Starting Wednesday in Asia, consumers can purchase the first Windows Phone 8.1(s msft) handset: Nokia has announced the start of Lumia 630 sales. Europe and the U.S. will have to wait a bit longer, as the phone isn’t expected in those regions until July. The off-contract price for the Lumia 630, before any taxes, will be $159 in the U.S. or €119 in other regions.
When I attended Microsoft’s Build event last month, I got a chance to try out the Lumia 630. I was generally impressed and may buy a unit to replace my older Lumia 52o. Although this clearly isn’t a flagship phone, it doesn’t have the price of one either. My early take is that the Lumia 630 is a good value: It runs the latest version of Windows Phone and includes Cortana, Microsoft’s personal assistant software. Most of the apps I tested ran smoothly as well.
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