Design and Looks
For basic phone standards, the Nokia 1800 looks stunning. It features rounded edges and an all chrome nav-pad. The plastics employed on the outside of the form factor are cheap but are sufficiently robust nonetheless. The back of the phone is nondescript save for the loudspeaker grill at the top and the Nokia logo just below it. Rest assured the phone sports good anti-scratch build and does not creak when pressed firmly between the fingers.
The phone's display is a 1.8 inch TFT display with a resolution of 128 x 160 pixels. The screen generates the bare minimum 65000 colours. It does not have the wide viewing angles or the sunlight legibility of a high end phone but is nevertheless the best you can get in this price. Below the screen we see the D-pad and the soft keys. The chrome-coated nav-pad is similar to the one on the 1650. The soft keys and the alphanumeric keypad consist of buttons that are undifferentiated column-wise. Each key is large so wrong key presses should not be a problem. Tactility and touch-orientation can be a bother however since the keypad is flat with no sort of unique key markings to find your way around without looking.
The phone features the simple S30 user interface with all the common Java apps like organizer, voice memo, convertor, games, calendar and other PIM functions on board. Since the phone is targeted at the developing rural market, it features an application called Nokia Life Tools which provides vital information on education and agriculture among other things which is a truly novel app. It instructs users in several languages using graphically rich icons and text. To better understand this app, consider this; the agriculture section gives local weather updates and places to source seeds from and their rates. Education gives vital career information, courses and exam dates and the entertainment feature has games, news and horoscopes.
Keeping in mind the generally low cell-tower reception in remote areas, Nokia have spared no effort in ensuring that the phone's telephony is of the highest standards. What this means is that there's little possibility of dropped calls or disturbances even when the 'range' is low. The phone also features FM radio which is enhanced by the loudspeaker and standard 3.5mm audio jack. Not surprisingly the loudspeaker quality is poor and distorts easily at higher volumes. The standard 3.5mm audio jack means you can easily listen to the radio using the headset of your choice. Finally, the phone also sports a powerful LED flashlight.
So, the choice between the 1616 and 1800 is between looks and a better keypad. While the 1800 is the looker the 1616 is the practical one. So, at the price difference, we feel the 1616 is the better buy if you happen to message frequently. But if making calls is your main contention, and you can spare a few hundred more, then the 1800 is the better of the two. We hope this review makes the choice easier for you.
- Great looks for a basic phone
- 1.8-inch TFT 65K colour screen with 128 x 160 pixels
- Robust scratch resistant design
- FM radio with loudspeaker and standard 3.5mm audio jack
- Polyphonic MP3ringtones
- Exchangeable colour covers
- Excellent battery life
- Nokia Life Tools application
- Nokia Mobile Charger DC-4
- Nokia Stereo Headset WH-102