Nokia 3250 review: Rubik's phone

Michal Sedlák, 05 April 2006. Read the original review at
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Good camera, bad macro

Let's approach to the built-in camera now and to the photo application alone, in particular. When you take pictures with Nokia 3250, hold it horizontally, just like you would do with a common digital camera. The viewfinder is big enough. It does not cut images, but shows them exactly the way they are going to appear in the final picture. In the upper left corner you will see a number indicating how many pictures can still be taken according to the free space both in the phone's memory and on the memory card.

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Built-in camera lens

On the right you will find the zoom indicator. The camera is equipped with a full-function 4x digital zoom that works in 10 steps. The zoom does not crop images. Half zoom-in is quite efficient (see pictures). Images loses quality when the highest zoom-in degree is applied. That is why I recommend you first to take a standard picture and then cut it out in a special application for picture modifications supplied in the phone. Zoom is controlled by either the joystick, or the forward and backward buttons of the music player.

Camera interface

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Without zoom • half-step zoom • full-degree zoom

Nokia 3250
Half-way zoom at a short distance

Exposition in Nokia 3250 is not possible to compensate, which is a pity. The sky was quite cloudy when I was taking the following sample photos, but even so the camera would over expose. I simply cannot get rid of the impression that pictures are misty, but I guess this goes on account of the color performance, as details are depicted well. As a matter of fact, much better than in Nokia 6280, for example.

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Nokia 3250 Nokia 3250 Nokia 3250
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More sample pictures in full resolution

White color balance is applied in four modes: automatic, sunny, fluorescent lamp and electric lamp. In the menu you will also find a self-release option that offers waiting time of 10, 20 and 30 seconds. Sequent capture is available too. As to the night mode, this rather increases pictures' noise level than make them brighter.

Camera settings

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Standard mode • night mode

The miserable part here is text. It is not legible no matter what distance I capture it from. Following logic you can suppose the same evaluation hold true for any closely situated object. No doubt a macro mode would have come in handy. If you are a rather artistic type you may want to make use of other color tones like sepia, black & white, and negative.

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Do not lose your time trying to capture close objects

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or text

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Standard color tone • sepia • black and white • negative

The crank of the keypad is interesting. Due to it the phone offers a very comfortable hand-hold. Be careful however not to shade the camera lens with your fingers. Unfortunately, the lens is not protected against damage while inactive.

The camera menu is quite problematic to control as the joystick is difficult to access when the bottom part is rotated. On the top of it, it is pretty difficult to press. From the camera application you can go straight into the Gallery. Pictures are opened in a landscape mode so you will not have to turn the handset back to its standard orientation. Pictures are saved in JPG format. They have EXIF information and are generally about 500 KB begin size. Along with full resolution of 1600 x 1200 pixels the camera offers two additional sizes of 1152 x 864 and 640 x 480 pixels respectively. The camera shoots videos in 3GP format and in resolution of 176 x 144 pixels as well, but these are suitable to use in multimedia messages at the utmost.

Picture gallery


Video recording and modification options

Pretty good radio

The radio is "Visual", that is, it is able to receive data along with standard radio broadcast. It works with standard FM bands as well. The quality of the broadcast reception is surprisingly good. The radio is able to permanently memorize up to 20 stations. It searches signal lightning fast. A strong radio broadcast signal comes out almost immediately after one of the browsing buttons is pressed.

FM radio environment

Of course, sound is not as good as the one of music files, but its quality is satisfactory. The cable of the earphones also serves as antenna and is thus fundamental for work with radio. Nokia 3250 is able to catch radio signal through a 3.5mm jack too. Radio can be minimized. In such case broadcasted station or frequency (if the station has not been saved into phone's memory) is displayed in stand-by mode. I wish somebody finally implanted an equalizer in radio application. Nevertheless, Nokia 3250's radio is pretty good.

Nokia 3250
Standard earphones with a remote control on a cable

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