Microsoft still believes in feature phones, launches $29 Nokia 215

The 2G phone can remain on standby for 29 days between charges, and has Twitter and Facebook integration

The Nokia 215 lacks a 3G connection, but has Twitter and Facebook integration.

The Nokia 215 lacks a 3G connection, but has Twitter and Facebook integration.

Launching a feature phone at the beginning of 2015 may seem strange, but Microsoft is convinced there is still a market for the Nokia 215 as a second phone and in parts of the world were electricity is scarce and budgets are small.

Microsoft calls Nokia 215 the company's most affordable "Internet-ready entry-level phone" with Facebook and Twitter integration. The screen measures 2.4 inches and the camera has a 0.3-megapixel resolution.

On the software side, it uses the Series 30+ operating system and has Bing Search and an Opera Mini Browser. Opera redirects traffic to the browser via its own servers to be able to decrease the amount of data sent to the phone. That's sorely needed on a phone like the Nokia 215, which has maximum download speed of only 236.8kbps using Edge.

Besides the US$29 price tag, the phone's stand-by time of up to 29 days is the biggest attraction. For people who live in parts of the world were electricity isn't readily available, that's an important consideration.

The reasoning behind sticking with this segment of the market for now is pretty straightforward; The development costs -- including components and patent licensing -- are too high for smartphones to compete at the very bottom end of the market, according to Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics. So feature phones aren't going away, he said in a recent interview.

Global mobile phone shipments increased to 459.5 million during the third quarter, including about 140 million feature phones.

Unlike on smartphones, Microsoft has decided to keep the Nokia brand on its cheapest phones. The Nokia brand is more well-known in parts of the world were feature phones are still relevant.

The Nokia 215 with one or two SIM slots is first rolling out in some parts of the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe during this quarter.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags consumer electronicsMicrosoftsmartphones

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?