Best. Phone. Ever.

I recently bought Heidi a Nokia 2710 Navigation Edition mobile phone. It’s a basic feature phone with GPS and turn-by-turn (voiced) navigation.

Here are some promotional pictures:

It’s probably the best value phone we’ve ever had between us, and the perfect¬†balance between features and price.

Everyone seems to be buying smartphones (such as the iPhone and Android handsets), but a feature phone still has many advantages:

  1. Price: The 2710 is $177 outright in Australia.
  2. Durability: Heidi has already dropped this thing a few times.
  3. Size and weight: This phone is tiny and light.
  4. Battery life: One charge lasts a few days of pretty heavy usage.
  5. Tactile: Real buttons that go click. (Okay, this is subjective.)
  6. Functionality: Contentious assertion?… I’ll write more about this below!

Clearly smart phones have a lot of potential functionality (according to the iPhone catch phrase: “there’s an app for that”), but feature phones are more directed in their actual functionality.

The 2710 is a perfect example of directed functionality. It’s succinctly designed for maps and navigation on a low-cost phone.¬†It doesn’t just include an under-utilised GPS sensor and a choice of (paid) navigation apps. Maps and navigation are well-integrated and purposeful features, and it’s clear that a lot of thought has gone into integrating the phone’s software and hardware with this focus.

Here are a few notable features:

  • Maps data is on the phone, so navigation doesn’t require live data transfer.
  • A dedicated navigation button, so maps are always readily available.
  • Easily MMS the address and a map of your current location.
  • Preloaded with regional maps, and global maps are available.
  • All maps are free indefinitely (so no annual charges.)
  • Local points of interest (eg. hotels, restaurants) with direct call option.
  • Comes with a window (and dashboard) mount and in-car charger.
  • Walking guide as well as driving navigation.

This phone has been fantastic during our trip to Malaysia. I bought it outright in Australia, so it’s unlocked and readily accepted a local SIM card (so no roaming charges). Also, maps of Malaysia were preloaded so we could immediately use turn-by-turn navigation in our rental car (great for poorly marked roads).

Conclusion: Highly recommended.

Oh, and here is a promotional video:

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