It is now official. With the unveiling of its latest mobile device, Microsoft has officially dropped the Nokia branding from its smartphones once and for all.
On Monday, the tech giant introduced the Lumia 535, which is part of the Nokia smartphone family that existed long before Microsoft completed its $7.2 billion purchase of the Finnish mobile manufacturing company this year.
But this time around, instead of retaining the once dominating Nokia branding, the new device is labeled as a Microsoft device (similar to other Microsoft gadgets like the Xbox or Surface).
For the record, the Lumia 535 is the first Lumia smartphone not to carry the Nokia brand name. This was bound to happen, of course. When Nokia was acquired by Microsoft, many had expected the latter to eventually drop the former's name. And now, it is done.
Aside from the branding, the Nokia company itself is set for many more changes while still going through the process of being absorbed by Microsoft. The most recent of these changes are certainly not minor. Microsoft is in the midst of getting rid of 18,000 of its employees (its largest layoff ever), and many of these employees belong to the Nokia segment.
Still, not all of the Nokia folks are getting laid off. Stephen Elop, the former CEO of Nokia, has now become the executive vice president of the Microsoft's devices group. His job involves overseeing all consumer hardware products, including Surface tablets, and of course, Lumia smartphones.
Speaking of Lumia devices, the latest one, the Lumia 535 is being positioned by Microsoft as a "5 x 5 x 5" device. This refers to the smartphone's: a) 5-inch QHD display screen (960 by 540 p resolution), b) 5-megapixel front-facing camera (wide angle), and c) 5 "great integrated Microsoft experiences", namely Skype integration, built-in Microsoft Office suite, OneDrive cloud storage (15 gigabytes), Cortana digital assistant, and Microsoft Outlook.
In terms of hardware, the Lumia 535 packs a serviceable Qualcomm 200 central process unit, and offers 1 gigabyte of random access memory and 8 gigabytes of internal storage. It also has a microSD card slot good for an additional 128 gigabytes and a 1,905 mAh battery that can provide 11 hours of talk time, give or take. Lastly, the smartphone runs on Windows Phone 8.1.
The device is priced at $136.70. However, retailers and carriers may alter this pricing upon release.
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