Nokia bids Microsoft farewell with $26 Snake-equipped feature phone

Relive the glory days of old-school Nokia phones with the 150's 31-day battery life and a game of Snake.

Katie Collins Senior European Correspondent
Katie a UK-based news reporter and features writer. Officially, she is CNET's European correspondent, covering tech policy and Big Tech in the EU and UK. Unofficially, she serves as CNET's Taylor Swift correspondent. You can also find her writing about tech for good, ethics and human rights, the climate crisis, robots, travel and digital culture. She was once described a "living synth" by London's Evening Standard for having a microchip injected into her hand.
Katie Collins
2 min read

Nokia is back, but not with much a bang.

The familiar Finnish phone brand once again graces new handsets, unveiled Tuesday by a company called HMD Global.

HMD, a startup also based in Finland, is the manufacturing partner that Nokia has chosen to make phones bearing its name. These are the first Nokia phones in years not to be made by Microsoft.

The phones are not exactly what we've been waiting for from Nokia -- namely the long-awaited Android phones the company has promised. HMD is working on these too, but they're not ready yet. Instead the Nokia 150 and Nokia 150 Dual SIM are feature phones that will not connect to the internet and are set to priced at an affordable $26.

In a press release packed with the kind of specs the phone industry rarely sees these days, HMD said the budget-friendly devices will have 2.4-inch screens, physical keypads, an FM radio, an MP3 player, games (and yes, that does mean Snake) and a camera with an LED flash.

On the plus side, the phones do have the kind of battery life that was last seen a decade or so ago -- up to 31 days of standby time for the single-SIM version. They might not have internet access, but they can at least boast Bluetooth connectivity and they have microSD card slots so you can store all of the low-resolution photos you snap.

"The new devices respond to consumer demand for great quality, affordability and ease of use," said HMD.

Nokia has a long track record of making cheaper phones for developing markets where SMS text messaging still dominates over data usage. But that doesn't mean the 150 will only be available in a handful of countries. The phones are set for a global release within the first three months of 2017.