Nokia 3230 review: Smartphone for the masses

Ivo Mareček, 19 March 2005.

Listen with your eyes

It would be a pity not to take a more detailed look at the radio. In the menu it is placed under Visual Radio. Even though it is possible to listen to the radio by using the loud speaker, the latter won't work unless the earphones are plugged in. The tuning process is driven either automatically according to the signal intensity, or manually, by dialing the frequency of the desired station. The automatic tuning will select a station provided the signal is really intense. If the broadcast gets disturbed even a bit, the phone skips the station and goes on searching.

If you know the name of the station, but you cannot remember its frequency, you can use the list with radio stations, which is easily accessible directly from the application. It is possible to save the station into the list in order to avoid a repeated search once the phone has been restarted. The list contains twenty vacancies altogether. As for the incoming calls, they are easily recognizable for the radio sound deadens and the ring melody starts running through the headset. The same process is initiated when a message has come.

Address book with radio stations main window the list manual tuning

My excellent impression of this application was spoiled by a small error that occurred when I started the Visual Radio and the camera simultaneously. The playing station switched to another one and kept on doing this until I turned off the camera.

The Visual Radio technology enables for receiving not only a sound signal, but also a data flow with various details on the music pieces and their content. The first radio station to work with Nokia Visual Radio was launched in Finland just days ago.

Telephony: typical Symbian

Speaking about telephony functions, no innovations are coming along. All features are the same as in all older Nokia models equipped with a Symbian system.

As usually, the sound of Nokia 3230's speaker is rather average. Certain noises could also be heard while phoning with a connected handsfree set. While testing the phone's calling features, I ran into smaller difficulties concerning the conference calls. The telephone would not manage to switch between the calls and would therefore terminate them.

Numbers dialing address book contact details

A shared memory is used for saving names in the address book. There is up to 6 MB of memory space. Every name can be accompanied by several different attached items. You can search in the address list by progressively dialling the first letters of the names. The individual names can be differentiated by using special ringing modes. The list is viewed either in a Surname Forename format, or vice versa: Forename Surname.


No new developments are to be found among the message options either. There is a T9 dictionary for quick text inserting when writing a SMS, MMS, emails or instant messaging. As for the pictures inserted into the multimedia messages, their size can be automatically reduced to the one suitable for MMS.

Files creating a SMS a notice informing about present special characters MMS editor

The Email box is another recently improved application. It supports the SMTP, POP3 and IMAP4 protocols. When using POP3 it can download just the header of the message; to download the whole text you need to subsequently select it.

Downloaded headers email body

One of the new functions is the Push to talk function. Thanks to it you can easily communicate with other people through the GPRS packet transfers; the working principle is similar to the walkie-talkie one.