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Nokia Brand Returns With Two Feature Phones

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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Start-up HMD introduces two Nokia-branded feature phones as it prepares to move into smartphones and tablets

Two new basic Nokia mobile phones were introduced on Tuesday courtesy of HMD Global, the Finnish start-up that officially launched earlier this month, led by former Nokia executives.

The Nokia 150 and Nokia 150 Dual SIM aim to build on the qualities that made Nokia mobile phones a global bestseller in the 1990s – durable build quality, an easy-to-use interface and long battery life.

Gadgets and games

Nokia stand MWC 2016

They don’t include Internet access, but feature gadgets such as an FM radio, MP3 player and the classic Snake Xenzia game, as well as a camera with LED flash.

Captured images can be transferred elsewhere via Bluetooth, said HMD.

The devices, expected to sell for around $26 (£20) before tax, have scratch-resistant polycarbonate shells, 2.4-inch screens and standby time of 31 days for the 150, or 25 days for the dual-SIM model.

They charge with a standard micro-USB jack, include an LED torchlight, and come in black or white. They are to launch in Asia, the Middle East and Europe in the first quarter of next year.

Nokia smartphones

HMD has a licensing deal with Nokia for the handsets and said it plans to expand into Nokia-branded smartphones and tablets in the coming year.

Nokia competed with Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android in the smartphone business before selling its entire handset operation to Microsoft in 2014 to focus on its telecommunications networking equipment business.

In May Microsoft sold the basic Nokia phone manufacturing business to Foxconn, with HMD acquiring the licensing rights to the Nokia brand for phones and tablets.

The basic Nokia handsets remain popular, however, with most sales in India, the rest of Asia and eastern Europe.

Microsoft has mostly stopped competing in the smartphone business, focusing on developing tablets that can take advantage of its large base of existing Windows software.

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