Walmart offers the Lumia 710 for free

Posted by Mike Luttrell

Nokia's goal with the Lumia 710 is to establish it as the smartphone for consumers on a budget.

Now, Walmart is helping to take that goal to the next level. The discount retailer has begun offering the phone at no cost to those who sign up for a new two-year service agreement with T-Mobile.

The Lumia 710, the first Windows Phone-powered Nokia phone in the US, launched earlier this month at $100, with a $50 mail-in rebate making the final price just $50.

By making it a free phone, Walmart will no doubt boost the device's presence in a huge way.

It is arguably the most powerful free phone that you can get. There's a 1.4 GHz processor, 5-megapixel camera, 512 MB of RAM, and 8 GB of internal storage. Sure it isn't the Droid Razr or iPhone 4S, but that's enough power to be a serious smartphone.

Nokia is known worldwide for its mastery of ergonomics and manufacturing design, but it is also bringing serious enhancements to the software side of Windows Phone. Nokia Drive is an offline GPS navigation system and the ESPN Hub brings exclusive content only to Nokia phone users. In addition, Nokia has its own app storefront which looks to be curated in a much more appealing way than Windows Phone's previous app presence.

This is the big chance for both Nokia and Microsoft to establish a strong footing in an insanely competitive market. We'll see if the Walmart deal helps establish that.