The 1661 has a 500-contact phone book with room in each entry for five phone number types. Ringtone caller ID isn't available, but you can pair contacts with one of 26 cartoon images. You'll find choices like a car, a dog, and a star--how you they fit your friends is up to you. Even if you could get your own images on the phone, you won't be able to use them in your phone book. Also, you can assign callers to groups.
Features on the 1661 are minimal. There's a vibrate mode, text and multimedia messaging, a calculator, a unit and currency converter, a budget spreadsheet, a countdown timer, a calendar, a stopwatch, and an alarm clock. The 1661 comes with 32 polyphonic ringtones, but you can create your own tones using the composer application. We welcome the FM radio and the flashlight. It won't help you find your way in the woods, but it is useful in a dark room.
You can personalize the 1661 with a variety of display themes, background colors, screensavers, message, and alert tones. The handset comes with three games: NaturePark, Soccer League, and Sudoku. Without a wireless Web browser you can't download more games and customization options. The 1661 has 4MB of internal memory.
We tested the 1661 in San Francisco using T-Mobile service. Call quality was average. On the upside, voices sounded natural and the signal was strong and free of interference. On the downside, however, there was a slight hiss in the background. We still could carry on a conversation, but conditions weren't completely optimal. We also noticed that the volume level was rather low.
On their end, callers reported average conditions as well. They could tell we were using a cell phone and most mentioned a fair amount of background noise. We had to speak loudly when we were in a noisy environment. Speakerphone calls were just OK--we had to be in a quiet room and speak close to the phone. Keep in mind that as a dual-band (GSM 850/1,900) device, the 1661 will not work outside of North America.
The 1661 has a rated battery life of 3.9 hours talk time and 21 days standby time. Our tests showed an impressive talk time of 9 hours and 18 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the 1661 has a digital SAR of 1.31 watts per kilogram.