Top positive review
92 people found this helpful
The holy grail of dumbphones? Nearly!
on 15 December 2015
**it is highly recommended that you purchase earphones with volume control and mic with this handset, reasons below**
I've been on a bit of a dumbphone kick recently, purchasing the Nokia 220, 130 and now the Nokia 108. Having become completely disillusioned by smartphones and loathe to become one of those people who sit and stare at them for whole train journeys [and that is most people], I wanted something that would give me basic contact methods but still let me - you know - look up and engage with the world for most of my natural life. I had five criteria:
1. It had to make calls clearly and loudly.
2. It had to be very comfortable to text with. And very responsive.
3. It had to be able to play music well.
4. It had to have a camera - even low quality.
5. One had to be able to add one's own wallpaper.
The 108 meets all these. I will elaborate on my first five points a little and as to why they're important, and additionally list any cons.
1. Calls: the phone makes calls very loud and clearly. No problem there at all. There is one con though - and it's the one thing that stops me from giving this phone five stars - and that is that with the headset on - for reasons best known to themselves, Nokia have decided to make the microphone muted. That means you cannot have conversations with a headset/earphones on. You must disconnect them and hold the phone normally. This is a hard minus point for me since I like having conversations with earphones plugged in: it's convenient and fuss-free, especially for long conversations [mind you, I used mobile phones without this commodity up till about 2010, come to think of it - however, if you purchase earphones that have a mic on them it DOES work].
2. Text: the Nokia 220 has this ability to slow down the longer your text message gets, to the point where it can take one to two seconds for the screen to register your key pressing. Not so with the 108, it's super quick and super comfortable to text with the rubber keys which aren't too stiff either. A real pleasure. Texts are not in threaded view but individual messages, but that's no issue for me. As far as I'm concerned the 108 is excellent as a text-machine.
3. Music quality is very high on this phone, surprisingly as good as my Lumia 820. Maybe even better. The only con is that the third and second highest volume setting are too far apart, meaning that music is either too loud or too quiet. Or so I thought initially. Recently I've been having it on the third loudest setting and my ears must have got used to it - it doesn't seem too quiet anymore at all. I wouldn't recommend having it any louder than that to protect your hearing, to be honest. If you really want more control over the volume, you can easily buy an earphone volume control device from Amazon for £2, or better still, earphones with an inbuilt volume control.
4. Camera: well, it's low quality but a useful feature - back-facing only. I'm not someone who takes a lot of photos but a camera on one's phone is an important addition. For example, the other day there was a power failure in my local train station meaning the ticket gates were left wide open for all passengers. I took a photo of the board saying POWER FAILURE and showed it to the guard at my destination so he could see why I hadn't touched my Oyster in at my departure station. He sympathised and let me through so I wasn't charged extra. Without the picture, I don't think he would have believed me.
5. Wallpaper: it sounds mad, I know, but the Nokia 130 only has three stock wallpapers to choose from and you can't add your own even from SD card. With the 108 you can display wallpapers from your SD card. Weirdly enough, there seems to be a glitch with the 108 which I've read from a couple of other people here in that the phone displays some very faint lines over the picture. Strangely enough, these lines will actually rotate if you rotate the picture too! There is a partial workaround for this: if you're clever enough, you can choose a wallpaper which will blend naturally with the 'lines' so you don't notice them.
Other things which are positive:
Video files: this phone plays video files from your SD card. It only works with AVI files as far as I can tell, but the phone won't dim the light while the video is playing, which is great. It's a 1.8 inch screen which is tiny, sure, but it's a nice feature. However, the viewing angles are poor and the phone has to be viewed pretty much dead on, but it's nice to have it at all.
Weight: the phone is 70g. I've always said that any phone under 100g is an ideal weight, but this one is half the weight of my 820. 70g is such an insanely light weight, you really don't notice you're carrying it.
Look: the 108 has a very nice look to it, a sleek, 'piano black' sheen. Looks very nice indeed for what it is.
Battery life: sending 10-20 texts a day, listening to a couple of hours of music and making a couple of calls a day, for me the 108 comfortably lasts five days on one charge. It's such an immense plus to have reliable battery life rather than running for the charger every few hours with a smartphone.
No internet: Oh yes, the 108 has no internet capabilities. I'm sure you'll manage to check your emails several times a day through other means.
Conclusion: the 108 is an excellent handset. It gives you so much for a miserly £20 it's unreal. An excellent addition to the dumbphone catalogue for those who would rather their phone were an accessory to the world rather than vice versa.