On the software front, the phone features all the office apps you’d expect of a corporate smart phone. There’s a word processor, spreadsheet application, calendar software, presentation software that lets you create as well as read presentation files, a tool for reading PDFs and, in a brief attempt at competing with all-singing-and-dancing mainstream phones, a version of RealPlayer for movie clips and a music player for your MP3 files. Unfortunately, unless you shell out a bit extra, you’ll be stuck listening to these in glorious mono since there’s no standard 3.5mm headphone socket and the only earpiece supplied with the 9300 is of the one-sided type.
Finally, there’s plenty of memory for storing all of your music, presentations, documents and contacts: the 9300 is equipped with a whopping 80MB built-in and you can install even more – up to a maximum of 2GB – using the phone’s MMC slot. Oh, and by the way, the lithium polymer battery is good for at least three days texting, talking and moderate web browsing – a manufacturer quoted three to seven hours talk time and 150 to 200 hours standby.
Our review unit was supplied to us by Orange, and the colourful network operator is offering the 9300 as a business tool, under its business tariffs. However, after a bit of snooping around the Internet, we found that Direct Mobile Phones is offering the device on pretty much any tariff. That said, as you can tell from this review, we agree with Orange’s assessment that the 9300 is a business tool. With this in mind we’ve evaluated the 9300 in conjunction with the Orange Premier 600 business tariff, which gives you 600 inclusive minutes of talk time a month for £55 – the handset is then thrown in for free. If you wanted to buy the 9300 without a contract you’d be looking at close to £400, but to be honest, this isn’t the type of handset that’s designed for personal use, and if you’re a business user, you’ll be looking for a business tariff.
Despite all of the goodies, the QWERTY keyboard and the comprehensive messaging support, Nokia’s 9300 Smartphone will never be, let’s face it, the sort of thing you’re going to see kids walking down the street texting their mates on. It’s far too staid, boring and corporate for that. There’s no camera, no fancy vibrating ringtones and with the clamshell shut it looks like a throwback to the corporate phones of three or four years ago.
So it’s neither cool to look at, nor sleek and sexy and manages to feel rather old-fashioned but perhaps, after all, that’s good thing. Because if what you’re after is a mobile workstation that gives you web browsing, email, and phone capabilities in one device the 9300 provides it in an unfussy and usable package.
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