Microsoft is teaming with T-Mobile to bring its low-cost Lumia 530 to the U.S. later this year. The 4-inch handset will cost just 85 euros, or $114 before taxes and subsidies when it hits the Uncarrier, which puts it on a par with Motorola’s $129 Moto E.
The follow-up to the Lumia 520, the 530 features a 854 x 480 FWVGA display compared to the Moto E’s 4.3-inch 960 x 540 qHD screen. Measuring 4.7 x 2.5 x 0.5 inches and weighing 4.6 ounces, the 530 is smaller and lighter than the Moto E, which measures 4.9 x 2.6 x 0.24 ~ 0.48 inches and weighs 5.0 ounces.
Inside, the Lumia 530 packs a 1.2-GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 512MB of RAM. Storage is limited to 4GB, though that’s expandable to 128GB via a microSD card slot. The Moto E, on the other hand, features a 1.2-GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor and 1GB of RAM. Onboard storage for the E is also limited to 4GB,though it also includes a microSD card slot.
Both handsets only offer 3G connectivity, so streaming movies is out of the question. Cameras for the Lumia 530 and the Moto E are limited to just 5-megapixels. There are also no front cameras on either handset.
The Lumia 530 is part of Microsoft’s continuing effort to win over developing markets and budget-minded smartphone buyers, a segment that’s largely in the Android camp now. In fact, the handset’s predecessor, the Lumia 520, was the world’s most popular Windows Phone.
If Microsoft’s Lumia 530 proves as successful as the 520, it could be a boon for the company. But with the ever-present threat of Android stalking the budget-market, any missteps by Microsoft with 530 could prove extremely problematic.