The Nokia brick phone is back—sort of

nokia 216

Photo via Microsoft (CC-BY)

And the crowd goes mild.

It's 2016 and smartphones reign supreme, but we all have fond memories of the giant Nokia brick phones of yesteryear. Well prepare to be whelmed, because an all-new Nokia dumbphone is here, and you're probably not going to buy one. 


Nokia made a big name for itself in the early cell phone days thanks to cheap, super durable hardware that did its job and lasted forever. Today, the Nokia brand is really nothing more than a dancing corpse, with Microsoft pulling its strings in a feeble attempt at squeezing out a few last drops of nostalgic street cred. 

The Nokia 216 is the embodiment of that drive—or lack thereof. It's a feature phone with a 2.4 inch non-HD display, a bare-bones app selection, and a pair of 0.3MP cameras. There is no 3G, 4G, or LTE support, and a bare-bones internet browser. In short, it's a cell phone that would have been awesome back in 2002. 

So why even bother building something like this, you ask? Well, Microsoft's feature phone business is still booming, and for people who just don't want a smartphone—even if they're now free with most new phone plans—there's only so many options around. Adding another log to that fire and tossing the Nokia name on it is actually a pretty sound business move, whether it craps on our fond memories of our beloved Nokia bricks or not. 

Microsoft's Nokia fail doesn't mean it's done with mobile
It’s been a tough year for Windows Phone. Microsoft announced today that it will be writing off the $7.6 billion purchase of Nokia and laying off 7,800 employees, mainly from its phone division. It's all in an effort to restructure and refocus its mobile strategy moving forward.
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