By Lisa Carlin

Nokia is back with a bang (all Nokia fingers crossed) in the smartphone biz with the company’s first Windows-based smartphone range. The Lumia phones were unveiled in the company’s annual event, Nokia World, currently going on in London.

You will have to delay gratification though. The flagship Windows phone device, the Lumia 800, and its lower-end cousin, the Lumia 710, will  not be available here right now (expected sometime next year). Then again, Nokia has a less than 2 per cent market share in United States, which incidentally is currently the world’s largest smartphone market. Nokia also launched a lineup of phones called Asha (which means ‘Hope’ in Hindi).

Right Turn? A lot rides on the Lumia phones, both for Microsoft and Nokia. The two companies announced plans to form a broad strategic partnership in February of this year. It was decided around that time that Nokia would adopt Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy. Given that Nokia phones belong to the has-been genre as matters stand, and Windows phone can be categorized into the yet-to-be pile, can two not so rights make a right? We will find out in the coming months.

Nokia Lumia 800: The Nokia Lumia 800 features a 3.7 inch AMOLED curved display and a 1.4 GHz processor with hardware acceleration and a graphics processor. It has an instant-share camera with Carl Zeiss optics, HD video playback, 16GB of internal user memory and 25GB of free SkyDrive storage for storing images and music. The estimated retail price for the Nokia Lumia 800 will be approximately 420 EUR (plus taxes and subsidies).

The Nokia Lumia 800 is expected to come to the United States around early next year. The phones are not yet available for pre-order here.

Nokia Lumia 710: The Nokia Lumia 710 is designed for instant social and image sharing. With the same 1.4 GHz processor, hardware acceleration and graphics processor as the Nokia Lumia 800, the Nokia Lumia 710 is the cheaper bet. The estimated retail price for the Nokia Lumia 710 will be approximately 270 EUR (plus taxes and subsidies). You can find a complete list of specs here.

The Nokia Lumia 710 is scheduled to be available first in Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan toward the end of the year alongside the Nokia Lumia 800, before becoming available in further markets in early 2012.

Both the smartphones come with signature Nokia experiences optimized for Windows Phone, including Nokia Drive, a personal navigation device (PND); MixRadio, a free, global, mobile music-streaming application, among other things.

Stephen Elop (President and CEO, Nokia): We’re driving innovation throughout our entire portfolio, from new smartphone experiences to ever smarter mobile phones.

(Lisa Carlin is consulting editor with techtaffy.com. She can be reached at [email protected])