Samsung announced a series of devices targeting emerging markets, but unlike rival Nokia, it is wearing the “feature phone” badge with pride. Called REX, the company said that the line “combines intelligence and capability to deliver an accessible, next-generation mobile experience for all”.
The products are competitors for Nokia’s Asha line but, unlike its Finnish rival, Samsung is making no effort to position the devices as smartphones.
With Samsung dominating the smartphone market, and having devices at a range of price points powered by a variety of platforms, arguably it does not have the same need as Nokia to try and boost its perceived position in this lucrative market.
The devices are full-touch, using Samsung’s TouchWiz interface. Features include dual SIM and Wi-Fi connectivity – a combination Nokia has only recently added to its touch-screen Asha line.
In other regards, the REX line is uninspiring. Mobile network connectivity is 2G only, with screen sizes ranging from 2.8-inches to 3.5-inches. Integrated cameras range from 1.3 megapixels to 3.2 megapixels.
The line comprises four devices, from Rex 60 at the low end, through Rex 70 and Rex 80, to the most capable Rex 90 (pictured).
In line with other vendors, Samsung has already warned it is anticipating its feature phone business will drop off in the future, as customers move to entry-level smartphones. However, in emerging markets, and at least for the near future, the feature phone business will remain viable for some vendors – while being ignored by others.