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August 17, 2003

Nokia 3650: Da bomb

I've been using my new Nokia 3650 for more than a week now, and am very happy with it.

If the SonyEricsson P800 is currently God's phone, then the 3650 clearly answers the question, "WWJD?", or "What would Jesus dial?"

Compared to my previous phones, the most notable new feature is the camera, so let's look at it first.

Here's a full resolution, highest quality shot, taken by Sophie, who may turn out to be the family's best photographer (sorry for the subject matter). Update: I've scaled it down a bit to fit on the page. Click through for the full-size image:

The camera also features a portrait mode, which takes 80 x 96 thumbnails you can easily attach to your contacts, so their face shows up when they call. Here's an example of one of them (again, sorry for the subject matter):

I haven't carried my Sidekick since I got the phone, but it's a significantly different tool. Even with the Nokia's excellent T9 predictive text input (which lets me punch in 7-4-2-8-8-7-3, and have the phone suggest I mean 'picture'), it's significantly faster to enter text through the Sidekick's thumb board.

The Sidekick's e-mail support is superior out of the box, as well. T-Mobile's service for the 3650 doesn't include an e-mail address, and their preferred method for subscribers to view e-mail is through a somewhat clunky WAP service, with SMS text messages alerting you to new e-mails. Update: I'm wrong about this: I tested it with a tmail address, like the Sidekick, but they now use [email protected] as the phone's e-mail address, and you can send a full length e-mail to the phone. I like the SMS alert enough to use it on my work e-mail address (which is relatively spam-free), but the level of spam I get, and the fact that excessive (more than 300 monthly) SMS messages are charged, has led me to leave my personal e-mail account out of the mix, for now at least. On the other hand, the Nokia has terrific support for outbound e-mail, and the built-in camera means it's easy to quickly generate a reasonably high-quality snapshot and send it to the picture's subject or someone else.

I've also ditched my Palm VIIx, in favor of the contacts and calendar built in to the 3650. The contacts sync completely with Apple's iSync:

The calendar, on the other hand, isn't officially supported with iCal (yet?). There's a hack to enable the phone, but in my experience, it brought all the calendar data down, but then won't synchronize, giving a NSCFCalendar error. Since I got the phone, I've been entering appointments on the phone, since I don't use iCal that frequently. I'm sure that will change when iSync completely supports the phone.

As a phone, the 3650 excels. Reception is significantly better than my Sidekick, and at least on par with my old SprintPCS Motorola TimePort. The sound quality is excellent, there's a speakerphone and voice dialing, and a hands-free headset was included with my phone.

I'm paying for T-Mobile's wireless data option, which is $19.99/month for unlimited data access. I've used the phone as a modem, but I'm not sure if I was taking advantage of GPRS or not. T-Mobile offers a Windows application that hides the settings for GPRS, and I'll set it up on a PC and duplicate its settings before my first road trip with the phone.

One of the things I like best about the phone is that it's part of a well-supported software platform, Symbian. That means that there's a huge library of software available for the phone, from GameBoy emulators to Remote Desktop Control software to control your PC.

Good 3650 links page

August 17, 2003 in Phone tech | Permalink


I do think that when my Sidekick contract is up, the Nokia 3650 is where I'm heading. It will definitely suck to give up the nice keyboard. However, I can't deal with the closed-platform of the Sidekick anymore; I like the freedom do to things with the hardware I assume I own. T-Mobile/Danger have already demonstrated that we don't own anything by not YET providing any sync capabilies, and obliterating the games from the Color Sidekicks over the air without warning. I can't deal with that anymore. It was a device with great potential that hasn't been allowed to grow up to into it.

Hopefully deals like the one on Amazon.com (free after rebates!) are still available around October 1st, but I doubt it. Unfortunately, I still see myself feeding T-Mobile since they're the only game in town with the 3650 that actually provide unlimited data plans at a reasonable cost.

I also think the Treo 600 is looking pretty good, but it's going to come out too expensive, and with Palm OS 6 looming on the horizon promising a revitalization of Palm OS, it doesn't seem as compelling to invest in Palm OS 5 when Handspring doesn't have a history of providing upgrades...

Anywho, what you've said seems to help justify my own plans :) I really did want to have a mobile camera too. The Sidekick's camera is so crappy, and a DONGLE, that I just never considered it an option. Having actual software choices would be great, too.

Posted by: teeb! at Aug 18, 2003 1:21:33 AM

I like the subject matter!!

No apologies necessary!!

Posted by: Charlie at Aug 19, 2003 12:42:29 PM

hi! i saw this website while i was surfing the net. i read you wer satisfied with your nokia 3650. I have the same phone and well i have no problems with it until 1 error shows up. i just like to ask if you have encountered this kind of error "App. close mce DBMS-Server 3" if so, how you get rid of it? that error goes out everytime im creating an sms and add a receipient. hope you can help me. im not comfortable usign my phone with errors.

if you have time pls email your response to: [email protected]

thank you ang God speed!

Posted by: Jayson Domingo at Aug 12, 2005 7:52:00 AM


Posted by: EDI at Oct 10, 2005 12:53:06 PM