Windows Phones are easier to make, so new vendors jump on board
Microsoft has realized that the only way to get more vendors to embrace Windows Phone is to make it easier for them to release Windows Phones. And that decision is paying off if its most-recent partnerships are of any indication.
Allview and Hisense, two vendors that target specific markets using low-cost devices, are now supporting the platform. The former, a Romanian company, has unveiled two new Windows Phones while the latter, which is based in China, has teased its newfound affinity for the tiled smartphone operating system on microblogging site Sina Weibo.
Microsoft made it possible for such vendors to jump on the bandwagon by dumping the ineffective Windows Phone licensing fee, adding new tools for companies to leverage, and lowering the minimum requirements by ditching the camera shutter button as well as the physical (capacitive) navigation buttons from the list. That means less expensive offerings, more vendor-friendliness and the ability to repackage Android smartphones as Windows Phones.
Since Allview has something concrete to release on the market, let's take a look at its upcoming Windows Phones. They are called Impera i and Impera S, and are now available to pre-order in Romania (and probably other markets) for RON 699 (roughly $216) and RON 749 (roughly $232), respectively (both prices include 24 percent VAT). Both are dual-SIM enabled.
Impera i highlights: 4.7-inch IPS display with a resolution of 720 by 1280; quad-core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor; 1 GB of RAM; 1,750 mAh battery; 8 MP main camera with LED flash; 2 MP secondary camera; 8 GB of internal storage; microSD card slot; HSPA+ cellular connectivity; Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.0; physical dimensions of 135.8 x 67.2 x 7.2 mm and weight of 98.9 grams. It runs Windows Phone 8.1.
Impera S highlights (pictured at the top): 5-inch IPS display with a resolution of 720 by 1280; quad-core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor; 1 GB of RAM; 1,750 mAh battery; 8 MP main camera with LED flash; 2 MP secondary camera; 8 GB of internal storage; microSD card slot; HSPA+ cellular connectivity; Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.0; physical dimensions of 144.85 x 72.1 x 8.75 mm and weight of 156.2 grams. It also runs Windows Phone 8.1.
In the Windows Phone market, Allview's new handsets will go up against devices like Nokia's Lumia 630, which is also available in a dual-SIM version but can be had for less money (it, however, has half the RAM capacity). Needless to say, there already are a bunch of comparable Android smartphone available at similar prices, which consumers will consider.