Nokia 1208 Review – Updated No Frills Mobile Phone

Nokia 1208 Review: The Nokia 1208 was released in 2007 and in some ways represented a bold step forward for the ultrabasic Nokia range. The previous series of phones beginning with the Nokia 1100 had now reached the Nokia 1110i and collectively were probably the best selling phones by number ever seen. Obviously, this would be a tough act to follow.

Nokia countered this by releasing two phones at the same time. The Nokia 1200 was perhaps the natural successor. This kept the mono screen and the ultra-low cost. The Nokia 1208 was a different beast, adding a colour screen to proceedings. However, that was about it. With many other low-end colour phones in the mix at the time such as the numerous amount in the 2-series, it was necessary to keep some distance between them.

The two phones were similar physically to the point that accessories were interchangeable. Whilst the colour screen was not the best – it featured one of the lowest resolutions possible – further optimisations meant that this phone boasted just as long a battery life despite being colour.

Full specifications here.

It may have been difficult to rapidly improve on this model without converging on other phones. The successor to this phone was the Nokia 1209, released in 2008. This featured a redesigned keypad but few other improvements.

Nokia 1208 Review Pros:

  • The phone came in an exceptionally small size – a few more grams had been shaved off the previous Nokia 1-series and the weight saving was around 10% off the first phones.
  • The flashlight was restored to this phone. Whilst not a massively powerful beam, the markets in which this was sold into made this a useful feature.
  • The colour screen was a slight advantage when it came to graphics and games and the additional cost for this over the mono model was small.
  • Battery life held up on this model even though it had a colour screen and was similar to the Nokia 1200.

Nokia 1208 Review Cons: 

  • The design of the keypad was worse than the earlier models which had defined keys. The keymat had a propensity to come loose, which affected all keys.
  • The small size of the phone made this quite fiddly to press buttons, especially for those with big fingers.
  • The colour screen was a 96 x 68 resolution, and the use of colour added little to the apps the phone was restricted to.
  • The price was a little more expensive than the basic mono model, but a small upgrade to mid-range models could buy some better features.

Current Pricing and Future Prospects:

Unsurprisingly there are many Nokia basic phones around, with each of these selling in their millions. They still have their uses today as disposable phones thanks to their long battery life and durability. Prices remain cheap.

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 1208 Disassembly Guide

If you are interested in opening the Nokia 1208 for repair purposes, here is a useful link.

Nokia 1208 Video Review

Here is a video review of the Nokia 1208, showing off most of its main features:

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