Nokia 3230 smart phone
Business or pleasure?
Despite the relatively slender housing there's an integrated FM tuner included though you have to use the bundled headphones as they act as the aerial. The application is called Visual Radio, which is intended to supply synchronized images to the music, but it requires station support that hasn't arrived yet in the UK. It's listed as coming soon to Virgin Radio. Sound quality was decent enough but I had to move outside to get most stations, and the tuner function didn't pick up stations automatically - I had to enter the frequency manually.
The 3230 also has features that I've never seen before called Presence and Positioning. The former offers Messaging-like awareness status of friends while the later offers the ability to track your phone down via triangulation - a kind of GPS-lite. Neither is supported currently on UK networks, however, so I couldn't test them.
The 3230 offers a claimed talk-time of four hours, a standby time of 150 hours, and full charging in and hour and a half. Battery life was just about reasonable and I had to charge every second day or more frequently with heavy use - call quality was fine. There's 6MB of internal memory and the phone uses hot-swappable RS-MMC cards for extra storage, with a 32MB card provided.
Bluetooth is included and I was able to pair with my Motorola HS850 without difficulty. However, to get it to answer calls automatically when I opened it, as I do with my V800, I had to tell the phone to connect to the headset automatically without prompting, even after pairing. This is an extra step that isn't necessary with Sony Ericsson phones, and seems redundant to me.
I have to admit that my initial scorn for the 3230 was worn down by the wealth of features. However, thanks to the Series 60 OS, it can be used as a serious tool and applications such as Navicore's GPS system could be used with it. However, some of the included applications have only novelty value, and others are not supported in the UK. There's also no getting away from the fact that the phone looks and feels more like a toy than a tool. This is probably why it's already available for free on contract form Vodafone and O2. _
If you ignore the smart-phone tag, the 3230 impresses as a fun 2.5G phone with reasonable battery life and a wealth of features. On that basis it's worth considering especially as it's available on contract for free. However, as a business phone it falls short - the keys are far too small and it just doesn't feel like a quality product.
|Price||£220 SIM-free; from £0 on contract|
|More info||The Nokia 3230 site|
Apple Mighty Mouse
Fujifilm FinePix Z1
AMD Sempron 3400+ CPU
Epson Stylus Photo R320 printer
HP Photosmart 385 compact printer
Alienware Aurora Star Wars Edition gaming PC
SanDisk Ultra II SD Plus USB/SD card