Nokia 1616

The 1616 is the cheapest brand-name phone we know of in Australia, and for some this will be reason enough to buy it, but we'd like to see a camera and web browser included.


6.8
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How much phone do you think you should get for AU$29? This is the question that has plagued us since we began our review of the Nokia 1616. For being the cheapest brand-name phone we know of in Australia, the Nokia 1616 deserves some kudos, but does this mean it's worth your money?

Design

More like a time machine than that envisioned by H.G. Wells, every time we pick up the Nokia 1616 it transports us back to the Halcyon days of the mid to late '90s. John Howard had just taken over as Prime Minister, people had grown bored of Pearl Jam and everyone carried a Nokia phone similar to the phone reviewed here.

The 1616 is like a phone teleported from that magical era: its stiff, hollow-feeling plastic body is fantastically lightweight though seemingly sturdy. Above a standard Nokia array of keypad and navigation controls you'll find a 1.8-inch colour display with a 128x160 resolution. This affords the home screen room to display the time, battery information and signal strength, but you can forget about fancy widgets displaying Facebook updates or anything of the like.

The keypad is reasonably well laid out, though there isn't that much definition between each of the numbers. Tapping out a quick SMS or punching in a phone number is fine, but expect the odd error if you have fingers larger than a primary school-aged kiddie. Strangely, the directional keypad under the screen doesn't have an "enter" button in the centre, instead you need to press the left-hand selection button to complete a menu selection. This makes for a minor quibble, but it had us scratching our heads nonetheless.

One interesting break from the absolute bare minimum is Nokia's inclusion of a torch at the top of the phone. The 1616 doesn't have a camera, so there is no camera flash — instead there is a dedicated lamp next to the 3.5mm headphone socket on the top of the phone. This light is quite bright too; good enough to find the keyhole when you stagger to the front door late at night at least.

Features and performance

For AU$29 there are a few modern mobile features you won't be surprised to find absent. There's the lack of a camera, mentioned previously, and the complete absence of anything related to web browsing. The 1616 is a 2G handset operating on the 850/900/1800/1900MHz frequencies, which means you shouldn't have any trouble sending SMS messages or making phone calls, but don't expect much more from this cheap and cheerful handset.

If you're only after a phone for calling and messaging, then the 1616 should fit the bill. Text and numbers appear quite large on the tiny screen, and composing text messages is a breeze if you're familiar with the Nokia flavour of predictive text.

Digging a bit deeper in the main menu of the 1616 you will come across a few neat bonuses. There's an FM radio, an alarm clock and a calculator, plus there's a range of very simple Java games that may pass the time on the train, though they certainly didn't grab our attention. This lack of features does have the double-edged advantage of extending the battery life to days and days between charges, and that's because the phone has so little to offer you won't waste battery fiddling with it all day as you might if it was an iPhone instead.

Overall

To answer the question posed in the opening paragraph, the amount of mobile phone you get for AU$29 isn't a great deal, but it does perform the basics admirably. There are a few neat bonuses beneath the basics, like the torch and some games, but we must admit to being a little surprised not to find even the simplest web browser for rudimentary Google searches. We're even more surprised that there isn't a camera of any description included as we think the tweens who end up with this handset would probably like to have even a very low resolution shooter.

We've described this handset as costing AU$29 throughout this review, but we should point out that it is only available at this price when bought through either Crazy John's or Vodafone and it is locked to these networks.

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KiaraW posted a comment   

Great phone! Absolutely indestructible. I'm surprised people expect it to have web browsing, it's $29!! You don't get a Lamborghini for the price of a Nissan, but you get a decent Nissan. You get what you pay for. I'm extremely careless with my phones, which is why I haven't attempted to get something with a touch screen, but this phone has survived so long that it's returned my faith in Nokia.

devion.reed
10
Rating
 

"I am currently spending the summer(2012) at my grandparents. My grandmother had gone to the store and bought me this exact phone. the simpleness, and navigation is a step down from my last android, but it gets the job done. Call, Text done."

devion.reed posted a review   
United States

The Good:It's Simple, easy to use and navigate. Cheap, USD$15.00 plan from T-Mobile USA

The Bad:Nothing, I don't need a web browser, I have a Wii and a Laptop for that

I am currently spending the summer(2012) at my grandparents. My grandmother had gone to the store and bought me this exact phone. the simpleness, and navigation is a step down from my last android, but it gets the job done. Call, Text done.

Sure there's no browser, but my laptop does that already

 

20132014 posted a comment   
United States

i cant use this phone i try to be as gentle as i can but when i try to nagivate with the keys its turns the phone off when i do not wish to turn it off yeah thier cheap for not adding internet i could go on and on this phone sux

 

20132014 posted a comment   
United States

i cant use this phone i try to be as gentle as i can but when i try to nagivate with the keys its turns the phone off when i do not wish to turn it off yeah thier cheap for not adding internet i could go on and on this phone sux

ME
1
Rating
 

ME posted a review   

The Good:its just great

The Bad:dosent fit in ma shoe

great phone better then that iphone crap i rate it 10/10.
and my mum said it the best

 

Victor C Pankouken posted a reply   
Germany

... and it is 100% theft proof with teenagers...

 

Victor C Pankouken posted a reply   
Germany

"dosent fit in ma shoe" should read "doesn't fit in Mum's shoe". Who is your teacher ?

exclipt
5
Rating
 

exclipt posted a review   

The Good:battery, durability

The Bad:no internet

amazing for its price, is a great phone as a first or for little kids

 

Victor C Pankouken posted a reply   
Germany

Don't worry about the internet. This phone can even be used as a tennisball replacement. How's that ?

Lisa
8
Rating
 

Lisa posted a review   

The Good:It performs the basic functions of a phone very well, without all the other distractions. Amazing battery life, even with heavy use.

The Bad:I miss internet access on my phone.

This phone is no frills,yes, but there are a million phones on the market which are 10 times the price if you want all that gimmickery.

If you're after a sturdy, lightweight, simple to use phone, that gives you no problems whilst making phone calls then this is ideal. If you want more gadgets on top of a calculator and an inbuilt radio, then you are forced to buy something that is much more expensive.

 

System posted a comment   

The Good:Simple and fast

The Bad:N/A

It is a perfecrt handset if you need only calls and messages.
Really fast, a great signal receiver, no issues at all.

 

Victor C Pankouken posted a reply   
Germany

Its light weight and aerodynamic form will have you winning every stoneskipping competition at you nearest pond. Too bad it doesn't swim, so no repeat action...

Jeremy
1
Rating
 

Jeremy posted a review   

The Good:Excellent battery life

The Bad:Restarts itself

After a few weeks use this phone began to restart itself sometimes upon call receipt (hanging up on the caller)or message sending (causing you to lose the message you just wrote).
Stay away!!

 

Victor C Pankouken posted a reply   
Germany

You misunderstood that hidden function. It is essential as Autopilot substitute in every plane from the Cessna 172 to the latest Boeing 787, as long as you know how to wire it in self start mode to the electronics in the dashboard.




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User Reviews / Comments  Nokia 1616

  • KiaraW

    KiaraW

    "Great phone! Absolutely indestructible. I'm surprised people expect it to have web browsing, it's $29!! You don't get a Lamborghini for the price of a Nissan, but you get a decent Nissan. You get w..."

  • devion.reed

    devion.reed

    Rating10

    "I am currently spending the summer(2012) at my grandparents. My grandmother had gone to the store and bought me this exact phone. the simpleness, and navigation is a step down from my last android,..."

  • 20132014

    20132014

    "i cant use this phone i try to be as gentle as i can but when i try to nagivate with the keys its turns the phone off when i do not wish to turn it off yeah thier cheap for not adding internet i co..."

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