Nokia 3650 Review – Uniquely Designed Camera Phone

Nokia 3650 Review: Released in 2003, there probably will never be a phone like the Nokia 3650 again. This was the successor to the Nokia 7650 – a very ambitious phone by Nokia incorporating a slide keypad, a camera and also a large screen. It also ran the Series 60 software, which was distinctively different from the regular Series 30/40 for other Nokia phones. This took advantage of the larger screen and offered an grid-based navigation plus further applications.

The most striking upgrade of the phone was the keypad. This was laid out in an unorthodox format, with the claim that this layout made it easier to text. Whether this is true or not is debateable, but the truth is in this period, Nokia were highly experimental in their design. With a nod to how expensive mobile phones were now desired by younger markets, the phone also featured Xpress-on covers which made it as easy to personalise as any other Nokia handset.

This is not to say that business users were left out. The phone featured the same capabilities of the Nokia 7650, but with the addition of a memory card slot was capable of storing much more data. The camera was upgraded and also shot video.

Full specifications here.

As one of the top-end phones in the Nokia armoury at the time it is no surprise that this was popular, although the circular keypad design was short-lived. An upgraded model – the Nokia 3660 came out at the end of 2003 with a slightly toned-down format, but these were replaced by the Nokia 6600 which featured a standard layout.

Nokia 3650 Review Pros:

  • The phone had a unique design which was either loved or hated, but there was a practical nature – a large keypad layout meant lots of space for additional shortcut buttons.
  • The phone was around the same size as the Nokia 7650 but at 130g was much lighter.
  • The camera was upgraded, although not in resolution. It could shoot small videos at the VGA resolution.
  • Internal memory stayed the same, but the addition of an MMC card slot meant that this could be expanded.

Nokia 3650 Review Cons: 

  • The phone was relatively large, particularly compared to other camera phones of the same era like the Nokia 7250.
  • The screen itself was not upgraded since the Nokia 7650, which featured the same size and resolution.
  • Maximum memory card size was 128MB, so the handset was not quite suitable for videos or music.
  • The keypad design would take some getting used to and was not for everyone.

Current Pricing and Future Prospects

This is quite a rare phone nowadays, although not nearly as rare as some of the other unique designs of this era. The market generally loves these though, and phones in good working condition should have no problem finding buyers.

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 3650 Disassembly

If you are interested in taking apart the Nokia 3650 for repair purposes, here is a useful link.

Nokia 3650 Video Review

Here is a video review of the Nokia 3650 which covers most of its main features:

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