The beauty of the Nokia lies in its familiarity. Nokia seems to have been producing phones that look and handle like this one for decades. Its layout and screen appear to have been passed down through a family of no-nonsense budget and business phones that millions of us have owned or used sometime during our lives.

The striking thing about the phone is that it doesn't have a colour LCD screen. Steadfastly sticking to its roots, the monobloc phone flies in the face of evolution and offers a monochrome display - and quite a small one at that. It looks kind of quaint in a retro way, but it is likely to be the one thing about the phone that people are going to rib you about.

Without 3G or a camera to weight it down, this is a smaller than average handset. With an all-up weight of 79 grams it's a pretty middle-weight offering, but there is something about this phone that makes it look smart and feel robust. For a phone of this ilk, it doesn't look plasticky at all - and the strange foam-like material used for the keypad gives it a tactile quality.

In time-honoured Nokia tradition, the 1110i also provides a high degree of customisation, through a range of clip-on front and rear covers. The 34 onboard ringtones aren't bad either - and you can also compose your own.

Games suffer from the lack of a colour screen, and the variation of Snake looks rather tame compared with versions on more sophisticated phones. However, you also get adventurous electronic versions of the Asian board game Carrom, a low-tech alternative to billiards that is not easy to play on a screen of this size. There are five on-screen dice games to choose from; of these the old playground favourite Liar Dice would be a great way of killing time with one, two, or three other people.

A unique feature of the phone is its speaking clock, which voices into action with a long press of the '*' key, and which can also be used as an alarm. Other fun tools include a countdown timer, calculator, converter, stopwatch and a handy handsfree speakerphone facility.