Nokia fans in the United States don't get many breaks. Few of the company's phones make it to U.S. carriers and the models that land here tend to be basic handsets for making calls. The Nokia 3711 for T-Mobile is one such phone. Simple in form and function, the 3711 is built mainly for communication with a couple of extra features thrown in. Call quality is good, and it takes admirable photos, but the flip phone design feels a bit flimsy and the external display isn't very useful. The 3711 is $69 with an Even More service contract and $159 with a no-contract Even More Plus plan.
With the 3711, Nokia continues a signature design trend that began with the Nokia 2605 and continued with the 7205 and the 2705. When you open the phone it forms the same smooth curve that gently cradles your head. We like the thin profile and clean lines, but we'd understand if others wanted something that cast a bigger shadow. Also, it's worth noting that the phone doesn't rest flat on a table when open. You can spin it like a top, but it wobbles if you try to text.
At 3.5 by 1.85 by 0.59 inches and 3.31 ounces, the 3711 is relatively compact and lightweight. The hinge is sturdy enough, but we couldn't help but notice a wispy feeling in the hand. It's sturdier then both the 2605 and the 2705, but it's still not a model that we'd want to bang around. We like the ribbed battery cover, but could take or leave the sable (aka brown) color scheme. According to Nokia, the 3711 is made from 8 percent recycled material.
Most of the front cover is black plastic. Behind the central panel is a hidden external display that disappears when the backlighting is off. While that's not an issue, the display only shows the time in large block numbers. Yes, knowing the time is useful, but we'd also like to see the battery life, signal strength, and even the date. Similarly, though it shows numeric caller ID, the monochrome won't display picture caller ID.
Completing the exterior of the phone are a volume rocker and 2.5mm headset jack on the left spine and a Micro-USB port on the right spine. The latter accommodates a USB cable and the charger. The camera lens sits at the top of the phone's back side. Make sure you finger is out of the way before you snap a photo.
The internal display measures 2.2 inches. It supports 16.7 million colors and has a 320x240-pixel resolution; it's quite bright and vibrant with bold colors and sharp graphics. The Nokia Series 40 menu interface is easy enough to use, but we'd like to have a couple of other design options beyond the icons. On the other hand, you can alter the wallpaper, display theme, and font size. And, of course, you can add shortcut options to the home screen.
The navigation array and keypad buttons are flat with the surface of the phone, but they make up for it with a spacious design. You'll find a square toggle with a central OK button, two soft keys, Talk and End/power control, and dedicated keys for the Web browser and camera. You also can program the toggle and left soft key with shortcuts. The keypad buttons are a tad slick, but we didn't have any problems dialing or testing. It is difficult to dial by feel, but the numbers on the keys are large.
The 3711 has a 2,000-contact phone book with room in each entry for five phone numbers, a URL, an e-mail address, a street address, a formal name and nickname, a company name and job title, and a birthday. You can assign callers to groups and you can pair them with a photo or a video and one of 21 polyphonic ringtones. Just keep in mind that photos and videos won't show up on the external display.
Essential features include text and multimedia messaging, a to-do list, a calculator, a currency and unit converter, a countdown timer, a calendar, an alarm lock, a stopwatch, a world clock, and a note pad. You'll also find voice dialing, a voice recorder, stereo Bluetooth, USB mass storage, and PC syncing. Thanks to the 3711's Assisted-GPS, you also get access to Nokia Maps and Telenav GPS Navigator.