Microsoft Launches New Flagship Windows Phone, Readies 'Denim' Update

Microsoft took the wraps off three new Windows Phone Lumia devices on Thursday at the IFA technology conference in Berlin.

The new flagship Lumia 830 is expected to become globally available sometime this month and is priced for the midrange market at 330 euro (about $430). Microsoft is touting it as its thinnest and lightest Lumia device at 8.5mm thick. It features a 5-inch Gorilla 3.0 glass display, a 10-megapixel rear-facing camera, a 1-megapixel front-facing camera, 16GB of onboard memory and a microSD slot that supports up to 128GB. It runs on a 1.2GHz Snapdragon quad-core processor.

Lumia 830

Microsoft also unveiled two long-rumored "selfie" phones, the Lumia 730 and Lumia 735, which both feature 5-megapixel wide-angle front-facing cameras and 6.7-megapixel rear-facing cameras. Besides taking pictures, the phones are optimized for Skype video calls and come with free three-month subscriptions for Skype Unlimited World calling. Both run on 1.2 GHz Snapdragon quad-core processors and feature 4.7-inch displays, 8GB of onboard memory and microSD support for up to 128GB. The Lumia 730 also has dual SIM capabilities.

Both the Lumia 730 and Lumia 735 will become generally available this month. The Lumia 730 will cost 199 euro (about $260) and the Lumia 735 will cost 219 euro (about $285).

Lumia 735

All three devices unveiled Thursday will run the Lumia "Denim" update, which combines the forthcoming Windows Phone 8.1 Update with Lumia-specific feature updates. Windows Phone 8.1 Update, announced by Microsoft in July, will bring additional capabilities and language support to the Cortana voice assistant feature, as well as "Live Folders" for the Start screen, consumer VPN and a new "Apps Corner" feature. The Denim update will mostly add improvements to the Lumia's camera functions.

Microsoft has not given a specific date for when the Windows Phone 8.1 Update will be released to current Windows Phone users beyond saying that the rollout will begin "in the coming months." The Denim update will arrive to current Lumia users in Q4 2014, Microsoft said Thursday.

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Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editorial director of Converge360.