

    Nice pricing

    I use a 625 as a mini tablet, if Windows (Phone) 10 works as expected, I may take the upgrade of the 640, potentially cheaper than getting myself a new Win 10 tablet.

  8. JimmyPage
    Boffin

    MTP support ?

    Just a tip to anyone whose OS of choice is Linux.

    Windows Phone only supports MTP for syncing and streaming music. This effectively means if syncing music is a big deal to you you either

    1) Ignore Windows Phone)

    2) Get used to Windows 7/8/10 with Windows Media Player (yes, it's not dead) as despite the 4 or 5 hours I have invested in learning all there is to know about MTP, I can only sync via a Windows PC.

    I'm not assigning blame (yet !) but it seems Linux MTP doesn't like MS MTP.

    1. d3vy

      Re: MTP support ?

      I would have thought that you would be able to mount it and drag and drop files as if it was an external drive? You certainly could with my old phone (Cant remember if I ever did this on linux though).

      The older windows phones were quite limited, but 7.5 onwards should be fine?

      Also, worst case just take the memory card out and plug it into the PC...

      1. JimmyPage
        Mushroom

        Re: MTP support ?

        Clearly you missed the bit where I said "only connect via MTP" ?

        And you can't just put the files on the card. Windows Phone has a -proprietary storage architecture for content. Trying to copy files directly, either (a) loses them, or (b) corrupts the system completely.

        I'm happy to be challenged by someone who's done it. Less impressed by someone who clearly hasn't ...

        1. dogged

          Re: MTP support ?

          I have a Lumia 930. I can drop media files onto the hard drive from File Explorer and they work just fine...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: MTP support ?

            In Windows ? Or (as the PP stated) Linux ?

            1. dogged

              Re: MTP support ?

              > In Windows ? Or (as the PP stated) Linux ?

              Last time I did it was from the xubuntu laptop I've got running at home.

              They were only mp3s though, nothing complex.

              1. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

                Re: MTP support ?

                I have a 1020 and an old XP laptop. They don't get on.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: MTP support ?

          Can I assume that you are using an old phone?

          As pointed out above 7.5 and up supported drag and drop and windows recognises the device as mass storage.

          http://www.windowscentral.com/windows-phone-8-and-media-files

    2. Alistair
      Coat

      Re: MTP support ?

      Sadly JimmyP, Linux MTP doesn't like *android* MTP. And JellyBean doesn't like doing "usb disk" any more. (samsung devices and fedora here)

      1. JimmyPage
        Thumb Up

        Re: [Android] MTP support ?

        I haven't messed around with Android yet - my main phone is a [work] WinPho, so that's where I do most work.

        I did notice that there are reports that post ICS versions of Android dropped mass USB support. The fact that Google do things like this is a very good argument against Android IMHO. That and it's overall flakiness.

        Has anyone else discovered how to enable developer mode on later Android versions ? It's quite a masonic handshake isn't it ?

  9. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Buy Crazy Nadella's Crazy Discount Phones

    At this price, you'd be crazy not to want one.

    Please...? Somebody?

    Okay, we'll cross subsidize them a bit more, somebody's got to bite eventually.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    wait, what?

    "The camera is decent for a low/mid-range phone, 13MP with Zeiss optics."

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge
      Stop

      Re: wait, what?

      Fail. You have seen the marketing words 13MP and Zeiss and think it must be excellent.

      You have missed the 30 second shutter delay, failure to auto-focus 99% of the time, and requirement for a 1kW light because of poor low-light performance. (Parameters made up to show how MP and Zeiss are not everything, and probably don't apply to this particular phone)

      1. Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen - he was #1!

        Re: wait, what?

        Source?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: wait, what?

        At no point in time did I assume that it was excellent, but without further information it's also difficult to accept "decent for a low/mid-range phone" (which to me is another way of saying it sucks)

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: wait, what?

        "You have missed the 30 second shutter delay, failure to auto-focus 99% of the time, and requirement for a 1kW light because of poor low-light performance"

        Nokia / Windows phone shooting speed has been much improved by the latest OS version. Auto focus on WP is in my experience generally better and faster than any say any Samsung Android handset. Nokia / Microsoft cameras also have by far the best low light performance of any mobile phone. They tend to have much better colour accuracy and lower noise photos than the competition too.

        See for instance: http://blogs.which.co.uk/technology/phones-3/low-light-photos-nokia-lumia-925-vs-iphone-5-vs-samsung-galaxy-s4/

      4. Andy Hards

        Re: wait, what?

        The low light photos are fantastic on my 920 and the wife's 530 and I don't know where you are getting 30 second shutter delay.

        For quite a while people who take a lot of photos have been buying Lumias for the simple reason that they take great shots.

        However I think this will be my last one if they don't bring out a better flagship this year.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I had a lumia 1020 having got bored of iPhones. I have to say as an OS, I actually really liked it, and found it very usable. My only criticism, which can be levelled at most immature/ still evolving OSes was a lack of joining up of various features.

    I've have an iPhone again now (work...), but would happily have another WinPho.

    1. A Butler

      2nd that have a Lumia 925 great user experience...

      I have to 2nd that, I have a Lumia 925 apart from the battery life which under very heavy usage will barely last the day, I love the device.

      I have a take it or leave it attitude on the iPhone however the 6 has a great battery.

      As for Android I despise it. Almost all devices I ever have to configure are loaded with crap apps, bogus software and even worse "anti-virus" software that you have to wade through before any setup of business apps. It really is the wild west of mobile OS's that needs some form of quality control from the play store.

      Expect the downvotes to follow from all the android followers...

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: 2nd that have a Lumia 925 great user experience...

        I really like the WP UI/UX (and I guess the OS by extension) and of course the 1020 is pretty amazing hardware - I got a 64Mb one for £240 which is just crazy.

        It does still seem a bit rough somehow though. The browser is fine but just isn't quite right in some way I cannot fathom.

        And some sites refuse to let me load the desktop version even if I tell the browser... which combined with shortage of decent apps means some sites I just cannot use. SoundCloud for example - I can't actually log in in the browser and rely on a 3rd-party app which lacks upload functionality.

      2. Magnus Ramage

        Re: 2nd that have a Lumia 925 great user experience...

        I'm very pleased you love your Lumia 925. My wife has the low-end Lumia (520?) and both she and I think it's great and excellent value.

        Regarding Android and crapware, do you count stock Android in your critique? It doesn't match with my experience of two recent mid-range-but-cheap Android devices, the Moto G (2013) and the Tesco Hudl 2. Both are near-stock with just a few added apps of reasonable quality. Certainly no anti-virus nonsense, dubious launchers, or anything I'd really call crapware (the Hudl is closer to this with its Tesco branding, but that stuff is easy to remove or ignore). And Nexus devices are better still in this regard. I

        Not trying to start a flamewar, just observing that my experience doesn't quite fit with what you say.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'd be a lot happier with mine if the bluetooth wasn't so flaky, the web browser allowed me to go "back", the mail client handled attachments, it didn't require a reconfiguration of my mail server's authentication mechanism, the requirement to create all your contacts in the cloud was dropped, MTP support was better, the volume settings weren't so weird, it could be switched off while charging, I could remove a profile picture, the filesystem was browseable and I could use an existing mp3 as a ringtone without going home and plugging it into a suitable computer.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I'd be a lot happier with mine if the bluetooth wasn't so flaky, the web browser allowed me to go "back", the mail client handled attachments, it didn't require a reconfiguration of my mail server's authentication mechanism, the requirement to create all your contacts in the cloud was dropped, MTP support was better, the volume settings weren't so weird, it could be switched off while charging, I could remove a profile picture, the filesystem was browseable and I could use an existing mp3 as a ringtone without going home and plugging it into a suitable computer."

        You need to get a WP8 or WP8.1 handset. Those issues (except maybe MTP) all went away with the demise of WP7.5.

        (Except not being turned off while charging, which is not an OS issue and is by design for Nokia phones. You can turn off HTC WP8 phones while charging for instance.)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I'd be a lot happier with mine if ...use an existing mp3 as a ringtone " - there's a (Windows Store) app for that.

        I've tried connecting my Lumia 620 to cars with Bluetooth, and had indifferent results. But I haven't been able to rule it out being the car (both were Hondas)

        1. JDX Gold badge

          I've had mixed Bluetooth success with my Lumia but in my experience BT is just unreliable full stop.

  12. quarky
    Happy

    I will leave the iPhones and the 90s like interface to people like my parents thanks. For me, as an IT person, and someone who has to consider enterprise requirements, a Windows Phone is a much better, more cost-effective, and more interesting fit.

  13. ScottME
    Devil

    Bargain hardware

    ...has anyone hacked it to run Android yet?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bargain hardware

      "has anyone hacked it to run Android yet?"

      You probably would need to install extra memory and a larger battery first...

  14. phands

    Big sellers?? I doubt it. Windows phone market share fell to a paltry 2.7% in 2014, and the few that sold are low-end....no margins. Even the older versions, like windows mobile had higher market share. And the windows phone UI is revolting - it looks like AoL kids around 1996.

    Anyone making windows phones these days is betting on a loser platform.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Anyone making windows phones these days is betting on a loser platform."

      Microsoft tend to throw money at things until they succeed. My bet would be on Microsoft making at least #2 in the market before too long...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Share ha been closer to 10% in the past in UK and parts of Europe.

  15. ben_myers

    Aggressive pricing

    For what they are claimed to be, the new Lumias sure carry aggressive prices. It will be interesting to see exactly which continents see these Lumias on sale.

    And Microsoft extends its reach of Office everywhere.

    1. Getriebe

      Re: Aggressive pricing

      "And Microsoft extends its reach of Office everywhere." That single thing will probably slow the adoption of WP

      As we all know, I am certain, once someone has bought into iOS or Android and colours are nailed to the mast, the likelihood of change is little if they can connect to work's email etc.

  16. Mystic Megabyte
    Stop

    A lack of morals around here?

    There's been a lot of talk on here recently about Sony, Samsung and Lenovo being boycotted. My list* includes Microsoft for all their underhand behaviour over the years.I would rather gnaw off my arm than give MS my money!

    I have a Moto G but I will dump as soon as I can get an Ubuntu phone or equivalent.

    I'm sick of all these tax avoiding, patent-grabbing and sueball-slinging mega-corps.

    *If anyone from BT is reading, you're on it too..

    Edit: My landline just went dead, coincidence or what?

  17. David Black

    One for the kids

    I been handed a new Windows Phones every year for the past 3 from our Corporate IT team and I tried really hard with 7.5 and 8 to like it but it is just that long list of niggles that reminds me of the old days of smartphones where it is just so nearly awesome but not quite. So I pass my annual new device on to my ex (lawyer - they never update anything, still running XP and old blackberries) and she gets by just fine - she mostly uses her phone for, amazingly, calls and texts. But though our young daughter likes the live tiles and the easy to use interface, she just hates the apps and wants her mother to get an iphone.

    Decent kit with decent price points makes it VERY appealing for a young audience but poor app support and no imessage (I know, I hate that proprietary lock-in too) probably doesn't make the sale.

  18. crayon

    "Microsoft tend to throw money at things until they succeed. My bet would be on Microsoft making at least #2 in the market before too long..."

    They've been throwing money by the oil tanker load since the WINCE days to buy market share in mobile devices, and thankfully they're still not succeeding.

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