Nokia 105 2013 Review – Extreme Value for Money Vintage Phone

Nokia 105 Review: The Nokia 105 represents one of the most successful phones in terms of units sold ever. The phone has constantly been re-released under the same model number every two years. Each model has progressively upped the ante in terms of technical specs whilst remaining a low-end phone.

This model is the first of that family. Originally released in 2013, the phone was the successor to many of phones in the 1-series family. These were seen as ultra-basic models of phones. Typically they featured not much more than the original classic Nokia phones such as the Nokia 8210 or Nokia 3210. To compensate, they came in a slimmed down package and much reduced price. Perhaps the best known version of this was the Nokia 1100. Together with it’s similar brother, the Nokia 1110 this handset is the best selling mobile handset in history. 500 million units between them were sold, a number still increasing to this day.

Whilst the number of Nokia 105s does not reach this, (in some part due to much increased competition in the very low-end market for phones), this is still a hugely popular phone.

Full specifications here

It seems quite easy to talk about successors to the phone. The Nokia 105 was re-released in 2015, 2017 and 2019. The latest 2019 edition retains approximately the same price point as when this was released in 2013 (around GBP 20). Differences elsewhere are few and far between. The phone has broadly improved but with only minor changes.

With Nokia making many budget models nowadays, there seems little need to push many improvements onto this handset. For instance the Nokia 210 (the next level up) includes items such as camera and microSD.

Nokia 105 Review Pros:

  • The low price point is the biggest advantage of the phone. Typically one of the lowest for a big-brand phone (the cheaper ones being generic or network-branded). Plenty of these phones are used as ’emergency’ phones.
  • At the low price point we also get the reliability of the Nokia OS. This is familiar to anyone using early Nokia phones. Functionality is strictly limited to phones of today.
  • With no features to speak of, the phone can be crammed into a very small footprint. At barely 70g you might not even notice this in a pocket. The lack of features also produces a fine battery life: talk-time is rated at 12.5 hours. The phone features an impressive 35 day maximum stand-by time, blowing all modern versions out of the park.
  • The phone is also heavily durable. A rubberised keypad mat and changeable covers also ensures that this phone can withstand punishment.

Nokia 105 Review Cons:

  • The screen is a little small compared to the housing size. There are some pretty thick bezels around it. This results in a screen actually smaller than the last 1-series phones and although at a higher resolution, it is pretty pointless for photos.
  • Obviously, on this type of handset there is little in the way of extra features. There are the usual radio, calendar, calculator and flashlight functions. Gaming is very limited and there are few accessories. The lack of card slot also makes musical functions limited, despite the radio.
  • One of the other aspects in the low-end market is that the price to features ratio is heavily compressed. For example, for a few pounds more you could get the Nokia 108. Whilst this does not improve technology-wise, you do get a VGA camera and microSD slot.

Future Prospects and Current Pricing

These phones were always very cheap to start with, so it is difficult to imagine them attaining higher prices. There are also newer models available that look similar and do the same job. These phones typically are not in good condition second-hand, so even a working model has no real rarity value.

Perhaps the only types of phones that might have some decent value are the unboxed, unused ones. This may be a very long-term hold to see any appreciation in value.

Where can I get one?

Both Ebay and Amazon have second-hand and refurbished models.

Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.


Nokia 105 Disassembly Instructions

If you would like to know how to take apart the Nokia 105 for repair purposes, here is a useful link.

Nokia 105 Video Review

Here is a review which showcases all the features of the Nokia 105:

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