Thanks to some aggressive subsidized pricing tactics from Nokia, getting hold of a Windows Phone 8 handset with a two year contract won't break your budget. The pickings have been mighty slim for people who shudder at the thought of signing up for a subscription, however; thus far, the cheapest WP8 handset available off-contract in the U.S. has been AT&T's Lumia 810, which costs $400 obligation-free.
This morning, Nokia tossed the budget handset crowd a bone with the announcement of the Lumia 620, a smaller, more modestly spec'd entry to the Lumia line priced at just $250. That even undercuts the HTC 8S -- which isn't coming to American shores -- by $70.
The Lumia 620 tradition further exemplifies Nokia's love affair with colorful, exchangeable shells, with seven different colors being available in total. It's also stocked with Nokia's nifty Windows 8 apps, including Nokia Maps, Nokia Music, and Nokia City Lens. Despite the budget price, the phone still sports an NFC chip, which can link to NFC-enabled accessories such as speakers.
Under the hood, things look a bit more modest. The Lumia 620 runs on a 1-GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus processor paired with 512MB of RAM and 8GB of onboard storage, though the phone includes a micro-SD card slot if you need more space. The phone is also quite a bit smaller than its line-mates, stretching a 800x480 resolution out across a 3.8-inch screen. You'll also find a 5-megapixel rear camera and VGA front camera on board.
Americans might want to temper their enthusiasm for the device a bit, however. Nokia announced the Lumia 620 for pretty much every region except the U.S. of A., which isn't a complete shocker since Americans tend to skew towards subsidized phones and you can already pick up a mid-range Lumia for $50 or the flagship Lumia 920 for $99 on-contract. A Verizon exec recently said the company plans to introduce a free WP8 device to its lineup by the end of the year, however. Could the Lumia 620 (with a two-year contract) be it?
Via Nokia and TechCrunch