Nokia 3230

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Nokia 3230
The 3230 continues Nokia's run of style-plus-substance phones, offering a 1.2-megapixel camera, video editing and a positively lush-looking screen.

The fast-paced evolution of smart phones has created high expectations among mobile aficionados, who view each new release with a critical eye. Although Nokia's 3230 falls short of some of these lofty standards, it has much to offer the average user. "Look on my screen, ye mighty, and despair", bellows the 3230 when you glance upon it for the first time. The phone is striking for the way its 176 x 208-pixel, 65K screen dominates the phone, forcing the navigation and number keys to cower in its wake. While the LCD is sharp and lush -- especially when playing one of the three impressively rendered games -- the poor old keypad has been a bit neglected. The navigation keys above the number pad, including a small joystick, are packed in so tightly that users with large hands may require a pair of tweezers to make a phone call. Similarly, the number keys, being squished at the bottom of the phone, must be pressed with care, and furious texting may cause some serious thumb cramps.

Overall, the phone is solid and slick, although a little on the heavy side at 110 grams. Like an amnesia-stricken fashionista, the 3230 is stylish but lacks memory. Internal memory is a surprisingly small 6MB, and the included 32MB RS-MMC card also comes up a little short. With competitors like the Samsung D500 offering a spacious 92MB, it's surprising that Nokia has chosen to scrimp on the space.

One plus relating to memory is the fact that the MMC card can be removed without having to switch off the phone. That's if you can manage to remove the stubborn battery cover without assistance, a task which, as with a lot of Nokia phones, feels suspiciously like an intelligence test.

As with its fellow megapixel phone, the Nokia 7610, the 3230 features the way-too-cutely named "muvee" editor, which allows users to add sound clips, transitions and styles to their movie clips. Additional styles such as "romance" and "sci-fi" can be downloaded from the Nokia Web site. Taking advantage of the ability to record up to an hour of video, it's a fun inclusion that takes personalisation to a new level.

The Connection Wizard, fast becoming a standard smart phone feature, allows pain-free access to e-mail and GPRS. Downloading add-ons and sending files worked a treat, with minimal delays and no drop-outs.

PTT, or push-to-talk, is one of the more exciting recent developments in mobile phones, and it's great to see it included in the 3230. While it may take some effort to configure initially, the thrill of being able to use your phone as a long-range walkie-talkie is worth the fuss. One puzzling feature of the 3230 is the fact that a loud beep precedes every incoming phone ring and message tone. Perhaps the team at Nokia felt it necessary to give advance warning of the need to dive into your bag and scramble for the phone, but that discordant beep will negate the cool factor of having the latest Top 40 ringtone.

Menu navigation can be slow-going, with applications often taking several seconds to load. Delays are often a necessary evil of feature-packed Symbian phones, but the wait is quite noticeable for this model. The phone also takes approximately a minute to spring to life when switched on, and photos taken at 1.2 megapixel resolution will keep you waiting for several seconds while they are saved.

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Something to be aware of if you're trying to squeeze out every last drop of battery juice is the need to exit from every application after using it. Features like the power-hungry camera will languish in the background if not shut down, and will suck the life from the battery very swiftly. Assuming you keep a tight leash on your applications, the battery should keep the 3230 alive for 2-3 days between charges.

Sound is a mixed affair - while the radio tuned in to stations easily and sounded impressive, MP3 playback was on the shonky side, and louder tones tended to distort at high volumes.

While the 3230 does disappoint in some areas, such as sound quality, an awkward keypad, and that mysterious pre-ring beep, it is nevertheless a good choice for those in search of a lot of features without the heart-stopping price of a fuly-fledged PDA phone.

Nokia 3230
Company: Nokia
Price: AU$679
Phone: 1300 366 733


Antenna internal
Available Body Colors black, red, white
Integrated Components Rear-facing camera, FM radio, voice recorder
Technology GSM - Tri-Band
Software Platforms Supported Java, Java MIDP 2.0
Installed Game Qty 6
Type smartphone
Integrated Components FM radio, rear-facing camera, voice recorder
Band EGSM 900 / GSM 1800 (Dual Band)
Band Qty Tri-Band
Phone Form Factor bar
Service Provider not specified
Operating System Family Symbian OS
Operating System Symbian OS 8.0
Phone Features
Polyphonic Ringer Yes
Ring Tone Formats MIDI, MP3
Voice Dialing Yes
Phone Functions Speakerphone, voice control, call timer, conference call, voice dialing, vibrating alert
Additional Features Push-to-talk mode
Messaging & Internet
Cellular Messaging Services MMS, Nokia Smart Messaging, SMS
Supported SMS Functions SMS Chat
Messaging & Data Features XHTML Browser
Downloadable Content audio files, games, ring tones, screensavers, themes, video files, wallpapers
Messaging Services MMS, SMS
Supported Email Protocols APOP, IMAP4, POP3, SMTP
Communication Features Internet browser
Data Transmission EDGE, GPRS
Wireless Interface Bluetooth, Infrared (IrDA)
Technology TFT
Display Illumination Color white
Display Resolution 176 x 208 pixels
Color Depth 16-bit (65000 colors)
Color Support color
Personal Information Management alarm clock, calculator, calendar, reminder, synchronization with PC
Alarm Clock Yes
Digital Zoom 3
Still Image Resolutions 1280 x 960
Media Player
Supported Digital Video Standards RM, MPEG-4, 3GP, H.263
Supported Digital Audio Standards AAC, Real Audio, AMR, MP3
Supported Flash Memory Cards RS-MMC
User Memory 6 MB
Security Features
Phone Lock Yes
Keypad Lock Yes
SIM Card Lock Yes
Restrict Access to Phone Book Yes
Run Time Details Talk: up to 240 min
Standby: up to 150 hrs
Digital Camera
Still Image Formats BMP, EXIF, GIF, JPEG, MBM, WBMP
Digital Video Formats H.263 video and AMR audio
Digital Zoom 3
Still Image Resolutions 1280 x 960
Video Recorder Resolutions 176 x 144 (QCIF)
Brand Nokia
Product Line Nokia
Model 3230
Packaged Quantity 1
Phone Functions call timer, conference call, speakerphone, vibrating alert, voice control, voice dialing
Additional Features push-to-talk mode
Digital Player (Recorder)
Supported Digital Audio Standards AAC, AMR, MP3, Real Audio
Supported Digital Video Standards 3GP, H.263, MPEG-4, RM
Power Adapter
Type power adapter
Flash Memory
Installed Size 32 MB
Supported Flash Memory Cards RS-MMC
Form Factor RS-MMC
User Memory 6 MB
Optical Sensor
Sensor Resolution 1.3 megapixels