Nokia 108 Review – Budget Mobile Phone Gains Imaging

Nokia 108 Review – The Nokia 108 was released at the end of 2013. By this time, Nokia had pretty much been relegated to the bottom end of the smartphone market. Their decision to pair with Microsoft for their Lumia devices looked a poor one in retrospect as the operating system lagged behind that of Android and Apple in popularity.

What never lost popularity was the basic handset. And this is where Nokia had many successes. Across its many iterations, the Nokia 1-series was the biggest selling family of phones by number. The original Nokia 1100 (released in 2003) despite winning no prizes for functions was a classic in its own right.

These phones were updated for a new decade, and a number dropped off the end: the Nokia 100 became the new base level handset. With plenty of bases to cover in the market there were a high end of variant models, each offering something a little different.

The Nokia 108 came out shortly on the tails of the Nokia 105, Nokia 106, and Nokia 107. All of these looked virtually identical, but different enough so that housings would not work across the models. Another differentiator was that these models also came in Dual SIM variants, allowing the user to have two mobile phone numbers. This feature is clearly useful although rarely seen in the higher-end handsets at the time. In time, apps such as Skype negated much of the needs for a physical second card.

Full specifications here.

Naming conventions became messy shortly after this. With a proliferation of models and one extra digit missing it was clear that numbering would soon run out. Instead re-releases of phones simply kept the same phone model number and could be differentiated by the year of release.

Nokia 108 Review: Pros

The phone was incredibly light. It’s plastic construction (like the rest of the 1-series) gave rise to a 70g weight and a very small footprint.

The plastic covers also allowed costs to be kept down, quite often being the cheapest option in the market.

The 108 also featured a camera, which many other basic phones did not.

Another feature was the inclusion of a microSD card slot and Bluetooth, making this a much more powerful phone despite looking similar to the others.

Nokia 108 Review: Cons

The camera usage was not that great. Only capturing VGA resolution, this was at the bottom end and equivalent to phones a decade earlier.

The phone screens were standardised across the bottom range and featured a base case 128 x 160 pixels: unchanged over some of the very earlier colour screen phones.

Battery usage was cut slightly for this model. The Nokia 100 had an incredible standby time of 840h (over a month); this was cut to around 600h for this model, still long by any other standards.

Current Pricing and Future Prospects

These phones are available in abundant number, and it is difficult to tell the different variants apart from each other. Many remained in their default black colours as the low price made it inefficient to purchase an additional housing. Their sheer reliability still sees them in use today as basic phones.

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.

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