One thing that I found quite difficult to get used to is the fact that if you hit the centre joystick, you’re not taken to the menu but instead go into Contacts. Instead, the 3230 has a dedicated menu key on the left hand side. That said, after a while I got used to this arrangement. Pulling down on the joystick also brings up the contacts menu, while pushing up activates the camera. To the right, displays the calendar, while to the left launches a blank text. One odd key on the far right of the joystick is the labelled with a pen – the edit key. This is used to turn Predictive text on and off and to insert a symbol. This is fine but the key only has a function when in text mode, and it seems something of a waste to dedicate a key to it.
The menu on the phone consists of fairly dull icons; I would have expected something a bit more jazzy for a new phone. The phone also seemed to be a tad more sluggish than I would have liked.
As I implied earlier the list of applications included seems more geared towards entertainment and fun though you can get many useful business applications for the Series 60 OS that you can add on.
Three games are included, two of which are good fun. Agent V in particularly is noteworthy as it overlays Tron-like 3D images over the camera making your targets appear as if there really in there – it’s really very cool. Muvee is another fun application that automatically mixes images and videos on the phone to create mini movies complete with effects and music. It’s great fun at first but you’ll get bored after a while. I’ve also never seen a image and video editor actually on a phone itself – enabling you to perform limited cropping, rotating and cutting your content without a PC.
Despite the relatively slender housing there’s actually an integrated FM tuner included though you have to use the included headphones as they act as the tuner. The applicatoin is called Visual Radio, which is intended to supply synchronized images to the music, but it requires station support and hasn’t arrived yet in the UK. It is listed as coming soon though for 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 frequancy 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 super-lite. Neither is supported currently on UK networks however, so I couldn’t test them.