Orange adds first LTE smartphone under its own brand

The Lumo will help expand the audience for 4G technology

Orange has announced the addition of three smartphones to its device range, including its first LTE smartphone, the Lumo.

The operator has had some success with it own branded phones, including the Monte Carlo, which was Orange's best selling phone throughout 2012 in Spain. The operator is hoping to build on that success with the new line-up.

In addition to an LTE connection, the Lumo has a 4.5-inch screen with a 960-by-540 pixel resolution and an 8-megapixel camera. It is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor.

The Lumo is one of an increasing number of LTE smartphones that are intended to expand the availability of the 4G technology beyond high-end smartphones. Other products in this growing category include Samsung's Galaxy Express and the Optimus F series from LG Electronics, which was announced on Thursday.

"It is all about the continued democratization on the mobile Internet," said Patrick Remy, vice president of devices at Orange, regarding the Lumo.

Just like LG, Orange didn't announce what its LTE smartphone will cost.

Orange is also introducing the San Remo and the Nivo. The latter will be Orange's most affordable smartphone, but it still has a 4-inch screen and a 5-megapixel camera. The San Remo has a 4.7-inch display housed in a shell that is 8.2 millimeters thick. The phone is also equipped with an 8-megapixel camera. All three models are based on Android 4.1, and they also have an 802.11n Wi-Fi connection and A-GPS.

Going forward, Orange will use four-letter words, like the Lumo and Nivo, instead of cities when naming its own-branded phones, according to Remy.

The smartphones will start shipping during the first of the year across a number of Orange markets including Romania, Slovakia and Spain, although not all countries will carry all three devices. Pricing will be announced with local availability, but will be in line with previous Orange smartphone pricing, according to the operator.

All three devices will also be on display at Mobile World Congress, which starts on Feb. 25 in Barcelona.

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Mikael Ricknäs

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