Microsoft recently decided to scale back production of their Windows phone, apparently with the aim of selling that side of the business, but it seems they are still committed to releasing mobile devices under the Nokia brand. On Tuesday, Nokia announced the release of the new 216, a device that will be available in India for Rs2,495, which is just $35.
India has seen a monumental increase in mobile connectivity in recent years, as is to be expected with such a huge nation that is developing so rapidly. With 1.23bn people spread across a large expanse of land, there have been great efforts made by businesses and NGOs to attempt to bring online banking to the rural areas of the country and this has mostly been achieved through providing low cost mobile phones on low cost tariffs. In fact, India boasts one of the lowest average mobile tariff rates in the world, thanks mainly to the competition between the media giants operating in the country. However, with only a quarter of the population currently having an internet connection, it is easy to see why Microsoft and Nokia are attempting to muscle in on such a potentially lucrative market.
So, what is the phone like?
The Nokia 216 mixes the analogue buttons seen on older phones with the accessibility and usability of apps on your current smartphone. It has a 2.4” screen, and the entire device is just 4.5” tall, which is just a little bit bigger than classic models like the incredibly popular Nokia 6610.
The phone focuses on applying the key features of a smartphone to a more accessible model, providing a front and back camera as well as flash which can be used as a torch. As this is a phone designed for use in rural areas and all over India, the battery life offers a potential 18hrs of talk time and 24 DAYS of standby time.
The Nokia 216 is undoubtedly ready to change the lives of many, but whether it will be sold in other countries is yet to be announced. What also remains to be seen is whether this means that Microsoft will bring the Nokia name back to life around the world, or whether this revival is just for developing or newly-developed countries. Either way, it is great to see such a beloved brand making waves again.