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Nokia 3390 review: Nokia 3390

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The Good Compact; lightweight; inexpensive; fun games; lots of accessories.

The Bad Battery life could be better; no wireless Web support; cover is hard to change.

The Bottom Line The 3390 isn't quite as sleek or as energy efficient as the step-up 8290, but it's one of the more appealing budget models.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

5.6 Overall
  • Design 6
  • Features 5
  • Performance 6

Review Sections

With the 3390's interchangeable covers, bargain pricing, and features such as mobile messaging, it's not hard to figure out that Nokia is targeting teens and other youthful folk with this model. Even so, this model has enough high-end features--including voice dialing and a vibrating ringer--that it will also appeal to a more mature audience. The 3390 looks similar to Nokia's 8260 and 8290 handsets, but it's slightly bigger, weighing 4.2 ounces and measuring 4.3 by 1.9 by 0.8 inches. Apart from size, the main differences between the 3390 and those two models are the 3390's function keys (it has three instead of six) and its interchangeable Xpress-on covers. The 3390's three keys allow you to maneuver through the phone's menu and make calls. Like the 8290, the 3390 also has a backlit keypad, and although the keys are small, they're spaced far enough apart to prevent misdials.

Nokia is initially offering six different sets of covers for the front and back of the 3390. You can change the entire color of the phone, or you can give it two-tone flare by swapping different covers for the front and back. Unfortunately, it was more difficult remove the covers than it should have been (we broke three nails trying). Once we got over that trauma, we actually found the phone fun to use. Nokia has added four new games to its previous offerings, which include Space Impact 2, Snake 2, Bantumi, and Pairs II. Our favorite was Space Impact 2, which is essentially a black-and-white version of Atari's Space Invaders. (Note: Playing the game didn't seem to drain battery life.) The 3390 also has text and picture messaging so that you can send messages to other cell phone users. However, if the phone of your intended recipient doesn't support this type of messaging, nothing will be sent.

Those less interested in the phone's entertainment features should note that the 3390 features voice dialing, a built-in calendar, a calculator, caller ID, vibrate alert, a 250-name phone book, an alarm clock, and a keypad lock. Although the phone managed to get a full charge in less than an hour, we didn't get as much battery life from the included nickel-metal-hydride battery as we did with other Nokia phones. We came close to the rated 2.5 hours of talk time but barely approached the 132 hours of standby time (we clocked 72 hours instead). That's a tad disappointing, since Nokia phones tend to stay juiced for a while. On the other hand, calls were clear on VoiceStream's GSM service, and we always connected on the first try.

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