The Nokia 2330 Classic is the latest in a long line of cheap, functional mobile phones from the Finnish manufacturer. It's not one for feature fiends, but is rather aimed squarely at those looking to save pennies. That said, it comes with some cool extra features, including a music player and radio, and a very basic VGA-resolution snapper. You can bag the 2330 for free on a £5-per-month, 2-year contract. Alternatively, it's available for £20 on a pay as you go deal, or £30 SIM-free.
The 2330 is something of a throwback to the good old days. Purposefully simple, it doesn't dabble with touchscreen technology, or have access to apps galore. It's primarily designed to make calls, send texts and handle a few tunes on the side.
Its design is basic, but the phone feels durable. The black, plastic battery cover feels like it could withstand myriad bumps and scrapes, while its tapered edges mean the phone sits comfortably in your hand. At just 80g, it's lightweight, and it won't create any unseemly bulges in even the skinniest of jeans.
Get tinkering with the blower and it instantly feels familiar. The simple Nokia user interface offers ten icons in the main menu. You can dive into messaging, music, Web-access and calendar functions, using the navigation pad in the centre of the device. Each key surrounding the main navigation button sits flush with the device, with none feeling redundant, whatever menu system you duck into. This is Nokia at its most purposeful and design-conscious. There's no over-the-top cleverness -- just basic mobile necessities implemented well.
The main keypad, however, leaves much to be desired. Its narrow width means bashing out texts can cause nasty thumb ache. The keys themselves aren't ideal either. Their chrome finish looks great, but flush keys just can't compete with proper isolated buttons.
While the 2330 comes up short as far as the keypad's concerned, it puts in a decent performance on the music front. The on-board player, with drag and drop functionality, is surprisingly loveable, although format support is limited to AAC files -- a clear acknowledgement that Apple's iTunes is king. That's a shame, as we would have liked to load up MP3 and WMA files too. The process of playing, pausing and skipping tracks is handled using the navigation pad, making for a basic but very easy-to-use jukebox.
There are some caveats though. You can't expand the paltry 32MB of memory, so you'll only ever be able to get about one 40-minute album onto the phone at any time. That's hardly ideal if you want to combine your phone and music player in one device. Also, the 2.5mm headphone jack means you're lumbered with the risible bundled headphones.
The 2330 does deliver in terms of battery life, though. We needed to recharge the phone only after four days of using it to make calls, fire off texts, undertake the occasional Web search over Edge, check our email, and listen to the same album on loop. That's pretty impressive when most high-end phones are gagging for some juice after 36 hours of hard use. Talk time is advertised at 4 hours and 48 minutes, with 540 hours of standby time.
At its bargain-basement price, it's hard to complain too much about the Nokia 2330 Classic's flaws. Its battery life is great, it's easy to get to grips with, and it has some decent additional features. It's let down by its cramped keypad and lack of memory-expansion options, but it's well worth considering if you want a phone that does the basics well.
Edited by Charles Kloet