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Nokia 3650 review
Posted on 9-Jun-2003 19:17 | Filed under: Reviews

This smartphone (a smartphone is a voice-centric device, with some PDA and multimedia functionality, withouth being a pocket computer) runs on Symbian OS, like the Sony Ericsson P800, but with a different User Interface. While the P800 is (in my opinion) a PDA with voice capabilities, this is a mobile phone with PDA capabilities. The user interface is adapted to the use of a mobile keypad, and it works very well.

The phone side of it is a tri-band (900/1800/1900) GSM/GPRS, making it capable of roaming any GSM network available in the world these days (including US), providing your carrier allows roaming. The data connection is up to 43.2kbps (HSCD) or up to 40.2kbps (GPRS). It also features voice activated dialling, which makes it a great handsfree. It also supports a speakerphone function, very good when you don't want to hold it for long conference calls.

The interface is very easy to use, with a 5-way scroll key (up, down, left, right and press). The main menu is accessible through a button in the center of the keypad.

The keypad? This is what changes everything. Of course people look at this and think "what is this?". It works like a normal keypad, of course, and the user needs a little time to get used to it. For SMS crazy people, it'll not be a big problem, because the phone incorporates predictive text input, so you can type messages fast. It has a blue backlight, making it very easy to use in the dark.

For people like me, who like to have another separate device for serious browsing or e-mail (my iPAQ H3970 is always around), this phone is ideal: it has Bluetooth built-in, allowing a Palm or Pocket PC user to connect to the GPRS network or even dial to private networks or ISPs.

The package comes with a very good software, the Nokia PC Suite. This software allows full control of all of the mobile's features, including backup and restore, configuration, calendar and contacts synchronisation, file transfer, software installation. Of course the user can connect through Bluetooth, or via serial cable (not included).

The sync software allows you to import a mix of information from your PIM. You can have the phone numbers only, phone numbers and some text fields, or all the information. I've tested the sync with my Outlook contacts folder, and it transferred 500 contacts in under 5 minutes.

500 contacts? Don't worry. The phone comes with 3.4MB RAM, but it also accepts MMC cards for memory expansion. Actually, the mobile comes with a 16MB MMC card, including some video clips and animations.

Why you need more then 3MB on mobile phone? Because of all the multimedia capabilities! This phone has a built in camera, which allows you to take 640 x 480 pictures, and even record short movies (until you fill the memory, so get your MMC cards ready!). The movies are in the 3GPP format, which means they can be played in other mobile phones (including the Sony Ericsson P800), and in your desktop or laptop too, now that Apple's Quicktime includes this format. The phone comes with RealPlayer too, allowing the user to receive streaming clips over the GPRS connection.

Users can also install software available for the Symbian OS, for instance MobiMate's WorldMate

Talking about GPRS connection, on top of multi-part SMS and MMS, the phone also has POP, SMTP and IMAP client capabilities, making it very good to retrieve your e-mails while on the road (but I still think it's great as a connection to my Pocket PC).

The Nokia PC Suite software

On top of all these features, the user will find things we take for granted in modern mobile phones: polyphonic ringtones, vibrator, multiple profiles, ability to add a picture to contacts in the phonebook, and more. Its screen is of good size, with very good backlight and the fonts used are very clear and easy to read.

Also, because of its multimedia capabilities and the number of software available for Symbian OS (see download link below), this model is being used with networks around the world to deploy streaming and video download solutions.

The phone also supports WAP (of course), but users can download the Opera browser for this phone.

The battery cell is Li-Ion, 850 mAh, with up to 4h talk time and between 150h and 200h standby. It takes 90 minutes to fully charge it, and it is installed on top of the SIM and MMC cards connectors. The phone is medium sized, not small like the Sharp GX10, and you can see it compared to the tiny Ericsson T39m.

Since we have both mobile phones in the picture I'll then list the two drawbacks I see in this mobile. First, Bluetooth implementation. Nokia didn't implement the Headset profile, only the Handsfree profile. They work in a little different way, making it impossible to use my Sony Ericsson Bluetooth headset with this mobile. But I'll try it with other headsets in the future. The other fault is the lack of a USB cradle for fast synchronisation. I think the P800 is great and very easy to use, with its cradle.

I'm not sure this phone will attract executives with it's not so small size and round keypad (the P800 is more "impressive" with it's touch screen), but this phone has all the capabilities I think a person needs to connect and be in contact. It even has more than the younger users of SMS and MMS need.

PS. The classic Snake game now allows two players over infrared or Bluetooth .

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