The first Windows Phone 8 devices were announced earlier this week, but we won't see the first models in Australia until later in November. Does that make this the ideal time to grab a cheap Windows Phone 7 device?
While you can still (in theory) buy a Windows Phone 7 device on contract, we can't possibly recommend that. We've known since June this year that Windows Phone 7 handsets won't be able to upgrade to Windows Phone 8. They will (eventually) get an update to Windows Phone 7.8, which includes a handful of 8's features (such as resizable home screen icons), but there won't be any major changes. If you want a contract Windows phone, waiting until late November and heading straight for Windows Phone 8 is the only sensible route.
However, if you want a cheap Windows Phone 8 device — perhaps as a gentle entry into the smart world for a dumbphone-hugging relative — there are some OK deals out there right now for unlocked handsets. Here's what we found on a quick tour around the main online phone stores for in-stock Windows Phone 7 devices. We've also linked each phone to its Gizmodo review.
- Nokia Lumia 900: $359 at Mobicity, $496 at Expansys, $388 at Mobileciti
- Nokia Lumia 800: $259 at Mobicity, $259 at Kogan, $288 at Mobileciti
- Nokia Lumia 610: $159 at Mobicity, $199 at Expansys, $250 at Mobileciti
- Nokia Lumia 710: $198 at Mobileciti
- Samsung Focus/Omnia W: $279 at Mobicity, $208 at Mobileciti
- LG Optimus 7: $349 at Mobicity, $215 at Mobileciti
Check carefully before buying: inclusions differ between providers, and some may be selling different models that don't support the frequency your chosen carrier users. Pricing will, oddly, often depend on the colour of the phone; we've listed the cheapest option we spotted.
Seen other Windows Phone 7 outright deals out there? Share them in the comments.
Lifehacker's weekly Planhacker column rounds up the best communication deals.