Nokia 1661 mobile phone

Nokia's entry-level 1661 mobile phone has a decent screen, but the keypad is frustrating to use

Nokia 1661
  • Nokia 1661
  • Nokia 1661
  • Nokia 1661
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5

Pros

  • Cheap, FM radio, decent display, flashlight

Cons

  • Rear cover creaks, cramped keypad, call volume could be louder, no Bluetooth

Bottom Line

The Nokia 1661 features a reasonable display and an FM radio, but the cramped keypad is annoying. At this price, though, it’s hard to complain.

Would you buy this?

Providing a similar feature set to the Nokia 1209, Nokia's 1661 improves on its baby brother with a better quality display, a much thinner design and an FM radio. However, the smaller form factor comes at the cost of keypad size.

The Nokia 1661 mobile phone is much thinner than the Nokia 1209, so it slides easily into a pocket. At first glance, it's easy to mistake the Nokia 1661 for a more expensive mobile phone — the glossy black front fascia surrounding the display and keypad certainly looks the part, and the silver edging on the navigational pad is a nice touch. The red edging and grey back cover are bland, though, and the cover does creak slightly when pressed in certain areas, which raises some questions about its build quality. At this price, however, it's not a huge issue.

Unfortunately, the smaller size of the Nokia 1661 has resulted in a smaller keypad, which has thin and flat keys. The keys are separated by raised lines, but it feels a little cramped when composing text messages. Also hindering the use of this phone is the inclusion of a four-way navigational pad instead of the more common five-way version. This means the left selection key is used to choose items in the menu, so the controls take some time to grasp.

The Nokia 1661's display is larger and has a higher resolution than the Nokia 1209's, so it's easier to use. The screen still possesses poor viewing angles and can be hard to see in sunlight, but it isn't narrow and therefore displays more lines of text. The increased screen size also means a standard grid layout can be used for the main menu, and a simple list format for most of the submenus.

The features of the Nokia 1661 are fairly basic, with the standout feature being the FM radio. It also offers SMS messaging with T9 predictive text input (but no e-mail or MMS capabilities), a basic phonebook, a call register, and a few handy PIM functions such as an alarm clock, calculator, converter, spreadsheet, reminders, countdown timer, calendar and stopwatch. The flashlight at the top of the handset — activated by holding up on the directional pad — and the polyphonic ring tone composer are nice inclusions.

Like the Nokia 1209, the Nokia 1661's call quality is solid but not outstanding. Volume could have been a little louder, and it is difficult to hear if there is any background noise. Thankfully, our callers didn't complain about the outgoing sound, suggesting the microphone is of good quality. A downside is the lack of external volume controls, though the volume is easily adjusted using the navigational pad.

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