Nokia Lumia 620 Is Cheapest Windows Phone 8 Yet

Nokia continues to push for new markets, introducing the $249 Lumia 620, as well as Lumia 920 T for China Mobile.

Nokia has introduced two new Windows Phone 8 devices, the Nokia Lumia 620, now the most budget-friendly Lumia to run Microsoft's newest operating system, and the Nokia Lumia 920T—the first TD-SCMA Windows Phone in China.

For the Lumia 620, Nokia developed a new dual-shot color technique, which it describes as adding "a second layer of colored, transparent or translucent polycarbonate on top of a base layer to produce secondary color blends and depth effects." As with earlier Lumias, this also means that scratches won't show—the color doesn't sit on top, it runs through the body.

Or rather, through the shell. The exterior of the 620 can be popped off and a different color (sold separately) can be popped on. Colors will include lime green, orange, magenta, yellow, cyan, white and black.

The 620 also comes with many of the features of its more high-end siblings. These include Nokia's extensive mapping applications, City Lens—information about all that can be seen through the camera lens at the moment, from restaurant reviews to bus schedules—Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive and Nokia Transport.

Nokia Music—Nokia's free and ad-free streaming music offering—is also included.

The Lumia 620 features a 3.8-inch TFT WVGA ClearBlack display with a resolution of 800 by 480, runs a 1GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, includes near-field communication (NFC) technology, and comes with 5122MB RAM, 8GB of internal memory, a microSD slot that supports 64GB and access to 7GB of Microsoft's SkyDrive cloud storage.

There's a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with an HD video camera and Nokia's exclusive Pureview "floating lens" technology, a front-facing VGA, two distortion-free microphones and Dolby Headphone technology.

The 620 weighs 4.5 ounces and measures 4.5 by 2.4 by 0.4 inches. It will be priced around $249 and go on sale in January in Asia, followed soon afterward by Europe and the Middle East and then more markets from there.

"We continue to execute on our strategy to reach new audiences and new markets," Jo Harlow, Nokia's executive vice president, said in a Dec. 5 statement. "The Nokia Lumia 620 is a highly competitive smartphone at this price point."

With the Lumia 920T for China Mobile—China's largest carrier—Nokia hopes to go after what during the third quarter become the world's largest smartphone market.

"People around the world are responding positively to the new Lumia devices, and we're confident that the enthusiasm will extend to China with the Lumia 920T," Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said in a Dec. 5 statement.

Modeled closely on the Lumia 920, the 920T likewise includes a touch screen sensitive enough to be used while wearing gloves, Nokia's Pureview floating lens technology for taking crisp images even in low-light conditions, Nokia's full suite of navigation applications and wireless charging capabilities.

To complement the latter, Nokia has made a deal with Air China, which will include wireless chargers in its Beijing Airport VIP lounges.

With the late-October launch of Windows Phone 8, Nokia can finally do its best to proceed full steam ahead as it works to regain market share lost over the last few years to Apple's iPhone and Android-running devices. These efforts recently included selling and re-leasing its headquarters. Real estate, the company said in a statement, is not part of Nokia's "core business."