Nokia 9300i Review – Vintage Business Mobile Phone

Nokia 9300i Review: The Nokia 9300i came from a fine family of mobile phones from Nokia. The ‘Communicator’ series dates back to 1998 with the release of the original Nokia 9000 Communicator, and although this does not officially have the ‘Communicator’ tag in its name, it bears all the hallmarks of one: a large screen (for the time) and proper QWERTY keypad made possible with a folding phone.

If it could be possible, this model was a ‘budget’ release of the Nokia 9500 Communicator, although budget was perhaps not the correct word as the phone was still extremely expensive. The stats of the phone were still high-end, although the Nokia 9500 trumped these models by virtue of a bigger screen and also a camera. Whilst the Nokia 9300 and Nokia 9300i were released separately by a number of months, there was little difference between them cosmetically. The Nokia 9300i did support Wi-Fi connections and this would give it a better future-proofing as these were becoming standard all over the country.

Notably, the Nokia 9300 series also represented something of a success for Nokia. The Communicator phones were always bulky and brick-like. The original 9000 weighed in at almost 400 grams – extremely heavy for a mobile phone. By contrast, the Nokia 9300 weighed 173g with little sacrifice in terms of screen or keypad.

Full specifications here.

This was one of the last examples of Nokia foldable phones. The Nokia E90 Communicator had a similar folding style, but full keypads then slid out from underneath the phone (seen in Nokia N97 or Nokia E75) although then even these became much more rare with the advent of better touchscreens.

Nokia 9300i Review: Pros

The dual screens gave much utility to the phone, as a full numeric keypad was on the front. This allowed usage of the phone without having to open it.

The keypad is large compared to almost every other mobile device, which makes typing in emails much more efficient.

The phone software also went further than other standard Nokia models. In a throwback to the Psion organiser days there were several functions tailored to the business user including more organiser functions and document editing. This was not as difficult as it sounded, as the large internal screen was orientated the correct way.

The phone also featured a standard MMC card slot which allowed up to 2GB of files: ideal for carrying video.

Nokia 9300i Review: Cons

Whilst the phone was cheaper than the Nokia 9500, it was still pricy and out of many casual users range.

The internal screen was not a touchscreen and navigation could be tricky. There was a semi-joystick used for the mouse pointer but this could be slow and cumbersome.

The phone also was missing a camera, restricting the potential usage.

Current Pricing and Future Prospects

All of the Nokia Communicator series are impressive phones and command relatively higher prices. Being the cheapest in the range the Nokia 9300/9300i is probably the easiest to get at the lowest price although it may be possible to see price appreciation as these become more rare.

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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