Manufacturer support is key for Windows Phone in the ongoing battle against its more popular rivals, Android and iOS, as it needs a more diversified handset portfolio to successfully cater to the needs of a wider range of consumers, most of whom are not part of its growing user base. The platform is heading in the right direction though, as, since earlier this year, Microsoft announced a significant number of new partnerships, some of which have already borne fruit at Computex.
Indian smartphone maker Micromax, which is the second-largest vendor in its home market, is the latest new partner to add to the Windows Phone collection. The company just announced the Canvas Win W121 and Canvas Win W092, which are similar in specifications to the Nokia Lumia 630 and Lumia 525, respectively.
The two new Windows Phones, which appear to run Windows Phone 8.1 judging by Microsoft's own announcement, are aimed at the Indian market, sporting low-end hardware and affordable prices. Locally the Canvas Win W121 will be available for Rs. 9,500 (roughly £93), while the Canvas Win W092 will go for Rs. 6,500 (roughly £64). Here is what they offer.
The Canvas Win W121 (pictured above) packs a 5in IPS display with a resolution of 720 x 1280, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor, 1 GB of RAM, 8 MP main camera with LED flash, 2 MP secondary camera, 8 GB of internal storage, microSD card slot and dual-SIM support. Micromax is giving its smartphone a "leather finish back panel", which should make it feel more premium than it is.
Meanwhile, the Canvas Win W092 (pictured below) offers a 4in IPS display with a resolution of 480 x 800, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor, 1 GB of RAM, 5 MP main camera with LED flash, 0.3 MP secondary camera, 8 GB of internal storage, microSD card slot and dual-SIM support.
A quick comparison with the aforementioned Lumia devices reveals that both of Micromax's new Windows Phones offer better hardware specifications for a similar amount of money, which is something that will be highly appealing to prospective buyers on a budget.