Lumia 735 Smartphone Available From Verizon for $29.99

With a 4.7-inch HD display, a 6.7MP main camera, 4G LTE connectivity and more, the Lumia 735 phone can also be purchased for $199 without a contract.

Verizon, Lumia 735, smartphones, mobile phone carriers

Verizon is now offering the Lumia 735 smartphone for sale in its U.S. retail stores, after initially unveiling the handset to online buyers in June.

Verizon, which is offering customers several ways of obtaining the Microsoft Lumia 735, on July 9 announced the availability of the 4G LTE phone. Customers can get the device for $29.99 with a two-year contract or for $8 per month on a 24-month Verizon Edge plan (total $192) with no money down. New Verizon Edge plan customers who buy Lumia 735 smartphones and port their phone numbers from another carrier can also get a $100 bill credit for a limited time. Buyers can also get a Lumia 735 without a contract for $199 from the Microsoft Store.

The Lumia 735 is packed with features, including 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 micro SD card) and a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor.

Also featured is 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. The phone also includes Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi connectivity, as well as WiFi hotspot capabilities.

The phone runs on the Windows Phone 8.1 (Lumia Denim) operating system and will be upgradeable to Windows 10 when that operating system becomes available later this summer.

The Lumia 735 is 5.3 inches long, 2.69 inches wide, 0.35 inches thick and is available in dark-gray. Replacement rear covers that include wireless charging capabilities can be purchased separately for $24.99 in orange, green, white, red or cyan.

Also included for customers who purchase and activate their phones by July 31 is one year of Office 365 Personal service on the device, while supplies last. Office 365 Personal includes Microsoft Office applications, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote, which you can install on your PC or Mac computer, tablet and smartphone. The offer also includes 1TB of cloud storage on Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage platform.

In June, the Lumia 640 XL smartphone went on sale through AT&T after debuting at Mobile World Congress in March. The smartphone, which is being offered exclusively by AT&T in the United States, 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 micro SD card and 30GB of free Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage.

The Lumia 640 XL runs on the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system, including the Lumia Denim update, which offers useful features, such as Live Folders, a one-swipe Action Center and fast texting with Word Flow. The Lumia 640 XL uses 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, and a 5MP wide-angle front camera. The handset is powered by 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 on July 8 that it is 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.