Nokia 3510i Review – Groundbreaking Colour Mobile Phone

Nokia 3510i Review: The Nokia 3510i was released in 2002 and had some big shoes to fill: the Nokia 3310 had become the benchmark for what people had expected from a mobile phone. The Nokia 3410 was much of a stopgap, but this phone was eagerly anticipated, with many users gaining a colour screen for the very first time.

The phone actually had an earlier model which came out several months beforehand. The original Nokia 3510 featured an identical design – all accessories were compatible between the two models – except this featured a monochrome, not colour screen. In the event it appears that most people were happy to wait for the ‘i’ version as this was the better seller by some margin.

Cosmetically we saw some changes in the design of the phone. A more angular design was used for the buttons, and this was the first time a semi-transparent chassis was used, which allowed the addition of extra lights.

Full specifications here.

The phone produced a few variants. The rare Nokia 3530 was a similar shape with a keypad designed more for gaming, but the later Nokia 3200 was a more budget version. In our view here the path converged for the standard (Nokia 3510) and premium (Nokia 7210) and the later Nokia 6230 was considered the update for both.

Nokia 3510i Review: Pros

The colour screen is the main draw to this model, which offers a distinct advantage over earlier models, although the resolution is inferior to that of the Nokia 7210. The colour screen brings another dimension to the graphics and games on the phone.

The additional chassis design allows for extra lighting effects, although in practice the light shows do not have any practical use.

Gaming potential increased on this handset with the addition of Java support which allows for the download of games (subject to compatibility and space on the phone). A separate gaming cover with different keypad was available for this.

The phone remained compatible with the models before it, the 3310/3410 batteries all worked in this model.

Polyphonic ringtones came with with this model (and the Nokia 7210): this allowed a greater depth of sound.

Nokia 3510i Review: Cons

The design was not for everyone, and the bright orange chassis meant that the look was not harmonious with many different colours of cover.

The space available on the handset was pretty paltry and did not allow for many other things to be installed on it.

One of the downsides of the colour screen was the battery life, which was much shorter on the 3510i than the 3510.

Current Pricing and Future Prospects

These were amazingly popular handsets, the 3510i version more so than the 3510. As a result there are plenty of phones available on the second hand market and with a greater number in their original housings. Balancing this out is a healthy demand for these phones, so there will always be purchasers at lower price points.

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.

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