Nokia 105: Insanely cheap and seriously bare-bones (hands-on)

There isn't much you can demand from a cell phone that costs just $20 all-in, except, perhaps, that it turns on and off and connects your calls. In that sense, the Nokia 105 is just about the best dirt-cheap phone you can hope to buy.

The rock-bottom price can only paper over so much, though. You can't navigate the screen and select items using the same button, for instance, and it wouldn't have hurt Nokia to have added external volume controls, even for a dollar or two more.
Note: The Nokia 105 operates on 900/1800MHz GSM bands, which are incompatible with U.S. networks (GSM 850/1900), so I wasn't able to evaluate the handset's call quality.

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Design and build
Light and colorful as a child's toy, the 105 measures 4.2 inches tall by 1.8 inches wide by 0.56 inch deep (107 x 44.8 x 14.3mm) and weighs a feathery 2.5 ounces.
Thicker sides and a tall, narrow build make the 105 easy to grip and carry around, and rounded edges keep it from digging into hands. It feels fine on the ear, and its compact construction lets it easily slip into pockets. It isn't so small it gets lost in a bag, and it's light enough not to weigh you down.
The 105 was never intended to be a solid, hearty device -- and it shows. After popping off the back cover a few times, I noticed that a gap where the back panel joins the rest of the phone.

Nokia's cost-savings agenda is also evident in the 105's display, which only measures 1.4 inches. Its 128x128-pixel resolution translates into a pixel density of 129ppi, and the phone supports only 65,000 colors. As a result, icons appear a little fuzzy around the edges, even on the cell phone's itty-bitty screen. At least the screen is bright enough.
You'll navigate around using the directional pad and two soft keys. Using the D-pad threw me, because you can't press down to select. Instead, you'll have to use the soft keys to commit your actions. Pressing the D-pad in any direction pulls up shortcuts for the calendar, SMS composition window, speakerphone, and contacts.
The Nokia 105 has a rubbery, responsive dial pad.
(Credit: Josh Miller/CNET)
In addition, there are call and power/end buttons, a button to trigger the time readout, and a shortcut to silent mode. The alphanumeric dialpad buttons are rounded and rubbery. They bubble up from the surface slightly, which makes them easier to press, but are not fully separated, so it isn't easy to dial by feel.
Beyond what's on the dialpad, the 105 is bereft of external controls, even for volume. At the top, you will find a standard 3.5-millimeter headset jack and another small circular port for the proprietary charger. Between these two is the flashlight lamp.
The back cover pops off with little effort; the not-so-mini Mini-SIM card rests beneath the battery.
OS and features

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About Doru Somcutean

Hello, my name is Somcutean Doru and I'm from Romania.

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