To get it straight, Nokia 3500 classic is not the kind of handset to have you head-over-heels in love. It was never meant to be. What really matters in this classic from-the-head-not-the-heart scenario is ease of use, decent looks and passable performance. The less promises are made, the less heartbreak you have to deal with. Classic, ain't it?
Nokia 3500 classic is another face in the crowd of budget handsets. There's massive competition in this segment, which understandably has the highest sales. After all, most people don't really need an N95 or the like. They want handsets that are user-friendly, simple to use and good at the essentials (read: calls and messaging).
Talking about the competition of Nokia 3500 classic is risky: there are so many handsets we can easily miss. To begin with, Sony Ericsson K550 seems to bring an almost identical set of features. The slightly higher screen resolution and the Cyber-shot pedigree do make it a worthy rival.
Samsung E900 is also in for a fairly close match. It has the same price tag as the Nokia 3500 classic but offers a larger 1.96" display of QVGA resolution. This is a good enough reason for choosing it over the 3500 classic, let alone the touch-sensitive D-pad, which might seem very appealing to some. However, many users may find the Samsung E900 sliding design quite boring and outdated. While we're at it, Samsung E590 looks a downright favorite with its minimalist design. At pretty much the same cost it offers a surprisingly good 3-megapixel shooter.
Motorola L9 may also seem appealing to some with its slimmer body and a tad larger display of higher resolution. It also has RDS enabled for its radio. On the negative side, it is a bit heavier due to the metallic casing and its user interface is not the most user-friendly of all. Once again the choice boils down to priorities.
Finally, Nokia 3500 classic is in for some serious pressure within its own family. It has a bunch of siblings offering similar functionality. Nokia 3110 classic is almost identical to its bigger brother save for the 1.3 megapixel camera. It is also a bit cheaper, so you can save a few bucks if 2 megapixel photos aren't that important to you.
If the camera is no issue at all, Nokia 3109 classic seems the better, and even cheaper, choice. If you are after a handset with similar interface and willing to pay a little on top for a better screen and 3G, the extra bucks will be best spent on Nokia 6233. One of Nokia's bestsellers, the 6233 also comes with a camera that is capable of recording video clips in VGA resolution, albeit at 15fps. On the negative side, enhanced functionality pays the price of slightly larger size.
As you can see, no phone is perfect, especially in this price range. Picking the right one for you might seem a hard task but we'll try to make it a bit easier with this review. We're back after the jump.