Microsoft's Fascination With Budget Smartphones Continues With 5-Inch Lumia 540 Dual SIM

You could be forgiven for thinking that Microsoft's mission these days is to equip everyone with low-cost Nokia handsets. In reality, Microsoft has bigger goals in mind, though certainly that's been a major focus lately (especially in emerging markets), and it continues with the release of the Lumia 540 Dual SIM, a 5-inch high definition smartphone with a budget price tag.

Microsoft is pitching the handset as a solid option for someone looking for their "first serious smartphone." By that, Microsoft means a 5-inch display with a 1280x720 resolution (294 ppi), 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of onboard storage, microSD card slot, 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with auto focus and LED flash, 5-megapixel front-facing camera, and a 2,200 mAh removable battery.

Lumia 540 Dual SIM

On the software side, it's running Windows Phone 8.1 and will be upgradeable to Windows 10 later this year. It also comes with 15GB of OneDrive cloud storage plus another 15GB after activating auto-upload to OneDrive.

"The Lumia team is passionate about product-making, creating every smartphone with a distinct design personality within a coherent design approach," said Iain Pottie, senior design manager of industrial design and mechanics at Microsoft. "Our customers are the source of so much inspiration, but we know they have different needs and budgets, so we always want to provide choice. That’s why today we’re introducing the new Lumia 540 Dual SIM."

Lumia 540 Dual SIM Music

Compared to flagship devices like the Samsung Galaxy S6, Apple iPhone 6, HTC One, and so forth, there's not much in the spec sheet here to get overly excited about. However, it's the $149 price tag, sans contract, that is the selling point.

Alas, it doesn't appear as though the Lumia 540 Dual SIM will set foot on U.S. soil. Instead, it will start rolling out in early May to the IMEA and APAC regions, and to Italy.