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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2009
Verified Purchase
For $20, this is a bargain replacement phone. I put in my existing T-mobile SIM and it worked perfectly.

Pros:
-Bright colorful screen
-Slim
-Flashlight
-FM radio that works

Cons:
-People report they cannot hear me well.
-The keys are slippery, noisy, and hard to press. If you do a lot of texting, you may want a better keypad.
-FM radio require Nokia plug
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2010
Purchased April,2010 for less than $15 at a national U.S.A. pharmacy chain as a pre-paid TMO kit. Intended as gift for a relative. Without activating phone, I slipped in my T-mob sim from my standard T-mob account and phone booted up fine w/o ever activating the pre-paid sim. As others have mentioned, this phone has issues, but imho this is an excellent value for back-up or when you need to travel light. Don't hesitate to buy it for temporary use if your regular T-mob phone dies. Gives you time to shop around for a permanent replacement.

Basics:
For use on GSM systems and only on GSM 850 and GSM 1900 MHz networks. Sold as a T-Mob pre-paid but will work right out of the box on all T-Mob plans w/o the need to un-lock. Key chain with eyelet. Supports up to five separate phone books for multiple users. Has three ports: charge, headphone and ??mini-usb?? The latter is not described in the owners manual. Manual says to rest the device from time to time by powering down then removing the battery to optimize performance. "go to" soft key just below the screen quickly brings you to an easily customizable list of actions such as setting the alarm, calendar, flashlight, contacts, silent mode. User can move the most desired functions to the top of the list.

Pros:
* Lowest cost for a replacement GSM phone
* Clock and Timers: count down timer, stop watch, displayed correct time right out of the box, speaks the time,auto update of date and time, alarm clock, in-call timer, call summary timer. Repeating alarm mode.

* Ease of use: customizable "go-to" key for fast acess to features and settings, multiple pre-configured profiles and a configurable "my profile" all easy to quickly toggle. Easy, intuitive menus good for the technically challenged. Fixed dialing mode if you need to give to a child or loan to a helper.

* Fast access for toggling to commonly used modes. Pres the red end call key and the profiles menu pops up. Here you can power down, or toggle to silent, normal, "discreet, loud, lights only, my profile. Also, raised "go to" key just below screen on right can be easily programmed to quickly pull up any number of customize-able phone or call settings, alarms, timers, calendar, ect.

* 500 name directory (4MB internal)

* Screen with large text. Default is set to blue background with white letters on red highlighted bars. Good for aging eyes. While keypad is locked can still display a large digital clock with date by pressing red end call key. Date and time display for several seconds then times out to screen off.

* Charging and battery: Per owners manual: "Do not leave a fully charged battery connected to charger as overcharging will result"
"Ideal temp range is 59F to 77F, battery life is reduced outside of optimal temp range"
Have not had this long, but based on previous Japanese made Nokia batteries, should be better than most. Shipped with Chinese made Nokia 860 mAh, 3.7v, BL-4C Li-ion battery. Included charger, Nokia A-3: electronic auto-switching, world voltage type rated output: DC 5.0 volts, 350 mA. will charge most modern Nokia phones with the small round tube port. The Nokia BL-5B battery from my old 3220 fits in the phone although it is a bit shorter and requires a homemade spacer at the top to press the battery down on the phone contacts.

* Simm card very easy in/out with just your finger.

* Call history displays missed caller and logs each attempt to reach you

CONS:
- What the others have said. Lacks volume control on the side. Control keys not ideal, signal strength may be an issue although the few calls made so far were fine. Call quality was clear, would like it louder.

- A major issue is with ring volume, perhaps a deal killer for many, is that the ring volume is m-u-c-h to low even set on loud and with highest ring volume selected.

- Clumsy rocker key for selecting functions, but can get by with programming the upper right soft key to access most settings. You will still need to rock the center key to scroll your list, but this works better than rocking side to side in the main menu.

- Message deletion: Is there a faster way to delete? Not sure, but so far had to open every message individually to clear them. Quite time consuming

Conclusion: If you favorite TMo phone or it's battery/charger goes south, then you will be glad to have the Nokia 1661 as an emergency back-up. Heck, for the price you can use it as a calendar or kitchen timer, clock, alarm with a deactivated simm card inserted. Phone made in Brazil, charger and battery, China. Slim pocket size carries easily. Signal strength and reception in fringe reception areas reported by some. Have not had it long enough to verify that.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2009
Very nice basic phone. I think they've deliberately gone with a cheap-and-cheerful look on the side and back plastic to avoid looking too good next to more expensive phones. Shame, as the front is very clean and stylish.

For me it replaced the Nokia 1608 - the previous cheapo candy-bar phone from T-Mobile prepaid. This is a major step up and addresses everything I didn't like about that phone. Very good high resolution screen showing plenty of text, keys which are much nicer to use (not perfect), it looks better and it's very slim and unobtrusive in a pocket. It has a ringtone which isn't an annoying tune, which is a major step up!

The keys could be easier to use - I wouldn't want to try to use them by feel in a pocket, though they work much better than they look like they would. They also click a bit loudly, so any kids wanting to text unnoticed in the pocket in class will not like this phone.

Shame the radio doesn't work out of the speakerphone speaker.

In case anyone misses it, ear volume is left-right on the 4-way, during a call.

If it dies when overcharged I'll be back to change my review, but I assume the other reviewer was just unlucky.

Edit: I did see some wierdness when it refused to take a charge. I popped the battery out and in and all is well again. We'll see.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2009
So my wife's nice T-Mobile cell decides to quit 2 months before the end of her contract. Naturally, getting a replacement from T-Mobile was a big rip-off, they got you vs you got them when contract expires. So, I stumbled on this prepaid, and since the other review confirmed it would accept the regular SIM card from the T-Mobile cells, and with its $20 price, became a no brainer. Got it activated with its own SIM, then swapped in my wife's original SIM card and vola, she got a working cell for couple months until she can get a real one.
Now, this cell is small, light, kind of cute, but has no volume adjustment (so little hard to hear the other caller), even thought they hear you fine. The other problem was the way it jumbled up the contact list that came on the old SIM card, (when a contact had more than 1 number, it ended up showing multiple name listing for each number, so John 1 was for work number, John 2 for Cell, John 3 for home ...etc). Another issue is the reception, we always had full T-Mobile bars at our home, but this one was fluctuating between 1-3 bars, so it may prove to be a problem with dropped calls, lets see. Furthermore, wife complained about the keypad, sending a text message was a chore when compared with her old phone, but it still worked fine. Don't expect blue tooth capability, but it did come with a wired head phone (useless for her since it is an insult to use it, lol). The charger had an odd port (not the standard USB, what is the problem with these manufacturers)????
Anything good?!! Well, it works, is stylish and is very cheap, so I stretched it and gave it 3 stars.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2009
I bought this for 19.98 at [...], after my t-mobile phone died on me. I didn't want to pay the outrageous prices that t-mobile was asking for any of their regular phones, since I plan to switch companies once my current contract is up. The chick at the t-mobile store told me I couldn't buy the phone without paying the 50 dollar activation, but wal-mart had no problem.

I popped in my old sim card and it worked right away, no need to install the sim card that comes with it first or anything. The phone it self is basic, and kinda cheap feeling, but it was worth 20 bucks. Yes, the keys are sort of hard to use, but I don't text a lot so it doesn't concern me.

Overall though, it makes and receives calls, and will get me through the last 5 months of my contract. Mine actually came with a headset to use with the FM radio built in, which might come in handy if my Ipod dies at work or something. It also has a built in flashlight, but you have to press so many keys to get to turn on, you might be better off just using the key glow.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2011
Look, if you are buying this phone for anything more than infrequent phone calls, than you must really be a minimalist. Ideally, this phone should be used as a backup to your standard phone - or maybe in situations where you normal (fancier) phone shouldn't be brought along, but having a phone with is smart (ie: outdoor adventures). I have kept the one I bought 3 years as a backup/alternate to my Blackberry. It still works great, battery is still solid, and the call quality is still pretty darn good.

Pros:
Very light (a breath of fresh air carrying this in your pocket, it weighs about as much as a single car key)
Good battery
Decent display
FM radio

Cons:
limited memory storage for thing like text messages
no bluetooth
buttons aren't elevated off keypad

Again, the cons above are obvious cons that you should expect if you buy this. When it comes to making calls, and nothing more, this phone is just as good as any other phone out there. For what it is, this phone is great. No one buys a phone without a qwerty keypad to text, so why even think of doing that here?

tip: lost phone? buy a prepaid phone (like the Nokia 1661), call T-Mobile, tell them to transfer the SIM card that came with your prepaid phone to your normal account - they will do this without issue, and you now have your number working again while you try to replace your smartphone for cheap.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2010
Wow, I haven't seen a phone this pathetic in a while.. where do I start, first of all -- the signal (or lack thereof) this thing gets is HORRENDOUS. T-Mobile's PCS network already has issues in deep residential areas, and this phone is of NO help. It will often show "No Network Coverage" as mentioned in other reviews which isn't the case! My other T-Mobile phones easily have 4 bars in these areas where this phone won't even get 1 bar of signal strength.

That and the keypad is godawful, and so is the 4-way navigation toggle.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2011
If you're planning on getting a prepaid with T-Mobile, just buy the phone. Keep in mind that the activation will take at least 24 and up to 48 hours to get into the system. DO NOT purchase the refill cards on line, don't purchase the card with the phone. Get your cards from a T-Mobile store (not at Best Buy) because the online store might send you an invalid refill card and it's almost impossible to get the problem fixed (Best Buy will tell you to call the customer care line if they can't replace the card for you). Using the online refill is probably a better way to go, provided you have a credit card.

Keep in mind also that the pre-pay customer care and regular T-Mobile service centers are two different places (you will be bounced from the regular customer care center to the prepay center, be prepared to spend 30 minutes to an hour with them to fix problems). Also, if you use your prepay phone to try to get problems fixed, it might eat your minutes if you get the wrong number. Being bounced back in forth between sales, customer care and prepaid customer care or tech support eats up 10 to 15 minutes of airtime, each, if you call the 800/877 numbers. And you don't get reimbursed.

Use a different phone to deal with customer care. Just a warning. As a note, the T-Mobile staff are very nice, and as helpful as possible, but they can't do anything for you (hands tied) because T-Mobiles system sucks. If I had to yell at someone, it would be their director of marketing, anybody have that phone number?

As far as the phone goes, I can't give a good rating in it as I'm returning it after a couple of days because I can't get the prepaid service working right (from the problems above), but feels cheesy (meaning, cheap, typical for Nokia's at this price range).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2009
for the most part the the phone looks nice in the package but it really flimsy and i could live with that but i could not hear anything with or with out the head set i took it back to walmart.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2009
I bought this as a no-frills replacement for my six-year-old no-frills Nokia prepaid phone. I only use my phone occasionally and do not text message so I thought that basic was good enough. What I didn't realize was that apparently expecting the phone to ring when a call came in is "optional" for this model. I've missed 90% of my calls even with the ringer turned up to the loudest volume and the vibration feature turned on. Unless it's in my hand or on my lap, I cannot tell someone is calling. I couldn't return it within the 14-day period because I was leaving for vacation. When I returned, I was told that a new phone would be shipped out and when that was received, I should return the first one. I waited two weeks for a new phone and finally was told today that because the phone was prepaid, I must send the phone in first and then 7-10 days after they receive it, they'll mail back another--reconditioned phone. The keypad is not easy to use but I could put up with that if I could just hear my calls.

On the pro side, it's lightweight and does hold a charge.

Overall, it's worth spending a bit more money--and trying the phone in person before buying it online.
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