Microsoft releases first Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone

Microsoft releases first Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone

Microsoft has released the Lumia 630, which is the first device to come with the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system.

The smartphone is available in dual-SIM mode, has a quad-core Snapdragon processor, a ClearBlack 4.5-inch LCD Gorilla Glass screen.

The Lumia 630 (with no mention of the Nokia name in the blog post) comes with 512MB of RAM, 8GB of internal memory, a 128GB microSD slot and an 1830mAh battery.

For business users, it includes the Microsoft Enterprise feature pack, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Office and OneDrive.

The Lumia 630 will also come with SensorCore, which tracks movements and motion, meaning that every time you take a step the phone knows.

A Nokia blog post explains: “It will know when you’re walking, running, or anything else that involves your location and how you move about in it. Potentially, your phone could be programmed to perform a certain task when specific criteria are met.

“For example, your phone could automatically calculate how many calories you burn when doing your usual jog on Monday morning or when window shopping in a local mall. Your phone will be able to show you how much time you have spent at your workplace during the week.”

SensorCore is designed to be used along apps such as Bing Health and Fitness and can be combined with the free Nokia-developed HERE Maps and HERE Drive+.

The Lumia 630 will cost 119€ before taxes and subsidies for the single-SIM variant, and 129€ before taxes and subsidises for the dual-SIM variant.

Microsoft will also reportedly begin the rollout of Windows Phone 8.1 on 24 June to coincide with the launch of the Lumia 930 flagship smartphone, following the release to developers in April.

It’s uncertain when the Lumia 930, which was announced at the Build developer conference, will come out in the US as it’s similar to the Icon but it is already available for pre-order in Europe at retailers such as Amazon at €579 ($793 USD, £471 GBP).

The Lumia 635 is the only other phone that Microsoft has confirmed will come with the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system.

New features in Windows Phone 8.1 include the Cortana virtual assistant, which will launch in beta in the US alongside the phone’s launch, with the application to be made available in the UK and China in the second half of 2014, and in other countries in 2015.

Other new features include Action Center, which shows new activities and notifications at a glance, and Senses, a suite of features that simplifies data use, storage space and battery life management.

Digital Trends reported last week that in the US Sprint was the first to confirm its intention to distribute Windows Phone 8.1 soon, with the update coming to the HTC 8XT and the Samsung Ativ S Neo this summer.

T-Mobile will be selling the Lumia 630 and the 4G LTE Lumia 635, while the Lumia 521 and Lumia 925 will also get  Windows Phone 8.1 this summer.

AT&T will also be carrying the 4G LTE Lumia 635, but hasn’t provided a launch date, saying only that it’s coming this year.

Microsoft has confirmed that it expects the Window Phone 8.1 update to filter down to all Windows 8 smartphones eventually.

LG and HTC are also rumoured to be working on Window Phone 8.1 smartphones.

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