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Samsung launches low-end Windows Phone with 4-inch display

The phone will compete with Nokia's Lumia 610

Samsung Electronics has announced the Samsung Omnia M, a Windows Phone with a 4-inch Super AMOLED display that will first become available in Europe, the company said on Friday.

Samsung isn't providing any pricing, but the phone's specification suggests it will compete with Nokia's low-end phone, the Lumia 610.

The Omnia M has 384MB of RAM, less than the 512MB found in most Windows Phones. The Lumia 610 has 256MB.

That's possible thanks to an update to Windows Phone 7.5, which can run in less memory than the previous version -- although developers may have to optimize their apps to run in just 256MB of RAM.

The Omnia M hardware specification also includes a 1GHz processor, a 5-megapixel camera and 4GB of storage. The Lumia 610 has 3.7-inch display, an 800MHz processor, a 5-megapixel camera and 8GB of storage.

The Omnia M is 10.5 millimeters thick and weighs 119 grams, compared to 12 millimeters and 131.5 grams for the Nokia device.

Since the specifications are so similar, the price of the two phones should be close, and the Lumia 610 is priced at €189.

It is hard not to read anything in to the fact that the Android-based Galaxy S III got a huge launch last week while the Omnia M got just a blog post.

"Strategically, Android is where Samsung puts all its focus, but the company doesn't want to put all its eggs in one basket," said Roberta Cozza, principal analyst with Gartner.

The Omnia M will be available starting in Europe and then rolled out to other regions, Samsung said.

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