While Nokia may now be in the process of being acquired by Microsoft in the USA giant's quest to see more Windows phones on the market, the Finnish mobile phone company still recognise that there is a market for a good old fashioned phone with a keypad - now known in the industry as "feature phones". Whilst these are mainly aimed at developing markets there is a clear awareness that millions of people in the UK still use this type of phone every day, particularly the young and elderly who do not need anything more complicated.
Ironically the basic operating system used by these phones, known as Series 40, is a step back in time to the beginnings of what Nokia's designers originally intended to be a burgeoning smartphone system long before the iPhone or Android even existed. What remains now is a basic, easy to follow system used and loved by millions for many years.
This new Nokia mobile phone comes housed in a sleek and attractive aluminium casing with a bang up to date Gorilla Glass scratch proof and shatterproof screen, just like the latest smartphones. The casing is sandblasted to give a natural, easy to grip fingerprint proof surface. The keypad is the familiar numerical pad with predictive text typing via the same keys - no onscreen keyboard here - above which are the familiar call and end buttons and navigation keys. It is a system perfected so long ago now that it has not been bettered. For ease of use it is quite simply excellent.
The TFT screen stands at 2.4 inches and at 167 pixels per inch density it is rather dated but probably sufficient for those who will use this type of phone, watching videos and surfing the internet not likely to be a priority. However with that in mind it is somewhat expensive even given the high end features of tough glass screen and metal casing.
A 5 megapixel camera is included which takes excellent pictures, so much so you may wish you had a slightly higher resolution screen to view them on. Face detection and a panorama mode are included as is a voice-guided self portrait mode. There is an LED flash too but no image stabilisation. Video recording at 30 frames per second is available but it's fairly basic fare and not really what this handset was designed for.
Music lovers will enjoy the inclusion of a recordable FM radio and music player, with stereo Bluetooth and a 3.5mm headphone socket which enables you to use any headphones of your choice. This 3G handset will access the internet fairly quickly, but there is no Wi-Fi here.
The meagre 256MB of internal memory is actually a little above average for this type of phone but a MicroSD card slot will let you store up to 32GB of photos, files and tunes which is more than enough for most of us. You will find the 64MB of RAM memory more than ample.
Nokia's Personal Information Management system is here, a rather elaborate label for a collection of built-in apps including a notepad, calendar, converter, calculator, world clock and to-do list. A 1,000 memory phone book is also included for those of you with lots of friends or an extremely large family. Finally, battery life on standby is excellent with up to 34 days power but talk time is slightly lower than you might have expected at a little over 5 hours on 3G, although this rises to over 10 hours on 2G.
Those who are looking for this type of standard handset and are used to the familiar Nokia operating system will be delighted. It's a well built, well designed attractive handset and there really is nothing to dislike about it. Yes it is dated, but it will suit those of you who are in the market for this type of phone perfectly. Our only real complaint is that we feel it is rather expensive for what is on offer here, especially as it does not include Wi-Fi which is unheard of on a phone at this price point these days. But if it is the type of phone you want it is tried and trusted technology that is simple to use and is unlikely to let you down.