This is a strange move from Microsoft if there ever was one. After scrapping the Asha and X ranges from Nokia’s fleet, the company has decided that it should remain in the low-cost phone market after all. Its latest offering? The cheapest-of-the-cheap Nokia 130, costing just US$25.
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Yes, it’s a ridiculously low price and that usually means skimping on a few options, but for a feature phone, the 130 flaunts some smartphone-like potential. Yet buyers won’t get a touchscreen, camera, or connectivity above 2G. It’s as basic as a phone can get, but this in itself seems to be one of its strong points.
What consumers do get are dual SIM slots, support for 32GB microSD media, 16 hours of video playback, with 46 hour music playback, and a claimed 36 days of standby time. Eat your heart out InkPhone.
Being a feature phone, we’re treated to actual (and dearly missed) buttons — a feature that is slowly and sadly dying out. It’s also a dinosaur in the OS department, running Nokia’s now-decade-old Series 30. Remember the 3510i? That was one of the first phones to sport it. The 130’s variety is a spruced up version though, and looks at home on the compact 1.8″ 128×160 screen.
Now, this may seem like an odd move for Microsoft, but the device itself is a brilliant idea. Melding low price feature phones with half-smartphone technologies (that are dropping in price) is an excellent ploy to plug the gap between the two device classes.
The Nokia 130 would also appeal to those wanting a low-cost device that can handle thousands of audio and video files, while lasting for days without a charge. It’s essentially the perfect secondary phone. But for those wanting a few more features, the upcoming round of Firefox OS phones will likely give it a run for its money.