The Nokia 3650

The Nokia 3650

Finally a multi-function cellphone that works!

Up until now I have not been a big fan of the multi-function phones that have been released. Problems include add-ons for some features instead of built-in, proprietary programming languages or development kits, poor/slow/restricted internet access, expensive, poor battery life, the list of bad things about previous phones goes on and on. This phone seems different after using it for a week. Here are a list of the major features and how I feel about them:

1) Built-in camera with 640x480 resolution. High resolution images are 40k jpgs and standard images are 7k jpgs. You are much more likely to actually use this feature when it is not an add-on.
2) The full color 176x204 screen is a joy and even works well in bright sunlight. The backlight works well and doesn’t seem to drain the batteries much.
3) Email/Y!M/AIM access. These all work pretty well. Any image or recording can be sent directly out via email to people in your address book.
4) Internet access. Pretty speedy access especially if you’ve got WAP sites or are using Google’s WML proxy. They could add their own WML proxy automatically and I think that would improve the support by quite a bit. I might try and set something like this up at home. This is full internet access, no restrictions to their own sites.
5) Bluetooth and infrared support. The only thing I am missing here is iSync support. I currently can’t use all the features that are available on my Mac but this should be fixed with a firmware upgrade on the phone.
6) Video recording. It would be slightly better if it recorded sound at the same time.
7) Sound recording. This works really well and you can use anything you record for a custom ring that you can associate to a profile or to an individual in your contacts.
8) MIDI playback and composing. Pretty neat if you want to author a song for your phone but don’t want a straight recording.
9) Games. Lots of games. Some of them even multiplayer between phones. I’d like to see some internet enabled multiplayer games for people to play between phones over GPRS. Shouldn’t be too hard.
10) Java MIDlet support for running programs designed for this form factor without changing the code.
11) Runs the Symbian OS that has not crashed (nor has any application crashed) since I got the phone a week ago.
12) Excellent battery life. We used it all day for games, pictures, sending emails back home, and talking on the phone (!) and it still had battery life left.
13) AT&Ts Wireless coverage (Next Generation network) seems to be good for majors population centers.
14) Built-in speakerphone. If you are on conference calls like I am all the time then this is perfect for you. I suspect it has some sort of digital feedback cancellation because it appeared to be full-duplex.

This phone has been a joy to use and a couple of friends of mine that were on the trip to New Orleans have either already ordered their own phone or will be ordering soon. As for my plan, I think its about $40/month for 500 minutes + $20/month for 8M of GPRS traffic + $0.006/K over that.

So, I give it a 9/10. The only things that could put it at 10/10 are a few little bonuses like a built-in WML proxy on the internet access and bluetooth support that works flawlessly with the Mac (not sure whose fault this is).