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Better Together

Microsoft Devices, unifying the assets of Nokia and Microsoft, promises a seamless Windows experience with three new smartphones hitting the local market this month
By Noha Mohammed

Convincing people to part with the smartphone brands they know and love best is no easy feat, particularly when that attachment is not only about a user-friendly experience but also a status symbol. The new Microsoft Devices series marrying cutting-edge Nokia features with Microsoft know-how may well convince smartphone buyers that the 630, 635 or the 930, set to launch in Egypt, India and the Middle East this month, will be their next purchase.

“The assets that we have between both companies are mind blowing. Together we are extremely strong […] and we have a joint passion which can change the world. […] It used to be that Microsoft in itself had a strategy of having a presence in every home, at every desk, and Nokia was providing millions of devices for millions of people. Today we are reaching the new chapter of that story,” Arto Nummela, Senior Vice President Microsoft Devices, India Middle East and Africa. announced last month at the Microsoft Devices product launch press conference in Dubai.

Just how is the new Microsoft Devices brand planning on changing the global user experience? By making the experience more personalized as ever.

Not surprisingly, then, the first thing that sets these series apart is the aesthetics. “Everybody has traditional smartphone, almost the same phones,” highlights Vipul Mehrotra, head of Smart Devices at Microsoft Devices Group for India, the Middle East and Africa. So how do you make your phone look different? Through the color options and the personalization features.”

When it comes to appearance, the Microsoft Devices team talks about the series not just as a trio of smartphones but as personal accessories. “We really want it to look like the user and be a reflection of the user. With the software, with the tiles, you put whatever you want and the phone becomes an extension of you,” says James Rutherford, vice president Microsoft Devices Group – Near East, North Africa, Levant and Emerging Asia. “That’s why the color story comes through, you know, when we brag about the screen and the metal and everything. ”

The smartphone trio offers users a Start screen they can make their own, Live Tiles that provide updates at a glance, Office Mobile, Outlook Mobile, Windows Phone Hubs, Action Center, Word Flow and Senses that Nokia Devices promises “are more personal than those offered by any other platform.”

There are also thousands of apps, many of them regionally localized. “Personalization is that something that we try to drive specific to Nokia because that’s very important to us,” says Rutherford. So the localization is something we’ll drive in the local markets. Egypt obviously has a huge Microsoft team and we have our own developers sitting in with Nokia developers at the Cairo office.”
Mehrotra explains that “While it’s the same product across the world, of course, each countries has some local requirements and we do tests for all local applications. So for example, for Egypt a transport app [like Bey2ollak] will load automatically on the phones in Egypt and so on.”

But the real buzzword here is ‘seamless,’ with the new series all about “the features of personalization as well as a business tool,” stresses Rutherford. “The Microsoft strategy is [built] around Cloud and mobile, and when you use a device that’s seamlessly integrated through one drive, everything from OneNote to the Microsoft services, to the camera, your phone, everything is integrated through the cloud. So whether you’re using this device or another device, it’s instantaneous. If you take a photograph here, it’s on the pc in seconds […] that’s irrespective of where you are or what device you’re using, it’s you. […] As consumers really get to understand just how many features there are on these devices and how much you can integrate your personal life with your business life, in addition to a whole host of other features, [they’ll realize] that the personal experience is amazing.”

Mehrotra, for one, is sure the series is going to be a game changer. “The kind of features we have here you don’t have on other operating systems. One of the main reasons you would buy a device like this is that it is a refreshed user experience. Now that Nokia has joined Microsoft, we have the same [goal] to create the best consumer experiences. We will focus on creating human technology connecting people, and now we are also adding empowering people, with new devices, new experiences. For us it was a natural fit and now we are actually better together because we have formidable assets.

“I think we can do more than just compete — I think we’re setting a new standard, a benchmark. It takes you away from the traditional smartphone people use to a new paradigm of smartphones.” et
Nokia-Lumia-630-GroupNokia-Lumia-630-GroupLumia finalNokia Lumia 630Lumia-630

• Quad core processor and Windows Phone 8.1
• Apps and games like Instagram and Asphalt 8 And Vimeo with 4.5” ClearBlack screen
• Colorful changeable shells
•Nokia apps include maps and navigation from HERE, plus free MixRadio music streaming
•Maximum talk time (3G): Up to 13.1 hours
•Standby time: Up to 25 days
•Video Playback time: Up to 7 hours
•Music Playback time: Up to 58 hours

 

Nokia Lumia 635 Range

 

Nokia Lumia 635

• 4G connectivity, quad core processing and Windows Phone 8.1
• Apps and games like Instagram and Asphalt 8 and Vimeo with 4.5” ClearBlack screen
• Colorful changeable shells
• Nokia apps include maps and navigation from HERE, plus free MixRadio music streaming
•Maximum talk time (3G): Up to 14 hours
•Standby time: Up to 27 days
•Video Playback: Up to 7 hours
•Music Playback: Up to 58 hours

Nokia Lumia 930 Range

 

 

Nokia Lumia 930
• Windows Phone 8.1 with live tiles and a world of apps
• Syncing content across screens via OneDrive
• 20MP Pureview camera with OIS and ZEISS optics
• 5” Full HD OLED display
• Build-in wireless charging
• Personal radio station: MixRadio
• Talk time (3G): Up to 15.5 hours
• Standby time: Up to 18 days
• Video playback: Up to 9 hours
• Music playback: Up to 75 hours

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