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article imageMicrosoft launches another feature phone, the $55 Nokia 230

By James Walker     Nov 25, 2015 in Technology
Microsoft has launched another Nokia-branded affordable feature phone, showing there is still an audience for devices without touchscreens. The Nokia 230 is aimed primarily at developing markets, featuring a 2.8-inch display and Internet connectivity.
The handset is available in single-SIM or dual-SIM configurations. The small screen has a resolution of 240x320 and is joined by an alphanumeric keypad.
On the front, the 230 looks similar to other recent Nokia-branded feature phones but the design gets more interesting around the back. The rear cover is made of silver or black aluminium. Darker sections at the top and bottom and the placement of the circular camera and flash give the $55 phone a look distinctly reminiscent of the design of Apple's iPhone 6 and the HTC One A9.
The phone has two 2-megapixel cameras, one on each side. Both are accompanied by LED flashes which can be used as a torch, an important feature in developing markets. The handset's 1,200mAh battery provides a talk time of up to 23 hours and standby time of 27 days for the single SIM variant. The dual SIM edition will last 22 days without a charge.
As with Microsoft's other recent feature phones, connectivity on the Nokia 230 is remarkably good. It charges over micro USB, has a 3.5mm headphone jack and supports micro SD cards.
The $55 Nokia 230 feature phone  launched by Microsoft on 25/11/2015 with Nokia Series 30+ software
The $55 Nokia 230 feature phone, launched by Microsoft on 25/11/2015 with Nokia Series 30+ software
A selection of "apps" are included and more can be downloaded from the Opera Store. Microsoft bundles the Opera Mini browser, Bing Search, an MP3 player and FM radio and a selection of apps and games. Customers will be able to download one free Gameloft title every month for a year after they purchase their phone.
The Nokia 230 and Nokia 230 Dual SIM will cost $55 USD before local taxes and subsidies. They may not be the typical buyer's first choice in developed nations but Microsoft's previous efforts in this sector have proven to be a massive hit across the world. The $20 Nokia 105 is believed to have shipped over 80 million units since its launch last year. The handset was updated this June and joined by the $37 Nokia 222 in August.
Microsoft now sells three different Nokia-branded feature phones, the $20 105, $37 222 and $55 230. The pricing of the new addition could make it a harder sell than the existing devices as it is now possible to pick up smartphones for around $50, including Microsoft's own Lumia-branded Windows Phone handsets.
The 230 does have some features that its smart rivals can't even hope to boast of though. In developing markets, things like a three-week battery life are more important than whether a phone can run the latest hit game. The 230 looks to become the 'premium' dumb phone of sorts, designed to look good while emphasising low-cost, always-on connectivity.
More about Microsoft, Nokia, nokia 230, Feature, Phone
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