Review: Nokia 2660 Flip offers nostalgic simplicity - and maybe some frustration

The Nokia 2660 Flip.
The Nokia 2660 Flip. Photo credit: Newshub.

Although flagship smartphones that cost around $2000 get most of the headlines every year, there is still a remarkably large market for phones that cost a tenth of that.

The Nokia 2660 Flip is one of them.

For many Kiwis, the phone will remind them of what they used around 20 years ago - a clamshell style flip phone with big, real buttons rather than a touchscreen.

But it's an option available today, as 2022 draws to a close, and it'll set you back $130.

That puts it in between a couple of other options: For $200 you can a Samsung A03, which has a touchscreen and much more closely emulates the modern smartphone experience. Or for just $100 you can get an Alcatel 30.82 4G Flip, which has a few less features than the Nokia but a very similar design.

So why would you go for the Nokia 2660?

I've been using the 2660 Flip for the past week and here are my thoughts.

The good

The clamshell format is still a very satisfying design and there's something really nice about using it to make calls, then snapping it shut.

An old-school, clamshell style flip phone is undeniably satisfying.
Photo credit: Newshub.

That's helped by how super light this phone is. It feels really good to chuck in your pocket, whip out and use, without ever worrying if it's going to break - it's hard to explain in words why it feels so good, but it just does.

Also, I like big buttons and cannot lie. For me they're novel but they may be genuinely helpful for people with impaired vision or motor skills. There's also hearing aid support as well.

The 2660 Flip also has some other features that may appeal, like the fact it's a FM radio. Yep, I tuned it into Concert FM and enjoyed classical music blaring out of its little speaker for a while.

It also comes with some bare-bones in-ear headphones, which of course means it sports a headphone plug, but it also supports Bluetooth and you can store MP3s on it.

There's also a practically always-on display displaying the date and time on the closed front of the phone, which is nice.

Nokia 2660 Flip closed.
Photo credit: Newshub.

And there is also Snake.

The classic Nokia game is indeed onboard, albeit not the original version, but if you want to jam Snake you can and it is still fun.

As well as the famed Nokia reliability this thing brings with it, there's also that old-school battery life to enjoy. Younger readers won't understand this, but once upon a time you could recharge your phone once or twice a week.

That is the case with the 2660 Flip and it's lovely.

The frustrating

Do you remember what texting was like back before we had touchscreens?

It's shocking how difficult it is trying that again now. Using a TV remote to type search commands is about as close as I get to this these days, but even that is much easier than manually hitting numbers 1-9 to type out messages.

What's harder than texting is browsing the internet. Painstakingly typing out a URL on the 2660 Flip is hilariously gruelling.

Playing Snake on the Nokia 2660 Flip.
It's not the classic Snake - but it is still Snake. Photo credit: Newshub.

But maybe that's the point? If you want a digital detox, you're going to maybe be able to browse one website per hour with this, but I think most people wouldn't bother.

Also, it's cute that there's a Facebook icon on the home screen of this phone, but it just takes you to the webpage in the browser.

For me, the web browsing is so laborious with this it's not worth including, and if it would lower the device's cost to omit it that would definitely be my preference.

The most frustrating thing of all though was when it came to removing my SIM from the 2660 Flip. Admittedly I was in a rush, but I couldn't find instructions online for this and it took some brute force and bad language to achieve.

There may be a simple way of doing it, but it's definitely not as simple as the ejectable SIM trays I've used for well over a decade now.

I'm also not sure why they bothered with the camera. It takes tiny, terrible photos that are just unacceptable in this day and age. It may be funny to see how cellphone photos from two decades looked - but you can just google that if you want to.

The verdict

The Nokia 2660 offers nostalgic simplicity and I can't deny the satisfaction that comes from chatting to someone on it before slamming it closed.

I do wish it was even more stripped back than it is, however, with a few of the token features omitted and the cost even lower.

There's a known reliability to Nokia phones like this and it'd be nice to have one in a drawer at home for whenever you're in between smartphones, or on a digital detox. But for that I'd want to pay less and go without things like the camera and Bluetooth.

But that's just me. For others, this could well hit the sweet spot for what they want from a cheap phone served up with that unique nostalgia of the Nokia brand.

Newshub was supplied a Nokia 2660 Flip for this review.