Nokia 3650 is Almost Picture-Perfect

 
 
By Marge Brown  |  Posted 2003-04-17 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Nokia 3650, a high-style, high-speed data phone with integrated Bluetooth, blurs the line between feature-rich phones and PDA/phone combos. It also offers a touch of nostalgia for the rotary phone set.

The Nokia 3650 ($300 street), a high-style, high-speed data phone with integrated Bluetooth, blurs the line between feature-rich phones and PDA/phone combos. The 3650, which functions primarily as a phone and camera, is based on the Symbian operating system. It runs the Nokia Series 60 graphical user interface and has support for third-party applications. The combination of an easy-to-read screen, numerous preinstalled applications, and an interface with icon navigation is a home run. The plastic phone, with its minimalist two-tone design and circular number pad, doesnt necessarily look like a business device, but its fun and easy to operate.

The 4.6-ounce sculpted case measures 5.0 by 2.1 by 0.9 inches (HWD) and is comfortable to hold. You can buy the phone with gray, yellow, or dark blue top and bottom covers, each with white trim. You can also buy blue, fuchsia, and purple covers for $28 each. One odd design feature—which we grew to appreciate in time—is the phones circular, counterclockwise numeric keypad. Having the numbers in a circle actually makes finding them fast and easy. A five-way navigation button, smart keys, and software icons make getting around in the interface simple.

The triband GSM/GPRS phone supports voice dialing and six-way conference calling, and a touch of a button lets you access the impressive speakerphone. Setting up unique ringers to distinguish incoming callers is easy, and you can record and store voice tags for speed dialing. Nokia offers several attractive headset accessories for the 3650, including the $120 Nokia HDW-2 Wireless Bluetooth Headset. Nokia says the phones battery will last through 4 hours of talking or 8 days on standby.

Features not related to calling abound. The 3650s most impressive extra is the integrated 640-by-480 resolution digital camera, but the list goes on to include a video recorder, a voice recorder, a RealOne video player, and an XHTML browser. Theres a MultiMediaCard (MMC) expansion slot and a 16MB MMC comes with the phone. You need to turn the phone off and remove the battery to access the card, though, which is a bit of a pain.

You can take a photo from the main menu with two key presses. The relatively large color display—1.6 by 1.4 inches (HW)—helps with image composition and is equally legible indoors and in sunlight. You can select from three quality settings and three image modes (standard landscape, thumbnail portrait, and, for a longer exposure, night) at resolutions up to the maximum of 640-by-480. Printing test photos transferred from the Nokia to an HP Deskjet 995c via a Bluetooth connection was a snap. Getting the phone to talk to the printer required no special configuration—possibly the best feature.

We used the 3650 on T-Mobiles high-speed data network to e-mail a photo taken with the camera and to connect to the T-Zones for news and weather. Neither caused a problem and news stories downloaded quickly over T-Mobiles GPRS network.

In addition to its phone, camera, basic PIM, and calculator functions, the 3650 includes two games—Snake EX and Mix Pix. You can download additional games from T-Mobile for under $10 apiece. With either a Bluetooth or an infrared connection between the 3650 and a PC, you can synchronize and back up data using the included PC Suite for Nokia application.

The Nokia 3650s uncluttered design is in sharp contrast to its depth of features. Its a good fit for anyone who wants a fashionable phone with a useful camera and a passel of other fun features.

 
 
 
 

Marge Brown, a PC Magazine Contributing Editor, has worked in the technology field for twenty years, as Director of Technology at The Travelers Companies, as an independent Managed Health Care technology consultant, and as owner of Brown Consulting Associates, the family's freelance technology writing business.

Since 1998, Marge has worked on a full-time basis with her husband, Bruce Brown, also a PC Magazine Contributing Editor, writing reviews for PC Magazine and analytical articles for ExtremeTech.com.

Marge is the mother of Rich Brown, freelance writer, Liz Brown, employee of Text100, a technology public relations firm, and Pete Brown, freelance writer and aspiring Web site designer.

In her spare time Marge enjoys reading, swimming, boating, and taking walks with Bruce and their two Giant Schnauzers, Katama and Pepper, who are about to launch their own brand of salsa and hot sauce.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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