Nokia has come up with some, how shall we put this, interesting handsets this year. Some have been complete bulls eyes – like the 7250i, others have stiffed like the 3650 and there’s a few, like the 6600 smartphone, for whom the jury is still out.
After putting the boot into the company’s handsets more than once this year it something of a relief to find a Nokia phone that is an absolute winner. Meet the girl phone par excellence the Nokia 3200.
If this isn’t the handset of choice in the budget camera phone market this Christmas I’ll be staggered. Vodafone has clearly chosen well with this one.
Essentially it’s a budget rehash of the 7250i, arguably Nokia’s best handset this year. Here’s what you get for very little cash.
No new territory here for the 3200 sports the standard old school Nokia candy bar design. Nokia is however taking customising phone covers to the max with this handset. You can pretty much put anything you fancy behind its plastic fluorescent casing. How cool the phone looks is down to you.
Well it wouldn’t be Nokia phone if there wasn’t some quirky feature. In this instance is the keypad. Instead of each number having its own button, two numbers share the same switch. And yes it is as chaotic as it sounds as is sure to slow down serious texters. You kind of get used to it though.
The interface is classic Nokia territory. You toggle between the various menu options by pressing a four-way rocket switch, with side switches taking you deeper into the applications.
Compared to its rivals the screen is a little second rate. It has a 4k colour display with 128×128 resolution. Still the small size of the screen means it isn’t too much of a handicap. Just don’t go comparing it with the screen of the Sharp GX30.
The headline feature is the handset’s integrated camera, which takes low res 352×288 images. Still at least you know that each image you take you can send straight away without having to edit it. There’s also a self-timer, though using one on a mobile phone seems a near impossibility. The pictures look fine on the screen too. Other facilities include an FM radio, XHTML web browser, 16 polyphonic ringtones and infrared connection.
The phone is also triple band too.
On the debit side it only has 1Mb storage – but as the photos are so low res this isn’t going to matter too much.
The handset is also one of Nokia’s first to be compatible with Edge technology. It is basically a 3G hybrid that triples the speed of data rates of GPRS connections. Edge is likely to reach at least certain parts of Europe next year. Incidentally it seems all of Nokia’s handsets from now on will be Edge compatible.
So it is a budget handset with quirky keys a low-res camera and limited storage. Why is it a winner? It just looks and feels like one. It is a logical step on from the candy bar handsets that Nokia has been selling mainly to women and kids very successfully for the past three or four years. The fact it is likely to be very cheap certainly helps too.
If you want a very cheap camera phone it is either this or the 02 X1 in our book.