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Brazilian manufacturer Positivo bets on feature phones

The company believes there is still a market for basic devices

Brazilian manufacturer Positivo has gone against market trends and is launching two low-cost mobile phones with a basic specification.

One of the two new launches is Positivo P28, is a feature phone that can only make and receive calls, send SMS messages, take photos and make videos.

The P28 is equipped with a 2,8 inch screen, a large-key keyboard and a flash camera, as well as 32MB RAM that can be extended up to 8GB with a microSD card.

The other launch is the Android-based, entry-level smartphone Positivo One, which comes with a a 1.3 Ghz dual-core processor, a 4 inch screen, 8GB internal memory, a 1,3 megapixel front camera e a 3,2 megapixel rear camera. The One model is also available with a dual-SIM option.

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Positivo's P28 and One models should be available to Brazilian consumers this week in the high street and online at R$219 and R$429 respectively.

The largest Brazilian manufacturer of computing and mobile devices, Positivo has seen an increase of 46.5 percent in sales of feature phones - the company offers two other feature phone models - in Q3 2015, with about 1 million phones sold every quarter.

According to Positivo, launching more feature phones makes sense as they are "the favorite devices of a significant part of the population", without citing precise numbers but referring to older users who prefer simpler phones.

Over the last couple of years the Brazilian manufacturer has been navigating through the current economic instability in the country and has felt the impact of the dollar hike against the local currency, the real.

The firm then managed to turn things around via foreign exchange hedging mechanisms, despite the price increase that had to be passed on to consumers and the decrease in government orders.

IDC estimates growth for global smartphone market to reach 5,7 percent in 2016 in comparison to the growth rate of 10,4 percent seen in 2015. According to the research firm, smartphone sales in Brazil should see a sales drop of at least 8 percent this year.