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A couple of weeks ago I took a look at Nokia's 1200, available for under £20 on Virgin Mobile Pay As You Go. The 1200 is a really basic handset and consequently it has limited appeal. So if you want something with a little more class and can afford to spend just a bit more money, then the handset under the spotlight this time might be a better bet.
At £44 Nokia's 1650 is competition for the likes of the Fly SLT100, again available on Virgin Mobile PAYG. The advantage the Nokia 1650 has is that as a SIM free handset you can shop around for a good SIM only tariff that suits you.
I have to say that I took to the Nokia 1650 right away. Sure, it is plasticky in feel, but it looks rather neat in the black, silver and cream livery of the version I was sent. The Nokia online store also has a red and silver option if you fancy something that stands out from the crowd a little more.
In terms of size and weight there isn't a lot between this mobile and the Nokia 1200. At 104mm tall, 44mm wide, 18mm thick and weighing 80g it is very close to the 1200's 102 x 44 x 17.5mm and 77g. Indeed both these handsets are very lightweight and eminently pocketable.
What really differentiates the two, however, is their usability with the 1650 being considerably improved in all three important aspects thereof; namely data entry, screen quality and software.
The 1200 has a rubbery numberpad, shortcut buttons and navigation key. This time around the same holds true for all but the navigation key which is a physical button. The build quality is better, though, and the rubber moulding around the number keys provides a raised lower edge which makes finding and hitting them rather easier than it is on the 1200. The same goes for the Call and End keys. Only the two softmenu keys are completely flat. If I have a gripe it is that there is no press-to-select feature on the navigation pad. You have to resort to a softkey to choose a selected item.
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