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New Lumia 430 Costs $70, Microsoft Continues Low-End Smartphone Strategy

Earlier this month, we discussed Microsoft's global low-end smartphone strategy, and today Microsoft is continuing on that path with the release of the Lumia 430.

The Lumia 430, as the name suggests, is the smallest and least powerful of Microsoft's new smartphones. It's also the least expensive at a mere $70.

It features a 4-inch display with a resolution of 800 x 480, dropping PPI down to 235. Naturally, with the smaller size and being designed as a low-end phone, the battery capacity also drops down to 1500 mAh, which is half that of the upcoming Lumia 640 XL.

Maximum talk time has dropped by over half compared to the Lumia 640 smartphones, but battery life when using compute intensive applications like games should not decrease too much, as the hardware inside is also less powerful and should consume less power.

The Lumia 430's storage and memory are the same as the upcoming Lumia 640 and 640 XL, featuring 8 GB of internal storage (expandable with up to 128 GB via microSD card) and 1 GB RAM.

To save costs, Microsoft opted for a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 SoC running at 1.2 GHz, instead of the Snapdragon 400 SoC inside of the Lumia 640 and 640XL. Looking at the list of Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processors, we find that only two are dual-core units rated at 1.2 GHz -- Snapdragon 200 8210 and Snapdragon 200 8610.

From this information, we are able to ascertain that the CPUs inside are ARM Cortex-A7. The GPU is either an Adreno 302 or Adreno 305, but the spec is very similar for both, so the GPU difference shouldn't vary greatly either way.

Of all the tradeoffs Microsoft employed in the Lumia 430 to keep the price low, the one that users will feel most is the camera. Although the front camera is rated the same as many budget smartphones at 0.3 MP, the back camera is only 2.0 MP and isn't capable of taking 1080p video, with a max still photo resolution of 1600 x 1200.

Fortunately, the dual-SIM capabilities are a prominent feature. Dual-SIM support has become very popular in recent years, especially for people who need separate phone numbers for work and their personal lives and don't want the hassle of carrying two devices.

The smartphone is estimated to cost $70, which should make it quite competitive in the budget phone market. It is expected to enter the market sometime in April, around the time the Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL will launch.

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Michael Justin Allen Sexton is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers hardware component news, specializing in CPUs and motherboards.