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article imageThe Nokia 222 is a $37 feature phone with a month-long battery

By James Walker     Aug 25, 2015 in Technology
Following on from the success of the ultra-cheap Nokia 105, Microsoft today announced a new feature phone with a similarly long-lasting battery life. The $37 Nokia 222 goes for 29 days on a charge and features Internet access, a camera and an MP3 player.
The phone is available with optional dual SIM support, a feature that is more important in the emerging markets that the 222 will be primarily targeted at. Microsoft says that the budget handset is "designed to connect more people to the Internet and allow them to capture and share their world in new ways."
As with the Nokia 105, Microsoft is again demonstrating that a phone doesn’t need to cost the earth or be "smart" in order to include useful features. The 222 includes a built-in media player, calendar, weather app, web browser and Facebook app and can be expanded with Java programs and games like the feature phones of old.
A Microsoft promotional video shows the phone playing a Java version of Assassin's Creed Brotherhood. A deal will allow buyers to download one free Gameloft game every month for a year, providing easy free entertainment.
The handset runs Nokia's Series 30+ firmware. It has a 2.4-inch display with a traditional alphanumeric keypad. The 2MP camera can be accessed by pressing one button from the home screen and media can be stored on micro SD cards up to 32GB in capacity.
A key feature is the bright flashlight, something that has turned out to be an unexpected star of the Nokia 105. Such an inclusion will once again be very welcome in emerging markets where electricity can turn off without notice.
The 1100mAh battery may sound tiny against the 3000mAh+ units in modern smartphones but it has very little to do. It lasts 29 days on standby in the case of the single SIM version or 21 days for the dual SIM edition. Talk time for both is 20 hours, FM radio playback 45 hours and MP3 listening 50 hours.
Microsoft is again adamant that a feature phone should not skimp on connectivity. The phone charges over a standard micro USB connector and has a 3.5mm headphone jack in place of the proprietary ports often used on low-end devices. The entire package weighs just 79g and will be on sale globally from September, priced at $37 before tax and subsidies.
The Nokia 222's precursor, the 105, has sold very well worldwide and is believed to have shipped 80 million units in its original form. Its month-long battery life and inclusion of thoughtful features relevant to the markets where it is most appropriate have brought it many fans and shown what such a device can do to places where electricity cannot be relied on and broadband is non-existent.
The 105, updated in June, has also proven popular in Western markets where its rugged robustness has made it a good first phone for children or an ideal back-up device for anybody. Perhaps the most striking thing about the 105 is its ability to show that feature phones are still relevant in the "smart" age. The launch of the Nokia 222 aims to continue Microsoft's aim of connecting people to the Internet by providing them with the low-cost devices that they need and want.
More about Microsoft, Nokia, nokia 105, nokia 222, feature phone
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