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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Of course with the color displays, the video camera, and video playback, battery times can and will vary.
When reading our reviews, you should view the test results of mobile-phone battery talk time and standby time as relative information only. Many variables, including carrier signal strength at your location, signal consistency (including incoming and outgoing calls), display and ringer settings, and battery charging methods and history, will affect performance.
When handset manufacturers and mobile phone carriers list talk-time and standby-time ratings, they usually include disclaimers about variable performance and often refer to the times they publish as maximum times.
The 3650 comes with a built-in 3.4 MB of internal memory which is relatively generous compared to other color phones like the T68i or S105, most of which feature at most 1 MB of internal memory.
Keeping in mind that this phone will compete with the P800, Nokia smartly added MultiMediaCard functionality which allows the user to increase the amount of storage on the phone similar to the P800's MemoryStick Duo. With applications, games, and pictures taking up more and more space, it's nice to have that extra room so you don't have to keep on deleting things.
The 3650 has Nokia's trademark infrared port on the top. It also has Bluetooth connectivity to allow for the use of a headset, multi-player gaming, or synching with a PC. It's pretty much got everything you'll need since the IR port can easily take the place of a physical data cable.
This is where it all happens. Select and open your applications and phone features like the digital camera, video recorder, and text messaging.
Nothing really special here in terms of functions. What does stand out is the icon-driven interface as opposed to the traditional text listing of menu options. Very nice touch which kind of closes the gap between PDA's and phones without actually going the combo route. It's clean, and simple to use.
Note: Another nice touch for those people, like me, who keep a ton of applications running at one time. By holding down the "Menu" button, it actually brings up a switcher menu where you can scroll through your open applications and select which one you want to use at that particular moment. Very convenient.
There is a lot of functionality packed into this calendar. It works very much like full featured organizer/calendar programs on PC's or PDA's. The cleanliness of the OS really helps give the phone a PDA feel so it just makes the calendar intuitive and powerful.
As you can see from these screenshots, everything is simple and clear. The calendar on the 3650 stresses functionality over appearance which is perfect in my book.
Just about everything is customizable from how your appointments are set up to how your week is displayed. The functions under the settings menu are really cool because not everyone operates from Sunday to Saturday.
Send messages as much as you want. Nokia's messaging services have historically been very solid and the 3650 is no exception. With the ability to easily switch between predictive, traditional, and numeric text input modes, creating messages is fast and easy.
Another nice feature is the ability to send picture messages (an example of which is shown here) which aren't quite as advanced as MMS but sending little black and white grainy icons is still pretty good. Less intensive and probably more space efficient than your typical MMS but same basic message.
The digital camera on this phone is pretty respectable. At 640 x 480 resolution, image quality is comparable to that of other phones on the market. But obviously, it still pales in comparison to true digital cameras. The colors just aren't as vibrant but for the space this thing takes up, it does its job well. If you look closely at the screenshots we've provided, you can see definite areas where the image is grainy. But the fact that there are three settings for picture type is a nice touch. Portrait mode is perfect for caller ID use. The other two are shown above.
It is also worthwhile to note that if you want to transfer your pictures from your phone to your computer, you can do so via Bluetooth or infrared. This function is missing in many other phones like the Samsung V205 where you can't transfer unless you have a data cable.
If you've ever used RealOne for a computer it's pretty much the same. Same functionality, same purpose. While not great, video looks decent on the phone. The phone seemed to handle the workload fairly well and only lagged a little bit on more intensive loads like fast action scenes.
Overall, it if fully featured. It's a powerful media player for a phone. It was a good move to include this because media playback is often one of the weak points of other phones.
Like all phones today, this one can surf the internet. There's not much more to say. It supports GPRS so data transfers are pretty fast but that also depends on the network you're on.
Video is largely uncharted territory for cell phones. Props to Nokia for including this function as it will appeal to a lot of people. However, the quality needs to be better.
Taking videos at 640 x 480, the picture quality is very grainy and the colors are definitely a little off as you can see from our screenshot. Also, you can't take videos and record sound at the same time.
It's also too bad that you can only take 15 seconds at a time, creating a 95 KB file as a result. But since life is made up of a lot of short moments, this camera should do well in capturing some of them. You can also transfer them easily to your computer via infrared or Bluetooth to save space.
Ever since Nokia's old school phones, profiles have been a part of the phone. The interface is simple and straightforward. Once again, I really like the more graphical approach to menu navigation rather than those normal text menus. If you've ever dealt with older Nokia's that have the profile feature, the one on the 3650 is much more centralized and easier to use.
This feature is key -- especially for those people who are in and out of a variety of situations. Going from the office or class to having fun with friends to being in a movie theater, you can customize your 5 profiles to be able to fit any scenario. It's a great idea that is very applicable to people today. So great that we don't know why all the other phone companies aren't jumping to include something like this.
Another great idea. Because this phone has so many functions, everything will be pretty spread out among many many folders. Favorites is a way to keep all your, well, favorite content and applications within arms reach. No more searching though tons of folders for each thing you want. It's all here -- once you tell the phone to put a shortcut there. It's kind of like a second desktop or main menu that's even more customizable.
Every phone has some sort of PIM function, the 3650 included. This is a standard to-do list. Add your tasks and keep track of when things are due. Aside from that everything seems like a normal to-do list. Then again there's nothing you can really improve on to make it stand out.
Lots of stuff to do here. The calculator, recorder, notes, and clock are pretty standard. The recorder quality is very good though. Good sound clarity on both sides. The 5 second tone while recording a phone conversation is kind of annoying but it's nice to know when you're being recorded -- especially on the phone.
What's a really neat addition is the Converter. You can convert from one set of units to the other. Since this is designed to be a world phone, when traveling, this phone is handy to have. No more struggling to figure out conversion rates in your head.
Composer in the 3650 is very nice. You can actually see musical notes and customizing ring tones is much simpler with the menu options and graphical interface. Although it would have been nice to include both musical notation and text as to what the note is, I guess it's safe to assume that if you're going to be writing your own ring tones, you know how to read music.
The applications menu is pretty uneventful. Applications are either J2ME midlets or software written specifically for the Symbian Series 60 platform. In order to get applications, you must download them from somewhere and most likely it won't be free.
But since there are lot of Series 60 phones already out there (like the Nokia 7650) there should be ample programs already. At least there's a solid software choice out there -- even if it's not free. Variety and availability of content is something a lot of phones have struggled with in the past.
Connectivity is key since you will likely have a lot of files that you'll want to transfer to other people and computers. Luckily, The "Send" option is available almost anywhere in in the phone so you don't have to navigate through a bunch of menus.
The Paired Devices is also nice because it's like a shortcut menu to other common devices. Quick. Easy. Painless. It's something we don't see all that often.
Nokia phones have traditionally been pretty strong in this area. Tonal quality was very good and clean. If you've ever used a Nokia before, then you should have a very good idea of what this phone sounds like. If you haven't, well then you can expect reliable, consistent, and good sound quality. Not excellent or superb but there aren't many, if any, phones out there that would really merit an excellent/superb rating in terms of sound. This is among the best of what's out there.
Speakerphone was also pretty respectable. Tones were remarkably clear and audible. Not much background noise as other phones when using speakerphone which is good. You can be confident with the handsfree capabilities of this one.
Again, not much has changed from previous models. No external antennae doesn't seem to hold this phone back from achieving pretty solid signals the majority of the time. It can find and maintain signals most phones would never be able to find. Definitely among the best of what's out there.
- Very nice LCD. Crisp and clean.
- Symbian OS. It's an excellent product no matter what phone it's in. While not quite the 7650, it's still better than nothing.
- 3.4 MB of internal memory. Nice and roomy.
- Expandable memory in the form of the MultiMedia Card. The fact that 16 MB is included with the phone is also a huge plus.
- Strong messaging capabilities. Nokia's always been at the forefront of messaging. Good stuff.
- Consistent sound quality and signal finding. It's what we've come to expect from Nokia phones.
- Odd keypad configuration. Honestly, we can't really say whether it's a pro or a con. Most likely if you want to buy this phone, then you really like its radical keypad layout. What we CAN say is that it doesn't type like normal phones. You'll have to retrain yourself how to text, and untrain if you get a newer phone.
- Size does matter. It's not as big as you think, but it's not an ultra-compact phones. Might be a bit bulky for some people.
- The fact that the applications and games are Java based means only one thing -- you have to pay for them. It seems like there's getting to be less and less bundled software. Where are the games? At least give us snake!
This is a solid phone. There's no disputing that. However, it's not spectacular. A relatively weak software package (no packaged games) and potential difficulties with a radical keypad configuration overshadow some of the phones positives. But looking beyond its detractions, you're left with a wonderful Symbian OS, clean LCD, and roomy, expandable free space.
Regardless, if you don't care for messaging all that much or the coolness factor is just too great, then the 3650's design is second to none. You'll definitely be turning heads when you talk on this phone.
Camera phones are all the rage these days. And the camera on the 3650 are pretty good, but nothing really special or out of the ordinary. Being able to take video is on the other hand is relatively new. The Nokia 3650 steps into relatively uncharted territory with the video camera. Although it is pretty good at capturing video, the lack sound while recording video is disappointing.
Connectivity is good as usual. Lack of a data cable is a small inconvenience but makes sense considering the growing trend toward pay-per services. Infrared works well for transfer between phones and will help keep you connected to your friends.
Overall, like we said before, the 3650 is a solid phone. It is set to compete with the P800 and it should do pretty well. Nokia has always been criticized for just repackaging many of its phones and selling them as new models. But with this one, while much of the technology may be the same, it is definitely a step forward in the right direction with the inclusion of the Symbian OS. It will help to push Nokia more towards the so-called smart phones and close the gap between personal computers and cell phones. And $400 is a pretty reasonable price to pay for this kind of phone.
Agree or disagree? We'd love to hear your thoughts. Share your experience and leave a comment below. ♦
Categories: Symbian | Fashion
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Nokia 3650 Review
I've had the phone for two weeks. I was on the verge of returning it because of the crazy keypad. No matter how much you get used to it, the keys are still hard to use. But I've realized that I use the keypad less and less -- I've loaded all my contacts into the phone's contact manager and rarely dial manually. The contact manager itself is very powerful, competing with my Palm Pilot. Dialing with the circular pointer is a snap: press and scroll to the entry, then press again to dial.
Voice-dialing is another huge feature, and another reason I don't dial manually very often. My old Motorola phone had this functionality, but Nokia's implementation is much better. I use it for all common numbers.
But the real reason I can't live without this phone is the beautiful, beautiful, large color screen. It's really a powerful enabler for anyone that lives by their phone. Once you're used it you ask yourself how you could have survived with the rinky-dink monochrome screens. Managing your calls with this screen is more like using a computer to manage your calls (calls-in, calls-out and missed).
I also use the speakerphone a lot -- especially for work when others in the room want to participate.
Battery lasts quite a while -- several days of heavy use between charges. I'm always playing with the camera, so my battery demands are high.
Regarding the digital camera, at first I thought it was just a toy. But I've found it useful in many ways. You can certainly live without it, but it's really very useful in all type of situations -- shopping, at dinner, with colleagues, etc. The pictures are surprisingly good for the 640-by-480 pixel resolution. Now I'm convinced that you need a camera with you everywhere, and having it in the phone is really the best place for it: I take my phone everywhere, but not my Palm.
The sound recorder/player and composer are very powerful, but I've not found much use for them. I never use the calendar or the note pad mainly because it's too hard to enter text, even with the clever writing tools. My Palm wins out here.
Finally, this thing is amazingly cool. I've been stopped by people in the elevator, at work and at parties. Everyone wants to see it.
Note: The Nokia site lists new color phones for Q3 release, most notably the 6220. I was going to return the 3650 and wait for one of the smaller color models. But then I realized that none have the 3650 large screen, or the 640-by-480 pixel camera.
So, I'm sold on the 3650 -- big time. It's not for everyone: you need to tolerate the rotary-style keypad. But if great graphics are appealing and you use your phone a lot and you love digital photography, then it's worth the expense.
As for the video recorder the quality is too poor for any useful recordings. No-one's going to be found guilty in court as a result of evidence from this recorder. It's really just a concept app. In addition, I don't mind it being a little large -- my biggest concern is dropping it or scratching the large color screen.Was this review helpful to you?
101 out of 103 people found this review helpful.
I was one of those two-device guys. A Pocket PC in one pocket and a Nokia 6310i in another. They both worked and would even talk to one another via Bluetooth.
Still, I longed to be free of one of them. Lots of companies have tried to grant this wish. Nothing has quite made it come true yet. The Pocket PCs with phone capability are too awkwardly shaped and the phone features aren't properly integrated yet. The phones with PIM features were just too tiny. Itty bitty screens and monochrome aren't going to cut it.
What first attracted me to the Nokia 3650 was the size of the screen. Just look at it compared to any other model. The screen is huge and in color. After the screen size I noticed the odd keypad. At first I thought this was a fatal flaw, but after you learn what this phone can do, the keypad becomes a non-issue.
I picked up a spec sheet and with each item I read, it was clear that the 3650 is really the first PDA/phone convergence product that really works. It has expandable memory, Bluetooth, a camera, a video recorder, infrared, games, and Internet capability. It does everything my Pocket PC does expect play music (and there is available software for that) and run Word or Excel. But honestly, I've rarely used those features of the PPC.
The PIM is very good. My Outlook contacts and calendar can sync with Nokia's PC Suite software or in small groups directly via Bluetooth. Their presentation on the 3650 is as readable as my PPC (though some scrolling is sometimes needed) and they are fully integrated into the phone. Easily organized contact groups are available and the calendar can be displayed in daily, weekly or monthly views.
The camera takes acceptable 0.5-megapixel snaps and easily e-mails them anywhere. It is true that you probably didn't realize how many ways you can use a camera when it is small enough to carry everywhere you go. As for the phone, it has good sound and seems to pick up signals better than other Nokia's I've owned and almost as good as the outstanding 6310i. It is a world phone as well. My only complaint is the lack of hardware volume buttons.
The big color screen makes the phone a bit bigger than others, but not so much that it is awkward to carry. And it is much smaller than any other PDA on the market. If I may be so bold as to predict, this is roughly the shape of things to come. Future PDA/phone units will be based on a form factor very similar to the Nokia 3650.Was this review helpful to you?
96 out of 99 people found this review helpful.
I had purchased a Nokia handset 3650 on March 2003. The phone started giving memory corruption errors whenever a number was dialed or while reading a message from the inbox.
So I got the handset replaced on the 3rd day from the dealer and got another handset whose details are mentioned below. The handset at present with me too is a problematic one and the dealer is not ready to get it replaced and is insisting to get it repaired at the Authorized Nokia service center.
I had been to Nokia's Authorized Service center, but I was told that they did not have some kind of instrument called “zig” with them and that it was at Bangalore and it would take about 15 days or so, and that they could not give me a standby handset for the number of days they would require to service my handset.
I had sent a mail regarding the same problem to Nokia, but I still haven't received any kind of reply from them. So overall I have no had good experiences with this phone or customer service.
1. After a call is made from the handset, when the log is checked for the timestamp it does not reflect the exact time in the log at which the call was made.
2. The Handset gets hanged while browsing through the menu and none of the keys respond and at that moment, the handset has to be switched off and on again.
3. GPRS does not work on this handset, even though the service has been enabled from the service provider. When the same SIM is used in another Nokia, GPRS works fine.
4. This handset flashes some messages like “Error." I don't remember the exact syntax as these messages are very rare.
5. I have still not checked the other features in this handset, so I am unaware if the other features are working fine or not.Was this review helpful to you?
88 out of 92 people found this review helpful.
I got this phone to replace my Motorola T722i.
- The reception is very good, better than T722i.
- The camera is a nice addition. The color is a little bit reddish, and blur on white.
- 16-megabyte MMC included, which is good enough to store pictures, and PC Suite lets me transfer the games, apps, MP3s, photos to and from the phone.
- The screen looks good under both light and darkness
- RealPlayer is the major reason to upgrade to, but the audio is poor through headset and real headphone
- Bluetooth is a big challenge. But once you got it setup, you got it.
- PC Suite is a big plus tool for the phone, but you need modem too in order to use the phone as GPRS modem.
- The battery is good enough to go, it can go up to five hours to talk, but the battery runs fast because I run RealPlayer and use as modem for hours at a time.
Conclusion: The phone is an entry-level smartphone, with nice screen, good battery, excellent reception, memory expansion, makes the phone very unique from other Nokias.
- The key layout is weird, but I get used to quickly.
- Speakerphone is not loud enough to go, even under quiet environments.
- The headset connection has big flaw, which happens when playing MP3Go and RealPlayer, and using external handsfree set.
- The alarm setup in not good enough. It doesn't have a weekday option, so it runs once at a time. I have to set up again for another day.
- Symbian 6.x makes the phone becomes smartphone, but somehow it hangs when using RealPlayer and use it as a modem.
- The size is big like old-school 51xx.
- The ringtone is not loud enough to go, vibration is recommended.
41 out of 46 people found this review helpful.
Where's the Kitchen Sink?
I have plenty of experience fixing phones. I manage an electronics repair/sales store. I just want to know where they found room to put all this stuff in here! People say the phone is big. For what's inside of it, it should be 3/4 the size of a laptop, because it can do 3/4 as much as one.
I have only encountered one hurdle thus far: you pretty much need to use Nokia PC suite software to manage the sheer number of dirty pictures you will take. Heed this warning: get Bluetooth for pc, not infrared! Windows, PC suite and USB infrared dongles do not play well together.
For those of you worried about damaging the big pretty color screen? If you do, just buy another "Xpress-On" faceplate. Problem solved.Was this review helpful to you?
31 out of 38 people found this review helpful.
Pros and Cons
- Nice screen.
- Good reception.
- Nice speakerphone.
- I added games to it.
- Should have built-in MP3 player? Or can it even decode MP3s quickly enough? I converted MP3s to AMRs but they osund like garbage.
- Camera could be made better.
- Can be very very slow.
- No way to set ringer to vibrate only.
- Tends to crash.
- Sometimes phone calls cannot be received/dialed until phone is turned off and on again.
- It uses GPRS itself sometimes, incurring service charges.
25 out of 35 people found this review helpful.
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