News by Luke Jones on Friday September 12, 2014.
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Microsoft's struggles to grow the Windows Phone platform have been myriad, but one of the main problems has been giving the consumer choice. Nokia did an amazing job in every aspect, delivering smartphones of different styles and price points, but in the past if you wanted a Windows Phone you were limited to the Finnish company and the odd effort from elsewhere.This year though Microsoft has made a greater effort to pull in more manufacturers to the platform, especially lower tier brands to build budget and mid-range handsets. Those results have been bearing fruit and at IFA and CTIA over the last couple of weeks we have been seeing those non-Nokia smartphones. Here's a list of some of those devices. NGM Harley Davidson Perfect for all the Hell's Angels out there is the NGM (New Generation Mobile) Harley Davidson smartphone. Italian brand NGM has teamed up with the most famed motorcycle company of them all to deliver its first ever Windows based smartphone. Of course, this is a branded effort so you will need to have a certain affinity to Harley to have the front to tote this around. The Harley Davidson logo takes its place largely emblazoned across the rear plate and on the wallpaper window. This is a limited edition handset and also comes with a Harley branded leather case, because where would the biker spirit be without a splash of leather. Aside from that, this is actually a solid mid-range effort that sports a 5-inch (1280×720) HD screen coated in Gorilla Glass, 8GB of on board storage, a microSD slot, an 8 megapixel rear camera, Windows Phone 8.1 and a rather appealing price of $249 when it launches at the start of October. Kazam One thing we like about handsets from lesser known companies is that they often have pretty cool names. Take this new Windows device from Kazan, the optimistically named Thunder340W, the company?s first smartphone on the Windows Phone platform. The company has said more Windows smartphones are on the way, and the Thunder is leading the charge at the budget end. It gets a 4-inch WVGA IPS (480×800) display, a 5 megapixel rear camera, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage. No availability or price details have been given, but expect the Thunder340W to be for emerging markets only. Blu American company Blu signalled its Windows Phone intentions earlier in the year and have showed off their handsets before. The company is now launching the Win JR and WIN HD. The baby of the pair is the Win JR, a handset that is firmly targeting the entry level with its 4-inch screen, 5 megapixel auto focus rear lens (with LED flash), a 2 megapixel front facer, Windows 8.1, and microSD support. The handset also has dual SIM and arrives unlocked, available from Amazon and other retailers for the appealing price of $89.00. Hiking the specs a little is the Blu Win HD, which as the name suggests has a 5-inch HD IPS screen. It also boasts an 8 megapixel rear snapper with autofocus and LED flash, Full HD 1080p recording, a 2MP front facing lens, and a microSD slot. Like the JR, the Win HD runs Windows Phone 8.1 and comes unlocked with dual SIM support. It too is available through Amazon and other outlets, costing $179.00. Microsoft has also confirmed that both of these devices will also be made available through the company's own branded stores throughout the USA. Yezz Following up from its initial announcement at Computex, Yezz has shed more light on the Billy 4.7 Windows Phone and has revealed that the handset is now available for pre-order. The Billy has a 4.7-inch IPS (1280×720), is just 7.2mm thick, and has an 8MP/2MP camera configuration. The smartphone is available for pre-order at Amazon for $249 and will run on both AT&T and T-Mobile?s networks. Archos Archos recently announced its first Windows Phone device in the form of the 4 Cesium and the French company has now confirmed that the handset will arrive early October and will cost $149. The smartphone boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 Quad Core processor and a 4-inch screen. If you have been coveting a budget Window Phone handset, your options have just grown a bit beyond which Nokia Lumia to get, even if you should probably still end up getting a Nokia Lumia.
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at degree level before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news, as well as overseeing the site's content and direction.