Kai OS: No-frills alternative to Android arrives on budget phones

  • TECH
  • Sunday, 08 Sep 2019

Robust and no-frills: The Nokia 800 Tough is one of several cheap mobile phones with Kai OS to be seen at IFA. — dpa

A growing number of smartphone brands are now switching to an alternative operating system called Kai OS to power budget phones that still do WhatsApp, Facebook and even voice control just as well as more expensive phones.

Designed to make essential smartphone features run on cheap hardware, the operating system is now set to be the backbone of new phones announced by Nokia manufacturers HMD Global and Energizer, including outdoor phone Nokia 800 Tough (€110 or RM512) and Nokia's 2720 Flip folding phone (€90 or RM419).

Meanwhile battery brand Energizer announced the E241S, which costs an amazing €35 (RM163) in Europe.

Like Android, Kai OS is based on Linux and has an optimised user interface for phones with smaller displays and no touch function. But it gets by using less battery and memory and without forcing the user having to turn off important features like mobile data or GPS.

Depending on the model, you can even install certain HTML5-based apps on Kai OS.

The rubberized Nokia 800 Tough is not only dustproof and waterproof (IP68), but is also designed to withstand extreme temperatures and drops onto concrete from a height of 1.8m.

The Nokia 2720 Flip has its own emergency call button and comes with Whatsapp and Facebook pre-installed. Google's voice assistant works in both Nokia phones, which can be triggered with a special button. The Energizer E241S also comes with Google Assistant integrated, as well as Whatsapp, Facebook and popular Google apps like Youtube or Maps. – dpa

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