For music playback you swivel the number pad section through 180 degrees so that the number keys end up on the back of the 3250. The Series 60 music player runs automatically and the four buttons which were on the back are now at the front. Now you can play, pause, and jump backwards and forwards between tunes. You can pause music to take incoming calls, and can skip within tracks.
But hang on, you can do all that stuff with the mini joystick too, albeit in a slightly more fiddly way. And when buttons are swivelled to the back of the handset they are disabled, so you can’t place a voice call without swivelling the number pad to the front of the handset.
Nokia’s HS-20 headset is provided. This is a two piece affair. The part that connects to the handset slots into the same Pop-Port connector used for the PC connection cable. The connector is on the right edge of the casing which means it protrudes quite a bit from the side of the handset. This is not the most pocket friendly solution.
The headset terminates in a section with a microphone for voice calls and music controls. It incorporates the FM radio antenna. Into its 3.5mm slot you can insert either Nokia’s provided earbuds or your own headphones. I suggest the latter. My Sennheiser PX 200 headset delivered better quality sound than Nokia’s earbuds.
There is no doubting the Nokia 3250’s ability to deliver music for hours on end. My benchmarking set the power save time out to the maximum available which is 30 minutes and the light time out to the maximum available which is 60 seconds. I pushed the screen brightness to the maximum and set music playback volume as loud as it would go. Playback was through the loudspeaker and music was played from a microSD card. Under this regime I got a very impressive ten hours 40 minutes of music.
I can’t help coming away from the 3250 with the impression that someone in the Nokia design department had a good wheeze for a handset design and then kept plodding on with it even though all it seems to do is get in the way of ease of use rather a lot.
I’m not convinced that a little doubling of functions for number pad buttons wouldn’t have been a better option than all this swivelling for music control, and a side mounted camera shutter is so much easier to use than the options on this handset. I can see the advantage of being able to swivel the camera lens itself, though.
Still, I can’t complain about battery life, which is always an important factor for anyone looking for a music playing handset.