Berlin, Germany – Microsoft this morning announced the budget-conscious Nokia Lumia 730 and Lumia 735 along with its 5 MP front-facing camera for the 'selfie generation' and Skype users. The phone is expected to go on sale in the coming weeks for €199 ($262 USD) along with 3G dual SIM support ideal for emerging markets. The Lumia 735 with 4G LTE and single SIM will run for €219 ($288 USD). By comparison, the original Lumia 720 cost around €249 on its initial launch.

The Lumia 730 is the follow up to the popular Lumia 720, which featured an impressive F/1.9 aperture camera for exceptional low-light performance. The Lumia 730, however, builds off of the Lumia 720's weaknesses by adding in 1 GB of RAM, a faster 1.2 GHz Quad-core processor and a 4.7-inch 1280 x 720 HD display.

Lumia 730/735 full specifications

  • Windows Phone 8.1 Update with Lumia Denim
  • 3G & DSDS RoW variant: GSM 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 1900 MHz; WCDMA 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1900 MHz, 2100 MHz; Speed GSM: EGPRS/296kbps/236.8kbps; HSPA+: 21.1Mbps/5.76Mbps
  • Memory: 1GB RAM, 8 GB internal user memory; 15 GB OneDrive cloud storage , micro SD expandable up to 128 GB
  • Display: 4.7" HD OLED (1280 x 720, 16:9), 316 PPI, Curved glass (2.25D), ClearBlack, SuperSensitive Touch, High Brightness Mode, Sunlight readability enhancements
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8926) 1.2 GHz quad-core processor
  • Primary camera: 6.7 MP FF ZEISS, f/1.9, Full HD video (1920 x 1080 @ 30fps), LED Flash.
  • Secondary camera: Full HD 5 MP wide angle (2596x1948) f/2.4, Nokia Camera, Nokia Storyteller, Nokia Creative Studio, Lumia Selfie
  • Size: 134.7 x 68.5 x 8.7 (volumetric) mm, Weight: 133g
  • Connectivity: NFC, A-GPS/GLONASS, BeiDou, WIFI 802.11 b/g/n, microUSB, BT 4.0 LE, Micro SIM
  • Battery: Removable 2220 mAh battery, exchangeable shell
  • Audio: 3.5 mm AV connector (AHJ), Dual microphone, FM Radio, Internet radio

The Lumia 730 gains some impressive additions with its 2014 update, including a removable battery, more RAM for video games, changeable shells, a 720P HD display and improved cameras.

The design of the Lumia 730 is reminiscent of a thinner, light Lumia 920 with a hint of the original Lumia 800 added in for good measure. The device is significantly lighter at just 133 grams (versus a Lumia 920 at 185 grams) even though the display is 0.2-inches larger.

Speaking of the display, with 720P graphics, ClearBlack for deep colors, SuperSensitive Touch and a slight curvature, the Lumia 730 builds nicely off of previous technology, delivering a quality experience for a budget-friendly phone.

Finally, the real selling point of the Lumia 730 comes in its two top performing cameras. The rear camera builds off of the Lumia 720's excellent 6.7 MP design, which was good enough to be used in the Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet later on. With its F/1.9 aperture, the rear camera should deliver excellent low-light performance while still taking sharp images, all without Nokia's famed PureView technology. The front-facing camera is a large 5 MP sensor ideal for Skype calls or so-called 'selfie' shots popular with today's younger crowd. Although 5 MP front-facing cameras are found on other phones, they are usually reserved for flagship devices and not budget-friendly ones meant for younger students or the youth market.

A single SIM 4G LTE variant dubbed the Lumia 735 was also announced by Microsoft today.