Three new Lumia smartphones to run Windows Phone 8.1

The low-cost Lumia 630 will have dual 3G SIMs

Nokia announced three new Lumia smartphones on Wednesday that will run the just-announced Windows Phone 8.1 OS, including the low-cost Lumia 630 with a dual 3G SIM variant that will cost $169 and arrive in the U.S. this summer.

Nokia Lumia 930 smartphone
The Nokia Lumia 930 smartphone will run Windows Phone 8.1 and will cost $599. (Photo: Nokia)

A dual SIM means that customers can set up calls and texts and other functions to operate on separate SIM chips without the need to swap out a single SIM for another, as with most phones. The technology is expected to be most popular in Asian countries, with 100 million such devices shipping by 2016, said Stephen Elop, Microsoft's executive vice president of Nokia Devices and Services.

The other two devices announced during a keynote session at Microsoft's Build 2014 are the Lumia 635 and the Lumia 930, priced at $159 and $599 respectively. They will also come to the U.S. this summer.

Elop introduced the three phones on stage at Build where he said the $7.2 billion Microsoft acquisition of Nokia's hardware business should be completed in a "few days or weeks."

In addition to Windows Phone 8.1 on the new Lumia phones, Elop said all Lumia phones will get the new OS via an over-the-air update this summer. "Nokia Lumias are the best way to light up that 8.1 experience," he said.

Windows Phone 8.1 will include the new personal assistant called Cortana for U.S. users, a new notifications feature in an Action Center pulldown as well as other features focused on business customers.

The three new devices will also introduce SensorCore, a low-power motion-sensing service to link with a Bing Health and Fitness app.

The Lumia 930, with a 5-in. display, will offer a 20-megapixel PureView rear camera and a 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor.

The Lumi 630 and 635 will each run on a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor and feature a 4.5-in. display.

The advantage of having two SIMs in one Lumia 630 will be to allow customers to separate business from personal calls. On the Lumia interface, Elop showed how business contacts can be organized under a red touch tile, while all personal contacts could be under an orange contact tile.

The Lumia 630 will come in either a 3G single SIM, or the 3G dual SIM, which makes it the first Lumia phone to feature a dual SIM. The Lumia 635 will run over 4G LTE.

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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