Nokia 3500 classic review: Classicaly simple

GSMArena team, 11 April 2008.
Pages: 1234567

Tags: Nokia, S40

Nokia 3500 classic 360-degree spin

Nokia 3500 classic is among the most compact phones on the market. It measures 107 x 45 x 13.1 mm and has the modest volume of 59cc. With such small dimensions it is hardly a surprise that it only weighs 81 grams. While none of those figures is record breaking, the result is more than decent.

Design and construction

Well, the name says it all. It might seem too conservative to some and we can see their point. Still we don't mind having it around. We should warn you though that most of the phone's appeal disappears the moment the screen lights up. The smallish display and the low resolution gives the phone a really cheap look, which we certainly don't welcome.

There's more to come (most of it negative) about the display later on. The earpiece is placed right above the screen. Below the display are the main controls and the alphanumeric keypad. On the sides of the D-pad are the two selection keys, as well as the Call and End keys. The whole keypad layout is quite simple, the clean cut alphanumeric buttons blending nicely with the control keys and the neat square D-pad.

Nokia 3500 classic
The earpiece right above the display

The sides of Nokia 3500 classic are almost keyless. The only exception is the volume rocker on the right side. It is very nicely placed at the exact position where you thumb will rest when holding the phone.

Nokia 3500 classic Nokia 3500 classic
The sides are really plain: the only thing to find is the volume rocker

The top of Nokia 3500 classic hosts the Power key. It's also used for alternating the ringing profiles. It is a bit hard to press but this is not necessarily a bad thing, as it minimizes accidental presses.

Nokia 3500 classic Nokia 3500 classic
The power key is on the top of Nokia 3500 classic

The bottom of the phone is rather crowded. Leftmost is the microphone pinhole. Next to it is the charger plug, immediately followed by the 2.5 mm standard audio jack. The USB port is the last thing to note here. Placing all those apertures at the bottom is a good design solution: they will be least visible and likely to spoil the looks of the device.

Nokia 3500 classic Nokia 3500 classic Nokia 3500 classic
The bottom hosts four apertures: mouthpiece, charger plug, 2.5mm audio jack and the USB slot

We find the opaque plastic used for the back of the phone (and all the sides for that matter) very pleasant to both look at and touch. It feels better than the glossy plastic on the front and is far less prone to fingerprints.

The things to mention on the back are the 2 megapixel camera lens and the loudspeaker grill. There is nothing to protect the camera lens from scratches. It seems the 2 megapixel shooter wasn't worth the effort.

Nokia 3500 classic Nokia 3500 classic
Two megapixel camera backstage

To open the Nokia 3500 classic battery cover you need to press the release key at the bottom and push upwards. The first few times we were kind of worried that the cover would break but it eventually got easier to open. We still find no reason to fear it getting loose with time - the locks are sturdy enough.

Nokia 3500 classic
Nokia 3500 classic inside out

Below the cover lies the 820 mAh Li-ion battery that powers the Nokia 3500 classic. Its talk time is quoted at 3 hours, while the stand-by is said to be 280 hours. Those numbers sound reasonable though not really impressive. In reality however the performance is quite good, keeping the handset going for about four day of moderate use with a single charge.

"...Nokia 3500 classic is among the most compact phones on the market. It measures 107 x 45 x 13.1 mm and has the modest volume of 59cc. With such small dimensions it is hardly a surprise that it only weighs 81 grams..."

We are generally pleased with the construction quality of Nokia 3500 classic. The quality of the casing is higher than the price tag suggests and the phone feels quite nice too. What bothers us is the fingerprint magnet surface of the front panel. You should be prepared to spend some time cleaning your Nokia 3500 classic if you want it in perfect shape.

Nokia 3500 classic Nokia 3500 classic Nokia 3500 classic
The phone feels nice in the hand, but is too prone to fingerprints

Next Page »

Pages: 1234567