Nokia re-enters U.S. market: $50 Lumia 710 for T-Mobile launches January 11th

Nokia on Wednesday announced its debut Windows Phone for the U.S. market: the Lumia 710. First unveiled in October, the Lumia 710 features impressive specs in a solid package that will be very affordable when it launches next month as a T-Mobile exclusive in the United States. The inclusion of HSPA 14.4 also means T-Mobile will bill the Lumia 710 as one of the first 4G Windows Phones, and we’re told that the smartphone will be prominently featured in T-Mobile stores as Nokia prepares to re-enter the U.S. market. Read on for more.

While the Lumia 710 is Nokia’s first Windows Phone announced for the U.S., Nokia assured us that this handset is one piece of the Finnish vendor’s strategy. Company representatives wouldn’t elaborate for the time being, but we certainly expect to see more from Nokia next month at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Nokia did say that it is making a significant investment in marketing and advertising in the U.S., and early campaigns will include TV, print and digital advertising as well as cooperative efforts with carriers.

T-Mobile’s Lumia 710 is nothing to scoff at, and the carrier is setting its sights on first-time smartphone buyers with this Nokia smartphone. Like the Lumia 800 we reviewed last month, the Lumia 710 user experience is extremely fluid and simplistic, making it a terrific option for users upgrading from a feature phone. Specs include a 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a 3.7-inch ClearBlack display, a 5-megapixel camera capable of recording 720p HD video at 30 frames per second, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of storage and a 1,300 mAh battery.

We took a hands-on look at the Lumia 710 in October and thought it was a great value, offering impressive specs and a wonderfully smooth UI in an affordable package. At $50 with a T-Mobile value plan, this phone will likely attract more than just first-time smartphone buyers.

T-Mobile will launch the Nokia Lumia 710 on January 11th in both white and black for $49.99 on a two-year contract after a $50 mail-in rebate. Nokia and T-Mobile’s full press release follows below.

T-Mobile Brings Nokia Lumia 710 to the U.S.  

Nokia and T-Mobile deliver a leading entry-level Windows Phone experience to the nearly 150 million Americans still to make the transition to smartphones. 

BELLEVUE, Wash., and SUNNYVALE, Calif. — Dec. 14, 2011 — T-Mobile USA, Inc. and Nokia today announced the upcoming availability of the Nokia Lumia 710, the first Windows Phone from Nokia in the United States. Targeted at the nearly 150 million Americans who haven’t purchased their first smartphones, the 4G-capable Nokia Lumia 710 delivers high-performance hardware, Nokia’s best social and Internet experience, and access to popular smartphone applications and services from Windows Phone Marketplace.

Running on America’s Largest 4G Network, the Nokia Lumia 710 benefits from the unique people-first approach of Windows Phone, bringing together all interactions with family and friends in People Hub. The Nokia Lumia 710 also provides one-click access to popular services, such as Netflix, T-Mobile TV with mobile HD1 and a leading mobile Web experience with Internet Explorer® Mobile, Bing Search with voice activation and Local Scout for locally relevant search results. The smartphone also brings access to signature Nokia experiences, such as Nokia Drive for voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation and ESPN for exclusive sports content.

“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 Cole Brodman, chief marketing officer, T-Mobile USA. “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.”

Today, people are increasingly upgrading to smartphones, and many are doing so for the first time. According to the NPD Group, U.S. smartphone sales reached 59 percent in the third quarter 2011, an increase of 13 percent since third quarter 2010. With an increasing demand for smartphones, the Nokia Lumia 710 offers a compelling experience aimed at addressing the needs of the nearly 150 million people in the U.S. who have yet to upgrade to their first smartphones.

“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 the perfect first-time smartphone: a well-designed product that delivers the most compelling Windows Phone experience in its price range and with access to great content and thousands of applications,” said Chris Weber, president, Nokia Americas. “This is the perfect first Nokia Lumia experience and the start of our re-entry into the U.S. smartphone market.”

Available in a black or white finish, the Nokia Lumia 710 features a 3.7-inch ClearBlack WVGA scratch-resistant display for outstanding outdoor viewing and a Qualcomm 1.4 GHz Snapdragon™ processor providing speedy access to entertainment and information on-the-go. It also features a 5-megapixel camera with Nokia’s leading camera technology, enabling people to take pictures in almost any light condition and share on social networks in seconds. With the most integrated work-life solution of any mobile platform via the Windows Phone Office Hub and an interactive mobile gaming experience via Xbox LIVE®, the Nokia Lumia 710 is the complete all-round first-time smartphone experience.

Availability

The Nokia Lumia 710 is expected to be available at T-Mobile retail stores, select dealers and retailers nationwide, and online at http://www.t-mobile.com starting Jan. 11. The Nokia Lumia 710 is expected to cost $49.99 after a $50 mail-in-rebate card, with a two-year service agreement and qualifying Classic voice and data plan. For more information, visit http://www.t-mobile.com/lumia.

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