Nokia Lumia 530, the £60 Windows Phone, on sale 4 September

Microsoft has confirmed the UK release date for the cheapest Lumia smartphone yet.

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Microsoft

If you fancy a Windows Phone for £60, you only have a couple of weeks to wait: Microsoft has confirmed the Nokia Lumia 530 goes on sale in the UK on 4 September.

The 530 is one of the first Lumia phones to arrive since Microsoft bought the phone-building branch of Finnish company Nokia, and the cheapest Lumia smartphone yet.

The 530 will be available from UK networks EE, Vodafone, O2, and Three, as well as from retailers Phones 4U and Carphone Warehouse. It comes in orange, green or grey.

Inside the 4-inch budget phone is a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with 512MB of RAM. The display has a 854x480-pixel resolution, adding up to 245 pixels per inch. It has a 5-megapixel camera, and it connects to the Web over 3G but not 4G.

In other markets the 530 will cost around €85 (which converts to around $115 or AU$120). That's before taxes, so you may add a few euros or dollars on top of that when it hits shelves.

Just because it's easy on the wallet doesn't mean the 530 will be a poor performer: Windows Phone software is a smartphone operating system that's designed to work equally well on lower-specced phones as on their more powerful relatives. It doesn't need a speedy processor to work properly, so if you buy a cheap Windows Phone you still get respectable smartphone performance and usability.

The savings come from cutting out hardware extras like 4G, a more powerful camera or a better quality screen. That makes budget Windows Phones like the Lumia 520 and Lumia 630 more attractive than cheap Android smartphones, which are noticeably slower and perform less well than higher-end Androids.

 

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