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I got this phone back in 2006 on pay as you go as I didn't want to renew my contract. I like Nokia's - they are simple to use and in my experience - they just work.
The phone is pretty chunky by today's standards but back then it was pretty small. It's pleasing to the eye - there is nothing unattractive about it. It's not too heavy - especially by today's standards I'd say it's very light. The keypad has a standard layout and the buttons are large enough to use and I never had a problem with them sticking or the letters/numbers wearing off.
The battery always lasted a long time but then I do stick my phone on charge every night so that's probably not a great indication as to how long the battery would last if it wasn't charged every night.
It has a 2 mega pixel camera and I can honestly say, I've never had a better camera on a phone. Even now - no phone I've owned since has anything on this camera and the display.
Nobody ever complained about the sound quality and it was pretty rare that I would ever not be able to hear the person on the other end.
All of the usual Nokia features are there - calendar, alarm clock, games, ring tones etc. I never bothered using the radio feature but it's there if you want it. It came with a memory card that I since put into another phone - without this it doesn't have much memory but if you are going to use the card in another phone - chances are you aren't using this phone any more.
I still have this phone as a spare and use the alarm feature (I get up seriously early and have to have a backup alarm...) and five years on its still going strong. I would thoroughly recommend this phone.
This typical candybar phone does pretty much everything that you would expect from a mid range 3G handset.
The Nokia 6234 was the made specifically for Vodafone by Nokia, and in many ways is the precursor to the now very popular Nokia 6300.
I have had my Nokia 6234 since mid-2006, and I have had no problems with the handset. The build quality is very good (and certainly better than some newer Nokia handsets). The keys are sturdy, and there is good tactile feedback when pressing them. They are the right size and shape for regular texters, which is something that manufacturers seem to forget about these days!
The screen size is very good (though surpassed by newer models), and the display is clear, bright and updates quickly. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to see what's on the screen when viewed in bright sunlight. The digital clock in the corner of the screen is next to impossible to see in bright light.
Navigation around the menus is the standard Nokia format. Those who are used to this will find it straightforward and simplistic. The only downside of this is where some items (photos, wallpapers, tones, etc.) might be stored on the user's memory card (expandable, up to 2GB) - and it can be a chore locating them. Also, this handset supports "hot swapping" of memory cards, meaning that the phone can be left switched on when changing cards. However, any settings such as ringtones/wallpapers that are kept on the card and are "in use" will revert to the default settings. This can be very annoying!
For a mid-price handset, the features are pretty good. Call quality and volume are fine, and easily adjustable, though I have to admit that I prefer to have the volume setting set on maximum. There is a speaker phone function, though the other caller seems to struggle to hear what you are saying. There is a voice-activated dialling feature, which is especially useful when used in conjunction with a Bluetooth enabled headset or car kit.
Voice memos can be recorded (there is a hotkey on the side of the phone), and could be a useful feature for some users. Voice memos can also be sent as a MMS (audio message), though why anyone would bother with this feature is beyond me.
As expected, this handset supports multi-media messaging, and can also be configured to access POP3 email services (network provider dependant). Webmail can also be accessed, as this phone supports web pages/WAP.
This is a 3G handset, so if a 3G connection is available, then browsing can be fairly quick. The battery doesn't last too long if using this service (less than 1 hour).
There is video calling (depending on network), but there is no front-facing camera, so you would have to put up with seeing the person that you are talking to or vice-versa!
Talk time is about 2 hours and the standby time is about five days, if the phone is used in 2G mode. This isn't at all bad, and suitable for light to moderate users.
The 2 megapixel camera is OK for what it is. Most photos are a bit pixellated, even on the highest quality setting. A reduction in image size could sort out this problem, but then why bother with tiny photos?
I have sent some photographs away for developing, and the quality isn't bad (about the same as a snapshot camera). The pixellation is apparent, and there is a small amount of "noise". Increase the size of printed images from a standard 6x4.5" print - and it looks much worse. So I can't recommend this handset as much more than a snapshot camera that is best used outdoors.
There is no lens cover (but I haven't found that this is prone to scratches).
There is no flash, but there is a low light mode. Unfortunately, the resulting photos are only any good when viewed on the phone's screen. They end up being too dark and VERY blurred.
There is a dedicated camera key on the side of the phone, and it is quite useful as a long key press activates the video mode. This is OK, but records in a strange Nokia-only format.
There is a media player, which supports typical audio formats, e.g. MP3.
The media player itself is incredibly difficult to use: It's exceptionally difficult to find tracks, and then they get added to a default playlist, which clogs up the media player's menu, making it even harder to locate the track that you want to listen to.
The on-screen media player buttons are totally illogical, and it is easy to pause a track when trying to skip to the next one. Another problem is that unless a track is stopped, the media player carries on playing it, even if there is an incoming phone call! If the player is exited whilst a track is playing, you have to navigate your way through the menus to reach it again to press stop. Not good.
Alternatively, it is easier to navigate through the folders to find the track that you want to play - which is much more straightforward.
Audio playback and volume is fine. There are two speakers either side of the handset. Maximum volume is surprisingly loud!
You can also select any music file to play as a specific mp3 ringtone, but don't forget to set the volume correctly! It's quite alarming to have the thing go off at max volume in your pocket!
PC connectivity is via USB cable (not supplied, but easily available) or via Bluetooth. To communicate with a PC, you have to install Nokia PC Suite. This is a clunky bit of software, but at least it's easy to safely back up your phone's contacts, calendar items and photos.
PC Suite isn't much good for transferring large amounts of data (e.g. entire albums), and it is far easier to do this by removing the memory card and using a card reader to connect this to a PC.
Altogether not a bad little phone. The shortcomings are largely resolved in newer handsets, though.
I've had this phone for 18 months and it started to play up only 8 months into my contract. It wouldn't let me answer the phone or it would just do it's own thing randomly. It was fairly easy to use although it has way too many files to go through. With only one month left on my contract the charger broke so i can't use the phone any more. Not a good review concidering Nokia used to be the best with phones and chargers that could last years.