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Review Nokia 3100

Standard kit:

  • Phone
  • Charger
  • User's guide

Nokia 3100, live pictures

Nokia uses platform 40 for the majority of its products more than a year, so the phones are like as two peas in a pod. The differences are in design and in absence of some features in cheaper models. The logic is simple and efficient. Why to crate a new device, if it is possible to apply new design and to show new models in middle or low-end segment. Nokia was guided exactly by this logic, when presenting Nokia 3100.

The phone has simple design, which provokes discrepant sensations to almost everyone. Somebody likes the design, but when the backlight turns on they hold it back. Somebody twist the phone in hands indifferently and the eyes light up together with the backlight. In the dark the phone lights green over the circuit, especially when you enter dark room from street.

The backlight is very bright, it is of white color and the keys are merged when it is on. The keyboard is made of rubber; the keys are soft by touch. The keys are located as groups, but they are rather pleasant to work with. The navigation key is 4-way, the phone has also 2 soft-keys.

The plastic used in this phone is translucent, it creates twofold impression. On the one hand it is rather qualitative, on the other hand it is similar to cheap toys. It is rather ambiguous solution, especially for mid level device.

This model has changeable face panels, its rather easy to change them. I do not presume to judge as far as this function is necessary for mid level device. Only 5% of customers use it.

The dimensions of the device are following: 101.8x42.8x19.6 mm. The weight makes 85 gr, this is typical for such devices.

The screen displays up to 4096 colors and its resolution is 128x128 pixels. In usual mode are displayed 5 text lines and 1 service line. Up to 8 text lines are displayed when typing SMS, this is possible due to ranging. The screen is good enough by color rendering, the information fades on the sun, however you can read the contents of the display. The screen has no problems in conditions of artificial light. The screen is typical for last phones from Nokia.

We can see Pop-port at the bottom butt-end. Charger connector is located next to Pop-port.

This phone has 850 mAh lithium-ionic battery. According to the manufacturer it is capable to provide up to 6 hours of talk time and up to 410 hours of standby time. In reality the device operated 3.5-4 days in case of 60 minutes of talking and up to 25 minutes of using other functions. Time of full re-charging makes about 2 hours.

Nokia 3100 has the same SIM-card holder as Nokia 6100 has, but holders construction is improved. The problems dont, arise plus its necessary tasking into account bigger sizes of Nokia 3100.


Starting with this model Nokia has changed main menu icons. In my opinion, they became less interesting. You can appoint menu item shortcut to the right soft-key. The items are selected from predefined list. The phone has also shortcut number navigation.

Phonebook. The phonebook offers the similar possibilities as Nokia 6610, 6100 and others. You can add up to 3 numbers and 1 text field to each contact. The dynamical memory enables to save up to 5 phone numbers and 4 text fields for each block if you have less than 300 contacts. There are also caller groups here.

The main difference is in the opportunity to appoint photos to names from phonebook (you can use MMS-messages). Unfortunately, the format of the photos is very small, so you have to peer into the screen. The absence of IrDA is also a minus, because you should purchase the cable, which will increase phones cost.

You can view the SIM card memory and the phone memory at the same time. You can copy your phone numbers from the SIM card to the phone and vice versa.

Messages.The phone supports concatenated messages (up to 459 characters) and Nokia Smart Messaging. There are 10 pre-default small graphic pictures to decorate a message and templates to speed up text input. You can also use a predictive text input while creating messages. A Chat feature is available.

The phone allows to send and receive MMS messages.

Up to 150 short messages and 50 graphic messages can be stored in the phone memory. Remaining free space is used to keep MMS messages, Java programs, sounds, ringing tones and graphics. The phone memory is 350 Kb by default.

Call lists. Lists of received, dialed and missed calls with a possibility to view date and time. Each list contains up to last 10 phone numbers. There are also cost and duration counters here.

Profiles. Nothing extraordinary. Usual possibilities to personalize your phone. All the settings can be activated till the specific time.

Settings.You can notify settings for wallpapers (one of the graphic files). Also a user can set a colour scheme of the menu (several schemes are available).

Alarm. The alarm can be found in the main menu. It has no extra settings, only single operation. This function is realized poorly.

Gallery. All graphic and sound files are kept in this menu. There are also settings for the access to download new files (wap). One can create own folders here.

Organizer. This feature is realized as in the other phone from Nokia, for example in the Nokia 6610. You can add from 100 up to 500 notes, it depends on their length. An automatic deletion of the old notes is available (on the basis of time). The calendar has a monthly view and you can quickly find a desired date.

Games.The phone has several preset games: Biker, Race, Snake, and Bowling. The games are not bat and are oriented to young people.

Applications. Here you can find Java-applications. Depending on the country the phone could have Instant Messenger.

Extra. Everything is standard: calculator, countdown timer and a stopwatch (split, lap time and a possibility to save results).

Services. WAP browser in version 1.2.1 is hidden here.


The phone has no differences from other platform-40 devices by reception quality and by ring tones (4-poly). Everything is up-to-date, the device has no problems.

This device was to become the main model in the middle segment, but the company is late with its release. The competing models was not taken into account, the price was not changed all this factors told on phones delay. In case of 200-210$ price this phone is extremely expensive offer. Its real cost (from the features) is 150-160$ and no more than for the present moment. Taking into account companys politics, the price is not worth waiting to low fast up to this level. The direct rival of Nokia 3100 is Siemens M55; it has poor functionality and high price too. Nokia 3100 is not worth buying, as it has very high price and poor functionality. There are lots of competing models on the market; they have more interesting characteristics.

Sample ring tones (mp3, 190 Kb)

Eldar Murtazin (eldar@mobile-review.com)
Translated by Andreas Von Horn (andreas@mobile-review.com)
Published — 28 September 2003

Have something to add?! Write us... eldar@mobile-review.com



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