Goodbye 3510… and hello 3530! Why choose a black-and-white model when you can go for the full-fledged colour version with minimal difference in price? This is what Nokia has done with their latest market-entry product, which incorporates some of the latest features that make upgrading from boring two-colours more worthwhile and practical.
The main focus of the 3530 is probably its colour screen capabilities, bringing along greater possibilities for mobile phone users in addition to what’s already available (which is a lot, compared to the good old days when mobiles were solely for calls!)
New items on the 3530, when compared to the 3510, include the ability to send and receive multimedia (MMS) messages, Java application compatibility, and (of course) the 4096-colour screen allowing the assigning of colour wallpapers for the standby screen.
If you hated the look of the 3510, Nokia indulges your tastebuds once again with another Xpress-on cover design on the 3530. It has virtually the same dimensions and physical design as the 3510, with the exception of the materials used - the 3530 uses a dark translucent material for the power button and side panels instead. When the backlight is enabled, you can see the same light emitted through the translucent parts of the phone.
Another major difference is its keypad design, which is unique in a way while trying to maintain a good level of usability. For individuals who are accustomed to the 12 individual keys may require only a little time to get acquainted with this.
And alike the 3510, the 3530 has a hidden strap hole located beneath the ‘power’ button. Should you want to attach a hand strap or lanyard to the phone, simply remove the phone’s back cover and lift up the right side of the ‘power’ button’s rubber to reveal the strap hole.
And for those wondering whether you could use the old 3510 covers on the 3530, the answer is “yes”… :)
User Interface & display
Although upgraded to colour, the 3530’s user interface (or look and feel) is exactly the same as that of the 3510. While the other colour models (6100/6610/7210) have higher resolution screens, which can display more information, you will find the 3530 to have the same “lines per screen” and also retaining similar lettering size as well.
A little issue I had with the lower resolution screen was its inability to clearly display a photo or high-definition graphics. It’s quite alright to display simple graphics (like those graphics used for each menu) - but when you try and display a photo-quality image received as an MMS, you will immediately notice this. It is definitely better than the 256-colour screens found on both the Sony Ericsson T300 and T68i, which display photos with even lower clarity.
Both screen saver and wallpaper functions are available on the 3530. In addition to displaying the time, the 3530 can now also display the current date on the screen just below the cell ID line at the standby screen. For those interested, the date display function was recently introduced onto the newer Nokia colour screen models (6100/6610/7210).
Making and receiving calls
Being alike most other Nokia models, the 3530 is designed with good ergonomics which makes using the phone a pleasant experience. Two rubber bits have been added on the left and right sides of the bottom Xpress-on cover, assisting its user when he/she tries to maintain a firm grip on the phone. On the back of the phone is another rubber bit - but this one has a round indentation, which helps its user maintain good posture and hold on the phone by positioning his/her finger inside it while undertaking a phone conversation.
The volume of the polyphonic ringtones has been bumped up slightly when compared to its predecessor. This means that at a volume setting of “level 5” for ringing tones, you will be getting a bit more sound - which is an important point to consider when the phone is used in noisy environments. A problem with polyphonic ringtones is their softer audio levels when compared to monophonic (standard) ringtones, which simply uses beeps and buzzes to generate a ringer tone.
Voice dialling is available on the 3530 (alike the 3510). Current, and potential, users of the 6100/6610/7210 may be frustrated to learn that no voice features are offered with those models.
As for sound quality, the 3530 performs very much similar as all other current Nokia models.
The 3530’s multimedia messaging capability is one of the highlight features of this model. This allows its user to send and receive messages that can include images, sounds and other compatible objects in addition to the traditional use of text.
However, the 3530 does not have the ability to take in any new media (images/tones) from any PC or camera devices directly, simply because the phone does not support any kind of direction connection with it. Therefore, the only way that a user can get new images or sounds onto their 3530 is either through downloading them via WAP or saving those same objects from a received MMS message.
Support for both concatenated text and picture messaging are still available on the 3530.
The 3530 has quite a solid build, and both front and back Xpress-on covers lock onto the main phone unit quite well (considering they are not too hard to remove either). Its slightly heavier weight also contributes to the overall solidity of the phone too.
The standard 3300/3510-series battery design is retained for use on the 3530 - as they should provide sufficient battery life even though a colour screen is used. On average use, the 3530 should provide for around 2-3 hours talk time and up to 3-4 days of standby.
As for all colour-screen phones, the amount of time the LCD screen is activated, the shorter the standby time. A digital clock screen saver is enabled by default to maintain low battery consumption.