Nokia's cheapest mobile phones yet: retro design but practical features

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The Independent Tech

For many people living in first world countries, it's hard to imagine that a €20 phone could significantly change the life of one person - or many people - living in a third world country.

A low-cost device can be a lifeline for those who otherwise have no access to the internet, text or vocal services.

With the hope of connecting these "next billion consumers," Nokia has unveiled two of its cheapest color display phones ever, the Nokia 100 and 101.

"We recognize that for many of the next billion people, a phone purchase is an investment. People are looking for a phone that offers great features but also one that is dependable," said Mary McDowell, executive vice president, Mobile Phones, Nokia. "When paired with powerful and locally relevant services such as Nokia Life Tools, the Nokia 101 and Nokia 100 offer a unique experience that is simply unmatched in their markets at these price points."

The Nokia 100 and 101 will be priced at €20 ($30) and €25 ($35) respectively and offer locally-relevant information (in selected regions) on healthcare, education, agriculture and entertainment via Nokia’s Life Tools and Nokia Money.

Additional features on the Nokia 101 include FM radio, dual SIM card functionality, and a SIM manager that enables users to store the settings of up to five SIM cards on the phone.

Microsoft is reportedly working on a version of its Windows Phone mobile operating system, dubbed "Tango" which may soon feature in Nokia’s low-cost devices. Tango would be a "minor release," said technology journalist Mary Jo Foley, and geared for low-cost handsets for the Asian market.

The Nokia 101 will be available during the third quarter of 2011 and the Nokia 100 during the fourth quarter of 2011.