Microsoft is launching a new low-cost phone with a web browser, support for Facebook, Twitter, Skype GroupMe, and Messenger, and with a 2 megapixel camera. But the new phone isn’t running Windows software, and it doesn’t even have the Microsoft name on it.

Instead, the new phone is called the Nokia 222 and it should be available in select markets starting in September for about $37.

nokia 222

Microsoft acquired Nokia’s phone business last year, and for the most part the company has leveraged Nokia’s hardware expertise to launch new Lumia smartphones running Windows software. But this isn’t the first low-cost, candybar-style device Microsoft has released under the Nokia name… it’s just potentially the best to date.

The Nokia 222 is aimed at customer in developing markets, where a simple, inexpensive phone with long battery life could be more valuable to some customers than a full-fledged smartphone. But the Nokia 222 has some smart, feature-phone style capabilities.

It runs Nokia Series 30+ software, sports a 2.4 inch, 320 x 240 pixel display, and support for SLAM technology, allowing you to send files to another user just by bringing two devices together.

Remember when phone battery life was measured in days rather than hours? Unlike most modern smartphones, this type of device can run for days at a time between charges.

The phone has an 1100 mAh battery that’s good for up to 20 hours of talk time or up to 29 days of standby time. You can use it as an FM radio or MP3 player for up to 45 hours or 50 hours, respectively.

The Nokia 222 will be available in single-SIM and dual SIM varieties. Both models are fairly basic phones, with just 16MB of RAM, a microSD card with support for up to 32GB of removable storage, a fixed-focus camera that can shoot 2MP pictures or capture QVGA videos at 15 frames per second, and support for GSM 900/1800 MHz networks with top speeds of up to 236.8 kpbs.

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15 replies on “Nokia 222 is a $37 feature phone from Microsoft”

  1. Don’t see the point here in the UK, these Nokia feature phones cost around £25-£50, the Lumia 435 and 630 can be bought from £39.

    1. It’s $37 not 37 quid. It slots into that market. I use a cheap candy bar phone when I go out at nights. Break or lose it and it is no big deal.

      1. I realise that. But as you probably know if you are in the UK, if something costs $37 in the US, it’s going to cost about £35 in the UK, even though it’s £23 on the exchange rate. My point is smartphones, not just Microsoft’s Lumias either, are encroaching into that price bracket. So if I was faced with needing a cheap phone that I could afford to loose, given the choice between a £30-35 feature phone or a £39 smartphone, that could also access all my stuff and do all the things I’d need from a smartphone. What would I choose? Especially for the sake of a few quid?

  2. Woo-Hoo! (Dancing in circles.) Nokia Series-30/40 phones live! I need something to replace my trusty but old C3.

  3. Brad,

    “But the new phone isn’t running Windows software, and it doesn’t even have the Microsoft name on it.
    ” Really this is a surprise to you? Most of the phones Microsoft makes do not have their name, or Windows on them, in fact only about 25% are Lumia Windows phones. They bought the largest handset maker in the world, remember?

  4. Wasn’t the Nokia 515 also built by Microsoft? If so, that one was way better. It was also quite a bit more expensive too though.

  5. The two real questions are: will it be on sale in then western world, and does it have a removable battery? Those of us who need a second, rugged phone might find this very useful…

    1. Look at things like new Tracfones, and other pre-paid phones like that, that where you will find these in many places.

  6. Is it just me or is Microsoft really starting to think outside of the box?

    1. Not sure that releasing a new phone in the long tradition of good low cost Nokia feature phones is exactly thinking outside the box. More like seeking to capitalize on an existing (if dwindling) market.

    2. Don’t get too carried away, Microsoft are not staying in the ‘feature phone’ business, they’ve made their strategies clear a thousand times already. This has probably been a slated ‘Nokia’-designed device for a while, before they started trimming the fat. It will come out, go on sale until stocks dwindle and then be phased out sharing the same fate as the Asha will face.

      Microsoft will be focussing on two Windows 10 Mobile phones each in the budget, midrange and premium sectors. Seeing as their budget phones are ridiculously cheap, there is just no need for them to make old type feature phones or Asha devices.

  7. They need to make a rugged phone for construction workers and other jobs like it.

    1. These phones are pretty rugged. I suggest the smaller 130 or 105; those hold up better. However, no internet on those.

      1. How about a phone that only costs $37 to replace. Sounds cheaper than an Otterbox

    2. Or just buy a rugged case. There are some crazy iPhone case out there that’s build like a brick.

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