MWC 2013: Nokia News Blast: Lumia 720, 520, 521 and More

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Mobile World Congress 2013Nokia had no shortage of announcements coming out of its MWC 2013 press conference this morning, with the focus of its event on midrange and affordable devices, some of which are intended for emerging markets.

Nokia Lumia 720Starting on the highest end of things, Nokia announced the Lumia 720 a midrange Windows Phone 8 device with a unibody design; no removable back plates here, though users can purchase a snap-on cover that enables wireless charging.

Sporting a 4.3-inch, 800 x 480 ClearBlack display, the Lumia 720 will have a compact design, weighing in at 128 grams and measuring only 9mm thick. The specs are modest, with a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor under the hood, as well as 512MB of RAM, a 2,000 mAh battery, and NFC compatibility.

The phone is targeted at the younger crowd — and party animals — so Nokia made sure to equip the Lumia 720 with dual cameras: 1.3 megapixels in the front, 6.7 megapixels in the back. It is also going to come preloaded with a new digital “lens” from Nokia (a new type of shooting mode, for those unfamiliar with the different “lenses” on the Windows Phone 8 camera app), Glam Me. The Glam Me lens will be exactly what it sounds like, letting users glam up their self-taken shots by whitening their teeth, touching up their eyes, etc.

The Lumia 720 is currently only scheduled to launch in China and parts of Europe in a variety of colors, including cyan, black, yellow, red, and glossy white. It will go for 249 Euros (roughly $330) in the second quarter of this year. But fret not US-based Nokia fans, for as Yoda would say, there is another.

Nokia Lumia 520Lumia 520

Also announced was the Lumia 520, which sports many of the same specs as the 720, including the dual-core, 1 GHz Snapdragon processor and 512MB of RAM. The screen is slightly smaller, however, at 4 inches, and will not be ClearBlack. The IPS LCD display will, however, sport the same 800 x 480 resolution.

The rest of the specs are relatively low end, with only 8GB of onboard storage (expandable up to 64GB via microSD), a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera (no front-facing camera), and a smaller 1,430mAh battery.

The smartphone will have an equally compact design though, measuring only slightly thicker than the 720 at 9.9mm and weighing a little less at 124 grams.

The Lumia 520 is expected to launch later this quarter in China, followed by the rest of Asia, Europe, and the U.S. on T-Mobile. It will be available for an unsubsidized price of $183.

Nokia Lumia 521Lumia 521

There’s far less information available on this one, but Nokia also slipped in a quick mention of a Lumia 521, which will be headed exclusively to T-Mobile. There were no specs offered on the device, though Nokia has assured us that it will “embody a range of high-end features at an affordable price.” Given its name, it will lkely have much in common with the 520.

No news on pricing or availability, but it will run on T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network.

Nokia 105 and 301

Drop the Lumia branding for these two feature phones that are aimed at emerging markets. The Nokia 105 and 301 phones surprisingly take on a candybar design with physical number keys and all, which we don’t see all that often any more.

Nokia 301The 105, which will be sold for a mere $20 (15 Euros) in cyan or black, will have low-end features like a flashlight and FM radio, but the real eye-catcher is that its battery will be able to last up to a month in standby time.

The 301, meanwhile, will go for slightly more at $85 (65 Euros) and comes equipped with a 3.2-megapixel camera with panorama mode, sequential shots, and a self-portrait mode. Pictured right, the 301 is also compatible with Exchange email accounts and will use Nokia Xpress internet, which supposedly cuts data usage by roughly 90%. It will be available in dual- and single-SIM options in the second quarter of this year.

Nokia used to have the lion’s share of the phone market in emerging markets, but has lost much of that business as it focused on more expensive devices like its Lumia series. The 105 and 301 are attempts to turn this trend around.

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