Microsoft has announced a pair of new Lumia devices – the Lumia 630 and the flagship Lumia 930, powered by Microsoft’s latest mobile platform, Windows Phone 8.1.

Windows Phone 8.1 smartphones are even more personal, with new features including Action Centre, which complements Live Tiles by showing new activities and notifications at a glance; and senses, a suite of features that takes the work out of managing data use, storage space and battery life.

Windows Phone 8.1 also makes it easier for IT professionals to manage devices, and for professionals to connect to essential business apps and services with features such as simplified device enrolment, a built-in mobile device management client, S/MIME for encrypted mail and VPN support.

The new features integrate beautifully with Windows Phone signature features like Live Tiles, which have been improved to add the possibility of a third row of tiles to all Windows Phones, as well as transparency giving even more personalisation with unique backgrounds. Extensive on device search, a reworked calendar, improved People Hub with direct app integration and the new Word Flow keyboard make Windows Phone 8.1 an extensive update.

The first Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone to hit the market is the Lumia 630, the successor to the successful Lumia 520.

“We hit a sweet spot with the Lumia 520, and together with our partners ended up with a real hit. With the Lumia 630, we set a new standard for affordable smartphones. The device combines Windows Phone 8.1 with quad core processing and uncompromised cloud-connected experiences from Microsoft,” says Patrick Henchie, head of product for Microsoft Mobile Devices in South and East Africa.

With a vibrant design with changeable covers, the Lumia 630’s quad-core Snapdragon processor provides a faster social experience on leading social apps like WhatsApp and WeChat. Benefiting from high-end Lumia apps such as Nokia Camera, maps and navigation from HERE, plus free MixRadio streaming, the device brings people a premium experience at an excellent price.

The Lumia 630 also boasts a 4.5-inch ClearBlack screen, which makes games, apps and entertainment look fantastic.

At the high-end, the Lumia 930 brings South African consumers a device that maintains a language of innovation while combining the very best of Microsoft and Lumia. A powerful 2.2GHz Snapdragon quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM ensure the Lumia 930 delivers superb performance.

With a 20MP PureView camera, ZEISS optics and optical image stabilization, the Lumia 930 also comes with unparalleled HD video and four high-performance microphones that enhance the clarity of your subjects and block out unwanted noise.

Integrated Dolby Surround Sound also makes for a similarly rich audio experience when watching movies or listening to music. The five-inch, 1080p Full HD, ClearBlack screen display provides a deeply detailed viewing experience and Nokia Rich Recording delivers a flawless video experience. LTE-ready and with a 2420 mAh battery, the Lumia 930 will efficiently keep going all day (and longer) while built-in wireless charging adds to the convenience.

All new Windows Phone 8.1 smartphones come with the strong suite of fully integrated Microsoft services. These include full mobile version of Office, with favourites like Word, PowerPoint, OneNote and OneDrive – which now offers 15Gb of cloud storage completely free. Windows Phones are also the only smartphones with Xbox built-in, meaning your gaming experience travelling from phone, to PC, to Xbox.

The Lumia 630 is expected to be available in July at a recommended retail price of R1999. Pricing of the Lumia 930 will be announced when the device becomes available during Q3.