Nokia 3120 Review – An Upmarket Budget Mobile Phone

Nokia 3120 Review: The Nokia 3120 was released in 2004 among a very busy period for Nokia as many different phone models were churned out to meet different market segments. Of the most notable of this period was the Nokia 6230, which would go on to be one of the most popular of the year.

The Nokia 3-series of phones could broadly be described as a little more budget-friendly, and aimed towards the younger side. The Nokia 3108 for instance, featured a directional gaming keypad which was almost unique at the time. The direct predecessor to the Nokia 3120 was the Nokia 3100 the year before, which featured a slimmer sized model in a rubberised coating together with a cover that glowed in the dark.

Another ‘fun’ version was the Nokia 3200, which featured a transparent housing complete with holographic design and another unique keypad layout.

The Nokia 3120 however, took on a different tone and was finished in a plain metallic style. A budget phone for grown-ups.

Full specifications here

There were few direct successors to this model of phone, as the 3-series naming system became quite untidy and was used for a variety of phones. The keypad design and metal finish did carry on and was seen in the likes of the Nokia 2310. Phone model numbers also began to be recycled after a while and the phone should not be confused with the Nokia 3120 classic.

Nokia 3120 Review: Pros

  • The phone design comes in a much higher quality than before, with a metallic look. The keypad was also a much better upgrade over the original Nokia 3100.
  • The phone also was one of the smaller ones available, at 84g weighing the same as the older but premium Nokia 8310.
  • The phone also had continuity with the basic operating system being recognisable to most Nokia users at the time. The Nokia 3120 added a few more games and some pre-loaded content.
  • Many accessories were also directly compatible, for instance the Nokia POP-port camera.

Nokia 3120 Review: Cons

  • Despite coming out over a year later, there were few improvements over the Nokia 3100 model apart from in the exterior. The size and quality of the screen remained the same.
  • The phone also came without some of the features that were creeping into other phones of this period, for example the FM Radio.
  • There was also no expandable memory, which limited the use of the camera if attached.
  • For younger users, the durability of the Nokia 3100 covers were much better, and the metallic finish of the Nokia 3120 was prone to scratching and rubbing off. Official covers only came in two colours.

Future Prospects and Current Pricing

The phone is quite a popular model and easy to attain even today. Quality will vary a bit as heavy usage took its toll on the chrome exteriors. I would also expect the more fun-based Nokia 3200 and Nokia 3220 to hold value a bit better than this.

Where can I get one?

Both Ebay and Amazon have second-hand and refurbished models.

Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.


Nokia 3120 Disassembly Guide

For instructions on how to take apart the Nokia 3120 for repair purposes, see this link.

Nokia 3120 Video Review

Here is a video review of the Nokia 3120 which shows off the features of this handset:

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