Nokia Lumia 630 and Lumia 635 officially announced - First Windows Phone 8.1 devices coming this summer

Nokia Lumia 630

Alongside the Nokia Lumia 930, Stephen Elop also announced the Nokia Lumia 630 and the Nokia Lumia 635 during Microsoft's BUILD 2014 keynote. This pair of affordable Windows Phone 8.1 devices, aim to follow in the footsteps of the  Lumia 521 and Lumia 520, by bringing “an uncompromised Microsoft experience and Lumia experience at low price points”.

Nokia Lumia 635Both feature 4.5-inch ClearBlack displays with FWGA (480x854) resolutions and run on Snapdragon 400 quad-core CPUs. However users will have to be content with the 512MB of RAM and 5MP cameras which come with both handsets. They will be available in five colors with the option of changeable plastic back-panels shells.

The Lumia 630 is available in 3G single-SIM and 3G dual-SIM variants, which has been made possible in Windows Phone 8.1. Meanwhile, the Lumia 635 is a single-SIM only, 4G/LTE-connected smartphone.

Microsoft has finally recognized the importance of dual-SIM functionality for their customers in the developing markets and has given special attention to it. The dual-SIMs can be identified on the Start Screen by separate colors identifying each SIM card. Each card can be separately assigned to work only with specific contacts, so users can, for example, call their family and friends through one card, and call their business contacts through the other. This way, different contacts categories can be kept in two separate communication zones, so to speak.

Nokia Lumia 630 Dual SIMAs both the Lumia 630 and Lumia 635 sport decent processing power, they will be treated to all upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 features, including Cortana. They also have an unique property - a Sensor Core. The phones have in-built motion and location tracking sensors which, emulate the functionality of trendy wearable devices. They keep track of data such as steps and calories burned, and present it through the Bing Health and Fitness app. The functionality is of the always-on type, and the great news is that Microsoft will be providing an API. Developers will have the Sensor Core at their disposal to come up with their own contextually-sensitive apps. In addition, Elop revealed that Nokia's Imaging SDK v1.2 with new image manipulation, filter effects, and rendering techniques is also heading towards app creators.

Stephen Elop announced the pricing and tentative launch times as follows: the Lumia 630 and 635 will be launching between May and July 2014 in worldwide markets, priced at $159 for the Single-SIM Lumia 630, $169 for the dual-SIM variant, and $189 for the 4G-enabled Lumia 635.

Nokia Lumia 635 is headed to T-Mobile and MetroPCS

T-Mobile confirmed that it and MetroPCS will be offering the Lumia 635 in the USA this summer, while T-Mobile's Nokia Lumia 521 and Nokia Lumia 925 owners, as well as MetroPCS customers who own the Nokia Lumia 521, will be updated to Windows Phone 8.1 in the summer as well. AT&T also confirmed that it will carry the Lumia 635 in the summer.

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