Today, Microsoft announced its least-expensive Windows Phone smart phone yet, the Lumia 430. It will cost just $70 in dual-SIM form, but don’t let the US pricing fool you: It will only be made available in the APAC (Asia-Pacific) and IMEA (India, Middle East and Africa) markets, plus Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus starting next month.
“The Lumia 430 Dual SIM is the most affordable Lumia to-date, bringing smartphone experiences, the latest apps and signature Microsoft services to many more people, sometimes for the very first time,” Microsoft notes. One has to wonder if the company ever tires of this low-end schtick, but it’s fair to point out that the 430 is a curious mix of specs, some not too terrible, some unspeakably bad.
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From a form factor perspective, the Lumia 430 looks a lot like the popular Lumia 635, which I’ll remind folks can be had for under $50 (no contract) at Amazon.com right now and exceeds the 430 in some key areas.
The Lumia 430 features a 4-inch WVGA (800 x 480) LCD Transmissive display, a 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor, 1 GB of RAM (smart), and 8 GB of internal storage with microSD expansion. It lacks LTE capabilities, which is probably just fine for the markets it targets, and does surprisingly well in the sensor department, with Orientation, Ambient light, Accelerometer, and Proximity sensors. But the cameras suck: a 2 MP main camera and a VGA (0.3MP) front camera. At least there are two.
The big selling point here, as it always is with these low-end phones, is how Microsoft is bringing premium smart phone features down-market, so everyone can afford them. And … fair enough. The 430 ships with the very latest version of Windows Phone—8.1.2 with Lumia Denim—and features Skype, OneDrive, Office, Xbox Music, Xbox Video, and Xbox games integration. It provides an additional 30 GB of free OneDrive storage, too, and of course you can switch the shell for different colors. Assuming you like orange and black, which are the only options.
So. Yeah. There it is.