Feature phones are the old-style mobiles we used before smartphones came around. Now most of us spend a lot of time messaging friends on Telegram, giving our fingers an ache from scrolling up and down Instagram feeds.
Yes, feature phones (a mobile phone that incorporates features such as the ability to access the Internet and store and play music but lacks the advanced functionality of a smartphone) still exist, and there is a growing army of people becoming tired of large data bills and “viewing fatigue” from keeping up to date with the latest events on smartphones.
So is the feature phone a viable alternative, and who would actually want to buy one? Well, they are vastly cheaper compared to the latest Samsung Galaxy, also simple to use, and the battery often lasts over two weeks. What then cannot be likeable about these gadgets!
Unlike your latest smartphone, feature phones use MicroSIM cards or even the much older MiniSIM cards; and do not fret, there are several adapters available in the several thousand mobile stores across Tehran and other major cities which can assist you.
But do note, some phones which are only capable of 2G mobile signals may not work with some of the newest SIM cards offered by the three domestic operators.
The five best feature phones available in Iran are:
1. Nokia 230: 2.21m rials ($59)
The alternatives to the Nokia 3310 are priced just as competitively. Take for example the Nokia 230 and 230 Dual SIM. These phones come in with a 2.8 inch QVGA display, 16mb of RAM which can be expanded with a MicroSD card. This phone even packs a 2 megapixel front and rear camera. The 1200 MAh battery should also last well over two weeks. The phone is currently available for 2.21 million rials ($59) from Ars Digital in dark grey color.
2. Alcatel 2008D: 1.35m rials ($36)
If ever there was a phone for people with poor sight and reduced mobility then the Alcatel 2008 is the phone best suited for them. The phone has been specially designed with large number keys and is as wide as a regular 5 inch smartphone. This phone comes with a 2.4 inch QVGA screen (a wide 2.4 inch too), 8mb of RAM which can be expanded up to 32GB with a MicroSD card. It also comes with 1400 MAh battery. In addition, there is a special charging stand in the box. This phone is available at online store Fichand for 1.35 million rials ($36).
3. Cat B25 2.6m rials ($70)
Tough as shoe leather, the Cat B25 can withstand a drop of six feet and is waterproof and dust-proof. So it is ideal if you’re a bit clumsy. This is a 3G phone, unlike others but you still wouldn’t want to check your emails on it. An FM radio and torch are included and a 2-megapixel camera. Several online stores in Iran stock this phone.
4. ZTE R621 1.39m rials ($35)
The low-cost ZTE is a pretty decent flip phone for the money. It is dual SIM, weighs a measly 72 grams, and has support for MicroSD for an additional 32GB of storage. With an LCD screen, it is one of the cheaper phones available in Iran at only 1.39 million rials ($35) via local site digido.ir.
5. Samsung E1205T: 1.03m rials ($21)
Samsung E1205T comes with 1.52 inch TFT. It has anti-dust keypad made of rubber for smooth typing. The phone has 800 MAh battery with talk time of 8 hours 30 minutes. Other features include FM radio, SOS message, fake call, torch, and SMS. This phone can be bought from local Wikikharid.ir for 1.03 million rials ($21).
The Nokia is a good all-rounder, and the company has been making these phones for nearly 20 years in pretty much the same way. Meanwhile, much newer companies like Samsung also offer a decent phone at half the price. And, if you are likely to be clumsy, then the CAT B25 is the ideal phone for you.
Financial Tribune product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. The reviews are compiled through a mix of real world tests and expert opinion.