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The best of the non-smartphones

  • Featurephones tend to be tougher
  • Simple handsets that just work
  • Good for backups as well
Written by Alana Faigen

Not everybody has or wants a smartphone. Some people just want a phone without the fancy bits on top. The advantages of a non-smartphone compared to a smartphone is that they can be cheaper, lighter, smaller, have a longer battery life and are often easier and simpler to use. Because non-smartphones have been around for so long, their design and functionality is now very close to perfection. Non-smartphones also cater to the outdoors-market for people who need a rugged phone that can take a few knocks and splashes. These phones tend to have better reception than a lot of smartphones, making them suitable for regional users who may not be able to access great 3G anyway and therefore don’t need mobile access to the internet.

Having a non-smartphone means you can still have access to the internet (although this will be limited and not as easy to use as on a smartphone), as well as access to things like an alarm, calendar, calculator and simple games. Non-smartphones are usually in the candy bar style so they can fit straight in your pocket.

Samsung B2710 (available through Dodo)

The Samsung B2710 suits outdoorsy-type people who need a phone that won’t break if it slips out of your grip.

The Samsung B2710 features a very average 2-megapixel camera and 30MB of internal memory. You can dabble in emailing on this phone and it also includes radio access. The battery has up to 500 hours of standby time (3G).

Dustproof, waterproof, and with ports that are protected by waterproof panels, the Samsung 2710 is a reliable, long-lasting phone that you can rely on.

Nokia 2730 (available through Dodo and Optus)

Nokia is renowned for their fully functional, easy to use candy bar phones. The Nokia 2730 is a classic, stylish phone which is easy to use and possesses excellent reception (which is great for users in regional areas). It also has a loud incoming call ring for those who may be a little hard of hearing or who tend to leave their phone in the next room. The phone features email, a 2-megapixel camera, music player and FM radio.

Nokia 7230 (available through Dodo)

The Nokia 7230 is a petite slide-phone which offers easy-to-use picture sharing, messaging and social networking. Built from plastic chassis, the coating makes this handset look like stainless steel. This Nokia features a 3-megapixel camera, 3.5mm headphone jack and an easy-to-use email client. The phone also includes a 2GB microSD memory card for a bit of extra storage space. While the phone is stylish, the 7230 has reportedly had some issues with call-quality and volume.

Nokia C5 (available through Virgin)

The Nokia C5 is a small and impressively light candy bar handset which offers a few frills including maps, picture-sharing, music, internet access and social networking. It looks elegant with a combination of plastic and aluminium, and features a 3.2-megapixel camera with a built-in LED flash.

Nokia 1800 (available through Virgin)

A durable and reliable candy bar phone, the Nokia 1800 is affordable for low-end users and includes only the most practical features making it a suitable handset for seniors and young ones. The keypad is large, the sound is high and clear, again, making it perfect for seniors. As a bonus, Nokia 1800-owners will also have FM radio, flashlight and a long-lasting battery.


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