Nokia smartphone buying guide

A guide to buying a Nokia smartphone

Nokia, one of the world's most recognised and popular mobile phone brands, is in the middle of a complete change in strategy. In February 2011 the company announced that its core smartphones would be switching from Symbian, the software platform that previously ran on all Nokia phones, to Microsoft's new Windows Phone platform.

Although the Symbian platform gave Nokia phones plenty of features, the software was widely regarded as harder to user than newer iPhone and Android alternatives. When announcing the shift from Symbian to Windows Phone, Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop described Symbian as a "burning platform" and one that he admitted was "non-competitive" in leading markets like the US.

Nokia still produces a range of Symbian smartphones, but most of these are low or mid-range devices that are relatively inexpensive.

Nokia Lumia range

Nokia's Windows Phones are called the Lumia range. As the Microsoft and Nokia partnership is still in its infancy, there are currently only four Nokia Windows Phones on sale in Australia: the flagship Lumia 900, the Lumia 800 the Lumia 710 and the Lumia 610. More models are expected to follow.

In a bid to differentiate Lumia devices from other Windows Phones, Australian Lumia models include two Nokia exclusive applications — Nokia Drive, a free turn-by-turn GPS navigator with maps of 95 counties in 49 languages, and Nokia music, a service that includes 15 million music tracks as well as the Mix radio streaming music app.

Lumia models also include the Nokia Maps application, though this app is a free download in the Windows Marketplace and can be used on any Windows Phone device regardless of manufacturer.

Other Nokia phones

Despite moving away from Symbian for its main smartphone range, Nokia still sells and markets a number of Symbian phones. Most of these are inexpensive, low or mid-range models such as the Nokia C5.

Nokia also sells the N9 smartphone, which is the first and last device to run MeeGo software. Nokia has issued software updates to the N9 but is not officially supporting the OS anymore due to its primary focus on Windows Phone devices.