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Nokia 3650 Review

 

Nokia 3650 Review

 
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Introduction:

Surprised. So were we. When we got our looks at the new Nokia 3650, the first thing that came to mind was "What'd they do to it?" The circular keypad is striking. Definitely very unique and very Nokia. Aesthetics aside, the 3650 continues Nokia's tradition of producing a solid phone. Packed with the usual Nokia features and the standard digital camera and color screen, the 3650 is definitely ready to compete with current market offerings.

In early 2003, the Nokia 3650 turned a lot of heads when word of the phone leaked back in September, 2002. One cannot help but notice how Nokia's flair for unique designs really shows. The departure from the standard square keypad is interesting - a trend started by its predecessors.

Design:

Designed to compete with Sony Ericsson's P800, this phone packs just as much punch. Priced in the sub-$400 range, this phone isn't cheap. At the same time, it's comparable to its competitors. With the way phones are these days, shelling our $400 is actually reasonable given what this phone is capable of. However, weighing in at 130 g, this phone is hefty - and bulky. While not as heavy as the P800, it is certainly larger and less pocket-friendly.

Nokia 3650 Front But whatever space you devote to this phone, rest assured the space is being well-used. Featuring a digital camera that takes both still shots and video at 640 x 480 resolution, a full range of phone staples like call handling options, ring tones, and web, packed into a Symbian OS, you've got a winner.

In the past, one major complaint about Nokia's phones like the 6610 was that voice dialing was left out. Apparently Nokia takes stock of what its customers tell them because there's voice dialing in this one. Up to 25 numbers can be programmed into the phone using the phone's voice recorder functionality.

The speakers on this thing aren't bad either. This phone is good for hands-free use to obey those New York laws or if you're a really busy person. Microphone and speaker volume are good enough to be functional - comparable to that of the 6610. Not surprising considering Nokia is known for reusing many of the same parts or designs for many of its phones and just packaging it in a new case.

On a related note to the microphone, one major disappointment was the phone's inability to record sound while it was recording video. Granted, the camera itself isn't that sophisticated and isn't meant for hardcore photographers or movie directors, it seems almost natural to be able to have both voice and picture go together. Maybe Nokia will get it together for future models.

Screen:

Amazing. Symbian's OS really shines on this screen with all of the pictures and menus looking sharp and crisp. Not quite as beautiful as the 65,000 color Samsung V205, it's still good. The standard 4,096 colors doesn't seem to match with the 3650's cutting edge look, but it works very well.

Controls:

Here we go. By far, the most obvious change Nokia made to the phone was the circular keypad which is reminiscent of those old rotary dial phones. It takes some getting used to - especially for those who text message a lot or dial by feel.

Nokia 3650 Camera Lens Once you get used to it, it's not that bad. At the very least, it's a good conversation piece. But when it comes to speed of messaging or those that dial by feel, "not that bad" simply won't cut it. Having to feel all the way around the circle just to make sure you hit the number 5 or 6 is kind of ridiculous.

Another highlight previously unseen on a Nokia before is the 5-way directional button. Similar to those seen on PDA's like the Dell Axim or the Sony Ericsson T68i, it navigates the Symbian menus very well. I like the way everything is very centralized for minimum thumb movement - unlike the Motorola T720. It greatly helps ease of use and makes both new and old users feel comfortable with the phone.

Battery:

The 3650 uses an extended 850 mAh Li-Ion battery. Ideally this battery should last for 200 hours on standby with 4 hours of rated talk time. However, as with all numbers for cell phones, these numbers are maximums in optimal lab conditions. Knowing this, the phone came close to matching those numbers in our tests.

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