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The Nokia 1100 might look fairly anonymous but this humble GSM handset is actually the single most popular piece of electronics ever made (and we’ve got a bit of a soft spot for it here on Conversations – read about The 1100 Club). Since its launch in 2003, over 200 million 1100s have been sold worldwide, which equates to around a million phones for each week of its lifetime. The reasons for its global popularity aren’t tough to see. The candybar 1100 is simply a supremely functional phone, with reliable dual-band GSM voice calls, SMS messaging (and predictive text), vibration alert, alarm, stopwatch and calculator. The 1100 was built for a worldwide audience, and so sports a sealed keypad and non-slip sides for dusty and wet climates, plus a built-in torch for countries lacking widespread street lighting. The 1100 is all about the basics done brilliantly.

What we say

What they say

“Simple phones like this are all about voice quality, and the 1100’s is strong. Reception is very good and voices come through loud and very clear.”

Sascha Segan, PC Magazine

If you only do one thing

Flaunt your frugal Nokia 1100’s battery life. The combination of a high capacity, lithium ion rechargeable battery and efficient monochrome screen means that the Nokia 1100 can remain in standby for up to two weeks – far longer than many of today’s most advanced handsets.


Lighting the way
The invention of the carbon filament electric light by Thomas Edison in 1879 was soon followed by the first torches, powered by zinc-carbon batteries. These were so unreliable at producing a steady stream of illumination that they became known as ‘flash’ lights – a name that stuck in America.

In 1917, the leading manufacturer of electric torches, Eveready, began the using the world ‘Daylo’ to describe its products but abandoned the trademark four years later after failing to persuade the public to adopt its (trademarked) name.

Arch-rival Duracell began in the 1920s with a powerful mercury cell that it then developed into alkaline batteries.

Bizarrely, both Eveready and Duracell use a drum-playing rabbit in adverts: Eveready’s Energizer Bunny (in the US) began as a spoof of the Duracell Bunny (in the UK), after Duracell failed to secure international rights to its creation.