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Nokia 8310 GSM Phone

October 20, 2001



In October, among other new mobile phones the market acquired a handset from Nokia - 8310. This brand-name has a lot of fans because of high quality products, and successful advertising and price policies. Appeared, the 8310 was selling out extremely fast. Take into account also, that it is overpriced now, and the stores get a great profit.

The Nokia 8310 is sequential of the 8210 which has been keeping a leading position in the class of dear phones despite new, advanced devices from other manufacturers. The 8310 is based on the 8210. External changes are slight: a removable front panel is made of semitransparent plastic; a screen edging is light silvery, almost white, like the rear panel; there is an interesting black jut on the rear side. First the Nokia 8310 will be produced in 3 colors, plus a user will be able to get additional panels of 6 colors (the photo is here). The key-pad can also be replaced with others (there are 5 different colors). The handset is comparatively small: 97 x 43 x 19 mm, similar to the 8210 (101.5 x 44.5 x 17.4 mm). Besides, the 8310 weighs only 5 g more (84 g). Now the phone can work from 100 to 400 hours in the standby mode, from 2.15 to 4 hours in the talk one, and up to 20 hours in the radio one. The phone is powered by a Li-Ion battery of 750 mAh. It takes about 2 hours for the battery to get charged. If you talk just 6 minutes a day the phone will operate 5 days successively. The operating time reduces quite greatly if you are going to listen to radio: reminders, an alarm-clock, wap (up to 5 minutes total), 26 minutes of talk, 2 hours of radio a day allow the phone to "live" 3 days - that's very good.

The weakest point of the phone is a key-pad. Minor triangular keys are positioned tightly, and it's quite difficult to press them. Besides, the "call" and "hang up" keys are located too close to the soft ones, and being in a hurry, it is easy to confuse keys.

I thought that maybe this phone suited excellently graceful woman fingers. But it was all the same: the key-pad was awfully inconvenient.

The on/off button is located on the side on top and is strongly recessed - you should either press it too toughly or use your nail to do it.

The display reminds me that of the 8210 (graphics, high-contrast, up to 5 lines of text). The backlight is now purple which gradually goes on and off (it really looks impressing). By the way, the keys' backlight is also bright enough.

Menu, functions and others

As far as functions are concerned it is one of the most advanced phones among expensive models. The menu is typical of Nokia; each item has its number, a fast navigation is provided. There are overall 12 items in the main menu, with Events and Radio being new. The Event item allows creating a respective list which can be afterwards separated or transferred to the calendar. The calendar offers several new features, for example, auto deletion of old notes after 1, 3 or 6 months.

Another new function is a time auto correction. Time can be set automatically through the network. Besides, a user will be informed on all current changes; but of course, you can disable this function.

The Radio item allows you to listen to an FM receiver which is equipped with stereo garniture. Frequencies can be set either automatically or manually. But when you input a frequency manually you have to confirm it or you won't hear anything. It is not convenient if you don't remember the frequency exactly. In the auto mode the phone searches stations within the range of 87.5 MHz - 108 MHz, and on finding, offers to save it or continue searching. The manual setting is meant for adjustment of the station picked up. The phone can store up to 20 stations. To switch from one to another you have to press the respective key on the garniture (stations change cyclically). The volume is load enough even for street. Sound is clear, not hoarse. But mind the cable of the garniture: do not let it kink up.

The Messages item hides a lot of possibilities for SMS. Unfortunately, if a line is longer than a screen width, it cuts off, and instead of the ending you will see dots. The phone can send images to other Nokia devices. The EMS support is still lacking. You can create your own folders for storing messages.

The phone book can house up to 500 entries with several fields for each, like in the Nokia 6210. You can enter up to 10 voice marks, create groups of abonents, adjust personal signals for particular groups, enable a filter for abonents etc. Besides, you can activate a profile other than the current one (they are 5). For this purpose choose the required profile, the Temporary and set time of disabling the profile.

In the Extra menu you can record up to 10 marks for a quick navigation. The dictaphone which is located there as well can help you make a 3-minute record, for example, during a telephone talk. Records can be viewed through, and unnecessary ones can be deleted. Here you can also find and a countdown timer and a stop-watch. A calculator is located separately.

The phone has up to 35 ring tones, among which are vibra-call matched ones. You can also create your own melodies or get them through SMS messages. The sound volume is enough to hear it from your bag if you are not in a noisy place. That is why you'd better wear it, for example, in pockets and enable the vibra-call. The essential part of the phone - games - are available through the net; besides, there are 3 preinstalled ones: Snake (v.2), Vapor and Pinball. The last one is really great.

The most interesting thing is General Radio Packet Service (GPRS) support. This technology is integrated for browsing wap resources through a GPRS connection. (the Nokia 8310 has no a cable for a data transfer and a connection to a PC, there is only an IR port). I tried to implement a GPRS connection through the port. The test was carried out with the Jornada 568 PDA under the Pocket PC2002, with all settings being the same as for the Ericsson R520m. The speed was enough only for viewing web-sites.

The sound quality, sensitivity and other parameters are comparable to those of the 8210, i.e. rather good.

Summary

The Nokia 8310 phone costs today some $400-450. In the near future its price will obviously drop but not much: approximately to $360-400. The characteristics and functions will definitely satisfy an advanced user. The worst drawback of the phone is the inconvenient key-pad (as for me, it outbalances all the advantages). Nevertheless, you would probably like the design. The "stuffing" is of really high quality. It is only pity that it doesn't come with the software. Today you can get it at http://forum.nokia.com/main/1,6668,5_5_17_2,00.html.

It is the first stylish phone with a good integrated radio. Other innovations are also interesting and useful. No doubt that the Nokia 8310 will become wide popular.

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