Nokia 515 review
|Review: December 2013|
In a nutshell: Premium modern design meets the antiquated Series 40 operating system! The Nokia 515 is a smart-looking phone, but can it compete with phones that are truly smart?
Best buy: Nokia 130 from Tesco Direct (£19.00)
Design & looks
The Nokia 515 merges the old-fashioned world of the alphanumeric keypad and the modern styling of its Lumia smartphone peers. It's a Series 40 phone, just like ye olden dayes Nokias, but it comes dressed for 2014 with a sleek design and premium aluminium build.
The smooth, matte finish and chunky shape make the phone very tactile. The aluminium body has been sand-blasted and the display has subtle curvature and toughened Gorilla Glass II to protect it. It's very much a premium look.
It's not exactly slim - at 11mm thick it's chunky by today's standards - but overall dimensions are compact, and at just 101g it's very light in weight.
The LCD display measures 2.4 inches and has a fairly low pixel density of 166 ppi. Multimedia wizard it is not, but the display is perfectly usable and practical.
Not Smart, but useful
Its's not a smartphone, but even feature phones like this need to be connected if they're going to be useful in a modern world. The Nokia 515 has built-in email and social networking. But curiously there's no Wi-Fi, which puts a serious dent in the usefulness of these features. Maybe it's not that useful after all.
The phone has little in the way of built-in storage but can accept microSD memory cards up to 32GB, giving plenty of room for photos and music.
The music player can handle digital music in MP3 and AAC format. There's also an FM radio with RDS.
A phone like this is made for talking, so the HD Voice feature is well worth having, helping to eliminate background noise in conversations.
5 megapixel camera
We're not going to pretend that the camera is brilliant. Although it uses a 5 megapixel sensor, there's no autofocus. Instead the camera uses full depth of field. The LED flash isn't enough to capture shadow detail, and the lack of a BSI sensor means that the camera performs badly in low lighting.
The 515 has 2G and 3G operability plus Bluetooth 3, a micro-USB connector and a 3.5mm headphone jack. But where's Wi-Fi? It's not here!
Over a 3G network, HSDPA gives connection speeds up to 7.2 Mbps.
The 1200 mAh battery is large for a phone of this type (small display, limited functionality, no Wi-Fi), and if you use it on a 2G network you'll get up to 10 hours of talktime. But on a 3G network this drops to 5 hours. Since this is a phone designed first and foremost for talking, we wonder if this will be enough to satisfy heavy users.
If you want a basic phone for calling and texting and are willing to spend a bit more for premium styling, then the Nokia 515 is a good phone. Although the Nokia 105 is also a good phone with funky styling and costs almost nothing. Seriously, shops are just giving it away.
If you want more from a phone, don't choose the 515. The screen is too small to do anything, and there are no apps anyway. Even if there were, without Wi-Fi, what's the point?
Nokia 515 features include:
- 5 megapixel camera with full focus, LED flash and 3x digital zoom
- Camera video resolution: QVGA (320 x 240)
- Display: 240 x 320 pixels (2.4 inches), 262k colours
- Media player (MP3, AAC formats)
- FM radio RDS
- Messaging: SMS, MMS, email, Instant Messaging
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 3.0, USB 2.0, 3.5 mm audio jack
- Memory: 64MB plus microSD memory card (up to 32GB supported)
- Offline mode
- 3G (900 MHz, 2100 MHz) HSPA plus quadband GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), GPRS, EDGE
- Size: 114 x 48 x 11 mm
- Weight: 101g
- Battery:1200 mAh
- Talktime: up to 5.3 hours on a 3G network
- Battery standby: 33 days
Got a question? This is the place to ask it!
Please don't ask a question that has already been asked. Duplicates will be removed.
How many numbers can this phone hold in total?
Asked by jazzy
on 17th May 2016
Nokia 515 user reviews
Love this product? Hate it? Please share your experiences to help other people choose the product that's best for them. Please do not review this product if you have not used it, and please ask questions in our User Questions section above. Please do not use swear words or offensive language, and please, no advertising!
Average rating from 20 reviews:
Reviewed by Katumba
on 7th Jun 2016
I love its simplicity, which only reminds me of the times... Fyi, i am typing this comment using one. I can testify u dont know how hard ur missing out on what would be "speed typing" then! All the buttons in head, and the counting goes....i love its classic design n the fact that i am assured of not less than 10 years to come of flawless performance.
Reviewed by ibrahim aliyu
on 28th Nov 2015
I love it and how I can't I order it.
Reviewed by KEV
on 12th Jul 2015
GOOD NO NONSENSE PHONE NO NEED FOR SMART PHONES IF YOU COME FROM THE WINDOWS 95 OR NT EIRRER.
Reviewed by OJEPA JOE
on 24th Feb 2015
I love it.
Reviewed by Jon
on 20th Jan 2015
If there was a way to increase number of contacts from a measley 1000 to at least 2000 then this would be a useful practical phone. The nokia C2 is surprisingly better in this respect and also easier to text on - and cost hardly anything.
The phone has a qulity feel to it. metal and glass finish and weighty BUT in practical terms this just means it's slippery and more likely you will drop it while texting with one hand - the main reason for using these phones. Whilst I love nokias I would recommend avoiding this phone.
Reply by Mike
on 24th Jul 2016
Who on Earth has more than 1000 contacts on their mobile phone?
Reviewed by Clare
on 30th Nov 2014
I wanted a simple phone with a keypad to send texts and to make calls on and to take photos. This phone is perfect in those areas HOWEVER the signal is usually non existent especially when it is being held. This is a massive hassle. I have lived in same house for 6 years and always had nokias and they have all had signal in my house before this one.
Reviewed by John
on 29th Aug 2014
This phone is perfect for me, and probably useless for everyone else!
I wanted a really well made phone that looked beautiful but just did normal calls and SMS, nothing else (except pair with my car bluetooth for hands free). I did not want a touch screen and I wanted the ability to type in a phone number and press call without any fanfare. This phone fitted the bill perfectly, in fact its the only one on the market to do so.
Battery lasts 4 days, hoping for 7 days, which I hope to be able to achieve when I switch off 3g.
If I could get rid of the foolish facebook and youtube apps I would.
I sold my nexus 5 as I had a bit of an issue with smartphones and this was the perfect replacement.
Reviewed by Immy
on 22nd Aug 2014
Its Nyc Looking But I Hate The Fact That I Cnt Use Operamini With It.....It Hurts
Reviewed by Archana Pande
on 21st Aug 2014
I had terrible expirenice withv301. Decided never to go forNokia
Reply by kiwi
on 4th Nov 2014
what has experience with 301 got to do with a 515? not relevant is it....
Reviewed by Clive
on 11th Aug 2014
Looks good, but fails badly on Phone essentials. ie:
- Standard Sound quality is very poor, embarrassing when asking customers to repeat things several time.
- Ring Tone too quiet by far.
- Loudspeaker mode not loud enough and poor quality.
- Signal sensitivity is very poor, and worse when you pick it up.
Plus you cannot use the flash LED as a torch.
All in all one of the worse phones I've had. Only had it a few months, and I'll be binning it pretty soon (It would be unfair to sell it on to anybody). Nokia really dropped the ball on this one, and my next phone won't be a Nokia!!
apart from that it's pretty poor
Reviewed by Jameel ahmed
on 7th Aug 2014
Awsome look...nice phone
Reviewed by Mark
on 5th Aug 2014
Worst feature handset I've ever purchased in my life. Constant flashcard errors when using camera, no variation on volume at mid settings, glitched MP3s, hissy cruncky crackly distortion with high end earbuds, extremely slow to navigate menus - This phones processor can't even cope with the features nokia have implimented. This stone-age kiddies phone is ridiculous. The USB connection is temperamental, the features only work when they feel like it, the screen is too small to watch video on. I hate touchscreen and having to charge a smart-phone every day but this phone actually turned me back onto smartphone tech, it was THAT bad. Avoid at all cost. Nokia, what were you thinking?!
Reviewed by f smith
on 12th Jul 2014
The battery life of my 515 is pathetic,it requires recharge every two or three days with limited use.I hate to see what regular use it would be like.The battery life claims for this phone are just pie in the sky.The phone spends more time on charge than off.
Reviewed by Ben
on 8th May 2014
I love it.
I bought this phone precisely for the fact that it
a.) is NOT Android
b.) is NOT smart
c.) does NOT require a data plan
d.) IS dual sim
e.) IS new
f.) IS beautifully designed
The Series 40 OS is lovely for the sake of its simplicity. It doesn't do much and that's lovely because the phone remains under my control! No connecting to the web and calling home, downloading adverts, logging my activity, etc.
I can make calls, send txt msgs, check mail, take photos, listen to music in mp3 (also the FM radio is fantastic) and expand the memory. Perfect! I love this phone!
The camera is great!
The browser is positively junk. I even love THAT!
There's no proper PC synchronization application. Nokia PC Suite (not Nokia Suite) works with the 515 but not very well and importing contacts is iffy at best. This is the ONLY gripe I have with it at the moment.
No more security issues, no more rewarding companies inconsiderate of my privacy for being stalkers.
I feel as though by getting rid of Google's Android I've taken a load off and regained a little control over how much of my life I share with other people.
I've always been a modernist and technofetishist. Traditionally I've consumed cutting edge gadgetry so I could find ways of augmenting MY personal culture. Lately, however, I find that gadgetry now COMES with a culture already crafted for you by software engineers who have decided, on your behalf, how you're going to use them and how you're going to interface with other people and filter your own life experiences.
It's getting well beyond creepy and I'm not the type to follow the herd for fear of being left out. Get this phone.
This phone appears to the be the last phone Nokia made before the finalization of the Microsoft acquisition. Get this phone.
Reply by peter
on 8th Oct 2014
great review its just what i want. Can you help with a question? how can i get emails and use twitter etc without a data plan? i thought that was impossible. any help much appreciated. peter
Reviewed by ANKIT JAISWAL
on 6th May 2014
NOKIA 515 HAS IT,s AWSOME LOOOK AND IT HAS NICE FEATURES
Reviewed by Terry
on 1st May 2014
Everything about this phone is horrible. Tiny screen so you can't read internet. Interface clunky and very old-fashioned. Buttons heavy and sticky. Not a touch screen.
Wanted a combined touchscreen/keypad phone and this was only one on offer at O2.
Sending it back.
Reply by Federico D'Ostuni
on 20th May 2014
Mate, I think you choose the wrong phone for you! This is not a smartphone which you can use for surfing internet, multimedia, taking pictures, apps, etc, this is an old style phone made for get rid of all the modern features you can find on supersmartphones. Next time before you would buy something take a moment to read about it and understand what are you buying. Cheers.
Reply by Arun
on 18th Jun 2014
Why didn't you get an iPhone, Galaxy or HTC? What was your expectation of this phone?
Reply by mark
on 4th Nov 2014
You people having a go at this chap for buying a phone with specified advertised specs, that didn't work properly, are RIDICULOUS. (Talking to you Federico and Arun). It makes me question whether you are shills of some description? Paid subcontractors promoting products. If a gadget has net capability, multimedia media playing potential - it should accomidate accordingly. Otherwise, what's the point of even having those features in the first place?! Give it a rest, your remarks are completely irrelevant and daft. Terry, try Blackberry. The Q5 costs the same as this phone (contract free)and has keypad.
Reviewed by prasad
on 15th Apr 2014
A fine phone to use for speaking for long hours .But browsing is not that smart.Very few apps to use.Good design.Average battery life.Modest Browsing speed.Nice camera. overall a good phone.
Reviewed by Ahmed Jawad
on 27th Mar 2014
I love Nokia Phones because its is too friendly user sets.
Now a day I see Nokia 515 set its really too much good very
Stylish as good gentle Man Phone...
But shocking me this phone set have no Wifi ? I really upset
This brilliant phone have no Wifi....... I suggest to the
Nokia company please Only Add Wifi in this set with new
version of its...new name just like Nokia 515 with wifi.
You cannot imagine your sale become too much increase.
Reviewed by ian
on 15th Mar 2014
gave my samsung galaxy to wife could not put up with constantly needing to charge it and keypad when texting to small got nokia 515 yes not smart phone but lot easier to use
Reviewed by Tony Barron
on 28th Feb 2014
Feels well made, buttons seem to work reliably. Sound quality reasonable. Bluetooth works smoothly.
No sound recorder (except if you use video. which rquires the use of the camera submenu, so is rather inconvenient and wastes memory.
Poor quality camera.
Cluttered opening screen.
Hard to spot if you have messages.
Too quiet ring tone even at full volume.
Settings menus scattered illogically all over the system.
Various internet functions, none of which is described in the (very short) manual, so I don't use them.
Pretty poor effort, Nokia have let themselves down with this one.