KaiOS is a light operating system designed to run on non-touch, basic phones, also commonly called feature phones. The operating system adds basic smart functionalities like apps, app store, 4G Internet, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC, and others.
As such, KaiOS phones are a middle ground between feature phones and smartphones.
Like feature phones, they have a small display and an alphanumeric keypad, and like smartphones, they have internet access, WiFi, GPS, and apps.
Some of the popular apps that are available on KaiOS include: WhatsApp, Twitter, YouTube, Google Maps, and Google Assistant, among others.
In addition, KaiOS phones have a built-in email client, web browser, calendar, and support Google Contacts, so you can sign in with Google and import your contacts. It does not support Contacts synchronisation; only importing.
KaiOS-powered phones have become popular in countries with low smartphone penetration. India is the biggest market for KaiOS phones, where the operating system comes behind only Android OS.
List of KaiOS Phones
Some of the world’s leading mobile brands and network operators are involved in making KaiOS phones. These brands include: Reliance Jio, Nokia, Alcatel, Energizer, TECNO, and MTN.
Here are some popular KaiOS-powered phones already on sale around the world:
- MTN Smart T (KaiOS Smart Feature Phone)
- Geo Phone T15
- Alcatel Go Flip 3 aka SMARTFLIP
- TECNO T901
- Jio Phone 2
- Reliance Jio Phone
- Nokia 8110 4G
- Energizer E241
- Energizer E241S
- DIXON XK1
More KaiOS phones are being announced. In the meantime, the KaiOS platform keeps developing and becoming more capable, thanks to massive investment and support by tech giants like Reliance Jio, Google, Facebook, and others.
For example, Google has invested in KaiOS. This is a major signal, as the company acknowledges that the new operating system is a force to reckon with in reaching billions of people around the world who do not own or use smartphones.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.