Finland has a lot to thank Nokia for. If you’re old enough to be able to remember the time before mobile phones became the pocket-sized multimedia life jackets they are today, you’ll remember that Finland only used to be famous for, er… well nothing springs to mind actually. But whereas a few years ago Nokia was big enough to see off the likes of Ericsson and more recently Siemens, it’s not quite the giant it once. Part of the reason for that has got to lie with the fact that it’s made some odd decidedly odd handset choices in recent years. It let Sony Ericsson overtake it for style, its early 3G offerings misfired, and its more quirky designs rarely convinced.
This brings us to the 3230, a phone that seems to have something of an identity problem. It’s a candy bar style phone, 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 something like the Razer V3, it’s not thick either. It has a smart business-like look and runs Nokia’s Series 60 operating system. Confusingly then its feature list contains some decidedly non-business applications, which left me a tad nonplussed on how to take this phone.
The handset is a standard 2.5G phone with Tri-band coverage at 900, 1800 and 1900 frequencies. It supports GPRS, but there’s no 3G shenanigans going on here. As such it makes sense that there’s only a single camera on the back. This has a resolution of 1.2Megapixel count rather than the now more common 1.3Megapixel. All this means is that maximum resolution pictures are 1,280 x 960 rather than 1,280 x 1,024. 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 1.3Megapixel label, which is clearly isn't.
There’s no flash built-in, 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.
As you can see from the pictures, the results aren’t too bad in outdoor light, though in bright sunlight the highlights are very overblown. The indoor picture 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 in extra large but in fact the 176 x 208-pixel resolution display 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.