Product Type: Nokia mobile phones
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ALL SINGING WITHOUT THE DANCING
Nokia 3109 classic
Author Name: mdstone
Nokia 3109 classic
Advantages: cheap, easy to use, good battery life
Disadvantages: low built - in memory, no camera
I would like to start by adding that his mobile phone was not a personal choice of mine as I acquired it as a work phone when the contract expired on my previous one.
It is probably one of the most modern basic phones on the market but does everything you need it to. There are two types of model for this phone, the 3109 and 3109c (classic) with the only difference being that the 3109c model doesn't come with a camera, so if you need one then I would recommend getting the non classic model.
Fitting the Battery & Sim Card
The first thing I needed to do out of the box was to fit the battery and Sim card. There is a plastic button that you have to push up which allows you to remove the back case to gain access to where these components need to be installed. Simply undoing the metal clip for the Sim card compartment allowed me to easily install the Sim which clicks securely in place (making sure the chips are facing the connectors). The battery is a simple 2 second install as it will only fit in one way by lining up the metal pins and pushing into place.
The Micro SD card was a bit harder to fit as it took me a few minutes to figure out how to release the metal clip (push down then lift) and then you have to make sure you slot it in the clip rather than place it underneath and close it. I'm sorry but I never read manuals unless I have to!
By then re-attaching the back cover and powering on the mobile I was ready to go. You are then greeted by a familiar Nokia handshake logo with that annoying power-on tone which was the first thing I decided to disable in the phone settings.
Look & Feel
The phone itself is quite a slim simplistic model (108.5 x 45.7 x 15.6mm) that is grey in colour with curved edges which fits perfectly in your hand weighing 89g that I find reasonably light.
The buttons on the front of the phone are large enough for even the most large-fingered person to use. The side of the phone
Pictures of Nokia 3109 classic
Nokia 3109 classic Nokia 3109 classic
Nokia 3109 classic front and side view.
has basic buttons to increase tone or caller volume with an infra-red sensor on the opposite side. At the bottom of the phone you have the usual plug for the battery charger to be inserted along with a USB adaptor which is hidden away behind its pull-out cover.
The menu system on the phone is very easy to navigate (grouped like a Windows Control Panel) although I preferred to customise the menu layout into columns which I find much easier to use.
The coloured screen resolution is only 128 x 160 but this is quite large for such a basic phone.
This model has a standard 9MB user storage built into the phone which I find is quite poor unless you add a Micro SD card (up to a maximum of 2GB) as you'll end up filling this in no time at all without the added storage media.
The alarm clock function has the added feature of repetition days so that you don't have to set the alarm manually everyday for the same time which is great if you use your phone to wake you up in the morning for work. Alarm tones can be set to play an MP3 tone stored on your handset, which is a common but nice addition.
Although I do not have Internet access as part of my contract, the phone does have a built-in Web browser to allow you to browse the Internet using GPRS and set bookmarks. There is a history option to view recently viewed pages but this is as far as the Internet options go.
You also need the Internet access enabled and configured on the phone for the E-mail facility to work. You can configure this for IMAP4, POP3 and SMTP but it has a very basic layout, unlike specific e-mail products on the market such as a Blackberry or HTC Touch. As far as a basic phone is concerned, it will still allow you to read and write e-mails but you would have to scroll down a lot on the page when reading an e-mail as the screen is only small.
Media Player will allow you to play MP3s direct from your phone or memory stick continuously without interruption so you can use other functions and still listen to music at the same time. Strangely there is no stop button on the media player as you have to select the pause button and then exit out of the application to cancel playing a track. The quality of the speaker output is quite decent compared to other similar priced phones on the market. I have also compared this to a much more expensive phone and it beats this for quality output hands-down.
Media Recorder with save function gives you the ability to record anything you like for up to a total of 60 minutes. I found it was tricky at first hand finding out where the saved files were being stored but once you discover where they are they are easily accessed from a separate menu. If you do install a memory card then you need to change your save option to point to this device.
There are a total of 6 profile settings for customisation based on your environment (i.e. setting it to 'Outdoor' to make everything louder and 'Meeting' to set to silent) and 5 pre-set themes to change the look and style of the menu system. I found this to be a god send as the default theme isn't very attractive to look at and use.
In addition to MP3, the phone will also play AAC, AAC+, AMR-NB, eAAC+, MIDI, Mobile XMF, MP4, SP-MIDI, True tones and WMA. You will probably find that you won't even use any other formats other than MP3 and WMA for music tracks & tones but the phone is compatible with them if required. Even though it will play MP4, the quality of the video isn't very good and detail can be hard to see.
The 3 Built-in games will keep you amused during boredom for all of a few minutes. Snake 3 and Sudoku are half decent games to play but the Soccer 3D is useless and difficult to control. You can download other games to the phone which you have to pay for if you wish.
Sport updates such as football, rugby, cricket, racing, tennis, golf and motor sport are available but I have never used this function as it costs to receive updates. It's a shame the provider doesn't do more to give us this sort of function for free as I would probably use it a lot to check football score updates. I'm unsure as to how fast these updates actually are but I would imagine they are no more than a few minutes outside real-time.
Bluetooth is probably the best feature the phone has to offer as you can pair it with a hands-free kit in your car or connect to other mobile phones to transfer data. All the Bluetooth settings are in the connectivity section of the phone in one place so it only took a few minutes to set this up with a name and enable it. You do have an Infra-red option on the phone but this is now old technology and very slow. It does however allow backwards compatibility with regards to transferring data to and from older phones which is always nice to have.
Picture messages can be sent and received from the phone, although if you are with Orange you need to enable this feature. You would also need to make sure you have expanded memory as the 9MB onboard storage mentioned previously is quite easily filled.
Making a Call
When pressing the numeric pad on the phone when dialing, the numbers are displayed in a very large and clear font on the screen which makes it ideal for those with poor vision. Pressing the green phone button will then attempt to connect to your dialed number giving you the added option of turning on the loudspeaker once the phone starts ringing (which is clear with no muffled sound). I have found that although the speaker on the phone is good quality, you have to hold the handset in a way that ensures the speaker is actually right on your ear, otherwise you cannot hear the person on the other line very well. The majority of the time however this is fine without any problems.
If you want to use the re-dial feature then this can be done in seconds by firstly pressing the green phone button to access your call history then selecting the required number with the direction pad and selecting the green phone button once more to connect to that number.
Arguably the most important aspect of all, this phone is not very battery intensive unless you are playing music for hours on end. If you charge the phone to full capacity it will guarantee to last you about 5-6 days before you need to charge it again. Talk time will allow up to 4 hours, but the stand-by time will allow up to 16 days. The main screen on the phone will always give you a battery life indicator in the form of a green bar; when it gets empty it needs to be charged again.
Don't get me wrong, there are hundreds of better models out there on the market but if you want something cheap that can make a call, play MP3s and have the ability of Bluetooth then this is the phone for you.
If you want something to play videos and use on a daily basis for accessing Internet and E-mail then you should stay clear from this phone.
The phone has been very reliable over the past few months I've used it with no crashes, locking up or turning itself off when in use.
The major downfall of this model is obviously not having a camera but I guess they created the classic model to lower the retail price of the phone as it would contain fewer components making it cheaper to manufacture.
Depending on where you go you can pick this phone up for around £30-60 pay-as-you-go. It's probably not worth having this phone on a contract for personal use as you wouldn't be getting a good investment or benefit from it but it would be ideal for a company looking to multi-purchase a well priced phone containing all the features they would need.
Summary: A cheap phone with plenty of features that comes with no strings attached. Not ideal for video.
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