It's been nearly a year since Nokia's teamup with Microsoft was announced but we're finally going to see the results locally, with the Lumia 800 launching on all networks in March.
Nokia's eagerly anticipated first smartphone running Microsoft's Windows Phone OS is set for release across the Telstra, Optus and Vodafone networks and will be available from March, the company announced today. The Nokia Lumia 800, which went on sale in Europe late last year, physically resembles the company's last major smartphone release in the Australian market -- the vibrantly colourful but ultimately ill-fated N9
(which was hamstrung by its reliance on the isolated MeeGo operating system) -- but under the hood the Windows Phone UI will ensure a very different beast. Available in the three colours you can see here, the Lumia 800 touts itself as a smartphone all-rounder, featuring a 3.7-inch display, 8MP camera, 16GB onboard storage, plus built-in Nokia features Nokia Drive (free turn-by-turn navigation) and Nokia Music (including Mix Radio).
The wait for Nokia's first Windows Phones (overseas the 800 was launched alongside a lower-end model, the Lumia 710) created a fever-pitch level of anticipation for the devices internationally in 2011, stemming from when the company's collaboration with Microsoft was first announced
nearly a year ago, with the world eager to see if Nokia, once a far-and-away leader in the mobile industry, could regain its competitive edge via the new pairing after having seen its dominance (alongside that of mobile stablemate RIM) erode in recent years due to the smartphone successes of the iPhone and Android. Underscoring the back-to-the-drawing-board thinking that the Lumia line represents more broadly for Nokia's smartphone business, the company is itself proclaiming that the new model "marks Nokia’s return to the Australian smartphone market". Whether the new models will spell a return to the company's former peaks as well remains to be seen, but a positive reception for the Lumia line overseas suggests March's release will hopefully have been worth waiting for.