Don't scoff at cheap smart- phones. They only seem to be getting better. With Nokia's aim to remain relevant, you can expect more from the company's budget-line models.
The mobile phone manufacturer once popular for its high-end lifestyle and business phones, is making a foray into cheap phones all with the intention of recapturing the hearts of the masses and the fast- growing affordable smartphone market.
It's not only moving on from focusing on Windows-based phones to making Android models, (which actually makes more sense) but also packing up the phones with Microsoft's services and other Nokia experiences like Skype, OneDrive and outlook.com.
At the recent Mobile World Congress 2014, Nokia revealed five affordable handsets that included a new family of smartphones debuting on the Nokia X software -- the Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL -- and Nokia Asha 230 and Nokia 220.
The Nokia X software platform is based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).
These devices come with Fastlane, a screen that lets users switch between their favourite apps. Also available on these phones for free are Nokia's HERE Maps, the offline maps and integrated turn-by-turn navigation, and Nokia MixRadio, a music streaming and downloadable playlists.
All devices are also preloaded with a variety of third-party apps and games.
With the purchase of any Nokia X family smartphone in select markets, users will get one month of Skype's unlimited world subscription to make international calls to landlines in more than 60 countries and to mobile phones in eight countries. The Nokia X family of phones is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processor and supports dual SIM.
The Nokia X has a four-inch m-place switching capacitive display and three-million pixel camera. It will be rolled out soon in Asia Pacific, Europe, India, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa at an estimated price of E89 (RM400).
The Nokia X+ is packed with more storage and memory and designed for multimedia users who want to enjoy more games, music, photos and videos.
The phone is expected to be available in the early second quarter at E99 (RM450). The Nokia X and X+ models will be available in bright green, bright red, cyan, yellow, black and white.
The Nokia XL has a five-inch display with a 2MP front-facing camera and a 5MP rear-facing, autofocus camera with flash. It's suitable for Skype video calls. The phone will be available in bright green, orange, cyan, yellow, black and white some time in the second quarter for E109 (RM490).
NOKIA ASHA 230
This is Nokia's most affordable full-touch Asha device to date priced at E45 (RM200).
The phone has popular social apps like Line, WeChat and WhatsApp. With a forthcoming software update, the Nokia Asha 230 will introduce 7GB of free cloud storage on Microsoft OneDrive and the option to automatically back up photos to the cloud. It is available in single and dual SIM variants.
This Internet-ready mobile phone with social apps has a 2.4-inch colour screen and a dust- and splash-proof keypad. Priced at EUR 29 (RM130), the phone comes pre-loaded with Facebook and Twitter, and Bing as the default search engine.
The phone is available in single and dual SIM variants.
The Nokia Asha 230 and Nokia 220 models will start rolling out soon in Asia Pacific, Europe, India, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.