This evening, I received news of an upcoming low-end Windows Phone smartphone from Nokia, the Lumia 505. Technically, this naming convention suggests that it is

The Smartphone Wars Won't Be Won With Cameras

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Nokia Lumia 505

This evening, I received news of an upcoming low-end Windows Phone smartphone from Nokia, the Lumia 505. Technically, this naming convention suggests that it is currently the lowest ranking Lumia. The first bit of information that was pushed to me was that the 505 will pack an 8 megapixel camera. That is amazing. A low-end smartphone with such a powerful camera? Awesome. Instinctively, I thought to myself, Nokia must have upped the core specs too. You know, the processor and RAM, considering that significant lags show up in the Lumia 610 that packs an 800 MHz processor and 256MB RAM. I thought to myself, Surely, they would put 1 GHz CPU and 512 RAM in this, if they are packing in an 8 megapixel camera.

So, I fired up my aging netbook and ran searches for the Lumia 505. I found the news item from WMPuser. The site speculates that the 505’s specs “should be 3.5 – 4 inch WVGA display, 800 MHz single-core processor, 256MB of RAM, and 4GB of internal memory”. Note: speculates. Not official.

I am hoping that the specs turn out wrong and that the 505 packs a 1 GHz processor and 512 MB RAM. If it does not, then Nokia is kidding and probably think that they are going to get back in the smartphone race with the cameras on their phones. That would be a huge joke. Performance is what users run into every time, regardless of what they are doing on their smartphones. Performance. Low-end Windows Phone smartphones need to perform as fluid as low-end Androids do (as laggy as those can be), and then match them in price.

Oluwafemi Bankole tweeted this evening that Nokia needs to release a sub $100 Lumia in 2013. I added that it needs to pack a 1 GHz processor and 512 MB RAM to compete in performance. Microsoft’s idea of multitasking (similar to what obtains on iOS) is a bad idea for the low-end and needs more than 800 MHz CPU and 256 MB RAM to match competing droids in performance. That, or Windows Phone 7.8 has been further optimised so it runs better on that combination than version 7.5 currently does.

Whatever specs the Lumia 505 turns out with eventually, the smartphone wars won’t be fought with cameras as the key lever or primary gun. Just saying.


  1. A good point there. I want to believe that because of the initial design of Windows Phone 7.x, it was difficult to adapt it to low spec’ed devices, which resulted to that poor performance on that Lumia 610 device. Hopefully, Microsoft took low spec’ed devices into consideration when designing Windows Phone 8 and where that is not the case, the same poor experience with previous low spec’ed Lumias is unfortunately going to be the case again.

    If Microsoft is thinking of battling both Android and iOS with only high end devices, that could be a very bad one given that Android attained its present position by taking care of all segments of the market and is doing well in all of them. Apple being first to the market with this present generation of touchscreen smartphones is already established and may not need to work as hard as Microsoft to remain relevant since it already has a huge loyal fan base.

    Before Apple came into the scene, camera has huge influence but after Apple’s disruption, camera ceased to be the key feature in smartphones even though it is still considered after the general UI and UX.

  2. An increased ram is just the right thing for all these budget smartphones. It’s better to have a less frustrating phone than best picture quality. We don’t take pictures all the time but we sure do navigate the phone every single time. An increase from 256mb to 512mb ram will go a long way.
    When my wife recently switched from the old BB bold2 9700 with a ram size of 256mb to curve 9380 with 512mb ram, the first thing she noticed was the drastic reduction in lags. This made her very happy even though she prefers the physical keyboard of the bold2.

  3. Nokia just unveiled the Lumia 620, and this is what I’m talking about – 1 GHz Dual Core processor, 512 MB RAM, 5 megapixel camera, microSD card slot and running WP8.

    More like it. Costs $249.00. About N40,000.

  4. Now, that’s something, I mean the Nokia 620 and one certainly can go places. Unfortunately, when it eventually gets to Nigeria, we will be talking about N60,000 and about. And if this should manage to stay under 50K when it comes to Nigeria, I am convinced it is worth investing in.

    And yes, this is about the only Windows Phone 8 device I have heard of that can compete with Android devices on price point and features too. Common Nokia, go ahead and stir things up. And I believe you have the capacity!

  5. camera my foot. who shops for a phone using camera as the basis, I would rather have a fast powerful non-laggy phone with a 3.2mp camera(with flash pls). now that 620 ain’t a bad idea

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