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Review GSM phone Nokia 1600


  • Handset
  • Battery
  • Charger
  • Manual

Nokia 1600. Live pictures

Today we introduce Nokia 1600, a phone with a colour screen and polyphonic call alert. It is a candybar phone with the design giving the Finish company away at once. The handset is not big (104x45x17 mm, weight of 80 g), it easily suits both trousers and shirt pockets.

The body is made of quite a qualitative plastic with a dull covering, slightly rough by touch. Following the Nokia's tradition, the phone has interchangeable Xpress-on panels, and that is the reason why the body scratches in hands even at low pressure. General feeling of the body is quite pleasant especially for a low-end model.

A loudspeaker gap features the right side surface, one more is placed on the top edge. And the bottom edge features a charger connector of an old style and an interface connector.

By the way, a strap is also fastened to the bottom end, and to fix it you have to remove the battery cover. And about the cover itself, the fastening is reliable, but unfortunately, it is made of very thin plastic, and even a slight pressure seems like breaking it.

On the front panel a small cSTN screen with the resolution of 96x68 pixels (27x21.5 mm) capable of up to 65K is placed. The display is poor in quality; however, due to a good menu drawn, it looks much better than others. In the sun it fades so that making out information gets hard.

The keypad is made of transparent plastic with characters made as a mat, and the very keys are united in three blocks. The navi block consist of a small 4D navi button, two functional keys and call and cancel buttons. The navi pad is square, due to its small size it is rounded with a small welt, which makes working with it more comfortable.

The cancel button is also responsible for phone on/off function and accessing the standard Nokia menu, where you can select a profile and turn the phone off.

The number keys are small and placed close to each other, you should get used to working with them. The keypad backlighting is white; all the characters are easy to read, as the whole button surface is backlight, and not only the very characters.

The most of the back panel is taken with a cover under which a battery (BL-5C) capacious of 900 mAh is placed. According to the manufacturer, with it the device is capable of up to 5.5 hours in talk mode and up to 450 hours in standby mode. In Moscow the phone provided averagely 7 days in case of 15 minutes of talks and 15 minutes of using other functions. That is quite a record for colour screen devices. Full recharging takes about 1.5 hours.


The main menu is untypical of Nokia phones; it is represented with a horizontal row of icons. Three icons are shown simultaneously, the icon of the selected menu item is highlighted and positioned to the right. The first menu level is of the same style, and the second is text. It is drawn well, with no evident slow down when switching between the items.

There is no fast navigation using number sequences. However, you can use fast access menu assigned to the right functional key. You can add necessary items to your liking into this menu. Pressing the navi button in the standby mode calls the following items: call list, creating a new message, contact list, demo mode.

Phonebook. Up to 200 contacts can be stored in the phone memory. Each can have a name (up to 14 characters) and only one number. Besides, you can add one of the preinstalled pictures (totally 31 pictures). The assigned picture is displayed both at incoming and outgoing call, as well as in the call list.

A search by the first letters provided in the phonebook. Fast dialing for up to 8 numbers is available.

The phonebook is modest. However, an undemanding user with little contact base will find it acceptable.

Messages. The phone memory allows keeping about 60 messages. While entering a message, you can select a font-size (large or average), the first case shows one text line and the second one allows viewing two lies. Multiple messaging is available; however, mailing lists should be created beforehand. Smiles (totally 8) and text templates (totally 8) can be added to the message body. The chat function when all the messages are displayed on the screen is available.

Nokia Smart Messaging is supported, to send a graphic message in this format; you have to enter a corresponding section with a set of 32 preset pictures.

Call list. A call log of 30 received, missed and outgoing calls is here. In this very section a call counter is provided.

Settings. Calls setting are kept here; you can select a melody for incoming call, a message and some actions. Besides, there are 6 profiles completely adjusted by a user.

For the display you can select and set a theme (a set of 21 themes is available), these are some kind of wall-papers shown not only in the standby mode, but in the menu as well. Besides, a colour scheme is also adjustable.

Other settings concerning the phone and the network are here.

Time. Only one alarm clock is present in the phone, it may be set both for one and for selected week days as well.

Here is speaking clock, which can be activated by pressing * in the standby mode. The presence of this function seems strange, since at home most of us have clock besides the one in the phone, however, using speaking clock outdoors or in a public place is unlikely. And the very voice announcing the time is no very pleasant, though belongs to a woman. But, listen to it yourself.

Sample of speaking clock (32 KB, mp3).

Reminders. Plain reminders are available in the phone. You are offered to enter text (up to 35 characters), set sound alert on, arrange time and date.

Games. Three games are available in the phone, they are Soccer League (playing in this soccer seems impossible on the small screen), Rapid Roll (game for the speed of reaction) and Snake Xenzia (a famous snake game). Playing games is uncomfortable, as a navi button is rather small, and a number keypad is divided into two blocks, which also hardens the game process.

Extra. A plain melody editor, a plain calculator, a unit converter, a countdown timer, a stop watch and speaking clock again are placed here.

Demo-mode is also kept here, which is to help you get acquainted with the phone capabilities.


The device provides normal connection quality with no problems. The volume of the loudspeaker is not enough sometimes, however, the microphone sensitivity is good. Nokia 1600 is equipped with 20-tones polyphony, and the quality of playing back preset melodies is really good. Of course, MP3 as a call melody is desirable, but unfortunately, the maker allows only preinstalled melodies in MP3 quality, though very close to the truth. The call signal volume is rather high, and the call is hard to miss. The power of a vibracall is average and can be missed as well.

Besides, speakerphone is realized rather well, you only need to press the right functional key during a conversation to activate it.

Nokia 1600 is a typical low-end phone with a corresponding function kit. Durable battery life is the main advantage among other phones of this class with colour screens. A very unreliable battery cover should be mentioned as a disadvantage, it can crack at slight pressure.

The device is to appear in October for about 110 -130 USD. That is a very profitable suggestion for undemanding users who like to get a plain phone with a colour screen and durable battery life, which is very seldom especially in this class.

Call melody samples (313 KB, mp3)

Vladimir Fokin (vladimir.fokin@mobile-review.com)
Published — 4 October 2005

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