Nokia announces first Windows smartphones, teams up with Monster on headphones, is set to launch free music service

Nokia's holding its Nokia World event in London right now, and among the announcements so far are a whole raft of Windows-based smartphones, a partnership with Monster to make headphones to match the mobile products, and the launch of the Nokia Music online service.

The most talked-about new products are the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 models, with the flagship 800 (above), described by Nokia as 'stunningly social', being effectively the company's N9 model now toting Windows Phone Mango as its operating system, running on a 1.4GHz processor.

It's said to 'bring content to life with head-turning design, Nokia's best social and Internet experience, familiar Nokia elements, such as leading imaging capabilities and new signature experiences.'

A 3.7in AMOLED curved glass touchscreen is used, along with an 8MP camera with a Carl Zeiss lens, and, like Nokias of the past, the 800's designed for good battery life: Nokia claims 13 hours of talk-time, which is going some for a smartphone.

The junior model, the 710 (above), has a 5MP camera and a range of customisable back covers, plus seven hours' talk time.

The company estimates that the Lumia 800 will sell for €420, and the 710 €270.

Below those sit four Asha models, which the company says 'blur the line between smartphones and feature phones, offering QWERTY and touch screen experiences, combined with fast and easy access to the Internet, integrated social networking, messaging and world-class applications from the Nokia Store.'

Also announced is the Nokia Music service with MixRadio: as well as being able to buy MP3 tracks, users can also listen to free playlists. MixRadio is described as 'a free, global, mobile music-streaming application that delivers hundreds of channels of locally-relevant music.

'In an update delivered later this year, Nokia Lumia users will also gain the ability to create personalized channels from a global catalogue of millions of tracks.

'Also integrated in Nokia Music is Gigfinder, providing the ability to search for live local music for a complete end-to-end music experience, as well as the ability to share discoveries on social networks and buy concert tickets also coming in the Nokia Music software update delivered later this year.'

Finally, Nokia has teamed up with Monster to produce two headphone models to partner the new phones: these are the on-ear Nokia Purity HD Stereo Headset by Monster and an in-ear design (below) with a similarly snappy name.

These are said to be 'the first output of the exclusive long-term partnership between Nokia and Monster', and will come in a range of colours to reflect the finishes available on the Lumia and Asha models.

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Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.