Nokia Releases its First Windows Phones – Lumia 710 and 800

On Wednesday, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop showed off the first Windows phones Wednesday: the Lumia 800 and the Lumia 710 on Nokia World, the Finnish phone maker’s annual analyst and press event. The two phones are the first fruits of the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft.

In February, Nokia announced that it would abandon Symbian (and, later, its other mobile platform efforts, such as MeeGo) in favor of Microsoft’s nascent Windows Phone platform. It was a stunning move.

Now, six months after the Nokia-Microsoft marriage became public, we’re about to see the fruit of this ambitious project.

And this marks a milestone in the collaboration between the two companies that will see Nokia shift away from its Symbian operating system.

The high-end Lumia 800, available in black, cyan and magenta, features a 3.7-inch 800×480 AMOLED screen and a 1.4 GHz Snapdragon processor, along with 16 GB of storage and an 8-megapixel camera. The Lumia 710 offers the same 3.7-inch screen and 1.4 GHz processor found in the Lumia 800, but contains only 8 GB of storage and a 5-megapixel camera. The device is available in black and white, with changeable back covers available in an assortment of colors. Both handsets run the latest Windows Phone 7.5 Mango operating system.

The estimated retail price for the Nokia Lumia 800 will be approximately EUR 420, excluding taxes and subsidies. And the Nokia Lumia 710 will be sold at the price of EUR 270. Both devices are being sold in six European countries and will be sold later this year in parts of Asia. Other smartphones are planned for the United States, but not until early next year.

Analysts said the Nokia smartphones could also help Microsoft extend its dominant computer software business into the cellphone and mobile device market.

Nokia was paying $15 to Microsoft for each Windows smartphone it produced, less than the estimated $20 other handset makers must pay. The new Windows phone lineup has the potential to help restore Nokia’s fortunes in the smartphone market.