The site Winfuture has managed to procure some marketing material for yet-unannounced Microsoft Lumia 550. Windows Central can not only confirm the information but add a lot more to it. In fact, we have seen the device already and can verify some aspects of this new Windows Phone
Lumia 550 'Saimaa' RM-1127
- 1.1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 quad-core (unconfirmed)
- Removable SD
- 8 GB internal storage
- 4.7-inch 720 x 1280 AMOLED display
- Glossy White or Black polycarbonate
- On-screen keys
- Metal around the display
- Displaces Lumia 640
- Speaker lower left on the rear
- Rear camera with flash
- Front-facing camera with flash
The Lumia 550 looks exactly like the current Lumia 640 on the market, and indeed, this phone is meant to displace that device at some point (there is no Lumia 6xx coming, to our knowledge). The prototype we saw has a glossy white cover and retains the boxy look of the Lumia 640. There a very slight lip around the rear camera, which also has an LED flash.
Perhaps the most interesting part, however, is on the front of the phone. In the upper right-hand corner, there appears to be a double LED flash. On the opposite left side is the front-facing camera. Some speculation suggested it could be an iris scanner, but that hardware feature looks only to be for flagship phones. Microsoft released the Lumia 730 and Lumia 735 with their first 5 MP front-facing camera, and the whole 'selfie' craze for budget phones does not look to be a one-off experiment.
Adding to what we witnessed, back in July Evan Blass aka Evleaks asked the question "Has there yet been a Windows Phone with a front-facing flash?". This info corroborates what we have seen.
However, we should note the prototype we saw was rather old, and the camera app would not even launch to verify what we saw on the front of the device. Newer prototypes are evidently now circulating inner circles at Microsoft for further testing. It remains to be seen what the finalized features are going to be for this phone, so take what we a reporting here with some room for adjustment upon release.
Speaking of release, we do not yet know when the Lumia 550 will hit shelves. To our knowledge, Microsoft is only planning to announce the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL in New York next month and not this phone. However, seeing as marketing materials and prototypes are floating around, Microsoft may slide this device into that announcement as well.
Our initial reports suggested an early 2016 release.
The Lumia 550 appears to build off of the Lumia 640's strengths but lowers the pricing tier and model number. This pushdown is a familiar strategy for Microsoft, who drives last-gen specs to lower pricing points as their portfolio allows.
We'll keep you posted about the Lumia 550 and any more information we come across.
Planned Lumia Windows Phones
- Talkman (Lumia 950)
- Cityman (Lumia 950 XL)
- Saana (Lumia 850?)
- Saimaa (Lumia 550)
- Unnamed Microsoft-Intel Project
In related news, there is also the un-announced Saana Lumia Windows Phone yet to be revealed. This device is a Lumia 830 successor that was planned, cancelled, and then brought back a few weeks ago as I reported.
Other planned prototypes including Honjo and Guilin (5xx and 7xx replacements) still remain cancelled to our knowledge.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.