Nokia 1661 Review – Colour-Based Budget Mobile Phone

Nokia 1661 Review – The 1661 was released in 2009 as a continuation of the ultra-basic 1-series phones from Nokia. These phones started off as monochrome budget phones such as the Nokia 1100 and Nokia 1110. The Nokia 1208 added a colour screen to proceedings, which was quickly followed by the Nokia 1650.

Notably, the Nokia 1661 made a change in the construction style. A common factor in the previous phones was a rubberised keypad. This was ditched and the 1661 features a hard plastic style much in common with other models. There is no real practical advantage to this, but perhaps some consumers prefer it.

The phone was released as part of a pair. The Nokia 1662 came out at the same time, although you would be hard pressed to tell the difference. The phones had the same look and were the same size.  The only real change was the colour and the countries of release. In practice the Nokia 1661 was far more prevalent.

Full specifications here.

The basic design was popular and traces of it could be seen throughout other budget Nokia handsets. It was refreshed the next year as the Nokia 1616. This offered some minor improvements to the keypad.


Nokia 1661 Review Pros:

The price was very low for this handset, rivalling that seen of the original 1-series phones. With a colour screen, this offered a better value proposition.

The phone maintained a small size. At 80g including battery this was an incredibly light phone. Storage as well was pretty good: 8MB for a low-end handset would provide ample storage for text and contacts, although not pictures.

The phone construction went away from rubber to an integrated keypad design. A large home button was now favoured. On a looks-note this was an improvement, and the phone additionally added a lanyard holder.

The navigation moved away from a menu-system to a grid which brought this in line with many other Nokia handsets which made this an easy model to use.

Nokia 1661 Review Cons:

The keypad would divide opinion. The rubberised type of the Nokia 1100 would prove much easier to use. The integrated type seen here offered smaller keys which would make it harder to use.

The screen size remained at 1.8 inches. With a 128 x 160 resolution this was perhaps as low as it got and would prove to be not great for handling media.

Expandability of the handset was limited. Although it featured some basic functions light flashlight and radio there was no camera or memory card slot.

Future Prospects and Current Pricing

Basic 1-series Nokia phones are still popular. No doubt this is due to their ease of use and extreme longevity. As phones go, they are very robust. However, due to their cheap price point they are available in large numbers and hence this puts a ceiling on it. There is also plenty of competition around for this phone, not least from other Nokia handsets. Premium prices are unexpected unless the phone is new and unused.

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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