Microsoft is reportedly readying a low-priced Windows 10 smartphone, the Lumia 550, which will retail for about $120 and target users who want a well-equipped phone for a lower price than competing top-tier handsets.
An image of what is purported to be the upcoming Lumia 550 was posted Oct. 1 by well-known news tipster Evan Blass, whose Twitter name is @evleaks. The photo shows the fronts and backs of several black and white Lumia 550 devices.
The handset will feature a 5-inch HD display that's covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 3, a Qualcomm 1GHz Snapdragon 210 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of built-in storage, a microSD slot that accepts up to 128GB of additional storage, a 5-megapixel rear camera with auto-focus and LED flash geotagging, and a front 2MP camera, according to an Oct. 2 story by WMPoweruser.com. The smartphone is also expected to include a 1,905mAh battery, rapid charging capabilities, and single or dual SIM support.
Microsoft could introduce the new device as well as other rumored smartphones at a press event scheduled for Oct. 6, when it is expected to unveil its Windows 10 Mobile OS, according to a story by VentureBeat. The Lumia 550 will include a 4.7-inch screen, according to the story, which differs from the WMPoweruser.com report.
Microsoft has been busy with its Lumia smartphone line in recent months. In June, the company unveiled its $199 Lumia 735 smartphone, which includes a 4.7-inch HD OLED display, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of on-board storage (which is expandable to an additional 128GB with an optional microSD card) and a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor.
That device also has a 6.7-megapixel, auto-focus rear-facing camera and a 5MP full HD wide-angle front-facing camera for high-quality selfies—both with Zeiss optics—a 2,220mAh removable battery and wireless charging capabilities. In addition, the phone includes Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi connectivity, as well as WiFi hotspot capabilities. The Lumia 735 runs on the Windows Phone 8.1 (Lumia Denim) operating system and is upgradable to Windows 10.
Also in June, the Lumia 640 XL smartphone went on sale through AT&T after debuting at Mobile World Congress in March. The smartphone features a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of on-board storage that is expandable to 128GB with a microSD card and 30GB of free Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage.
The Lumia 640 XL includes a 5.7-inch HD display that is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3, a 13-megapixel rear camera with Zeiss optics and LED flash, a 5MP wide-angle front camera and a 3,000mAh battery.
Microsoft bought the Nokia smartphone line from Nokia for $7.1 billion in April 2014, and then rebranded it with the Lumia nameplate in October 2014, according to earlier eWEEK reports.
The Lumia line of Windows-based phones, despite being generally well-received, has barely made a dent in unseating Android- and iOS-based smartphones from the top of the smartphone market.
Microsoft announced in July that it was laying off 7,800 more employees, mostly from its mobile phone business, after laying off some 18,000 workers last year. It will take a $7.6 billion impairment charge for the layoffs and a restructuring charge of up to $850 million related to the acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services businesses.