Prestigio, one of the first new manufacturers to join the Windows Phone platform in a while was at IFA 2014 where they were showing off their new MultiPhone 8400 DUO and MultiPhone 8500 DUO Windows Phones. The pair of smartphones are Prestigio's first Windows Phones, and they aim for a low price for emerging markets.
Both phones have a few spec points in common. They're both powered by a 1.2Ghz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor, have dual SIM slots and HSPA radios (no LTE here), and 2000mAh batteries. Both also run Windows Phone 8.1.
The MultiPhone 8400 DUO is the smaller of the pair, with a 4.0-inch IPS display with a resolution of 480x800. Alongside that Snapdragon 200 processor you'll find 512MB of RAM and 4GB for storage, but no microSD expansion. The rear camera on the 8400 DUO is an 8-megapixel sensor with a measly 0.3-megapixels up front. It measures 10.95mm (0.43 inches) from front to back.
Needless to say, the Prestigio MultiPhone 8400 DUO isn't exactly a powerhouse of a phone. Design-wise it has an all-plastic body with a slick and dark faux-metallic finish that's actually reminiscent of a last-generation Samsung device (if you ignore the big Prestigio logo, that is). A second gray plastic bit trims around the glass over the screen. The 4-inch display has wide bezels on all sides and though bright, had blacks that weren't nearly as black as we would have liked to see. It's not an impressive phone, but what do you expect for €79 (US$110)?
The Prestigio MultiPhone 8500 DUO is the more impressive of the two. It brings a larger and sharper 5-inch display with 720x1280 resolution. Granted, we being spoiled by the high-end wares of HTC, Nokia, and Samsung have come to expect a full 1080p at this display size, we shouldn't expect such at this price point. Thankfully this phone at least has 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and microSD expansion. There's also an 8-megapixel camera here, with 2 megapixels on the front. The 8500 DUO is also thinner, measuring in at 8.3mm (0.32 inches)
Unlike the slick 8400 DUO, the larger 8500 DUO has a slightly-textured curved back case with a hump for the camera and the big chrome Prestigio shield below. This phone also has a gray plastic band around the glass front, though here it's angled in to create an edge that helps make the phone seem a bit thinner. The screen on the 8500 also seems to be of at least slightly higher quality, with more saturated colors and deeper blacks (though not nearly as dark as we'd like).
The bigger and better display of the MultiPhone 8500 DUO in the thinner body, plus a few other improvements over the 8400 DUO also mean an increase in the price. The 8500 DUO will set back prospective customers by €149 (US$210).
Prestigio's first Windows Phone offerings aren't entirely impressive in the hand, but they're not offensive either. They're affordable Windows Phones meant for markets where they could use more affordable smartphones just like these.
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Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.