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Nokia launches Lumia 625 smartphone with 4.7-in screen

Nokia launches Lumia 625 smartphone with 4.7-in screen

New 625 is at low-end of smartphone family headed by Lumia 1020

Nokia has unveiled its largest Windows 8 smartphone, the Lumia 625, which sports a 4.7-in. LCD screen and a price tag of under US$300.

The smartphone is described as "fun, fast and affordable" in a short statement from Nokia. The announcement is a stark contrast to the fullscale New York press event on July 11 that featured Nokia CEO Stephen Elop hosting the launch of the company's flagship Lumia 1020 smartphone with a 41 megapixel camera sensor and 6X zoom.

Sales of the new device will begin in the third quarter across most parts of the world including China, Europe, Asia Pacific, India, Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

The Lumia 625 shares some features with the 1020, including Smart Camera editing capabilities and a Cinemagraph tool to add movement to still photos. However, the new smartphone's main camera is just at 5 megapixels, far below the 1020's 41 megapixels.

Even with a large screen and a 1.2 GHz dual core processor, Nokia is keeping the estimated retail price low, at 220 Euros or about US$290. That's less than half the price of an unlocked high-end phone in the U.S.

In addition to 8 GB of internal storage, the 625 supports an SD card for up to 64GB of added storage. It also supports HERE mapping and 4G wireless technologies.

Microsoft's Windows Phone is now the third-largest smartphone OS globally, behind Android and iOS. Nokia is the largest Windows Phone device maker.

To keep growing, analyst have urged Nokia to create Lumia Windows Phone devices at all price ranges, especially at the low-end to sell into geographies with lower smartphone adoption than in the U.S.

The 4.7-in. display of the Lumia 625 makes it the largest Lumia (the 1020 is 4.5-in.), which is well above the iPhone 5's 4-in. screen. The 625 screen is, however, smaller than the 5-in. Samsung Galaxy S4 or the 6.4-in. Sony Xperia Z Ultra.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.


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