They are old style cell phones with physical keyboard, but that offer Internet connection. They are equipped with the KaiOS operating system: here's how they work
Looking at the images, they look like copies of the Nokia 210 or Nokia 3310, but in reality they are produced by Chinese companies that are only present in emerging markets such as Africa and India. What are we talking about? The new wave of inexpensive cell phones that are invading Africa and could soon arrive in Italy as well, driven by the demand of users who are increasingly eager to purchase cell phones that do not take photographs and that respect privacy.
The common denominator of these new phones is the operating system KaiOS. This is a fast-growing mobile operating system that has a goal of reaching 100 million devices within a few years. It has also received funding from Google, who liked the idea of making a lightweight operating system that allows Internet access to cell phones as well. The goodness of the project is also evidenced by the fact that Nokia has decided to install KaiOS on their cell phones: it is present on the Nokia 8110, the "banana" that the Finnish company launched last year and that can be purchased in Italy.
KaiOS, the operating system of the future
The goal of KaiOS is very clear: to become the third mobile operating system after Android and iOS. For the moment, the company has focused on a very specific market segment: cell phones (and not smartphones) with a very low cost (at most about fifty euros), but that provide Internet connection thanks to the presence of a 3G modem. Cell phones with the KaiOS operating system are having great success in some African countries (South Africa, Nigeria) and, above all, in India, thanks to the telephone operator Jio. As mentioned above, cell phones with KaiOS operating system are also available in Italy thanks to the Nokia 8110.
In comparison to the old cell phones of the past decade, the new phones, besides being super cheap and costing just under 20 euros, are also smart. The credit goes to the investment made by Google in the KaiOS operating system that has brought to the OS store some of Big G's services such as YouTube, Google Maps and Google Assistant. And soon WhatsApp will also arrive, making KaiOS an increasingly fearsome opponent for Android and iOS.
The characteristics of cell phones with KaiOS
We have already talked about the price: just over 20 euros that can reach a maximum of 50 euros. But we have not specified the technical characteristics of low-cost cell phones. Cell phones with KaiOS do not have a touch screen, but a display that is at most two inches large with a built-in physical keyboard. The memory available reaches a maximum of 256MB, while the RAM is 128/256MB and serves only to run the applications present by default or those downloaded from the online store. They are essential cell phones, which perfectly carry out the task for which they were created: making calls and allowing Internet browsing at low speed. The feature that distinguishes them from modern phones is the autonomy of the battery: it can last even more than a week. This is essential for developing countries where electricity may be lacking for several hours.