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article imageMicrosoft says dumb phones still exist, updates the $20 Nokia 105

By James Walker     Jun 3, 2015 in Technology
Adamant that there is still a place for dumb phones in a market now almost totally ruled by smart ones, Microsoft has updated its popular $20 Nokia 105 to make it an even more appealing offer in emerging markets or as an emergency backup device.
Not much has been changed on the tiny handset, first introduced in 2013. It still features a 1.45" LCD display with a classic alphanumeric keypad and a proprietary operating system dubbed "Series 30+", reminiscent of Nokia interfaces of old. The look of the handset has been updated to be a little more rounded, making it more durable and also a closer resemblance of Microsoft's current budget Lumia handsets.
It retains Nokia's branding though despite now being built by Microsoft. This is most likely so that its traditional design can appeal to long-standing fans of Nokia's dumb phone range while allowing Microsoft to reserve its own brand for Windows Phone Lumia devices.
The most notable addition is the expansion of the on-board memory so that the details of 2,000 contacts can now be stored. This is highlighted in the phone's introductory video which also shows off some of the 105's most-loved features such as the handy integrated flashlight.
The phone still retains the features that set it above other dumb offerings and has a 3.5mm headset jack and micro USB port for charging. Gone are the days of proprietary connections for feature phones. Mobile gaming favourites Snake Xenzia and Bubble Bash will be preinstalled and others will be available to download.
The battery life has been upped so that the phone can last 35 hours without charge on standby or 15 hours of talking. The speaker is now 20 percent louder in calls and a dual SIM option is available which should prove popular in the emerging markets that the 105 is aimed at.
The phone would also make a great backup device for a flagship smartphone though. Tough and durable with exceptional battery life, the new Nokia 105 costs just $20 and will retail globally from this month in black, white and cyan, according to a post on Microsoft's Conversations devices blog this morning.
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