Feature phones have been so doomed since the first smartphone broke the unimaginable barriers that could have not been possible with dummy feature phones. But that is not the case anymore – at least for some parts of the world.
Thanks to Google’s new minimalistic OS proprietarily aimed at infusing smartness into the good old doomed feature phones that have been not in anyone’s budget check-list for long. For the most part that is true, unless the smartphone has been kidnapped, of course.
Google’s minimalistic OS dubbed KaiOS was not only marketed as a light operating system for smart feature phones; but also, to bridge the gap and make it easy for everyone to access digital services. With that in mind, I presume the major issue to be addressed – pricing – was already taken into consideration. Pricing has been one of the barriers that has been an issue to smartphone adoption in under-developed and developing parts of the world.
“KaiOS brings smartphone-like functionalities to affordable phones: (via) the KaiStore for apps,” reads a statement on KaiOS website.
With affordability taken into account, KaiOS mission to bring digital access to everyone can easily be solved. However, that is not what HMD, the home of Nokia phones, has upheld in their latest KaiOS powered feature phones.
Nokia announced the Nokia 2720 Flip and the Nokia 8110 Tough, at the recently concluded European top electronics show – IFA 2019. The devices were also launched in Kenya this month and are expected to officially go on sale from October.
As expected, both devices pack some smart features like 4G support, access to essential apps like WhatsApp, The Google Assistant, Facebook, YouTube, and Google Maps.
On the pricing, the tables are flipped. Nokia 800 Tough is priced at 109 Euros (approx. KSh 12,500) while Nokia 2720 Flip will set you back €20 less (89 Euros, approx. Ksh 10,200).
At these prices, you already have two devices to choose from; surprisingly not from any other manufacturer but Nokia itself. Is the least I expect. If no single Nokia device lied in this price range, I could maybe save my sentiments to see the lights on another day.
At Ksh 12,500 you can buy Nokia 2.2 instead – a fully functional smartphone going at 2,000 bob less! Or instead of the Nokia 2720 Flip, get the Nokia 1 Plus going at Ksh 7400. What else? You may ask. Maybe then take yourself out with the change, have some nice food, buy some bundles and celebrate your new victory.
I thought KaiOS devices were meant to be cheap until Nokia confirmed otherwise.