Following on from Micosoft's official launch of Windows Phone in China, Nokia held its own launch event today to announce the Nokia Lumia 800C, a CDMA variant of the Lumia 800, which will be available through exclusive launch partner China Telecom this April with an unsubsidised price of 3599 RMB (£360). Also announced was the Nokia Lumia 610C, a CDMA variant of Nokia's cheapest Windows Phone device, which will go on sale later in Q2.
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Microsoft held an event in Beijing today to formally mark the arrival of Windows Phone in China. Windows Phone was shown running a Chinese-language interface, with support for both simplified and traditional Chinese and it was announced there are now more than 2,000 Chinese language apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace.
An update to Nokia Maps, version 1.3, is now available from the Windows Phone Marketplace. The new version adds support for favourites (saved) places and includes the ability to share routes via email or social networks. The app is currently only available for Lumia handsets, though Nokia have indicated it will be available for all Windows Phone handsets in due course.
Nokia Drive 2.0 is now available to download from the Windows Phone Marketplace. The updated version enables full offline functionality, which means not only can you pre-load maps, you can now also plan your route (and be rerouted) without using a data connection. Other new features include speed alerts, a redesigned navigation dashboard and improved access to previously entered locations.
Creative Studio is a free app released by Nokia exclusively for its Lumia Windows Phone devices. It is a photo creation and manipulation suite that allows you to apply effects (filters), carry out basic editing tasks and capture panoramic images. Effects can be applied to existing images (from albums), but there's also a live camera mode, which shows the effect applied in real-time before you capture an image.
Following its announcement at Mobile World Congress, Nokia Transport has been made available for the Lumia range via Nokia Beta Labs. The service currently provides transport information for 512 cities across 46 countries – the USA enjoys the lion's share of coverage. While Nokia Drive provides in-car navigation, Nokia Transport has been made to help you plan a journey via public transport. For example, when planning a trip across London, the application will advise you which underground lines to take, and which parts of the journey require you to walk. The walking parts of a journey are complemented by a deep-link to pedestrian navigation in Nokia Maps.
Chinese smartphone manufacturer ZTE has announced their second Windows Phone at Mobile World Congress today in Barcelona. The ZTE Orbit is "based on the latest version of Windows Phone" and continues the ZTE ethos of providing lower specification devices while still delivering high quality experiences. With 4GB of memory, and a 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash, we're expecting to see the Orbit rebranded by network operators as an entry level Windows Phone device in the pay monthly market, or as a smartly priced pay as you go handset. Availability is expected in Q2, there's no word yet on expected prices, but something around the 150 Euro mark would be our estimate.
Today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nokia announced the Nokia Lumia 610, the first Tango powered Windows Phone targeted towards the lower end of the market. With 256MB of RAM and "the new software release from Microsoft" that supports lower memory and processor specs, the Lumia 610 is looking to have an impact with the younger generation. The Nokia Lumia 610 will retail for 189 Euros before taxes and subsidies, and will be available in Q2.
If you've been looking at the Nokia Lumia 900 and wondering if it's going to be available outside of America, then that wait is almost over. Rogers in Canada will be the first to pick up an LTE version, while a "world style" phone with Dual Carrier HSPA support is expected to retail for 480 Euros before taxes and subsidies, with availability during Q2 of this year.
Nokia hold their MWC press conference today, with a kick off time of 08:30 CET (7:30 GMT). We're expecting multiple device announcements from across Nokia's portfolio. From this story you can follow our live coverage, coming direct from MWC in Barcelona. You can also follow our coverage on Twitter at @aas and @AA_WP.