Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is continuing its focus on the low-end segment in India with the launch of the Lumia 638, the brand’s first 4G-enabled handset in this segment. With 4G services set to take off in the country from early 2015, Microsoft is looking to build on its momentum in the country.
The Lumia 638 comes with a set of hardware features that should be familiar to Windows Phone users in this category. There’s a 4.5-inch screen with a resolution of 854 x 480, 1 GB RAM, 8 GB internal memory, microSD card slot and a 5 MP camera at the back sans flash and an 1,830 mAh battery. The device runs Windows Phone 8.1 out of the box, and comes in black and white color variants. Unlike the Lumia 535, which is a new device, the Lumia 638 that will launch in India is a variant of the device that was available in China, and as such will feature Nokia branding.
While 4G connectivity is touted as the standout feature, the lack of a camera at the front is a letdown. The Lumia 638 offers great hardware for the price otherwise, but the lack of a front camera will be a dealbreaker for most users. Front cameras in entry-level Lumias have been hit and miss thus far. The Lumia 520 did not have one, but the recently launched Lumia 535 does feature a camera at the front. The Lumia 638 is also light in the sensors category, as the device does not feature proximity or light sensors
The handset will be available to the tune of $135, and will be sold exclusively via Amazon India, where Microsoft recently launched a dedicated device store. The storefront allows customers to buy from across categories, including Office, Windows and Xbox. Microsoft has also mentioned that it will be launching exclusive offers and discounts via its store on Amazon.
The vendor is keen on not straining its ties with offline retailers, and has mentioned that it will continue to offer devices offline as well.