The Nokia 101

The package

The Nokia 101

"Finally, the moment is here!" I unpack a plastic bag that contains my long-yearned device - a new handphone. It is not that I never own a handphone before; in fact, I have been the proud owner of few latest gadgets being tagged to me. But this particular mobile that I'm gripping right now, with so much awe and admiration, has been my target for months. I have been waiting for this day to arrive - the day I can unbox it and claim, "it's mine!".

Yes, I am now, the proud owner of my new red Nokia 101.

As the name suggests, it's "101". It's basic. It's something you give to a toddler to keep him occupied while you cook a feisty meal. It's something you give to an eight year old to temporarily snooze his screaming for the latest Iphone. And yes, when I switch from my smartphone to this, I'm prepared for sneering remarks, such as, "What's with her?" or "Is this your company's spare phone?"

Yes, in the Mac era, the Nokia 101 is just a phone you use while getting your android updated in the mobile kiosk. To the techno savvies, it is something you don't even need. Unlike Korean 101, which you need to pass before qualifying for Korean intermediate, no kid needs to pass using the Nokia 101 before he can master the complexity of his first smartphone.

But for me, it's a different case. I've got literally tired of figuring out the hows and dos of a smartphone that I decided, I need the Nokia 101.

Once switched on, the phone menu displays a grid of the most basic widgets (or do they even call that in a basic phone?). You have messages, contacts, call register, settings, music, games, clock and extras. No, the extras don't include a camera, unfortunately. But a camera, a web browser and an Angry Bird are the least basics I had in my previous phone. Having succumbed to the technology for the past three years, I must say, the Nokia 101's simple interface is indeed, a breath of fresh air!

Pressing the Nokia 101's rubbery keypads is another delight after years of tapping hard, glossy screens. It feels soft. It feels objective and most importantly, it hits! No more worries whether you would mistakenly type "fat" into "gay" as you no longer need to squeeze your large index finger into a mini virtual qwerty display. 

In fact, not having a qwerty is the best part of this phone. You get the bliss of pressing a velvety keypad three times to get the third alphabet. Thus, I find myself typing much faster than on any qwerty keypad. And this what makes messaging the number one pleasure of the Nokia 101.

Nokia 101 is insanely durable. It's a phone you stash on the dresser and on the passenger seat while rushing to work. It's a phone that can smash on a concrete floor, have its back flown off and battery come out and yet, get an apathetic reaction of "Relax, I'll fix it".

Yes, once reassembled, it works like normal - with or without your pink silicone bunny casing.

On the downside, there is not much entertainment in this phone. You can't download games and applications. You can't take pictures. You can't edit you baby's photo and set it as a wallpaper. That's why you don't see a Nokia 101 user nibbling his phone while waiting for the plane. The most he can do is play games that require him to go left, right, up and down - one such example is the Snake.

Despite all this, I don't miss my smartphone. I love how cool it feels when my phone rings to its standard Nokia tune. I love to grip it and press the keys for nothing. Of course I can no longer check my Facebook before bed, but for some reasons, going through old messages and composing a monotone ringtone fair better than any sleeping pill.

I love my Nokia 101 and will highly recommend this phone to a toddler, an eight year old, a granny and yes, you, the busy boss who can't do without your smartphone!