Using recycled materials for the packaging and casing, plus an energy-reducing charger, the Nokia 3110 Evolve is a handset to make the tech hippies giddy. Still, its style is not unlike most Nokia handsets and it boasts a few important features. But does green always mean good?
According to Greenpeace, Nokia is one of the most environmentally friendly technology manufacturers in the world, having cut out certain toxic chemicals from its phones. Now Nokia is taking things a step further with the 3110 Evolve, making its casing and packaging more eco-friendly.
But does green mean good? We took the 3110 Evolve for a spin around the CNET.co.uk garden to see if it got on with all the animals and trees, and importantly if it was a good phone. It's available from the Nokia online shop for about £150 without a contract.
The Nokia 3110 Evolve's packaging is not only very small but also made up of 60 per cent recycled materials. While it's not explained why the packaging isn't made entirely from recycled materials, we'll give them some leeway as this is Nokia's first attempt. We expect better next time, though.
Inside the box, there's an AC-8 charger that reduces the no-load energy consumption -- this is the electricity wasted when you leave your charger plugged in to the socket while not in use. Mobile chargers use so little power that our watt meter couldn't detect the difference between the Evolve's charger and an older version.
About 50 per cent of the 3110 Evolve's casing is made up material based on plants, which Nokia says uses 15 per cent less fossil energy than from using oil-based plastics during its creation. Similar to the packaging, we'd be tickled green to see a higher percentage of bio-material being used in the future.
The feel of the phone is unaffected by this environmental friendliness. Other than a different finish and grey colour, it looks and feels just like any other Nokia handset. If you're worried about being branded a tree-hugging hippy while carrying this phone, you're safe.
What you will notice is that the large keypad and power button are easy to use, but the screen is small and low-res. We understand that a smaller screen uses up less energy and jives with this phone's modus operandi, but it makes viewing content less enjoyable than on the Nokia N95 8GB's much larger display.
It may boast the kind of specification that makes the greenies go all giddy, but Nokia seems to have forgotten about features. You'll find a measly 1.3-megapixel camera with no flash or LED photo light, plus FM radio, a basic MP3 player, Bluetooth and an expandable microSD card slot.
There's also a Web browser with the WWF pre-bookmarked, of course. While the browser is quaint, it doesn't beat 3G. That feature, like the flash on a camera, would use up a lot of power, so we can see why Nokia has kept things simple.
Overall, we found the 3110 Evolve very enjoyable to use and while it didn't have every feature under the sun, we did get on with it. The enhanced Series 40 user interface is straightforward and very easy to understand, which is a refreshing change from the more complex S60 interface, used on higher end Nokia phones.
Audio quality during calls was good with no muffling or distortions. The loudspeaker worked as expected and while the MP3 player didn't blow us away, it's fine for listening to the odd tune when your iPod runs out of juice. Equally, the camera is ok for the MMS pictures but don't expect to be the next David Bailey.
The Nokia 3110 Evolve isn't the epitome of greenness but is a brave move by the company. What we'd really like to see now is Nokia use the same materials and packaging in all its phones. The 3110 Evolve is a good start but it's a simple phone that won't appeal to everyone.
If you're thinking about buying the Evolve, keep in mind that while it's very simple, it's also the most environmentally friendly phone available on the UK market at the moment. If you're looking to buy an ethical phone, then this is it. If you're a gadget freak with a penchant for N-series Nokias, stay away.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Shannon Doubleday