The Nokia 105 is a very cheap phone that’s aimed squarely at emerging markets in Africa and Asia. This is a phone that eschews features and replaces them with a solid, reliable package for basic calling and messaging.

The Nokia 105 - Back To Basics

Why Bother Reviewing It?

Quite simply, the Nokia 105 is brilliant. It’s an absolutely superb piece of design and engineering, and that’s meant without a hint of sarcasm. It’s a truly fantastic little phone.

The Price

Before you pass judgement on this device, always keep in mind that the number one concern here is price. This is a phone for emerging markets after all. Nokia have managed to design and build a superb handset and sell it for just £15!


Considering the price, the 105 is a design classic. It looks like a slimmed down version of the classic Nokias of old. The rubber keypad and plastic body are definitely cheap, but the fit and finish are good, and the package manages to look confident and classy for its tiny price tag.

Features You Don’t Get

It seems strange to talk about the features a phone DOESN’T have, but here it is: No WiFi, No Bluetooth, No 3G or cellular internet, No GPS, No NFC, No touchscreen, No Camera, No SD card slot!

So what do you get? Well, you get the old fashioned Nokia Symbian OS, a phonebook, and the ability to call people and send an SMS! All of that is done whilst pressing the keypad and looking at a tiny 1.4 inch screen. Extras include a headphone jack, and an FM Radio, a clock with alarms, a calculator, as well as a couple of old-school games like Snake (!) and Sudoku. You also get a useful LED torch on the back.

Why Would I Want One?

One word: Battery. This little phone might have a small footprint, but battery quality has progressed so much since these old-school feature phones were around that you’ll be truly astounded by how long this thing lasts on a single charge.

If you’re calling people frequently and using the torch, you’ll still get well over a week on a single charge. If you leave the phone turned on but rarely use it, you’ll see a standby time of over a month!

Now you begin to see the potential of this device: Festivals, beach trips and other adventurous activities are the bane of fragile smartphones. This tiny handset costs little more than a single month’s mobile insurance, so it makes a wonderful backup handset.

You can leave the charger at home and simply swap out the SIM card, without a care in the world about your precious smartphone getting lost, stolen, or soaked in mud.


The Nokia 105 is a classic piece of honest design that comes with a minuscule price tag and a mammoth battery life. If you own a super expensive smartphone, you really should consider one as a backup. Who knows, you might grow to love its simplicity!

Wendy Lin is a successful female entrepreneur who likes to run with the big dogs. She is proud that she has never allowed gender to make her think she cannot acheive whatever she wants and works to promote gender equality in the workplace.

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