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Nokia 1200 review: Nokia 1200

If the Nokia 1200 was a politician it would be banging on about taking a 'back to basics' approach. That's because this handset chucks away all the fancy features you've come to expect on a modern mobile, leaving you with a pared-down feature set that's easy for tech novices to get their heads around.

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5.5

Nokia 1200

Pricing Not Available

The Good

Easy to use; good battery life; good call quality.

The Bad

Small screen; no FM radio.

The Bottom Line

The Nokia 1200 is an exceptionally basic handset, but it's also very easy to use, has good call quality and very impressive battery life

The phone is available for around £30 SIM-free online.

Strengths
This handset is really aimed at technophobes who don't want any bells and whistles on their phone, but instead are after a mobile that makes it as easy as possible to send text messages or make calls.

As you would expect, there's nothing particularly striking about the 1200's design -- it's simply built to be practical. For example, Nokia has opted for a type of all-in-one keypad mat, rather than individual keys, to stop dirt and dust from building up under the keys. But despite its rather utilitarian nature, we've got to say that its lightweight construction and small size makes the phone feel as comfy as an old pair of slippers.

Usually we'd moan about the lack of a colour screen, but in truth the colour displays on budget handsets tend to look washed-out and blurry, so the crisp mono screen on the 1200 is actually a refreshing change.

Sending text messages is a piece of cake and the call quality is also superb, delivering crisp and clean speech. The phone does a great job of holding on to a signal, even in areas where the coverage is patchy, and the built-in speakerphone is clear and loud. But the real show-stopper is the battery life. The 1200 will give you a mammoth 7 hours of talk time and will keep ticking over on standby for well over two weeks.

Nokia has also added a few tools to help you keep tabs on how much you're spending on your calls and text. In the menus you'll find both a call duration timer and a message counter. The only other real extra is the LED light nestled at the top of the phone which can be turned on and off from the phone's flashlight menu.

Weaknesses
Although the mono screen is very easy to read, it's also very small and has a low resolution. As a result, it can only show three lines of text or around nine words at any one time. This means you do have to do a fair amount of scrolling to read longer text messages.

Also, unlike other budget phones, such as the Nokia 2310, the 1200 doesn't have a built-in FM radio and doesn't come with a handsfree kit. It also lacks support for Bluetooth, so you won't be able to use it with a wireless headset or car kit.

Conclusion
The 1200 is obviously not a mass-market handset. It's aimed at those who just want a basic phone that's easy to use and has good battery life. It achieves these aims admirably and given its low price of around £30 SIM-free, it's hard to expect more than that.

Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Jon Squire