The Nokia 3200 was released towards the backend of 2003, when the design of mobile phones really started to take off. Nokia had been experimenting with unique keypad layouts for some time as we could see from models such as the Nokia 7210 and Nokia 3650, and this time it was the turn of the chassis to have some attention. The earlier Nokia 3100 had started on this, with the housing getting a rubberised feel.
This was one of the only phones which could have a claim of a totally customisable look. The phones housing was transparent, and holographic inserts were used instead to create a different look. In practice, anything could be used as long as the cut-out was made to the correct size. This allowed the phone a distinct fashion advantage over the competition, which typically featured fewer opportunities to customise the look of the handset.
Internally the phone featured much the same internals of the popular Nokia 7250i which was released earlier that year, including the integrated camera.
It was perhaps a shame, but it seemed that this experiment was not a massive success: the phone did spawn an upgrade in the Nokia 3220, but after this the line went dead and transparent housings were stopped in favour of metallic and full coloured ones.
Pros of Nokia 3220:
The design of the phone could be customised heavily, and the transparent housing allowed any media of the right size to be used. One could use a cut-out of a loved one, for instance.
The price point was lower than that of the Nokia 7250 (although not as low as the budget phones) and the feature set was much the same. From here on in we also saw the introduction of many useful features such as the flashlight.
The phone also gave more flexibility to the speakerphone, which allowed radio to be played over it (although a headset still had to be connected).
Cons of Nokia 3220:
The keypad was unique, and some found this hard to fathom with larger gaps between the keys, which resulted in smaller keys and harder typing.
As with many phones of this time, this did not feature a memory card slot which made storage difficult, especially with photos. On-board memory is 1MB.
The camera is much the same as seen in the Nokia 7250 with a CIF resolution: quite poor and easily improved upon.
Snake was dropped from the roster of games, although the keypad may have made this a bit trickier to play.
Future Prospects and Current Pricing
Although the Nokia 3200 did not fare as well as other phones in the era, its price punches above its weight for older handsets. Part of this is due to its relatively rare status, another part may be that the design of the phone is unique and there would be no issues in identifying it. Other accessories like the cover cutter are also rare and would attract interest.
Where can I get one?
Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.
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