Nokia may not be an official part of Microsoft yet — that should finally happen later this month, if you ask either company — but that doesn’t stop the phone maker from cranking out more devices at the software giant’s developer conference. This morning at Build, Stephen Elop announced three new Lumia devices, although two of them are about as close to twins as you can possibly get: the Lumia 630, which is a 3G device that comes in single and dual-SIM flavors, and the 635, which adds LTE. Both are sub-$200 smartphones aimed squarely at both emerging markets and anyone else who just wants a Windows Phone 8.1 device without spending a lot of money in the process.
At 4.5 inches, the pair of devices hit a sweet spot in display size, but its 854×480 FWVGA resolution isn’t going to bedazzle. It’s an inexpensive phone, however, so it’s not horrible given what you’re paying for. The handsets aren’t necessarily designed from a premium perspective, but just like the 620 and 625 before them, these phones are colorful and offer interchangeable shells, which make them a lot more personable and customizable. In addition to the standard black and white hues, you’ll be able to choose from green, orange and yellow (all bright).
It comes with a Snapdragon 400 chipset and a mere 512MB of RAM, which means it doesn’t have that much extra horsepower. Fortunately, we were pleasantly surprised in our first impressions; when we played with the 630, it felt a lot snappier than we originally expected. Of course, we’ll have to see if that translates into regular real-world use in our full review when the time comes, but at least for now we’ll take this as a good sign.
When the devices come to market in May, the single-SIM 630 will be $159, while you’ll be able to get the dual-SIM variant for $169 and the Lumia 635 for $189. This may not be quite as inexpensive as the tremendously successful Lumia 520, but we’d be very surprised if we don’t see a Lumia 530 or similar with Windows Phone 8.1 sometime in the near future.