Nokia 1600 Mobile Phone Review


The Nokia 1600 is a phone aimed at people who want a good quality phone to use for calling, SMS messages, with a really long battery life, but also hoping that it looks good, has a colour screen and polyphonic ring tones. It would be perfect for someone who is upgrading from a 33XX series Nokia like the 3310/3315/3310 and is far superior to the Nokia 1100 series phones which are only slightly cheaper.

The last time I saw it being sold was for Australian $69 at Vodafone stores and is network unlocked so you can use it with a SIM from any other network eg: Optus or Telstra unfortunately wasn’t network unlocked when purchased any more but can be unlocked for a fee on the Vodafone website

Key Features

  • Sleek, executive design with chrome details (you can buy Xpresson covers with different colour schemes)
  • Color screen with up to 65,536 colors
  • Inbuilt Polyphonic ringing tones with MP3-grade sound*
  • Weight: 80 grams
  • Dual-band GSM coverage (GSM E850/1900 and E900/1800)
  • Integrated handsfree speaker
  • Speaking clock and alarm
  • Reminder alarm function (10 items)
  • Talk time : Up to 4hr – 5hr 30min
  • Standby time: Up to 285hr – 450hr
  • Simplified menu and navigation
  • Full-size animated color screensavers
  • Wallpaper and themes – personalize your phone

* The phone does not support data cables to transfer information to or from the phone (such as ring tones). Furthermore only in-built ringtones can be used as it cannot download or store new ringtones.

In summary: its cheap BUT doesnt look cheap, has a really long battery life (at least 1 week of use without recharge!!), small and light. The perfect budget phone.

nokia 1600


The Nokia 1600 has been described by other reviewers as:

“A candybar phone with a colour screen and polyphonic call alert … it easily suits both trousers and shirt pockets … a typical low-end phone with a corresponding function kit … equipped with 20-tones polyphony, and the quality of playing back preset melodies is really good. Of course, MP3 as a call melody is desirable, but unfortunately, the maker allows only preinstalled melodies in MP3 quality, though very close to the truth. The call signal volume is rather high, and the call is hard to miss … Besides, speakerphone is realized rather well, you only need to press the right functional key during a conversation to activate it … Durable battery life is the main advantage among other phones of this class with colour screens … ” – read more of the review and photos at

“The dual band GSM Nokia 1600 is the richer cousin of the 1110, while both the handsets share a majority of features; the chief difference is the presence of a color display on the 1600. As is emphasised through out the press release, the aim of these handsets is quality at the cheapest possible price. Nokia is correct on this front, most developed countries are saturated on the handset front with most subscribers now having brands that they remain loyal to. Getting new mobile consumers into the fold from these developing nations by enticing them with good features at an extremely low price is a step in the right direction.” – read more of the review at

View a full video demonstration of the phone’s functions

39 thoughts on “Nokia 1600 Mobile Phone Review”

  1. i want software for nokia 1600, pc connect direct mobile and transfer data but what is the software name pls send me

    EDITOR: As I clearly stated in the review: The [nokia 1600] phone does not support data cables to transfer information to or from the phone

  2. how can I download ringtones on my mobile nokia 1600?

    EDITOR: as stated in the review Only in-built ringtones can be used as it [nokia 1600] cannot download or store new ringtones.

    However you can manually add a few old style mono ringtones by typing the notes

  3. I’ve been wanting to replace my Nokia 3310 with a simple basic mobile that has a longer battery life. The main thing I like about the 3310 is the fact that because it has an LCD screen, it doesn’t keep fading to black on s/by. This means that I can see at a glance if I have missed a call, unlike the Nokia 6100 that I also have, and which I have to keep switching back on from S/by to see if I have missed a call or message while I have not had it with me. Sometimes days have gone by before I remember to check it out, which is why I have reverted to using the 3310. Does the 1600 have the same problem as the 6100 (and all the current contemporary phones), or does it always visibly display missed messages and calls like the 3310? If it does, I’ll rush out and buy one!

    EDITOR: I know what you mean because I used to have a 3315 myself. Unfortunately the screen on the 1600 fades to black on standby (like all other new phones I know of) 🙁

  4. Thank you for the web site. I got a Nokia 1600 (Net10 Prepaid) to replace my SonyEricsson T290a (Cingular Prepaid). The Sony had MANY more features but unfortunately one of them was that the screen goes blank forever after a few months! I was going to get another phone for Cingular but notiiced Net10 is cheaper at 10 cents/min flat rate.

    Now I have an unusable phone with a sim card full of my phone numbers and when I put it into the Nokia hoping to transfer the phone book it says invalid sim. I have read that I can unlock my Nokia to put my old sim card in it so I can transfer phonebook. I am willing to try this, but is there any possibility that Net10 can detect that I’ve modified the phone? I don’t want them cancelling it, it is full of minutes. I will of course be putting the correct sim card back into it after the transfer so I can use the Net10 service, I just need my phonebook!

    Also, you CAN receive different ringers for this phone. On it has a test where they send you a free ringtone as a txt msg. It is the William Tell Overture, just a midi ring, but I easily installed it. I don’t know if I can replace some of the .mp3 rings on it or not. Will try later and let everyone know.

    EDITOR: What you could try is a product like this Simcard Back-up and restore unit (note that i’ve never used it myself so I can’t gaurantee it will work)

    That way you could copy the numbers on your old sim to the Simcard Back-up and restore Unit and then use the unit to copy those numbers onto your new sim

  5. Neerav,

    Thanks for the personal reply. That device looks interesting but money is at a premium right now…

    I hunted around the links to cell unlocking sites, picked the one that seemed the best, got my seven codes, tried #’s 1&7 and neither worked.

    I sent an email to Net10 asking them to unlock my phone. I explained that I still will be using their service & just need to harvest my phone book from the other sim. I have chosen to not hold my breath.

    I may hunt around locally until I can find someone with a Cingular Prepaid cell and stick my sim into it long enough to manually copy out the phone book. I assume that any phone set up for that network will allow my sim card to function (this being the intended purpose of the $@#%@! things in the first place?).

    I just noticed that your website is in Australia. My mother’s aunt lives somewhere in that country. She must be pretty old by now, my mother is 65. My mom isn’t in the best of health any more and she always wanted to visit her aunt and see that country. Hopefully some day before it is too late we will be able to send her there to visit and explore for a couple of weeks. Maybe someday.

    I guess you are going into your summer time? Opposite here, but it isn’t too bad yet. It’s a wet 45deg F here and has only dropped below freezing about three nights so far. I’ve got a new wick for my kerosene heater and have heard that fuel shouldn’t go up too much more this year. Plus it is supposed to be a somewhat milder winter around here.

    Still wondering why my unlock codes for my cell didn’t work. Hmm. I couldn’t find the code for Net10 _anywhere_ so I picked Tracfone since they actually own the company.

    Turns out Tracfone is for people who want a cell for emergencies where they don’t mind paying an average of 50 cents/minute, whereas Net10 is for people who will be using it once in a while and still want to be able to eat (it is 10 cpm flat rate).

    Of course if one uses the service much then a postpaid cell plan would be best but I don’t want to get locked into a two year contract. I don’t know where I’ll be in two years (I don’t actually know IF I’ll be in two years, but here’s hoping!)….


  6. I forgot to mention that the 1600 DOES support transfer through a data cable. Found confirmed reports that MobiMB v3.3 works. It seems it will only transfer the opening logo screen and midi ringtones. I can’t understand that because the phone supports real music ringers (comes with a couple song snippets with full music & vocals).

    I am not sure which cable needs to be used, turns out there are a few. If the cable works with the Nokia 1100 series then it will work with the 1600.


  7. Hi Neerav,
    I am somewhat confused – the vodafone site states that the phone is locked to vodafone and to unlock within six months will cost a total of $100.00 : aapt is my network provider through vodafone.

    From the info above on your site I gather that you can advise how to unlock without cost.

    I would really appreciate your advice, as I believe the nokia 1600 would better meet my needs than my existing mobile.
    Many thanks, Peter

    EDITOR: that’s interesting Peter. When I bought the phone it was $99 outright and unlocked. I just checked the vodafone website and it says :

    This handset is locked to the Vodafone network. It can be unlocked for a service fee of $50 (or $25 if you use the web), plus an additional fee of $50 if you unlock within six months of purchase.

    Since your network provider AAPT is on the vodafone network anyway the 1600 phone should work with your AAPT sim. I’ve spotted it at some stores for $69 so after 6 months you can pay the $25 web unlock fee and it will still cost you $94 total which is still less than it cost me.

  8. Good evening Neerav,
    An update on the locked/unlocked scenario as an aapt customer – I purchased one today from Woolworths for $69.00 and (having first verified same with vodafone) duly inserted my aapt sim card and was immediately operative without having to go through any unlocking process or any charges.
    Cheers, Peter

  9. Hi I am aboutto attempt an unlock on a Nokia 1600 but I have been told 2 very diff things,1 was you do it with the SIM out and other with it in. Can you please advise which is the correct?

    EDITOR: I’m not sure because mine was unlocked when I bought it outright. Assuming you bought it from Vodafone they should be able to tell you what the correct way is

  10. yes you can connect nokia1600 to pc via FBUS cable. with mobimb i can connect but cant found ringtones of this type to be downloaded. please any one who have poly tones for n1600??????

  11. Hi, I wonder can you help me please?

    I have a nokia 1600, i have saved lots of contacts in it, when someone rings me that I have already saved, it only shows their number – bizarre! Even when I resave it directly from the Call Register, it does not recognise it in the future.

    Any ideas?


    EDITOR: that’s really weird. by default if a person calls you and their number is in your contacts list the 1600 should show their name on screen. As far as I can tell there’s no way to turn that feature off.

    In “Settings”, I have all my numbers “Memory in Use” set to SIM Card and Contacts view set to Name and no.

  12. hey i wanted to know if anyone had found out if there is anything you can do about the ringtone thing i really want a ringtone and cant get it i just got my 1600 tonight and i was hoping that something new had come up

    EDITOR: no such luck. as I’ve stated earlier the nokia 1600 is a budget phone and as such doesn’t have the storage memory, connectivity or GPRS required to add new ringtones.

  13. Hi, just purchased on ebay a nokia 1600 for my son. Its locked to vodafone is there any way to unlock without paying $100 it will not be a cheap phone at that rate. He is presently with optus and does not wish to change.


    1. Try and get a refund from the ebay seller and send it back to them if they lied and said it was unlocked.

    2. Try and use the ebay / paypal dispute resolution procedure.

    I always advise against buying mobile phone on ebay because it’s impossible to tell if they’re locked or have had their IMEI blocked because they were stolen until you put in your own SIM card

  14. Bought a $69 Nokia 1600 from Vodafone as a second family phone a few months ago. Standby time was less than 2 days. Took it back shortly thereafter, at first the assistant tried to tell me this was normal, then the store manager first exchanged the battery, no improvement, and then replaced the phone. This gave better standby, still well short of spec, but this has now deteriorated to about the original, and having to recharge it every second day is a pain. Seems to work fine otherwise.

    Is this common with Nokia 1600s? The Vodafone SIM card is the same, the only thing in common. Two dud Nokias in a row or what?

    EDITOR: I’d say your situation is uncommon assuming your phone isn’t getting used for a few hours of calls each day which would naturally suck up battery time really quickly.

    Mine lasts between 5-7 days between charges.

  15. No, neither of our mobiles get that much use and this is our second mobile. We have on occasion deliberately set it aside untouched to check. We have another Vodaphone/Nokia bought a couple of years ago and this one still works just as expected. Bought the original one because it was unlocked and so usable on an extended NZ trip with an NZ SIM card. Not happy to find the new ones only sold locked.

    Two 1600s similarly misbehaving seems unlikely, but not impossible. Could a bad SIM card to cause a phone to transmit much more frequently than usual and chew up battery charge?

    EDITOR: Actually that gives me an idea. In one part of our house there’s no Optus mobile reception at all so if a mobile is left on in that area it does discharge faster because it’s constantly trying to find the base station and failing.

  16. I think transmitted signal strength cranks up in weak signal areas which would also chew more battery. At home, signal strength is good everywhere and we still get the short standby endurance. At the holiday place, signal strength is dodgy and it doesn’t make the 1600 noticeably worse. Actually I sometimes can tell when the older Nokia is transmitting at the holiday place, because when I set it down near an old bedside AM radio tuned to a weak signal it causes noticeable interference in occasional short bursts. Must try that with the 1600 also.

    Maybe it is back to Vodafone again, but I would like to get technical problems sorted out first to some level in my own mind. The battery level bars on the 1600 stay at max and then collapse rapidly. The older Nokia shows a steady decline.

  17. I’d be interested to know if anyone has had any luck with the USB connector on the 1600. I don’t really care about ringtones, but would really like to be able to automate getting contacts in/out of the phone.

    There are places claiming to sell them, but I can’t find any good evidence that this is actually possible. For an example, this link is from the UK, so not likely to be of much use to people in Australia:

    EDITOR: To the best of my knowledge it isn’t possible. What you could do is store all the contacts on the SIM like I do, so they’re independent of the phone

  18. hi, i have 1600 nokia, can some body tell me that how i can transfer my msgs from cell to computer , which is saved in phone memory ? is any software which help me ?

    EDITOR: There aren’t any to the best of my knowledge

  19. teh 1600 is a great phone, does anybody know if there are other faceplate’s available for it? and where to get them?

  20. I got a Nokia 1600 about a month ago and am greatly frustrated by the poor battery performance. I have to charge it every 48hr, and once the battery level starts dropping its a fast down hill after that.

    Is it possible that the first time the battery was charged it wasn’t done properly? The older phones used to come with the instruction to charge the battery for 15hrs if it was brand new.

    Also I would like to know where I can get a usb link for this phone?

  21. I have the same phone and I have to say that this is really cool cheap phone with all the things a phone need. I have always used the phone to do work with it and not for showing it to my friends and telling how nice it looks. You don’t have to buy good looking expensive cell phone only to show that you have it. Use it for work only.

  22. Hello. Lots of good info on this site. I bought a Virgin Mobile Nokia 1600 on eBay, as well as a Virgin Mobile UK Join-Up pack (with SIM) to use on an upcoming trip to the UK. I was hoping to have my VM phone number before I left the states. The phone is like new, but when I put the Virgin Mobile UK SIM card in it says SIM is invalid. I thought this was because there is no network for it to connect to, but now I think it may be because the phone is locked to another network. I tried the unlock code for Virgin Mobile France (country where phone was purchased) but got “code error.” I guess I have four tries left. Is there a way to find out who the phone is locked to? Thanks for any help.

  23. I recently got a 1600 at a Wal-Mart in the U.S., as part of the Net10 prepaid service. On mine you CAN see the display after the light goes out, but not as well as the B/W models 1112 and 1100, which are available from the TracFone prepaid service, but not at Wal-Mart. You can find them at Office Depot, Dollar General, Family Dollar or Sears. By default the light goes out after 30 secs, although it can be set to a shorter time. Compare to the 2610 (T Mobile To Go), whose light goes out after 15 secs and that timeout period is NOT adjustable. The (color) screen goes black and for practical purposes you can’t see anything.

    One annoyance with the 1600 is that if you press the 4-way toggle a little too hard it will multiple-click and either return you back to the same menu item, or skip down a few items. Also the battery cover is kind of flimsy, unlike the 1100, 1112 and 2610 which feel reasonably solid all around.

  24. The nokia 1600 is a very straight forward and easy to use phone. i do have a 1600 and its great. its is just a basic phone

  25. Hi, I got a Nokia 1600 from Net10, I was following the process for unlocking it and when i dial the #pw+12345670+4 it does not allowed me to add again the # sign… also I tried the other codes on this web page and the same thing happens when I add the +1… Do you have any idea how to solve this problem… I just got this phone and I want to unluck it… could you also email me your answer?
    Thank you for your time

  26. I really liked nokia 1600. It is the type of mobile i like with not many fancy features like the old fashion mobile phones. Thanks for sharing this information.

  27. OK, so I got my Nokia 1600 as a gift and I really like it a lot. But the only problem I’m having with it is: I can’t seem to change my display name. When I did my test call I wanted to save the number, I didn’t know that when I did that instead of saving the number I made my display name “home”. I was just wondering if someone could help me by telling me what and where I have to do or go to change it to my name. Thanks a lot.

    EDITOR: I think what you mean is the “Welcome Note”

    You can change it via:

    Settings -> Phone Settings -> Welcome Note

  28. i have a nokia net 10 1100 and i want to buy a new net10 phone, but i was wondering if i could switch my sim card into the new phone. i really dont want to change my number since i had it for 2 years.

  29. I have a Net10 Nokia 1600 and when I make a call the number of my phone is blocked to the party I am calling. Anyone know how to change that so they can see my phones number? Thank you.

    EDITOR: Hi Dave. go to: Settings -> Call Settings -> Send my caller identity, and choose “On”

  30. Hello ,
    I just got the 1600.Has anyone done an FBUS implementation with this model ?
    I am unable to get the FBUS cable,the one which goes under the battery.I have the one for 3310/3315,but that does not dimensionally fit for this.Any links / sellers ?

  31. Wow, thanks for the review. I’ve still got an old Nokia 3100 (or thereabouts) and this might be the year I finally replace it. I’m trying to decide whether to stick with Nokia or go to something like Motorola. I have pretty low-key cell phone needs. Don’t care for all the fancy features, just want it a decently small size, reliable, easy to dial, nice ringtones. Anyway, it’s helpful to have this sort of info!

  32. This 1600 is better for they who want to accustom to nokia ui. I used nokia for at least 5 years. some broken and quite expensive to fix. I have one motorola e398 and never I found any trouble in about 2 years… nokia has good and simple UI but too many models make confusion to choose.

  33. I’ve had my Nokia 1600 for a little over a year now. A few weeks ago, my phone went into demo mode or something. And the screen said Insert SIM. Well i never took it out. ANyways, it went back to normal for a few days until it needed to be charged up. Well i charged it and it hasn’t worked since. DOes that mean I need a new battery? I really like this phone and i would like to keep it.

  34. Ya i just agreed what kumru says, i really don’t want the extra fitting stuffs you know, if we have more features like camera, Mp3 player and all then it will go off quickly. Nokia 1600 is very light weight and cute to carry. I am having the same model.


  35. personally I was a big fan of the UI on Nokia’s – it was the most intuitive on the market for a long time and while it still holds up to a degree I have to say that Nokia has dropped the ball and is now just one of the pack of manufacturers including Samsung, LG, Sony-Erickson, Blackberry & HTC with the iPhone way out in front.

  36. A little late to comment but I just picked up the Mokia N97 and boy have these phone come a long way. Gotta thank iPhone ofr making others push the envelope on features.

  37. I have a NOKIA 1600 dosen’t ring from a house phone but shows on screen says it is a screen call how do i get it to ring on all calls

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