You know what you want: a basic cell phone that makes calls--and that's it. Forget about fancy cameras, Bluetooth, and multimedia. And you don't want to spend a fortune on it, either. Well, let us introduce you to the Nokia 3155i from Sprint. This basic flip phone won't overwhelm you with bells and whistles but instead offers a decent-sounding handset that can get job number one done: making calls. The Nokia 3155i is priced at $189.95, but after rebates and specials, you can get the phone for around $10.
Like most of the company's flip phones, the Nokia 3155i sports a blocky design that isn't particularly ugly but rather utilitarian in look, which is fine since this handset is all about making calls and not impressing fashionistas or early adopters. Outfitted in silver and midnight blue, the 3155i is relatively compact and light (3.3 by 1.7 by 0.9 inches; 3.9 ounces), but the expandable antenna adds another inch of unwanted bulk. The phone feels solid in the hand, but the hinge of the flip cover seems a bit loose, and we worry about its long-term durability. On the front flap, there's a large, 1.5-inch-diagonal external screen, and while it's only monochrome, it shows the date, time, date, battery and network strength, and caller ID (where available).
Once you open the phone, you're greeted with a 1.8-inch-diagonal internal display. Although Nokia says the 3155i's screen shows off 262,144 colors and a 128x160-pixel resolution, we couldn't help but notice that images and text weren't as defined or sharp as we're accustomed to on similar displays. Also, the simplistic menu is drab, but it's easy to use and understand. Below the screen are two soft keys, a five-way navigation toggle, a center Select button, and the Talk and End keys. Overall, the layout is spacious with the exception of the Select key, which is tiny and may give users with large fingers some grief. The backlit dial pad is roomy and provides a tactile feel. Also, since the dial-pad buttons are raised above the phone's surface, it was easy to dial by feel. Finishing out the design features on the 3155i are a voice key (for voice memos and answering calls) and a volume rocker on the left spine, along with a 2.5mm headset jack on the right side.
The Nokia 3155i comes with a 500-name phone book with room in each entry for five numbers, an e-mail and Web address, a street address, and notes. You can assign contacts to a caller group, as well as pair them with any of 34 polyphonic ring tones or an image for caller ID. Since the 3155i doesn't have a camera, you'll have to use one of the default images preloaded on the phone or get photos onto your mobile another way; also, images do not show up on the external display. The handset comes with a speakerphone, which you can activate only after you're on a call. In addition to voice calls, you can stay in touch with friends and family with text and multimedia messages, as well as instant messaging or e-mail using the WAP 2.0 Web browser. The rest of the phone's features are standard and includes a vibrate mode, voice dialing and commands, a voice recorder, an alarm clock, notes, a calendar, a to-do list, and a calculator.