back to article Microsoft: Just what the world needs – a $25 Nokia dumbphone

Microsoft's Nokia division has revealed its latest mobile phone – but rather than the sort of high-end flagship number that's designed to take on Apple, it's taking aim squarely at the bottom of the market. It's no less than a plastic mini-mobe that will sell for no more than €19 ($25) before taxes and subsidies. Billed in …

  1. Sloppy Crapmonster
    Thumb Up

    Yes please

    Candybar phone with a physical numberpad that plays MP3s? Why has it taken so long? I really truly want one of these things.

    1. stucs201

      Re: Why has it taken so long?

      Er, it hasn't. Take for example this one from 2007 :

      (part of the clue is in the name).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why has it taken so long?

        I had a Nokia 5310, it was a great phone and fantastically thin. I would have bought another when it died, but I judged it too expensive for an old phone that did have a few limitations.

        Instead I replaced it with a Nokia C1-01 pretty much the same features but thicker and only £20.

        When my current phone dies I might look at this new Nokia 130.

    2. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: Yes please

      Let's not forget the Motorola ROKR, not matter how much Motorola and Apple might like us to. There were quite a few MP3 apps for Series 60 phones too, so you could rehabilitate your old Nokia 7650 if you really wanted. It's a slider though, so I guess something a little later like the 6600 would be more relevant?

      1. Boris Winkle

        Re: Yes please

        I still got my 6600 :)

        Pristine too.

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Yes please

      Make it black and white so the battery lasts a week

      Make it with real buttons where the printing doesn't wear off

      Make it from the same material that aircraft black-boxes and children's shoes following hurricanes are made of

      Print Nokia 3310 on the front


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yes please

        A week? How old are you 18?

        My 6310i (best phone anyone made) used to last a month, at least. Even with it's knackered battery, it still lasts 5 days now.

        1. dotdavid

          Re: Yes please

          Even the phone in the original article has a battery that lasts considerably longer than a week.

          That said, it claims a maximum talk time of 13 hours and a standby time of up to 36 days with one SIM or 26 days with two

    4. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Yes please

      Except it's 2G only and in some countries operators can change existing 2G spectrum to 3G use with only 6 months notice to regulator.

      There are cheap phones sold even in Europe that are similar, but without the video (pointless?) and MP3 (definitely needed). Sadly they are all 2G only.

    5. herman Silver badge

      Mil Spec Security

      Ideal phone for use in military areas, since it has no camera.

  2. ZSn

    Cheap enough

    My wife has a cheap Samsung flip phone that, with tax, is €24, and, while it isn't an mp3 player, does an adequate job. Is this pitched as a phone or a cheap mp3 player? I'm not sure that this will convince anyone to buy it, especially as you have to provide your own sd card.

    Additionally, from my experience, the earphones provided by nokia stink. I have ones that came with my considerably more expensive lumia that stink - tinny as hell and uncomfortable. I doubt if they have provided any better with this.

    1. Dave Bell

      Re: Cheap enough

      I go my comfortable earphones at Tesco. They came with a choice of those plastic plug things, and the smallest is what I need. The earphones that came with my current phone don't offer that choice. Trouble is, they include a microphone for if you want to make a call.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cheap enough

      Most supplied headphone are crap, even on iPhones and S4's. A cheap £15 pair of Sennheiser's tend to knock spots of them.

  3. Anonymous Bullard


    What will they think of next?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    These are handy phones.

    Nokia seem to do these better than anyone else - although there was a motorola with a mono screen which was pretty good.

    What they need is the same thing at around the same price but 3G for all of us cheap-skate 3p PAYG callers on Three!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Within the next year, Microsoft will not be able to use the Nokia brand anymore so they are going to try to make it worthless as a way to keep Nokia from selling another phone after a year from now.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      "Microsoft will not be able to use the Nokia brand anymore"


      Unless you mean Microsoft are CHOOSING to drop the name, and so far only from the high end smartphones.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Lost all faith,

        I'm pretty sure it's true. Part of the deal was that MS licenced Nokia's patents for 10 years or so, and the name for 2 years I think. They only get to keep the Lumia brand permanently, and so will have to change over to that.

        This gives Nokia the ability to go back to producing phones in future, should they choose to. Although I can't see why they'd bother, having only just managed to dump their phone division.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Why MS Bought Nokia...

          MS bought Nokia because no one was buying WinPhones. Kids use smartphones & tablets in preference to a laptop/pc. MS realise the next generation of IT users/buyers will be smartphone/tablet users. Most PhartSmones and Tablets are either IOS(Apple) or Android(Google).

          ARM is moving into the commercial server space and domestic IT (read smart TVs) and with ARM usually comes Linux in the form of Android.

          So not only is MS not getting a seat at the Tablet/SmartPhone party, but (more importantly to MS) they see that the future IT-buying-decision-makers have all been brought up (from childhood) with non-MS tech. So why would they buy Windows when Android/Linux/IOS is already familiar and plenty good enough.

          MS _HAD_ to buy Nokia or risk becoming a distant memory in 5 or 10 years time - that may still happen if kids continue to not buy Nokia WinPhones. So - if you are concerned about the future of IT in its present Wintel form, buy your 2 year old a Win8 Tablet ;-)

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Look at Whackypedia or the news articles at the time of the sale. It's all very well thought out, on Nokia Oyj's behalf - MS have till the end of 2015 to drop Nokia from their Windows Phone and Asha ranges so they'll be stuck with selling Microsoft Lumias or just Lumias. Meanwhile they can carry on with the dumbphone business for 10 years but they must keep the Nokia name, ready for Nokia Oyj to pick it back up where they left off if they want to.

  6. Eddy Ito

    So it looks like they took a Nokia C2-01, stripped out the really useful bits, stuffed it in a candy coated shell and oh, I guess that's it, isn't it. Pah, it's still probably a better phone than most dumb terminals smart phones.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So this is the updated version of my old and trusty Nokia 1600 with an added mp3 player. The big question is 'how good is it at making and receiving calls and sms.

    1. John F***ing Stepp

      re real question

      No, the real question in my mind is will it still crack walnuts.

  8. Colin Ritchie

    These things still sell?

    My Motorola Razer V3i from 2004 did all that and more for £36 (secondhand) and folded up so you didn't make calls from yer pocket. 130 million sold, the world's most popular clam shell phone. Hope the 3rd world is ready for such a Nokia game changer.....

    1. Julian Taylor Silver badge

      Re: These things still sell?

      Shhh. You'll upset the Windows fanclub. Jasper will start writing nasty things about Apple again ...

  9. SVV

    "select markets"

    Normally I'd be livid to be singled out in such a patronising way if I'd been born in one of these countries. However this actually looks like something I'd snap up in an instant because of its' "who cares if it gets lost or nicked at this price" virtues. Having commuted with a tablet that I would seriously mind losing for a good while now, but is used for 95% as an expensive MP3 player I'd be straight down to the shops to snap one of these up at this price. So, more sales lost to you MS.....

    1. John Tserkezis

      Re: "select markets"

      "Normally I'd be livid to be singled out in such a patronising way if I'd been born in one of these countries."

      It's not that bad, there's likely to be ebay sellers willing to ship offshore.

    2. therealmav

      Re: "select markets"

      Going on a lads weekend away ? welcome to your perfect tour phone. Enough music for a flight and no worries about breaking your expensive smart phone whilst enjoying the local culture.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "who cares if it gets lost or nicked at this price"

      You'd care if it cost you 25 days salary.

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: "select markets"

      "because of its' "who cares if it gets lost or nicked at this price" virtues."

      It may not seem quite that cheap to the potential customers in the target markets. Yeah, a few quid here and there means nothing to us rich westerners, but in many cases, the target market are people where that may mean a week or a months wages. Would you treat a phone costing that much as a throwaway?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "select markets"

        ...and in those lovely primary and pastel colours, the Jihadi insurgents/ISIS won't seem nearly so intimidating

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice thing to have

    Battery probably lasts a month or two. Time to ditch the smart phone which must be charged twice a day.

    1. frank ly

      Re: Nice thing to have

      I doubt that it would last long if you use it as a music player; driving the earpieces will use lots of battery charge. Similarly, using it as a phone but not even making calls would drain the battery, probably within a week or maybe two if you're lucky.

      My smartphones have always lasted about 5 days between charges (HTC Wildfire then Incredible and now a Nexus 4). I have WiFi on all day at home but I don't make many calls and I don't use GPS or Bluetooth and I don't play music on it and I hardly ever use mobile data. I also put it in airplane mode when I go to bed. I can only assume that you do all those things all at the same time.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nice thing to have

        you don't make many calls, don't use GP, bluetooth, mobile data or play Mp3's....

        Begs the question, why did you by an expensive smart phone?

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Nice thing to have

          So nobody confuses me with the guy selling drugs on the street corner?

        3. frank ly

          @Lost all Faith Re: Nice thing to have

          I use it mostly as a miniature tablet, mainly via WiFi. On walks and visits I use the camera and then the installed FTP client can shovel the pictures to my home networked FTP server. It has Dropbox and GDrive clients installed on in and an email client and a GoogleCalendar app. It's amazing what a modern smart'phone' can do.

          1. Ted Treen
            Thumb Up

            Re: @Lost all Faith Nice thing to have

            If it does all you want, at a price you're happy to pay, with acceptable quality then it's a good product.

            Whatever anyone else might say...

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Nice thing to have

          Philosophy pedantry here, it doesn't beg the question but invites the question. Begging the question is circular reasoning, as in "All ducks are green. This is a duck, so do you agree that it is green?"

      2. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Nice thing to have

        WiFi is really hard on power compare to MP3 playing. Esp. If screen light blanks.

        Phone talk time harder.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Think of the kids

    This is a great phone for kids.

    No data. They can make calls and play music. Price is cheap enough that the kid can work it off with extra chores.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Think of the kids

      This is the perfect phone for NURSERY WORKERS.

      Following all the paranoia from certain sex abuse cases, we arent allowed to have our phones switched on at work - in case we take abusive photos of the kiddies; so a camera-less phone like this would be ideal for being contactable in a family emergency.

      (The landline is a no-no as the manager is always hogging it)

      Mines the one with crayon on the back, and baby-sick on the shoulder.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Think of the kids

        What is the perfect phone to bludgeon to death the people at the Daily Mail and the like who have created poisonous paranoia around anybody who works with children, when the evidence is that the offenders seem far more often to be people in authority, or celebrities? (And yes, I have enhanced DBS certificates.)

        I'd nominate my first ever Nokia, which would have made a handy club if there had been phone thieves in those days.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Arnaut the less

          Nokia N93. It was like a hinged cosh.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Arnaut the less

            Nokia 1011 actually. The Wikipedia article describes the form factor as "brick", and I don't argue with that.

    2. Dr Scrum Master

      Re: Think of the kids

      Except that my children love to take pictures... and my 5 year-old calls a camera a phone.

    3. Julian Taylor Silver badge

      Re: Think of the kids

      If I even thought of giving a PoS like this to my kids I'd probably find I had just been reported to Social Services for abuse and neglect soon after they had opened the box. Have no problem with the Bill Gates Fan Club buying whatever they want - just don't expect me to buy the sort of garbage Microsoft are outputting these days.

  12. Christian Berger

    If it can execute J2M...

    ...and go to sleep while doing so, it may be a serious competitor to their higher end line. After all there probably still is more J2M Software out there than software written for Windows Phone.

    1. MacroRodent Silver badge

      Re: If it can execute J2M...

      there probably still is more J2M Software out there than software written for Windows Phone.

      Not so sure about that these days. In any case the Windows Phone software is likely to be more useful and usable: less limiting environment. So it is a bit of an apples and oranges comparison.

      1. Christian Berger

        Re: If it can execute J2M...

        Well so far, the only feature I missed from J2M was the ability to go into suspend when a program was running. Surely that can't be a technical problem.

      2. grumpyoldeyore

        Re: If it can execute J2M...

        @MacroRodent :

        If you look at the pie chart here (down in the noise admittedly) you see J2ME hanging in at double the share of Windows .

        >In any case the Windows Phone software is likely to be more useful and usable: less limiting environment

        There's a certain irony here - the Operators were terrified of wild apps running on their networks so severly constrained what the J2ME APIS were allowed to do. Then they complained about the restrictions and how wonderful Android was with its unfettered APIs. Ho hum.

    2. grumpyoldeyore

      Re: If it can execute J2M...

      > it may be a serious competitor to their higher end

      That's S40/Asha. Which is why it is being canned.

  13. MacroRodent Silver badge

    Not cheap enough

    Here in Finland (generally an expensive country), shops frequently advertise bottom-end Nokia or Samsung dumphones for around 25 € (and no carrier locking). Now if the price for the new Nokia had been below 10 €, that would have been interesting, and could really have created new classes of customers.

  14. Nigel Brown

    Motorcyclists have a perfect use for this phone.

    Squirreled away under the seat, on silent, you have a perfect tracker should your expensive motorcycle be stolen. People have been touting this idea for some time, using an old forgotten phone from the back of the drawer.

    1. Andrew Woodvine

      Re: Motorcyclists have a perfect use for this phone.

      A perfect tracker with no GPS or a data connection?

      1. Nigel Brown

        Re: Motorcyclists have a perfect use for this phone.

        Bugger, missed that bit. :(

  15. Barry Rueger

    An Old Fogey Speaks

    Before some idiot youngun' jumps in with the usual nonsense, let's squash the notion that "Old People" will need and/or want this phone.

    Us old folks have been using computers since before you were alive, and are very happy with out latest iPhone or Android device. Although less so with my BlackBerry Z10...

    Just because we're old enough to remember Zmodem and WinFax doesn't mean we're technological illiterates.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: An Old Fogey Speaks

      "Just because we're old enough to remember Zmodem and WinFax doesn't mean we're technological illiterates."

      That's true. But a big print screen is useful once you get past 50.

    2. Dave Bell

      Re: An Old Fogey Speaks


      And no.

      Computers have been around long enough that some old people have had the chance to use them for a long time. Other old people have not.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: An Old Fogey Speaks

        Some old people need bigger screen/buttons at that age, and other do not.

        Some old people use "smart" phones, and others do not.

        Some old people don't care about battery life, and others do.

        Quit the generalisations and focus on the feature set. It finds a market

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: An Old Fogey Speaks

          "Quit the generalisations and focus on the feature set. It finds a market"

          Cobblers. Market segmentation is generalisation in practice. If you focus on the feature set you end up with differentiated offers like Nokia and Blackberry, where after initial success the customers just melted away.

    3. Richard Jones 1

      Re: An Old Fogey Speaks

      I upvoted you for you speak the truth. I first saw a computer in the early 1960s and have worked with them until I retired. However my taste in phones is not now supported. With little chance to get out of the house for long periods due to carer duties dealing with my children I have no need of an all singing and dancing phone. I need voice, text, long battery life yes, one touch voice calling with a headset like the 6320i yes. Internet and music are useless for me, though I do not begrudge those who need to options that are baggage for me.

      I have found the market split between super phones at the top and nothing much phones at the bottom has almost cut me out.

      It was interesting to see others display a range of needs that also do not fit the current marketer's dreams of heaven. Frankly this is a useful contribution at the lower end - the dual SIM idea is useful for those areas that are not spots for some networks when continued contact is vital - see above for reasons.

      Note I have rational reasons for my needs as do others, we do not seek to restrict others, please do not restrict us to phones that are hardly as useful as a public call office.

    4. LDS Silver badge

      Re: An Old Fogey Speaks

      My father is 76 and never used a computer in his life, and is still runnin his shop 'the old way'. He bought the previoua model of this one, because he has no use for a smartphone.

    5. fishman

      Re: An Old Fogey Speaks

      Zmodem? WinFax? That's new tech. Just give me a deck of punch cards......

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: An Old Fogey Speaks

        And the van to drive your text message on punched cards over to the house of the recipient?

        1. keithpeter Silver badge

          Re: An Old Fogey Speaks

          "And the van to drive your text message on punched cards over to the house of the recipient?"

          Nah, card reader -> paper tape -> Paper tape reader on Telex Terminal set to 'Net' -> Message echoed to as many other Telexes as are connected to the same 'Net'.

          My successful (apparently!) birth was apparently announced in several time zones using a similar technique but without the punched cards (late 1950s). Mum's best friend was a Telex operator.

          PS: the people who are always nagging me to get on Facebook are the cousins over 70. Us young 'uns have reservations.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: An Old Fogey Speaks

            "PS: the people who are always nagging me to get on Facebook are the cousins over 70. Us young 'uns have reservations."

            Yeah, the over 70's still trust "the state" and big reputable corporations. The under 30's have no concept of privacy. Us inbetweeners don't trust this new fangled social meeja and cloud stuff ;-)

      2. Barry Rueger

        Re: An Old Fogey Speaks

        Punchcards? Yup. Back in my first turn through University.

  16. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    I like the concept

    Finally a phone that responds to my needs - making and receiving calls, and doesn't need to be recharged every single day.

    I hate smartphones with a passion, but I have to use one for business purposes.

    Once I retire, that is the kind of phone I want. Just give it a contact list that has more than 12 slots and I'll be happy.


    This is a very odd thing for MS to do.

    I suppose it is a left over from the aquisition of the Nokia phone department, like the X phones. Still, it would be amusing if it was a huge success. Also like the X phones.

  18. Turtle

    Volume Controls.

    If there are hardware volume controls that are functional when the device is set to "locked" then I will be buying one, on eBay if necessary.

    If no hardware volume controls, then no sale.

  19. itzman

    Just what I want

    A reliable phone that is just - a phone..

  20. Jess

    A phone with a market.

    I'm pretty sure this is a clever move. Probably something that Nokia had in the pipeline, and the sale included the rights to brand it as Nokia.

    Ideal for people who want a simple phone, or to use one where a smartphone would be frowned upon.

    What is the betting that the numbers of phones sold won't be broken down into dumb and smart phones, in their sales reports?

  21. N2 Silver badge

    Taken a long time

    But it looks like Microsoft are going to deliver something people actually want, just the sort of phone to have in the car for emergencies if the battery lasts 36 days on standby for example.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Taken a long time

      Your previous phone works perfectly well as an emergency phone with a PAYG SIM if you simply turn it off when not in use. I recharge mine every 3 months. Why buy a phone when you almost certainly have something[s] suitable in a drawer?

  22. kmac499

    The Holiday Must Have

    Get the Dual Sim Load it up with a microSD full of music Talking Books or the podcasts of choice for the beach, Fm Radio for the airport, or a day at Silverstone.

    The perfect Holday Phone NO Emails NO Video NO camera to stop you enjoying your Hols Live..

    Where Do I sign ....

  23. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
    Thumb Up

    Sign me up

    The perfect holiday phone.

    Can listen to tunes while travelling, can take it out and about without worrying about keeping it charged. I'm happy to leave the smartphone at home and go offline for a week or so, but still have something that lets me keep in touch by voice...and if it gets lost or stolen then I've lost £20-worth of hardware rather than £££££-s-worth of smartphone

  24. jb99


    ... but not for me.

    It does all the things I never ever use a phone for. mp3, and making voice calls? Who does that.

  25. Jim 59

    Voice recorder

    I often used my old clam shell's built in voice recorder to make notes. Open it with one hand, dial #34, speak, stop. My posh Samsung S3 has a recorder too, involving lengthy menu navigation using both eyes, both hands and brain to focus on a screen you can't see in sunlight. Never use it. Smart phones went to far in giving up hard keys altogether.

    Oh and sound play back is speaker only, so no privacy in a quiet, open office. Progress!

  26. Andus McCoatover

    Pity not available in Finland...

    Wonder if "Nokia" is doing the old Ringo trick? Released a dirt-cheap phone for 1G networks (NMT system - one radio transceiver in the base station for each connection!) maybe to breathe a bit more time in the old analog system. Nokia made infrastructure for it.

    When I was at Nokia in mid-200's we were told by Sari Baldauf no less that 2G was expected to be extinct by 2010. Well, that might be the plan in Europe to phase it out soon - hence the phone not available in Europe, but in the countries mentioned in the article, maybe there's still seen life in the old dog, yet...

  27. Julian Taylor Silver badge

    The perfect cellphone for ... prisoners?

    Cheap, plastic with no sharp edges (unlike iPhone) and small enough to smuggle in concealed up a very personal space - the perfect inmate's cellphone.

    Well done NokiaSoft.

  28. Robert E A Harvey

    Oh look

    A phone that is only a phone? Whatever will they think of next!

  29. CmdrX3

    Oh good!! I'll finally be able to upgrade that 3210 that I haven't used in 13 years :-S

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They're hot

    So hot we're gonna call these phones the Burning Platform

  31. Bladeforce

    Still use a ..

    3310, best phone ever for mp3's i use my cambridge audio amplifier, best audio ever. For video I use a media centre, full 1080p and surround sound for under 50 quid.

    Never should they meet in one device

  32. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Not even 3G? Wow.

    Not even 3G? I'm just surprised, some networks already are going 3G-only.

    3 of course was built out 3G-only; AT&T has areas where they had to turn off all GSM to run one 3G channel, so they did (in those areas); some of the Canadian carriers went directly from CDMA+EVDO to "GSM path", but to HSPA (no GSM whatsoever.) US and Canada use different bands but excluding those I would hope for 1800/1900 GSM+3G and 2100 3G.

    Otherwise, having a phone that plays music and makes calls for a low price, it's not glamorous but it should sell phones.

  33. CaptainBanjax

    Thank god...

    A phone Russell Crowe can carry around. He can buy thousands of these and throw them at people with gay abandon.

    Also at €25 its probably cheaper than an Ikea door wedge. Next gen door stops are here guys.

  34. JaitcH
    Thumb Up

    The Only Thing Missing is 'Parental Control'

    In VietNam and Cambodia parents give children far more latitude to 'do their thing', as is used to be before Nannies took over governing Britain or the USA. When I was young, I and my brothers roamed all over the area centred on the BBC transmitter at Brookmans Park and was measured in miles.

    We often left the house early in the day only to return late in the afternoon when our stomachs were calling.

    So it is today in Indochina. My daughter is free to go wherever she wishes in Ban Ma Thuot, Central Highlands, VietNam, a city of 1-million souls, with her Mother and I completely free of worry.

    The secret is the cell handset. She can call when she wishes as can we.

    The problem with today's handsets is the ease of dialling long distance/international calls. Providing a short, owner-entered, authorised calling numbers would add enormously to the value of this Nokia product.

    Remember, in a country where the minimum wage is USD$50 per month, even a $25 Nokia dumb-phone represents a sizeable hit on a families budget.

  35. juice Silver badge

    46 hours playback, 32gb, usb rechargable?

    I'm actually tempted to pick one up as a pure MP3 player - there's not many out there which can claim to have that level of battery life...

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