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Nokia 1661 Crash Lands at T-Mobile

At least it looks better than the budget phones of old.

At least it looks better than the budget phones of old.

Wow, what a deal. AT&T gets the chic E71x, and T-mobile gets left with the Nokia 1661, an ultra-budget handset that’s referred to as an “economically priced utility device”. Quick summary: it’s a flashlight with calling features.

Yeah, the feature set isn’t going to impress anybody. The 1661′s only Series 30, which generally means third-world country status. It has all the basic features: calling, loudspeaker, FM radio, color screen – but lacks Bluetooth, camera, and expandable memory. It also comes with a whopping 8 megabytes of memory, something I haven’t come across in a long time. And, of course, the flashlight.

According to the press release, the 1661 is expected to arrive at T-Mobile stores later this month, probably under the cover of darkness. Price is unknown at this time, and the sad part is, T-Mobile didn’t even bother listing the phone on its web site. That’s gotta hurt.

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John
1/7/2010
9:58 am

Gotta be honest here, I think the reviewer may have missed the point here; its a £20 phone that performs the basic tasks pretty well; 2 years ago it was almoast impossible to find a phone for under £35 and when you did it would always be an unnamed brand and pretty much terrible at everything.

I got one of these phones to take with me when kayaking – let’s face it, insurance or not you’re not going to take an I phone anywhere with moisture levels higher than the Sahara if you can help it! – and i was actually impressed; firstly they don’t bother locking it to a network which helps you get an even better deal – mine was £17.50 with £10 of airtime if I wanted to use the virgin SIM included, I did not, so Ebay reduced the price by a further £3.08.

Mine has done 6 months of abuse and still no faults, even cosmetically it looks ok – the central jog pad shows signs of wear, but by being solid black plastic not coloured, scratches don’t wear through to a different colour. I use the torch often (looking around in kayaks for things mostly) and even set it as a shortcut key, and that has lasted equally well – this phone has not been treated well or with any care (I have seen this more as a throw away phone tbh)

Obviously it’s basic; hardly designed to take down apple and you can feel that its cheap but it does the basics well – calling and texting, though texting suffers from the curse of Nokias of old – once you have text and sent, the old text stays in compose message until you erase it – mildly annoying but I have put up with far worse.

Whilst I use the phone as a secondary phone, I can see its potential – if you have preteen children and want to give them a phone that isn’t one of your hand me downs (so they feel it’s theirs) this is pretty much the ticket – its cheap for when they leave it on the bus and doesn’t look outdated. However I wouldn’t recommend this for high-school children; they have become more tech savvy and will quickly notice no camera!

I would say the phone is also pretty much spot on for the older relatives who aren’t used to mobile phones, but you would like them to have one – simple dial and press green as usual, red to cancel for calls (obviously you can save numbers and set speed dials) and if you change the menu layout in settings from grid to list the displayed fonts are very large and easy to read, opening on text messages to make it easier to find. If, like us you have a relative that is quite hard of hearing and prefers to text then again the phone has had the thought put in – you can set it so that when it rings all the lights on it flash in addition to vibrating, making it easier to notice. and you can fully adapt the colour scheme and contrast of the phone to make it easier to read depending upon eye complaints.

It is a basic phone but remarkable value and very good at the basics, I can’t fault it, though I will obviously be keeping my I Phone… unless the Google / HTC venture is any good!

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