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By Sven Grundberg
STOCKHOLM--Nokia Corp. (NOK) Wednesday unveiled the Lumia 620 phone, the company's third device running the latest version of Windows for smartphones.
Priced at $249 excluding taxes and subsidies, the Lumia 620 is a more affordable addition to Nokia's latest range of Lumia smartphones, running Microsoft's latest operating system for smartphones. The phone will begin selling in January next year in Asia, closely followed by launches in Europe and the Middle East.
The device is aimed at a more "youthful" audience, Nokia said, and will have seven different exchangeable shells in various colors to choose from.
Moreover, with a 3.8-inch screen it's more compact than its higher-end siblings, the Lumia 920 and the Lumia 820, which have been receiving some criticism for being heavy and thick. The Lumia 920 flagship device that hit shelves last month, is 65% heavier than Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) iPhone 5, and 40% thicker.
Given its low price, the Lumia 620 doesn't pack all the high-end hardware features that the more expensive Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 offer, such as Carl Zeiss camera lenses and wireless charging capability. The Lumia 620 has a camera with a five megapixel sensor and runs a slower processor and has less internal memory than the other new Lumias.
However, the device does support for Near Field Communication, a wireless technology that makes it possible for phones to transmit data merely by tapping or waving across terminals equipped with the technology.
Although Nokia has beern tight-lipped on sales numbers for its new range of Windows-running smartphones, several analysts and industry observers have been optimistic about sales progress, especially after Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) Chief Executive Steve Ballmer last month said Windows Phone sales have quadrupled from last year, at a meeting with Microsoft shareholders.
Separately on Wednesday, Nokia announced that it is launching a new Windows-based Lumia handset in partnership with China's biggest operator, China Mobile Ltd. (0941.HK). The Lumia 920T device will be compatible with China's TD-SCDMA technical standard.
"People around the world are responding positively to the new Lumia devices, and we're confident that the enthusiasm will extend to China with the Lumia 920T," Stephen Elop, Nokia's chief executive, said in a statement.
Write to Sven Grundberg at firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @svengrundberg
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