Back to the future with the Nokia 515

Nokia 515 in black and white

Over the last 6 years, the mobile phone buying public has enthusiastically embraced the smartphone. Prior to that Nokia ruled the pre-smartphone market, with a long succession of phones running the Symbian operating system. Of late Nokia has made a strong comeback with some nice looking, well-specced Windows smartphones.

Nokia 515 keyboard and screen

And now this, the new Nokia 515. It’s essentially a dumbphone with a smart camera. The Nokia 515 runs on the Series 40 operating system, first used by Nokia in 1999. The phone case is primarily made from a single piece of anodised aluminium, with the keypad is a transparent plastic resin. The Nokia 515 measures 114 x 48 x 11 mm (L x W x D), weighing in at 102.7 grams.

The screen is a positively retro 2.3 inch, non-touchscreen 320 x 240 QVGA type screen, protected by Gorilla Glass. The camera? Not quite so retro. It’s 5 megapixel, with an LED flash. Photographic software on the Nokia 515 includes:

  • panoramas – 100-degree shots
  • sequential shots –  with one click take five frames, and pick the best of the bunch
  • selfies – there’s no front camera to help, instead a voice-prompted system to have you take a successful self-portrait
  • Share images to social networks
  • Nokia Slam – share images and contact details to nearby Bluetooth-enabled phones

The battery is 1200 mAh, providing up to 22 days of standby power with the single SIM card model, or 18 days with the Dual SIM model. Talk time is up to 10.4 hours on 2G, and 5.3 hours on 3G. Internet connectivity is up to 3.5G HSDPA.

Mail for Exchange is the email system of choice, using SMTP, IMAP4, POP3, IMAP4 IDLE mail protocols. The phone’s web browser is the Nokia Xpress Browser. Built-in apps include Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp, plus Dictionary, Recorder, Calculator, Clock, World clock, Calendar, Converter, Notes, Alarm clock, Reminders, To-do list.

The phone will hold 1,000 contact cards. The Nokia 515 has 64MB of RAM, while internal storage is via Micro D, up to 32GB.

Design

Nokia 515 side view, and back case and cameraPeter Griffith, Head of Mobile Phones Industrial Design at Nokia, says this of his approach to the design of the Nokia 515:

“To me, it’s not about the individual ingredients, It’s not only the colours or the materials or the shape.

What makes a phone look like a Nokia is the approach. It’s how we build things.

We start with the engineers and the materials, and we have a fascination and love in developing mastery over those materials. That’s the signature. The Nokia 515 is the result of using aluminium in the purest, cleanest way.”

Nokia 515 price and availability

The Nokia 515 accepts Micro SIM cards, and will be available in both single and double SIM card models. It will also be available in two colours, black and silver.

The announcement of the Nokia 515 was made in Russia, and the phone will be available first there in September, and Germany, Switzerland and Poland, with a global release to follow. The only pricing details released are for Europe and the US, being 115 Euros and US$149 respectively.