During my adventure to find an ideal mobile phone, I often get arguments like: well, if you don't need a particular feature, just don't use it. The counter-argument is easy: if I don't need a feature, why should it exist after all? Reducing the complexity of software and hardware in a mobile phone could simplify a lot of things, increase the battery life, ease the technical support, and possibly even as far as improve its environment-friendliness factor. However, normally it also means less profit for phone sellers.
Fortunately, for those who are old-fashioned and need simple and basic mobile phone without all the unnecessary gimmicks, nowadays there are already choices from Nokia (1110, 1600, 2610), Sony Ericsson (J110, J120, J220), Samsung (SGH-C300), Motorola (F3, w205, w208), and many others.
Some time ago, I decided to bite the bullet and switch from the lovely black Motorola RAZR V3 to another phone: Motorola w205 (SAR head: 0.83 W/kg, body: 0.48 W/kg). It is considered one of the latest entry-level basic mobile phone as it is available only since Q1 this year. From Amazon.de, it costs only 46 euros including VAT and shipping. There are even cheaper offers, if you are willing to take SIM-locked phone in a prepaid bundle.
The phone is compact and light. It can do SMS but not MMS. I don't really care for MMS, all these 6 years using mobile phone, I have sent like 2 or 3 (useless) MMS. As for typing SMS, instead the common T9, again Motorola's own iTAP is used for intelligent/predictive typing. It is a minus point for me, for I always hate iTAP and disable it all time, but I guess I can live with that.
Its 1 MB memory is enough for 500 address book entries or 750 SMS. With 850 mAh Li-Ion battery, it is claimed to have talk time up to 8 hours and stand-by time up to 12 days. For sure, I reach the charger less often than with RAZR. If this is not enough, more powerful 1700 mAh battery is available for less than 7 euros.
The phone has a decent color display, 128x128 pixels with 65 thousand colors. Actually, I'd prefer to get a sharp black-and-white display with e-ink technology (as in Motofone F3, but the dot-matrix version thereof) as I'm sure the battery life would even be improved. But again, this one is already good enough.
There is no camera in this phone. Also no infrared. No Bluetooth. No WAP. No GPRS. No MP3 player. No radio. No singing-and-dancing stuff. No extra bells-and-whistles.
I am a happy man.
(Picture from official Motorola w205 site)