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Nokia 3230 smart phone

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Review Whereas a few years ago Nokia was big enough to see off the likes of Ericsson and Siemens, it's not quite the giant it once. Part of the reason for that is the fact it's made some odd decidedly odd handset design choices in recent years. It let Sony Ericsson overtake on styling, its early 3G offerings misfired and its more quirky designs rarely convinced, writes Benny Har-Even.

Nokia 3230This brings us to the 3230, a phone that seems to have something of an identity problem. It's a candy-bar handset, with an angular top half, curved button area, and a grey and silver two-tone finish. It weighs 110g, so while it's not as thin as Motorola's Razr V3, it's not thick either. It has a smart business-like look and runs the Series 60 version of the Symbian operating system. Yet its feature list contains some decidedly non-business applications, which left me a tad confused as to how to take this phone.

The handset is a standard 2.5G phone with tri-band coverage with GPRS so it makes sense there's only a single camera on the back. This has a resolution of 1.2 megapixels rather than the now more common 1.3 megapixels. All this means is that maximum resolution pictures are 1280 x 960 rather than 1280 x 1024. The former is actually a standard 4:3 resolution, though I'm not sure why Nokia has gone for one and not the other. Indeed Nokia itself seems a bit confused, as on its site we found a picture of the 3230 showing a 1.3 megapixel label, which it clearly isn't.

There's no built in flash, but there is one as available as an accessory, though I can't imagine that anyone who's into taking pictures with their phone that much wouldn't just go for a phone with a flash in the first place.

The photo results aren't too bad in outdoor light, though in bright sunlight the highlights are very overblown. Indoors, pictures also showed a criss-cross line pattern but then again it was only a picture of a kettle, so no great loss.

The long top-half gives the impression that the screen is extra large but in fact the 176 x 208 resolution is no bigger than previous Series 60 phones. It's bright enough to be viewed outside though the display does dim rather quickly and there's no way to adjust this.

The power button is at the very top of the phone. Press this once and you get a menu that gives you the option to power off, select a profile or lock the keypad. There's no auto lock function that I could find though, which is something of an omission for a phone with an exposed keypad - it's a pain that it has to be done manually every time.

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