Microsoft's Nokia 215 is its cheapest connected phone yet

Since Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's smartphone division, it's shied away from debuting flagship handsets in favor of more affordable devices. That trend continues today with the launch of the Nokia 215, a $29 Series 30+ phone that Microsoft says is its most affordable smartphone to date. Unlike other handsets in the company's low-end range, the Nokia 215 can run apps like Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, Bing Search, MSN Weather and Opera Mini, giving first-time smartphone owners the chance to browse and share while on the move.

However, with support for 2G networks only, the Nokia 215 is primarily focused on emerging markets. It features a 2.4-inch QVGA 320 x 240 pixel display, 0.3-megapixel camera, built-in torch, MP3 and FM radio support and can be paired with a Bluetooth handset or speaker. As always, Microsoft wants people to spend less time waiting for their phone to charge, so it's ensured that the Nokia 215 offers 29 days on standby. The entry-level smartphone will begin its rollout later this quarter, starting first in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe.