Microsoft Nokia 105 $20 feature phone
Microsoft Nokia 105 $20 feature phone Microsoft

Technology giant Microsoft, early in 2013, surprised loyalists across the world by acquiring yet another technology giant Nokia's Devices and Services Business. This deal caused heartbreak among old Nokia loyalists, especially those who grew up using the Finland-based company's affordable cellphone range.

Besides, future Lumia smartphones (earlier Nokia Lumia) would not carry the popular Nokia Lumia label, but rather the Microsoft Lumia tag.

Post the Microsoft-Nokia deal, it was widely expected that the Redmond-based company would focus attention exclusively on launching top-end exclusively branded Lumia handsets to give rivals like Apple, Samsung and HTC a run for their money.

But Microsoft yet again surprised loyalists by launching the Microsoft Lumia 535 smartphone that falls into the category of value-for-money smartphones.

Post Lumia 535, nearly half a dozen affordable Lumia smartphones followed; but a recent launch by Microsoft catches the eye.

This handset is the Nokia 105 2015, a conventional basic feature-phone that seemingly caters to Nokia loyalists, to young adults and to corporate folks looking at owning a secondary cellphone in addition to their high-end smartphone mainly to separate work calls from personal ones.

Nokia branding - eye grabbing

The Nokia 105 2015 still comes with the Nokia branding (as the Finnish company's mobile devices rights now lie exclusively with Microsoft). With this approach, Microsoft's intentions are clearly reflected; win back erstwhile Nokia mobile users lost to rivals.

Despite not being a smartphone, Microsoft's new Nokia 105 could still strike a chord among people in emerging markets (a primary target reach of the new Nokia 105). With the cellphone priced at an ultra-low $20 (£13, Rs 1,282), both old-timers (people having used Nokia handsets across generations) and even young professionals could potentially give Microsoft's new feature-phone a thought.

Microsoft states that its new Nokia 105 retains all the elements that Nokia's exclusively-branded feature-phones were once known for.

Areas where Nokia 105 impresses

Apart from its ultra-affordable $20 price tag, Microsoft's Nokia 105 2015 incorporates a typical Nokia 800 mAh BL-5CB battery that is claimed to offer a talktime of up to 15 hours and the claimed standby time is up to 35 days on a single full charge.

Now, the battery configuration is not great in comparison to today's standard smartphones (even the basic smartphones are way ahead with respect to battery technicality), but Microsoft seems to have gauged the pulse of people who were once Nokia feature-phone users.

Predominant among the requirements of these people, is top class battery backup; this requirement is desired even today mainly by millions of people in emerging markets and countries, and by a sizeable population of cellphone buyers even in the more sophisticated markets.

The new Nokia 105 also provides two SIM-card slots; an aspect considered a rarity within similar-range handsets manufactured by reputed names.

With the above aspects, the Nokia 105 2015 should make for an impressive mobile-phone to be used strictly for communication needs. On paper, features provided by the handset do well to complement its price tag.

The latest Microsoft Nokia 105 runs Nokia's once popular Series 30+ feature-phone operating platform that provides for smooth/intuitive in-phone navigation, and the cellphone lets users store up to 2,000 contacts within.

Design-wise, the new Nokia 105 has the traditional Nokia look and feel and offers users the conventional Nokia keypad for inputting data.

Users should also be able to use the cellphone as an "emergency device" in case their more prioritised smartphone runs out of battery juice, especially when on the move.

A potential gift material

With the Microsoft Nokia 105 having all elements of a traditional Nokia feature-phone, the device should do well to get into gift packages aimed at the elderly; these folks are those whose children are now addicted to high-end smartphones and prefer gifting reliable mobile handset to their parents.

Nokia repackaged

With the above aspects incorporated, we feel that the new Microsoft Nokia 105 should once again stir up memories of using good-old Nokia along with Microsoft's promise of enhanced reliability.

Nokia 105 is a potential "old wine in a new bottle" that should grab eyeballs among people preferring a non-Chinese smartphone (a norm these days). Microsoft's new feature-phone also falls into the value-for-money phone segment.

Summary of tech-specs

The Nokia 105 2015 comes with the following key technical specifications onboard:

  • 1.45in 16/64-bit HighColour LCD display
  • Nokia Series 30+ operating platform
  • Dual SIM-card support
  • 800 mAh Nokia BL-5CB battery with claimed talktime of up to 15 hours and standby time of up to 25 days, on a single charge
  • Internal storage area for storing 2,000 user contacts
  • Dimensions: 108.5 x 45.5 x 14.1 mm.