Nokia seem to make a phone for every occasion these days, be it music, photography, organising, and sometimes something to make calls on. The Nokia 3230 is the phone for those looking for a large screen by which to see everything. But getting past the aesthetics, can the 3230 be everything you want it to be?

The large 65K 176 x 208-pixel resolution screen certainly dominates the design, and its hard not to notice it over anything else this phone offers. The keyboard has been crunched because of it and even the 1.3 megapixel camera on the rear seems to have been designed to play second fiddle.

Therefore, it's lucky that the screen is bright and clear, not as clear as we might have liked mind you (262k colours please) but enough to give you a chance to see what you are doing without the need to wear glasses.

Below the screen is a combination of menu buttons. However, their awkward layout means that sometimes the choices on screen aren't that clear when related to the buttons. This is because Nokia, it seems, has felt the need to cram so many buttons into such a small space, beneath this is the keypad and all of them can be covered by a thumb in one fell swoop, it's that small.

The keypad isn't helped either by the silver coloured keys' numbers which are backlit in white instead of print-stamped in black. While competent texters will be fine, those still learning the keypad may have some difficulty as you result in tilting the phone back and forth to get find the right key.

Get inside the unit and the Nokia runs on the Series 60 Symbian operating system. It's a fairly common OS within the Nokia range and anyone used to using a Nokia will feel right at home here.

The phone is packed with applications, from games to Push To Talk and there is bound to be something that you need or can use. Once you've taken a picture with the in-built camera you can then opt to edit the image with the included image editor. Annoyingly you can't go straight from one to the other at the press of the button.

The picture editor allows you to have control over basic editing features, crop, brightness, auto fix, rotate and even add a frame to the image. Once done you can then send it, again not within the program, to the Kodak Picture service where you can order prints or buy images if yours aren't up to scratch. While the idea is a good one, it's not something we would recommend with a 1.3 megapixel camera.

Of course with such a large screen the temptation to watch video footage on the device is there, and that temptation is fuelled by the inclusion of Real's RealPlayer.


As with all Nokia handsets at the moment, the phone sets out to offer one thing and really one thing only. In the case of the Nokia 3230 it's the large screen. Yes it does other things like offer a 1.3 megapixel camera, Bluetooth, Visual Radio, Games and all the other stuff, but really its aim in life is to offer that screen.

So does it do the job? Yes and no. The screen is certainly large and offers a clear picture, but at the cost of a blood sucking battery and a 3G-sized handset.

With average use, using it as our only means of communication with the outside world we had the beep, beep of low power within 24 hours. This means a daily charge would be recommended.

If you are willing to go back ten years in battery terms and feed it power every night and put up with a handset that is larger than most, then so be it, for us the power demands and size are a little to rich for our blood.