Number-four U.S. mobile operator might have be able to offer the iPhone, but it does have a bit of a feather in its cap today: it’s offering the first Nokia Windows Phone device available in the United States, the Nokia Lumia 710. But instead of being a high-end device intended to appeal to the cutting edge of the mobile universe, the Lumia 710 is really intended as a starter smartphone—and its $49.99 price (after rebate) emphasizes that appeal.
“We’re excited to team with Nokia in bringing its first Windows Phone to the U.S. with the elegantly designed Nokia Lumia 710,” said T-Mobile USA chief marketing officer Cole Brodman, in a statement. “Windows Phone offers a compelling mobile OS choice for people who want a smartphone built around them, their family, and friends. We expect it to play a more prominent role in our lineup and marketing efforts in 2012.”
The Nokia Lumia 710 sports a 3.7-inch 800 by 480-pixel touchscreen display, a 1.4 GHz Qualcomm SnapDragon processor, a 5 megapixel camera, assisted GPS, 802.11 b/g/n and BLuetooth 2.1+EDR wireless networking, and the phone has 8 GB of onboard flash storage. It runs Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) operating system, and Nokia says it’ll handle up to 7 hours of talk time on a battery charge. The Lumia 710 also operates on T-Mobile’s HSPA+ “4G” network, meaning users can tap into streaming video, mobile TV, and other high-bandwidth mobile applications—and the device comes with a bunch of them front and center, including Netflix and T-Mobile TV, along with Xbox Live and the Windows Phone Office Hub.
T-Mobile is positioning the Lumia 710 as a solid starter phone for users who have yet to make the jump from feature phones to smartphones—and those might just be the ideal customers for Windows Phone devices, since they don’t have baggage of iOS or Android apps and content that might keep them locked into other platforms.
“Our research shows nearly everybody in the U.S. wants a smartphone, but many believe they can’t afford it,” Brodman said. “That’s where T-Mobile shines. Our Unlimited Value and Monthly4G plans make it more affordable than ever to step up to mobile data on our 4G network.”
The Nokia Lumia 710 is available in white or black starting today at T-Mobile retail stores and selected retailers for $49.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate card, when purchased with a qualifying two-year service agreement.