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World exclusive preview@InfoSyncWorld : Nokia 3250 ! - 10/12/2005 6:04:24 AM   

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It swivels, plays music and shoots 2 Megapixel stills; the Nokia 3250 music smartphone is a jack-of-all-trades - and for once, Jørgen Sundgot thinks the concept might actually work.
It seems to be something of a universal truth; chuck too many functions into a device, and there's a good chance that the implementation of one or more will suffer to the degree that it could just as well have been left out. Not so with the 3250, Nokia's new smartphone - apparently created to offer an alternative to those for whom the superbly capable, hard-drive equipped Nokia N91 comes across as a bit over the top.

As one of very few black Nokia handsets - and the only smartphone in recent time - the 3250 is surprisingly stylish with its slightly angular design. It's slightly larger than handsets from competing manufacturers which match its feature set, but the added size buys one a full smartphone operating system. The design highlight, of course, is the swiveling keypad; yes, keypad.

The bottom half of the 3250 ingeniously swivels to one of three positions, rendering the device either in standard handset mode, camera mode or music mode at the flick of ones wrist. In either mode, the user interface lends itself well to the task at hand, and the music client appears to be that of the N91; quite a bit improved over that which has been bundled with recent N series phones includig the
N90 and N70.

Power users will be disappointed to learn that there is no 3G connectivity in the 3250 - but then again, users focusing heavily on music are unlikely to view that as a particular loss; for those who want the full package, there's always the Nokia N91. GSM/GPRS/EDGE 900/1800/1900 MHz remains present, though, as does Bluetooth and a stereo FM radio with support for Nokia's Visual Radio concept - the latter of which is rather useless outside Finland at the moment.

For music, the 3250 appears to be very well equipped although it doesn't support WMA DRM. MP3, standard WMA and eAAC+ formats are on the slate, and a microSD card expansion slot conveniently lets users purchase storage cards of up to 1 GB at sizes so small they're bound to get lost. At least one might argue it's better than the RS-MMC format Nokia has insisted on using thus far.

Then, of course, there's the camera. Although not equipped with Carl Zeiss optics and autofocus like the N90, still shots turned out pretty well - and the camera also shoots video with aplomb although the resolution is a poor CIF; 176 x 144 pixels is nothing to write home about. Its screen, on the other hand, is of the typical superb Nokia variety with a resolution of 176 x 220 pixels; bright and crisp, yet a tad pixelated as compared to the aforementioned N90.

A couple of other things which deserve mention include the bundling of the Nokia Stereo Headset HS-20, which converts the proprietary Pop-port of the 3250 into a use-all 3.5 mm earphone jack, and the apalling limitation of internal memory to 10 MB; ghastly. I just hope it comes bundled with a memory card, otherwise Nokia is in for a good bit of smacking.

Expected to arrive in the first quarter of 2006 at a price of €350 EUR, a brief first glance of the 3250 bodes well. Although Nokia has made numerous cracks at creating a 'consumer smartphone' before, the 3250 seems to be the first which balances out the advanced application set with enough consumer-appealing features to make average Joe look twice. It's a shame it lacks 3G, but I have a sneaky feeling the price tag wouldn't be as comfortable if this was included.

Source : InfoSyncWorld

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