Earning barely a mention at the firm’s October hardware event, the new entry-level Lumia 550 smart phone is now available in select markets, Microsoft says.
Aesthetically, the Lumia 550 looks and feels much like the sleeker Lumia 950 and 950 XL, with the products collectively representing Microsoft’s current go-to-market style. But the Lumia 550 is thicker than the higher-end phones, more like a Lumia 540 (which it sort of replaces). And the innards are, of course, decidedly downmarket.
So what you’re getting here is an entry-level 1.1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage (expandable with microSD), and a 4.7-inch HD720 (1280 x 720) LCD screen. The cameras, too, are pedestrian: a 5 megapixel rear-facing unit and a 2 MP front camera.
But there are some things to like about this handset.
It is of course based on Windows 10 Mobile, which, despite some remaining early bugs, is really growing on me. That mean that it offers Cortana, of course, but also the Glance screen that Windows phone fans love so much. (Continuum? No, sorry.)
More important, and unlike the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, the Lumia 550 is priced correctly, at just $139.
And it supports 4G LTE, making it Microsoft’s most inexpensive LTE handset ever.
The Lumia 550 comes in matte black and glossy white, and for this initial release, it is only available in select markets in Europe. But Microsoft says it will expand availability to other regions around the globe in the coming weeks.
Here’s a promo video showing off the new entry-level option.