The age of the feature phone is well and truly over, but no one tell Microsoft — we will just wait and see how long it takes for the company to realize.
On Tuesday, Microsoft introduced a Nokia feature phone called the Nokia 216. It is not the most impressive phone on the market when it comes to specs, but it is also not the most expensive phone on the market either.
The device is targeted at the next billion users — people who may not have ever owned a phone before. It offers a 2.4-inch QVGA display with two 0.3-megapixel rear-facing and front-facing cameras and runs Series 30+ OS, the successor to Nokia’s discontinued Series 30 OS. This operating system does not run Java apps, but you will have access to apps like Facebook and a web browser, the Opera Mini.
According to the Microsoft website, you will also get “high-quality voice calls, outstanding battery life, a built-in torchlight, FM Radio3, MP3 and video player, up to 18 hours talk time, up to 24 days standby time, 4 Bluetooth 3.0 and Bluetooth audio support for headsets. Space for up to 2,000 contacts.”
If you are reading this in the U.S. or U.K., chances are you will not be buying this phone or even see anyone else with it. It does make sense, however, as a way to reach the next billion users — it costs a tiny $37, and will be available in India next month.
Microsoft has had a rough history in the phone business. The company has largely failed to capture any real audience for its Lumia line of phones and rumors indicate that it will kill off the Lumia brand in favor of the Surface-branded phones at some point in 2017.