Microsoft Keeps the Feature Phone Alive With Two New Internet-Enabled Handsets, Nokia 230 and Nokia 230 Dual


In a world where over 350 million smartphones were shipped in just a single quarter, it is easy to make so many assumptions and ignore a well-known truth: there are still so many people using feature phones out there and, like their smartphone counterparts, they still need to upgrade, not to smartphones, but to other feature phones with improved, eer, features. This is exactly what Microsoft has been doing with devices like the Nokia 105 and the Nokia 215 which it has so far released in 2015 and thanks to such devices, despite almost being forgotten as far as smartphone market share goes, it is neck-to-neck with the top vendors when we look at mobile phone sales and shipment numbers.

Feature phones were the backbone of Nokia’s mobile phone business and Microsoft is holding on to them since it acquired the Finnish company’s mobile division. The trend continues today with the official announcement of a set of new internet-enabled feature phones: the Nokia 230 and 230 Dual.

The Nokia 230 and 230 Dual are essentially one and the same with the only differentiator being the latter’s ability to allow users to use two SIM cards for calls, messaging and accessing cellular data.

In addition to the basic features one would expect on a feature phone (or dumb phone as others would call them) and the ability to connect to the global information superhighway, the Nokia 230 features a dedicated camera key to allow users to easily take snaps with its 2-megapixel camera that, surprisingly, is backed by a LED flash. The Nokia 230 also has a 2 MP front-facing camera (selfies shouldn’t be just a preserve of smartphone owners you know!)

Here is a complete rundown of the specifications and features:

  • Size and weight: 124.6×53.3×10.9mm; 91.8g
  • Display: 2,8” QVGA (240*320)
  • Camera: 2MP with LED flash at the back; 2MP snapper on the front
  • Memory: Up to 32GB Micro SD supported
  • Operating system: Nokia Series 30+
  • Battery: 1200 mAh
  • Talk time & Standby time: Talk time: up to 23 hours; Standby time: up to 27 days for Single SIM, and up to 22 days for Dual SIM variant
  • Connectivity: 900/1800 MHz, micro USB, 3.5mm AV connector, Bluetooth 3.0 with SLAM
  • Others: Video player, Music player, FM Radio, Bing Search, Opera mini web browser, a free game from Gameloft every month for a year through the Opera Store

The two devices, which feature an aluminium back cover in either silver or dark silver, cost $55 (about Kshs 5,600 at current exchange rates) before local taxes and will be available from December in India, the Middle East and other Asian countries. Other regions that have been a target of such devices from Microsoft like Africa are expected to get them in early 2016.