Merger's new baby

2014-06-28 00:00

FRESH after their new merger with Nokia, Microsoft announced the arrival of a pair of new Lumia devices in the form of the Lumia 630 and the flagship Lumia 930, powered by mobile platform Windows Phone 8.1, at an event in Johannesburg this week.

Luca Decour, channel operator for Microsoft SA, said that Windows Phone 8.1 smartphones are even more personal, with features such as Action Centre, which complements Live Tiles by showing new activities and notifications at a glance; and senses, a suite of features that takes the work out of managing data use, storage space and battery life. Windows Phone 8.1 also includes a built-in mobile device management client, S/Mime for encrypted mail and VPN support.

The new features integrate with Windows phone features such as Live Tiles, which has been improved to add the possibility of a third row of tiles to all Windows Phones, and offer improved transparency, allowing for customisable backgrounds.

The first Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone to hit the market is the Lumia 630, the successor to the successful Lumia 520.

“We hit a sweet spot with the Lumia 520, and together with our partners ended up with a real hit. With the Lumia 630, we set a new standard for affordable smartphones.

“The device combines Windows Phone 8.1 with quad-core processing and uncompromised cloud-connected experiences from Microsoft,” said Patrick Henchie, head of product for Microsoft Mobile Devices in south and east Africa.

The Lumia 630’s quad-core Snapdragon processor provides a faster social experience on social apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat.

With a 20MP PureView camera, Zeiss optics and optical image stabilisation, the Lumia 930 also comes with HD video and four high-performance microphones that enhance the clarity of subjects and block out unwanted noise. Integrated Dolby Surround Sound also makes for a rich audio experience when watching movies or listening to music. The five-inch, 1080 p Full HD, ClearBlack screen display provides a detailed viewing even in sunlight.

All new Windows Phone 8.1 smartphones come with the strong suite of fully integrated Microsoft services. These include a full mobile version of Office, with favourites such as Word, PowerPoint, OneNote and OneDrive. Windows Phones are also able to be linked from to PC to Xbox.

The Lumia 630 is expected to be available in July at a recommended retail price of R1 999. Pricing of the Lumia 930 will be announced when the device becomes available during Q3.

Windows Phone 8.1 will also be available to download to all existing Windows Phone 8 customers in the coming months.

— Witness Reporter.

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