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Nokia 1616 review: Nokia 1616

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The Good FM radio with headphones; handy flashlight; decent battery life.

The Bad Cheap design; lack of camera and 3G; no data connectivity or Internet access.

The Bottom Line One of the cheapest handsets we've seen so far, the Nokia 1616 is perfect for people who just want a phone for making calls and sending the odd text. Anything more complicated than that is off the agenda, but this could make an ideal gift for an elderly relative or young child.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

4.5 Overall

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Nokia's much-hyped N8 may be getting the lion's share of column inches right now, but that doesn't mean the firm is ignoring the other end of the mobile phone spectrum. The Nokia 1616 is a low-rent blower which makes calls and sends text messages, but does little else in between.

The Nokia 1616 is available for as little as £10 on pay as you go and can be obtained free of charge with many £10-a-month contracts. Buy it for around £24 SIM-free.

Communication on a shoestring

With its incredibly modest price tag, it's hard not to approach the Nokia 1616 in the same manner in which you'd treat any other piece of budget electrical equipment -- namely, with contempt.

Unashamedly aimed at the absolute bottom end of the mobile phone spectrum, the 1616 suffers from the same uninspiring build quality that afflicted its unfortunate sibling, the similarly named 1661. At just 78g, it's so light it feels like a child's plaything, and the cheap plastic exterior does little to install confidence. The casing is hardly what you'd describe as robust, and applying pressure on the back of the phone causes the battery cover to flex in an alarming fashion.

Mercifully, the 1616 isn't blighted with the same dodgy keypad that plagued the 1661. The all-in-one key mat is designed to keep out dust and is surprisingly comfortable to use. Sadly, the same can't be said for the direction pad, which is awkward to press and lacks a central 'enter' button, meaning you have to move your finger to the left-hand soft key to confirm your selection.

The all-in-one key mat is designed to keep out dust and is surprisingly comfortable to use.

Under the bonnet, things remain distinctly unimpressive. Like the Samsung E1170, the Nokia 1616 lacks a camera or any kind of data connectivity, so sending photos to friends isn't an option -- although low-resolution monochrome picture messages are supported.

The complete absence of Internet connectivity is worth pointing out because the 1616's packaging misleadingly refers to the phone as an Ovi-enabled device, which suggests you can connect to the Ovi Store and download apps and games. This simply isn't the case.

Not on the menu

The 1616's menu system is painfully basic, even when compared to the bare-bones version witnessed on the 1661, but it's easy to find your way around. A sprinkling of intriguing options -- including a handy spreadsheet to keep track of your finances -- helps to add a little value. Because of its straightforward approach and bright, colourful TFT screen, we can certainly see the 1616 finding favour with less-experienced mobile users.

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