Microsoft launches new Lumias, WP update

|About: Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)|By:, SA News Editor

Microsoft's (MSFT +0.4%) Lumia 830 delivers a PureView camera at a lower unsubsidized price point (€330/$429) than existing PureView hardware. Like the high-end Lumia 930, the 830 combines PureView with a 5" display and aluminum body, but its resolution (720p vs. 1080p) and CPU (1.2GHz. quad-core) have been downgraded.

Nonetheless, The Verge likes the 830's lower weight/thickness relative to the 930, and (during a brief test) was impressed with the 10MP camera's daylight shots. "This is the handset the 930 should have been."

Also launched: The Lumia 730 and 735, proclaimed by Microsoft to be "selfie" phones due to their inclusion of 5MP front cameras with a wide-angle lens and a fast f/2.4 aperture. Other specs are largely mid-range - a 4.7" 720p display, a 6.7MP rear camera (albeit with Carl Zeiss optics), and the same CPU as the 830 - as are respective retail prices of €199 and €219. The 735 differs from the 730 through its LTE support.

The phone launches coincide with the release of Lumia Denim, a Windows Phone 8.1 update that includes a Cortana voice assistant revamp - a feature called "Hey Cortana" enables Google Now-like hands-free activation - and a slew of camera improvements.

With app support remaining a concern for many, IDC estimates Windows Phone had only a 2.5% smartphone share in Q2, down from 3.4% a year earlier. Shipments are estimated to have fallen by 800K to 7.4M.

Thanks in large part to feature phone declines, Microsoft has forecast its phone unit will see revenue fall to $1.9B-$2.3B in the Sep. quarter from $3.9B a year ago. 12.5K of Microsoft's 18K job cuts are expected to hit the phone division, roughly cutting its size by half.