- Attractive design, Good screen, Adequate feature set
- Slow camera, Poor image quality, Small buttons
The Nokia 3230 is a nice looking phone which is a little frustrating to use due to the tiny buttons and slower elements of the interface. Also, If you want something with a great camera, you should probably look elsewhere.
Price$ 679.00 (AUD)
We've had dozens of mobile phones go through our office and its no surprise, with IDC predicting their will be 19.2 million users this year and 100% market penetration by 2008. Generally our reviews focus on aspects such as design, ease of use, features and how quickly it annoys us. The Nokia 3230 has a great aesthetic and looks very sophisticated with a large display screen and attractive silver buttons - but a closer inspection reveals significant problems that did annoy us.
The 3230 has a large 176 x 208 TFT screen with support for 65K colours. A 65K screen isn't the best around but it certainly doesn't hamper the phone in any way. The operating system and relative menus are easy to use and tend to work at a reasonable speed. There are a few slow downs here and there, particularly when attempting to use the camera function, but generally the phone operates at reasonable efficiency. This speed of operation does not extend to the boot time though, which takes an average of 30-50 seconds - far too long for any mobile.
The buttons on this handset are deceptive. While they look great, they are hellishly annoying to use. In order to make the screen so big, the buttons seem to have been squashed down toward the bottom of the handset making them far too small and difficult to push. The centre directional toggle works very well but the buttons surrounding it are counterintuitive, often opening items you don't particularly want to use due to the oddly chosen features they are linked to.
The SMS functionality works perfectly and the T9 word completion functions are impeccable. When entering names in the contacts book, the auto-complete found every friend we entered, although we didn't really add any crazy names, to be fair.
The 3230 captures images with a 1.3 megapixel camera, and the quality is as you would expect. Unfortunately 1.3 megapixel cameras are average and the image quality of this phone is just as mediocre. To make matters worse though, it takes forever to save each image to the memory and the phone needs to be held still for a while after pressing the button to make sure the picture doesn't blur. The image captured is also not what you see when you press the button - instead the action about 1 second after you pressed it is captured. This means that a lovely picture of your girlfriend smiling comes out as a girlfriend looking away as she thinks you've already taken the photo.
The quality of the video capture is quite the same but is less appealing to use, as the frame rate of captured video is abysmal. The audio captured is also rather poor too but this seems to be consistent across most phones on the market. The 3230 also has rudimentary video editing capabilities with the ability to apply effects, but the number of people that would actually use this feature is questionable. If the video quality was better then maybe it would be useful - but editing together average video and adding poor effect doesn't tend to inspire anyone to sink the required time into actually doing it.
The phone also supports music play back via memory card and the audio quality is fairly good through the supplied hands free kit. The radio works rather well although it does have some trouble finding some popular radio stations from time to time.
The alarm feature on this phone is quite exceptional. It is loud, piercing and could wake the dead. It also has a snooze button but gives up trying to wake you after it's pressed more than five times. We don't understand why most phone companies don't make the alarm feature easier to access. Trying to find it among the menus is a hassle and the fact that the preset is erased after each time it goes off makes it rather annoying to set is again every night.
The 3230 supports Bluetooth and infrared connectivity and both work rather well. However, while it does support USB 2.0 connections, it does not do so out of the box and an $80 cable needs to be purchased separately in order to use it. This is quite unacceptable, especially considering the price of the cable which is rather excessive. In further bad news, the PC suite software does not come included in the package either but has to be downloaded from the Nokia website.
The battery life of the Nokia 3230 is rated at 4 hours talk time and 100-200 hours standby but we found that with light usage, it needed to be charged once every 36 hours or thereabouts. Overall, this is a nice looking phone which is a little frustrating to use due to the tiny buttons and slower elements of the interface. If you want something with a great camera, you should probably look elsewhere.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Fake heads and robot probes: testing smartphones prior to launch
- Rumor suggests the Note8 will be a bigger S8+ that adds a missing feature
- Xiaomi's Mi6 has the Galaxy S7’s looks, the S8’s power, and iPhone 7’s camera for half the price
- Samsung DeX turns your Galaxy S8 into a shockingly good desktop PC
- Find My iPhone helps nab a thief at Coachella with 100 phones in his backpack
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCBusiness Analyst (Mid-level)VIC
- TPBusiness Project Manager - DigitalNSW
- FTProject AnalystNSW
- CCSolution Architect - Network Operations/Design - TelcoVIC
- FTProgram L&D Manager, Financial ServicesNSW
- CCSAP Business Finance LeadQLD
- CCCRM DeveloperACT
- FTBusiness AnalystVIC
- TPProject ServicesACT
- FTVDI EngineerACT
- FTSenior Sales Operations AnalystNSW
- FTCRM Technical Specialist (Oracle Eloqua)QLD
- FTSenior Business Analyst - UX experience NeededNSW
- FTInfrastructure DesignerVIC
- CCSenior UNIX AdministratorNSW
- FTProject Engineer - Data & IP NetworksNSW
- CCSecurity ConsultantVIC
- TPSecurity Controls Specialist - ISO 27002VIC
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- FTICT Transformation Integration ManagerNSW
- FTProject Engineer - Newcastle BasedNSW
- FTSenior Business Analyst, FinanceNSW
- FTProject Manager - Data MigrationNSW
- CCSAP CRM Functional AnalystNSW
- TPSenior .NET Developer (Angular or React)NSW