All eyes are so set on the impending Nokia Lumia 920 launch that lower-end Nokia incarnations might be pushed out of the limelight. That’s not the case for the Nokia 109, which recently made it into tech headlines for being a simple but internet-capable feature phone. Just announced at the start of November, the Nokia 109 is for those looking for a phone that does the basics—call, text, and, in this day and age of mobility, surf the internet and stalk social networks.
You might think that feature phones like the Nokia 109 won’t be popular today, when mid- and high-end smartphones from Apple and Samsung are dominating market shares. However, fresh data from the IDC says that 264.8 million feature phones were shipped in the last quarter. Apparently, the feature phone market is still going strong in areas where smartphones are too expensive for the masses.
The Nokia 109 targets developing markets from Asia Pacific, China, and Europe and will be on sale this quarter. It has no camera or WiFi capabilities, so you can let go of hopes that you can use this for web calling through VoIP service for your virtual office. However, you can use it for your usual calling, texting, surfing, and emailing needs. The stripped-down phone uses the simple Series 40 UI and will only cost $42 before taxes or operator subsidies. It comes in black or cyan clamshell style and measures 110mm x 46mm x 14.8mm, tipping the scales at only 77 grams. It sports a 128×160-pixel and 1.8-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) display and has EDGE/GPRS connectivity. You also get a microSD memory card slot for up to 32GB of data. Hit the EA app, and you can choose 10 free games to keep forever.
What makes this phone awesome, aside from the low price, is its internet features. The phone has integrated Twitter and Facebook, which social network junkies can access from the Nokia 109’s home screen. It also runs the Nokia Xpress Browser, which Nokia claims to be “cloud-accelerated,” meaning it reduces Web pages’ data consumption by up to 90 percent. The selling point here is that you can expect your phone to keep your data costs low. Like most feature phones, it also lets you access FM radio and has a built-in speaker. You’ll be pleased to know that the speakers are pretty decent, letting sound resonate in the whole room at full volume. The Nokia 109 leads the pack in terms of standby time at 33 days, unheard of in this day and age of power hungry apps in smartphones. It also boasts of 7.5 hours talk-time and 21.5 hours music playback time. Don’t expect Bluetooth capabilities though.
Obviously, the Nokia 109 is not really a business phone or a phone for heavy app users. However, you’d love it if you need a reliable phone that won’t die on you while you’re travelling or waiting for important calls. If you need an easy-to-use basic phone, then put this on top of your list.