Whenever we’ve spoken about Nokia Mobile devices (which is manufactured under a license by HMD Global), we often eulogise about how the smartphones are great value for money. The company has carved out a name for itself in designing solid phones that are well specced and aggressively priced.
How then does the Nokia 105 feature phone stack up to what we’ve reviewed from Nokia Mobile in the past. At R249 the device is serving up a bare bones experience, but in the age of wallet-friendly entry-level smartphones, is there still a point in getting the Nokia 105?
We reviewed the device to find out.
A niche market?
We may be giving away our age here, but we can still remember the days when a device like the Nokia 105 would have been considered bleeding edge. As such that could be who this device is marketed to, people who need a phone for what they use to be used for – calling.
This means that there is a rather niche market for a device like the 105.
That said there could be a demand for such an offering. When we first wrote about the local availability of the Nokia 105 in early October, it went on to be one of the best performing stories we wrote that month, garnering plenty of clicks and attraction. As such consumers could be intrigued by the device, if nothing else because of its asking price.
At R249 (RRP) the Nokia 105 costs about the same as a dinner for two at a decent restaurant, which means it is within reach of many South Africans, but there is still a large segment of the population for who R250 is a lot of money, and this is who we think the 105 is designed for.
People who need the basics as far as phone connectivity go.
So what does R250 buy you?
Well, the Nokia 105 is an expectedly small and lightweight device. Measuring 119mm long and weighing 74g including the removable battery, the 105 could easily be confused with a toy, if it weren’t for the all black colour option which is being made available locally.
The small dimensions also mean the Nokia 105 can be difficult to operate at times, with the buttons quite close together and leading to mistaken presses if you have large digits.
The lightweight design has another caveat as unlike a feature phone such as the new Nokia 3310 for example, things don’t necessarily feel as rock solid. This may have to do with the lightweight design, but the device feels like it could break if dropped from a decent enough height.
That said, when you’re spending R250, little more is expected.
Internally things are also kept fairly basic. It takes a single regular-sized SIM card and the aforementioned 800mAh battery delivers up to 14.4 hours of talk time. There’s also 4MB of RAM on offer and an equal amount of storage, so the Nokia 105 certainly isn’t a powerhouse phone.
It doesn’t really need to though, with it only catering to 2G connectivity (GSM 900/1800), test messaging, phone calls and a handful of basic games. Before you ask, yes there’s Snake.
While that does indeed take care of the basics, we feel like HMD Global may have missed a trick here, and adding 3G or indeed supporting a messaging app like WhatsApp could have served the 105 well and made it even more tempting as a backup or burner phone.
Is it any good?
Now that we’ve touched on all the need-to-know elements of the Nokia 105, we need to ask the important question of whether you should buy one.
While the price of the Nokia 105 can lead you to believe that you won’t find a better option on the market, there are devices like the Vodacom Vibe 4G for R299, which as the name suggests supports 4G.
As such the Nokia 105 is handy as a backup in emergencies or simply as a burner while travelling somewhere you don’t or can’t use your regular smartphone, we think if you save up a bit more cash, there are options available that will serve you better.
FULL DISCLOSURE: THE NOKIA 105 WAS GIVEN TO HYPERTEXT AS A SEEDING DEVICE BY HMD GLOBAL.