Nokia Lumia 510 Leaks for Tight Budgets: $150 Unlocked, Windows Phone 7.8

By Alexandra Burlacu | Oct 05, 2012 12:17 PM EDT

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Nokia has always been successful in emerging markets due to its budget-friendly phone offerings, and although the company has teamed up with Microsoft, it still caters to the more budget-conscious with the Lumia 510.

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While the spotlight has been on the Windows 8 smartphones Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820, a new low-end phone has been spotted in the wild. The Lumia 510 will reportedly go on sale in China before the end of the year, and reach additional markets early next year.

The news comes from GSMArena, who received a leaked photo of the Lumia 510. This low-end handset is expected to come in below the Lumia 610 in terms of price and, as expected, it will pack modest hardware.

The Lumia 510 will reportedly sport a 4-inch LCD display and pack an 800MHz Qualcomm processor under the hood, with only 256MB of RAM. It is not certain whether the handset will have a micro SD expansion card slot, as it reportedly comes with only 4GB of built-in storage. The device will also have a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera without LED flash, but no front-facing camera. Meanwhile, a blurred out video from a second leak shows that the handset will be bulkier than its cousins.

Nokia is also reportedly loading the Lumia 510 with Windows Phone 7.8, not the latest Windows Phone 8, which further highlights its position as a low-end, entry-level handset.

Microsoft announced Windows Phone 7.8 as a sort of "value pack" for existing Windows Phone devices not running on Windows Phone 8. All handsets running Windows Phone 7.5 Mango will be upgradable to WP 7.8, which will bring the new customizable home screen from WP 8, as well as other new features.

"The nature of the investment [in Windows Phone 8] is primarily in areas that are not exploitable by existing hardware," Microsoft's Greg Sullivan explained in an interview with The Verge. "To do the work to bring all of those elements to a platform that can't exploit them wasn't necessarily the most efficient use of resource."

When it comes to carrier support, the Nokia Lumia 510 will reportedly work with GSM, CDMA, and HSPA networks. It will not have 4G LTE connectivity, but the $150 price tag for the unlocked handset does not really scream high-end specs and features. An unlocked device means users will not be tied to any carrier.

The Nokia Lumia 510 is expected to become available in time for the holiday shopping season, with a global release slated for early 2013. Nokia, however, has not made any announcement, so nothing is official just yet.

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