The Nokia 105 $20 feature phone is dirt cheap and loving it [MWC]

Mobile World Congress 2013 has a spectacular slew of smartphones and tablets, but let’s not forget about the little guys, the feature phone. Nokia’s gone and released the 105, a US$20 baby-brother with a colour screen (wow, colour) and a FM Radio. There’s also the US$85 301, but the focus here is this throwaway gem. Here’s what you need to know:

The Nokia 105, pocket change redefined 

Nokia 105

Features include the above-mentioned FM radio, a flashlight, speaking clock, 12.5 hours of talk time, 35 hours standby and a 1.45-inch “true colour screen”. It’s going to be released in China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Russia, Vietnam and other markets in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. According to The Next Web, it’s a “super lightweight phone”, and runs off Series 30, an exceptionally basic mobile OS. Its release will still be Q1 2013, so dig into those pockets, this is an ideal second or third phone.

Nokia 301, the smarter feature phone

The US$85 Nokia 301 is a little smarter than the 105. It’s a feature phone, with some smart phone options. Behold. It sports a 2.4-inch display, has a 3.2-megapixel camera (which has a slew of optional extras such as a panorama mode), and will come in both a single and dual-sim model. Happily, the 301 will also give users access to Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. There’s even a stripped down version of Mail for Exchange. The 301 is sounding better and better. Finally, it’s coming out Q2 2013 in over 120 countries.

A decent “dumb” smartphone?

Yes, the tone is flippant, but this is a brilliant emerging market device and will sell in the millions, something Nokia desperately needs right now, says the New York Times, and us. Honing its focus on affordable phones is Nokia’s forte. With only 4.4-million Lumias sold, it’ll be up to the 105 and the 301 to pave the way for Nokia once more.

Steven Norris: grumpy curmudgeon


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