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printed October 24, 2014
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Review: Nokia 3220

Form Function - Basics Function - Extras Wrap-up  

For people with basic needs - calling, messaging, snapshots - the 3220 practically sells itself. While reviewing this unit, friends and strangers alike were easily convinced that this was the next phone for them. The small form factor, decent screen, camera and familiar interface are a sure hit.

The form factor, including the smart shells, is a welcome improvement over other recent models. Now that Nokia has returned to a fairly standard keyboard design, it is easy to use. The customizable and interchangeable shells guarantee the phone will appeal to people with a wide range of styles.

Smart shells like the electronic payment shell offers the exciting prospect of one day ditching your wallet, slimming down the number of things to carry in your pocket as well as more immediate fun options.

Unfortunately the "smart shells" also best illustrate the 3220's shortcomings. The phone is slow, especially when it comes to advanced tasks. These advanced features are also more difficult to use, requiring circuitous trips through a variety of menus and options.

Series 40, the interface on the 3220, has been around for quite some time, and as new features are added they are simply piled on to the existing applications and menus. By doing this Nokia is sacrificing usability, one of their strong points, at the expense of new features. Despite this, Series 40 remains one of the most intuitive phone interfaces for most uses.

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