Reviewed: Nokia 3250 music phone

This week we gave up waiting for the Nokia N91 to hit the shops and asked the Finns to send us their best MP3 phone instead. They sent us this, the Se

This week we gave up waiting for the Nokia N91 to hit the shops and asked the Finns to send us their best MP3 phone instead. They sent us this, the Series 60-powered 3250, replete with dedicated music player buttons and a twisting keypad that kept us occupied for an entire afternoon. Here are our first thoughts:

Looks and ergonomics

We like this phone. It makes us look popular, with friends and strangers alike crowding round to watch as its lower half twists from standard keypad (for phone calls) to a right angle (for camera action) and all the way round (for music player buttons).

Each twist also launches the phone straight into action, which saves fumbling around in the menus.

Nice actions aside, it’s a fairly handsome and comfy phone, though we’re not mad on the joystick and the whole thing’s a tad porky.

Music maestro?

Like Sony Ericsson’s Walkman mobs, the 3250 can  play MP3s and AACs, but it also goes one further and adds WMA support - provided none of your tunes are copy-protected.

This twisty-turny phone holds its own against its Sony Eric rivals, offering easy transfer software, browsing by artist, album and genre and a ‘mini player’ application that can be accessed anywhere in the phone’s menu system.

The only bum note? No standard 3.5mm jack – you have to listen through Nokia’s bundled hands-free.

Smart stuff

Elsewhere, the 3250 dispatches its smartphone duties with aplomb, merrily whizzing through thousands of contacts, uploading photos direct to Flickr with Shozu and taking well-exposed and sharp 2MP photos. Battery life’s okay, usually lasting two days with heavy usage.

Stuff Says

Put this up against the W800i and it’s a tough call: if you want to show off, pick the 3250 for its twisty-turny powers. Is size your priority? Plump for the tried-and-tested Sony Eric.

24th April update: our apologies for getting the codec info wrong in the original version of this article. It's now been amended.