There's no denying this large phone is visually different (well, it is a Nokia handset). We aren't sure we like it: the combination of a top-heavy frame and a small and squeezed keyboard gives it a 'Popeye after spinach' look that doesn't appeal. But under its pumped-up exterior lies a set of features to make the multimedia fan hyperventilate, especially if you have a penchant for editing movies shot on a handset.
Online, we've seen prices ranging from free with a £30 per month contract to £220 SIM-free. If the design and features appeal, you should be able to find a price and contract to suit.
This is a relatively chunky handset. At 109mm tall, 49mm wide and 19mm deep, it requires 90 cubic centimetres of space in your pocket, and you'll have to cope with 110g of weight. It isn't a brick by any means, but it's more beefy than most handsets.
The look is very 1970s sci-fi, with charcoal and silver colouring (it's also available in reddish brown and silver). It has rounded edging and strange, Space 1999-style numbers on the keys. The bottom right edge of the casing houses an infrared port. On the top is a speaker, which pumps sound out at an inadequate volume. The left edge has a button dedicated to the built-in Push to Talk service, which is not yet widely available in the UK.
On the back sits the 1.2 megapixel camera lens, with a square mirror that distorts framed photos of yourself to the point of being a fairground attraction rather than a useful tool. There is no hardware button to launch the camera. While it is easy enough to find in the application menu, anyone keen on taking quick snaps should note the extra seconds involved -- some spontaneous moments may be lost.
The screen offers 65k colours at 176x208 pixels, and it is large (35mm wide, 41mm tall), clear and generally likeable. Between the numberpad and screen sits a panel of buttons including Call and End keys, Nokia's familiar Menu, Clear and Edit keys, twin softkeys and, slap bang in the middle, a joystick. This stands proud with a recess all around it and is pretty responsive.
There is an eyelet for a wrist strap, but Nokia doesn't provide one. What you do get by way of extras is a 32MB RS-MMC card to expand the built-in memory, a stereo headset and mains power charger. The 3230 runs Series 60, and it is possible to exchange data with a PC using PC Suite, but you'll have to download the software (free of charge from the Nokia site) to do so.