The Nokia 1661 phone provides an inexpensive way to check out the T-Mobile prepaid plan. This lightweight phone also features a flashlight and a radio.
Activation is pretty much a snap, as all you have to do is fill out one form on one web page and hit activate.
The extras included such as a stopwatch, calendar, and even a spreadsheet for budgeting make this more than worth it if you’re willing to live without a camera or a music player on your phone.
Once you get the phone, you just detach the SIM card from its holder and insert it into the phone. Then charge the phone for a few hours and then follow the activation instructions. You will get a text message confirming your activation and your new phone number.
The top two keys on the phone provide two ways to access your phone’s features. The top left “Menu” button leads to a graphical menu in the familiar tic-tac-toe square format, with each set of features grouped under a category such as Messages, Settings, Calendar, etc.
The top right “GoTo” button provides access to the popular features in a list format, starting with the speaking clock (!), flashlight, radio, alarm clock, calculator, etc.
The Center Navi or Scroll button goes straight to your contacts. Pressing the bottom edge of the Navi button also takes you to your contacts. The numbers for customer care and checking voicemail are already entered. Note that you will be using up your airtime when you call customer care or check voicemail.
The left edge of the Scroll button lets you start composing your text message right away. You have the option to use predictive text in English, French, Portuguese, or Spanish, or you can turn off this feature.
The right edge of the Navi button takes you to the calendar.
The top edge button controls the flashlight. You have to press it twice to turn it on. This prevents you from accidentally turning it on so you don’t drain the battery. You press it once to turn it off.
The phone is pretty easy to use, but one drawback is the keyboard. The buttons are a little too close together, and there are no horizontal separators between them. This means you can get off-center when you press a button and end up pressing the adjacent button. Eventually, you will probably get used to it, but if your previous phone had well-separated button, this will be a little annoying at first.
T-Mobile’s site only has a set of text articles on using particular features of the phone. However you can find a pdf file of the actual manual that comes in the package on Nokia’s site here:
One thing I discovered from the manual is that the slightly protruding red piece of plastic jutting out from the top of the phone is an eyelet for a wrist strap. I’d never considered a wrist strap for a phone before, and, being curious, I looked at the other phones I had happened to have with me on my desk to see if they, too had this feature. Lo, and behold, my T301g did not, but my T401g did!
When you receive a text message on your Nokia 1661, it will show the phone number or the contact name if the number is already in your contact list. You can press “Options” to reply, forward or delete the message.
You are automatically signed up for text messages from The Weather Channel. In my case I got three of them. Two messages were about the weather forecast for the day, and one was a warning about the heat index (supposed to reach 101 degrees Fahrenheit). The text messages are a free service, but they do cost you airtime to receive them. To stop them, just reply STOP to the message.
The Nokia 1661 I got came with three games: Nature Park, Soccer League, and Sudoku. Soccer and Sudoku are self-explanatory. Nature Park seems to be some kind of block-out game.
By the way, the sound from the speaker is actually pretty good on this inexpensive phone. This helps make the games a bit more fun. It also helps with the . . .
You can select the ringtone from the Menu -> Settings -> Tone settings -> Ringtone. There are many free ringtones already installed.
However in order to use the radio, you have to plug in your headset.
The FM radio is a nice addition to this phone. You can choose manual or auto-tuning to find your stations. However, I found that auto-tuning was not really sensitive enough for me as it only found three stations (I am a few miles from the city). However, the manual tuning worked just find.
Once you find your stations you can store up to 10 stations as channels. A wired hands-free headset is included as part of the Nokia 1661 T-Mobile prepaid starter kit.
Even though it’s a basic phone, you still get some nice extra tools such as a calculator, converter, stopwatch, timer, and a budgeting spreadsheet.
The calculator on the Nokia 1661 is actually easy to use, which isn’t always the case on a cell phone. The “Navi” key performs the +, -, x and / functions.
The converter converts currency and also does metric conversions for volume, weight, etc.
The countdown timer and stopwatch can come in handy when you’re exercising or just trying to get something done.
The calendar has a simple reminder function, so it’s not a scheduling application, but you can set it up to remind you not to forget important events. You set the date and time of the event and give it a name. This app probably can’t be your only calendar, but sometimes we need all the reminders we can get.
The spreadsheet lets you track your expenses by the year, month, and day. Which sounds impressive, but unfortunately, it starts out in the year 2004, which is a hassle.
The Nokia 1661 is a decent phone which provides all the basics and even a few fun extras.
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Display in list style? Not rated yet
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