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: