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Nokia 2660 Cell Phone Review

by The Review CrewMay 30, 2010

The Nokia 2660 continues the company’s tradition of simple, quality phones for making calls. Like the Nokia 2320, it shuns a camera and most of today’s “in” features in favor of making calls and sending messages. But just so it isn’t entirely dull, the 2660 also offers Bluetooth and a voice recorder. Though its design is basic and easy to use, the 2660 stumbles a bit on the performance side. Call quality was acceptable, but the phone is slow on the inside. If you want a contract, the 2660 is free with a two-year commitment. You also can get it with AT&T’s GoPhone prepaid service.

Design
The Nokia 2660 is nothing more than your basic clamshell phone. And that’s perfectly fine, as we’d rather have a phone that’s plain and user-friendly than stylish and frustrating. The silver-and-black color scheme is decidedly retro and the compact size (3.43 inches long by 1.76 inches wide by 0.84 inch deep) and clean lines make it portable. At 2.89 ounces, the 2660 does have a wispy feeling in the hand; it doesn’t feel like it would take a beating.

See, we told you it was a simple phone.On the top of the phone you’ll find a covered flap for the 2.5mm headset jack and the proprietary Nokia charger jack. Normally, we’d raise a stink about both, but on such a simple phone they’re really not an issue. On the other hand, we will complain about the lack of a dedicated volume rocker. That means you’ll have adjust the sound level using the navigation toggle when you’re on a call.

The exterior display is small (about the size of a postage stamp) and has a simple blue and white resolution (96×68 pixels). Yet, it shows all the information you need including the date, time, signal strength, and battery life. You can change the clock format and backlight time. When the display goes dim, however, the time is still visible. The main display is 1.8 inches. As you’d expect, the resolution (65,536 colors; 160×120 pixels) is rather low, but it’s fine for a free handset. Though graphics and photos won’t look great, the menu interface is simple and intuitive. You can change the standby font color and font size.

The navigation array has a spacious design. There’s a four-way toggle with a central OK button, two soft keys, and the Talk and End/power controls. Only the toggle is raised, but we didn’t have any problems. We did miss a dedicated back key, though. The keypad buttons are spacious as well and they feature large backlit numbers. The keys are tactile even if they don’t feel particularly sturdy.

Features
The 2660’s phone book holds 400 contacts with room in each entry for five phone numbers, an e-mail address, a company name and job title, a formal name, a nickname a street address, a birthday, and notes. You also can pair contacts with photos, but you’ll need to be creative with images since the handset doesn’t have a camera. You can also organize contacts into groups. Ringtones are another matter, though. Only groups can store ringtones, and the phone comes with only seven polyphonic tones.

Basic features include text and multimedia messaging, an alarm clock, a calendar, a to-do list, a notepad, a calculator, a timer, and a stopwatch. On such a basic phone, we like that Nokia threw in Bluetooth and a voice recorder. You also get instant messaging and AT&T Mobile Email, though neither service is worth your time with the clunky Web-based interface and alphanumeric keypad.

The 2660 comes with one game (Tetris), but you can use the WAP 2.0 Web browser to buy additional Java titles. You can personalize the phone with color themes, alert tones, wallpaper, and screensavers. More options are available from AT&T’s Media Mall application.

Performance
We tested the Nokia 2660 in San Francisco using AT&T service. Call quality was good on the whole. As mentioned, we’d prefer a dedicated volume rocker, but the phone gets sufficiently loud. At the highest volume levels there was a bit of static, or “GSM buzz,” but it wasn’t bothersome. The audio quality also was a tad hollow, though our callers sounded natural. We also had no trouble getting a signal, but keep in mind that the dual-band (GSM 850/1900) 2660 won’t work outside North America.

On their end, callers said we sounded fine. They could tell we were using a cell phone, and some callers mentioned that the handset picks up wind noise. Yet, for what it is, the 2660 delivers acceptable sound quality. Speakerphone quality is below average. The volume doesn’t get loud and the audio was distorted. Bluetooth headset calls are fine, though your experience will depend on the headset.

Unfortunately, the 2660 is surprisingly slow for such a simple phone. There’s a noticeable lag when moving between menu icons and up to 2 seconds to move forward and backward through some menu options. We’d accept that on a high-end smartphone, but it’s irritating on a low-end model like this.

The 2660 has a rated battery life of 7 hours talk time and 13 days standby time. According to FCC radiation tests the 2660 has a digital SAR of 1.01 watts per kilogram.

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The Review Crew
The Review Crew is a group of beat editors, writers, and consultants that have been working together for years. They know just about everything about everything collectively and have published their collective work under the Review Crew brand moniker for almost 20 years.