Nokia 1100 Review – World’s Best Selling Mobile Phone

Nokia 1100 Review: Released in 2003, the Nokia 1100 holds the distinction of being the world’s best selling mobile phone handset by number of units sold. Adding updated models such as the Nokia 1100 or Nokia 1208 would most likely mean that this record will never be surpassed by any other line of phone. Whilst these phones are not available today (the standard budget 1-Series phone is now a colour handset), they are fondly remembered.

The Nokia 1100 was released at a great time for handsets, with their usage exploding. A mobile phone had gone from luxury to necessity. As far as Nokia models were concerned, many of their releases did not cover the budget end of the market. Many users did not want a colour screen or a camera (which was starting to appear on new models). The only cheaper Nokia models around were those which had grown older, such as the Nokia 3310.

The Nokia 1100 changed this and was cheap from the start. This effect was magnified by the fact that many phone networks subsidised their phones (as they would make money back from their usage), meaning the phone could be bought as part of a pay-as-you-go package for an extremely low cost.

The cost allowed a very quick market penetration, but allied to this was that the features and operating system were almost identical to Nokia phones before such as the Nokia 3210. This combined with the lack of many other features made it a very familiar and easy-to-use handset.

Full specifications here.

With the level of success the phone gained, it is not surprising that there were many other releases. Other ultra-basic models were the Nokia 1110, Nokia 1112, Nokia 1200, Nokia 1280 which all bucked the trend of being mono phones in a colour world.

Nokia 1100 Review: Pros

The phone’s design was basic but made for versatility: an integrated keypad was much easier to use and more durable than other handsets.

The phone retained the feature to be customisable with different housing colours available. An official housing was expensive and almost equal to the price of the handset.

This model was also one of the first to feature a flashlight which could be used as a basic torch, broadening its appeal in developing markets.

The extremely low price made the phone easy to acquire and almost disposable. With such a simple model, standby times were extremely long and almost double the older generations of Nokia phones.

Nokia 1100 Review: Cons

The phone featured no real benefits over older Nokia models in a stripped down format: most other features like organiser functions had disappeared. Newer features such as radio functions were reserved for other handsets.

Memory was low: only 50 text messages were able to be stored: the phone was clearly designed for light usage.

Current Pricing and Future Prospects

With new SIM cards still compatible with older phones via adaptor, these phones still have their own value as basic handsets. As such there is a steady stream of demand at lower prices. We are yet to see much of a premium kick in (which older models such as the Nokia 3210 now have). But in future it may well be a classic.

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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