Nokia’s Lumia 505 and Lumia 510 blessed with Windows Phone 7.8 as standard

Nokia Lumia 505Nokia has announced a new entry-level Windows Phone named the Lumia 505, which will be exclusive to Mexico’s Telcel network. It’s interesting because Nokia has blessed the phone with Windows Phone 7.8 out of the box, a move we were expecting after Microsoft’s last comments on the long-awaited update.

The Lumia 505 is surprisingly well-specced for an entry-level phone, boasting a 3.7-inch AMOLED touchscreen, complete with Nokia’s ClearBlack technology and a 480 x 800 pixel resolution. There is an 8-megapixel camera on the rear of the phone, that sadly doesn’t have a Carl Zeiss lens, plus 4GB of internal memory, a figure which gives away the Lumia 505’s budget nature.

Although Nokia’s feature list doesn’t confirm it, the phone reportedly has an 800MHz processor and 256MB of RAM onboard, plus other features include Bluetooth 2.1, 3G connectivity, GPS, an FM radio and a 1300mAh battery. The price and release date are still unknown, but sometime early in the new year seems like a safe bet.

Microsoft confirmed a split strategy for Windows Phone 7.8’s release back in November, when it finally provided its tentative early 2013 release date, saying cheaper hardware would be released with the OS as standard, “in the near future.” The Lumia 505 looks like it will be joined by the Lumia 510, a device launched back in October, which is also expected to come with Windows Phone 7.8 pre-installed in India, where it’s about to be released. It’s almost identical to the Lumia 505, except it boasts a 4-inch display and a 5-megapixel camera.

While these two phones aren’t going to grab headlines in the same way as the Lumia 920 and other top-end phones, the market for low-cost smartphones is huge, and Android has a serious hold on it, so they’re vitally important to boosting Microsoft’s international market share.