Nokia 3120 classic review: Mid-range fighter

GSMArena team, 24 June 2008.
Pages: 12345678

Tags: Nokia, S40

Penny-pinching retail package

The retail package of Nokia 3120 classic is downright modest. In fact, the handset comes in one of the smallest boxes we've seen and we weren't really surprised to find only a couple of goodies hiding inside.

All in all, a DC charger and a handsfree set complete the list of accessories you get with this classic shaped device. Not that we have expected miracles in this price range but a medium-sized memory card still would've been nice. Not to mention that the handsfree remote and headphones are not separable unlike most higher-end models.

The other items in the box are a few quick-start guides and leaflets.

Nokia 3120 classic 360-degree spin

The Nokia 3120 classic measures of 111 x 45 x 13 mm make up a volume of 60 cc. Those numbers yell compact and the phone is perfect to fit in any pocket. The completely plastic body gives the handset a weight of 85 g and while it may feel a little cheap it makes sure the 3120 classic won't be a burden.

Design and construction

Designwise Nokia 3120 classic is all the way short of impressive. And no, we wouldn't call it ugly either. You'll do best to take a look at the photos and judge for yourselves.

In the upper left corner of the front panel of Nokia 3120 classic we find the secondary video call camera. Next to it is the earpiece. The 16M-color QVGA screen and the sweet looking keypad will get their due attention a little later in the review.

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Video call camera and earpiece grill

The top of the handset hosts the power key, which is also used for changing the ringing profiles. It is a bit too flat but its ample size scores some usability points.

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Power key on top

The left side of Nokia 3120 classic features no controls and functional elements. The right side almost answers the same description, save for the volume rocker placed near the top.

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The left side features no functional elements Volume rocker on the right

There are several apertures at the bottom of the handset. The microUSB slot is here, hidden under a small plastic lid. Next to it are the lanyard eyelet, the charger plug and the 2.5mm standard audio jack. 2.5mm jacks aren't nearly as widespread as the 3.5mm variety but there are still enough headsets and adapters available.

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Four plugs at the bottom

Rearside of Nokia 3120 classic are the 2 megapixel camera and the LED flash. Slightly above them is the loudspeaker grill.

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2 megapixel camera, LED flash and the loudspeaker grill backstage

The back panel is released by pressing the latch at the bottom and lifting the whole piece up. It's easier said than done and you end up wondering if the piece is going to survive it. We didn't manage to break it but you get the idea of how displeased we were with the opening mechanism.

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Nokia 3120 classic inside out

The microSD card slot is under the back panel and this is not really the most comfortable location. It does benefit the design but with the just described opening routine we simply couldn't appreciate it. At least the slot is hot-swappable.

Good news for the Nokia 3120 classic users, the handset had no trouble handling an 8GB memory card. It does slow down as the card fills up with a large amount of small files but it's really not that irritating.

The other point of interest under the battery cover is quite obviously the BL-4U Li-Ion battery. The 1000 mAh unit is quoted at 290 hours of stand-by and 3 hours and 30 minutes of talk time. In reality the battery turned out one of the most pleasant surprises about Nokia 3120 classic. It lasted for 6 days of some sparing usage in a 3G network, using the additional features (camera and Bluetooth) more than actually making actual calls.

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The BL-4U battery is quite a performer

As a whole, we are happy with the construction quality of the Nokia 3120 classic. It is completely plastic but the materials don't appear to have been compromised and there were no creaks and wobbles detected. Lightweight as it is, the phone feels nice in hand and operating it is a piece of cake.

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The phone sticks nicely to the hand

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