Last year, Microsoft revealed its plan of removing the Nokia branding from its Lumia phones. But the company still actually makes legacy feature handsets under the Nokia branding from time to time. Well, during press day of the Consumers Electronics Show 2015 (CES 2015), Microsoft just unveiled one such device.
The new Nokia 215 is a candybar mobile phone that sells for $29, runs on the old Series 30+ operating system, and comes pre-installed with the Opera Mini web browser and Facebook Messenger.
As far as hardware specifications go, the Nokia 215 offers nothing beyond the ordinary. It comes with a humble 2.4-inch display screen with 320 by 240 pixel resolution. It features a 0.3-megapixel camera, FM Radio, and Bluetooth connectivity.
However, the web services pre-installed on the handset may just be the thing that gives the Nokia 215 a slight edge over other feature phones. The Opera Mini browser should provide some basic web surfing capability, made possible by processing web pages over the cloud and transmitting them to the handset.
Social media savvy users might find the pre-installed Facebook, Messenger, and Twitter apps particularly useful. Plus, it lets users log in to these social network sites even without a 3G connection. Of course, this being a Microsoft, it will come pre-installed with MSN weather and Bing Search apps too.
Another advantage of the Nokia 215 is its battery life, which lasts longer compared to other feature phones. Consider this: when fully charged, the handset can give users 20 hours of talk time and can even manage 29 days on average use before being charged again.
It is not clear yet when Nokia 215 will hit US stores. According to Microsoft, the phone is aimed at first time mobile device buyers in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The company is looking at launching the device in these markets before the end of the first quarter of the year.
Microsoft is already offering a wide range of price options through its diverse line of Lumia devices. With the Nokia 215, the company is clearly pushing its price flexibility even further. True, there are Lumia devices that are affordable, but none can beat the $29 price tag of the Nokia 215. Also, the Middle East, Africa, and certain parts of Asia are rapidly emerging mobile markets, and Microsoft evidently wants to make its presence known by offering the Nokia 215 as a quick and easy option, especially for those buying their very first mobile devices.
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