When this reviewer got the Nokia 5070 a year ago, it was, personally at least, the ultimate budget phone. It may not have possessed any of the latest features such as Bluetooth and music player, but it was cheap and good. Now, with the Nokia 3120 classic in hand, the bar has certainly been raised for budget phones. The handset doesn't look or feel cheap.
The black metallic casing gives this Nokia a look stylish enough to appeal to a wide spectrum of users. Its metallic frame ringing the edge of the phone gives an overall assuring feel that comes across as solid and impact-proof. The only gripe we have here is its black and glossy body which is a fingerprint and dust magnet. So be prepared to wipe down the handset every time you whip it out to use.
Size-wise, the 3120 (at 111.3x45.4x13.4mm) is two-third the width of the 5070 making it a good fit in the hand. A rubber back casing provides a good grip. However, there was a trade-off for the phone being small; we found the keypad was positioned slightly too low for comfortable use. Nokia probably had to squeeze this down to make way for a display screen that sits over half the phone's length. That said, the buttons were big and easy enough to text on.
Like most Nokia handsets, there's a directional button at the top centre of the phone, which sits rather flush on the surface and may take some time getting used to especially for those with large digits.
For a basic phone, this candybar packs some pretty decent features targeted at the masses. There's a 2-megapixel camera with flash, though as with all budget camera phones, don't expect startling clear snaps, particularly in low light. Interestingly, the 3120 classic comes with a front-facing VGA camera for video-conferencing via 3G, not something we would have expected to find in an entry-level model.
Nokia has also packed on-board Bluetooth, so transferring music and images will be easier among friends. There's no data cable provided in the retail unit though.