Feature phones haven’t really looked good, design-wise, since the smartphone came along. Nokia, one of the few firms still producing them in significant numbers, has given us a few smartphone-inspired basic phones in the past, but its traditional feature phones with an alphanumeric keypad could rarely be called anything but functional.
Now, to prove a feature phone can still be stylish, it has introduced the Nokia 515, a premium device running Series 40 software. The 11mm thin chassis is made from a single piece of anodized aluminum which has a matte finish, while the screen is covered in Gorilla Glass 2 to keep it free from scratches. The flush alphanumeric keypad and subtly curved screen look good, but flip the phone over and the phone gets even better looking.
Despite appearances, the Nokia 515 isn’t a basic phone and its specification could be considered high for a non-smartphone. The screen may only measure 2.4-inches and have a 320 x 240 pixel resolution, but there is a 5-megapixel camera with an LED flash on the rear of the phone, complete with features such as face recognition and a panorama mode. The 515 has 3G HSPA connectivity, a microSD card slot, Bluetooth, and a battery which should return 38 days of standby.
Nokia’s Series 40 software has evolved over the years, and now comes with a variety of social networking apps built-in, a YouTube client, and Nokia’s own Xpress Browser and the Nokia Slam data transfer system. The phone also has HD Voice support for improved call quality.
The Nokia 515 harks back to the best looking phones the company was producing six years ago, such as the 6300 and the 6500 Classic, the latter of which you can see to the right. If you love mobile phones, and remember when a feature phone was all you could buy, the Nokia 515 is a cool piece of nostalgia with a modern twist. Nokia will be releasing it all around the world, starting with Russia, Germany, Switzerland and Poland next month. It has been given an unconnected price of $150.