Do you like to remember the good old times? A simpler time when phones were phones, and maps and phone books were printed on a tree's worth of paper? Nokia's 7230 feels like a blast from the past: a solid, simple handset with a minimum of features and a price tag to match.
The 7230 is definitely one of the classier phones you'll find for under AU$200. Its plastic chassis is stiff and sturdy and coated to look like glistening stainless steel. The effect is lovely and reminds us of some of Nokia's best prepaid phones,.
A slider in design, the 7230 features a 2.4-inch QVGA colour display, which is colourful and clear, but has a terrible viewing angle. A gentle tilt of the phone down and to either the left or right renders the display almost invisible. Under the slider you'll find a large, easy-to-use T9 numeric keypad, with navigation keys on the top half of the handset, just below the screen. The layout of the T9 pad should make texting friends a quick and painless experience, but we hate the nav-keys that lay flush below the screen without any clear definition.
On the back of the 7230 there's a flashless 3-megapixel camera and an external speaker grille, tied together by an attractive series of indented arcs. On the top is a 3.5mm headphone jack and a micro-USB port, plus an older-style Nokia charging pin socket for connecting those chargers we thought we'd never see again.
For a phone that you can pick up for AU$129 outright, the list of available features in the 7230 is pretty impressive. Nokia is a company that knows where to skimp on cheaper models, and what features you must include anyway. A good example is the radio configuration in the 7230; a mix of quad-band GSM and tri-band UMTS, which should amount to good 3G coverage just about wherever you use it in Australia. There's also Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP in case you want to share photos or listen to music through a wireless pair of Bluetooth headphones.