Nokia 3711 – sable (T-Mobile) review: Nokia 3711 – sable (T-Mobile)

Nokia fans in the US don’t have many breaks. Few of the company’s phones make it to US carriers, and the models that come here tend to be basic phones for making calls. The Nokia 3711 for T-Mobile is one such phone. Simple in form and function, the 3711 is built primarily for communication with a couple of extra features added. Call quality is good and takes admirable photos, but the clamshell phone design feels a bit flimsy and the external display isn’t very useful. The 3711 costs $ 69 with an Even More service contract and $ 159 with an Even More Plus plan without a contract.

With the 3711, Nokia continues an unmistakable design trend that began with the Nokia 2605 and continued with the 7205 and 2705. When you open the phone, it forms the same smooth curve that gently cradles your head. We like the slim profile and clean lines, but would understand if others wanted something that cast a bigger shadow. Also, it’s worth noting that the phone doesn’t lie flat on a table when it’s open. You can make it spin like a top, but it wobbles if you try to text.

At 3.5 by 1.85 by 0.59 inches and 3.31 ounces, the 3711 is relatively compact and lightweight. The hinge is sturdy enough, but we couldn’t help but notice a subtle feel in the hand. It’s sturdier than both the 2605 and 2705, but it’s still not a model we’d like to bump into. We like the ribbed battery cover, but it might take or leave the sable (aka brown) color scheme. According to Nokia, the 3711 is made with 8% recycled material.

Most of the cover is made of black plastic. Behind the center panel is a hidden external display that disappears when the backlight is turned off. While this isn’t a problem, the display only shows the time in large block numbers. Yes, knowing the time is useful, but we’d also like to see battery life, signal strength, and even the date. Likewise, although it shows the numeric caller ID, the monochrome will not display the caller ID of the image.

A volume rocker and a 2.5mm headphone jack on the left spine and a Micro-USB port on the right spine complete the exterior of the phone. The latter houses a USB cable and charger. The camera lens is located at the top of the back side of the phone. Make sure your finger is out of the way before taking a photo.

The internal display measures 2.2 inches. It supports 16.7 million colors and has a resolution of 320×240 pixels; it’s quite bright and vibrant with bold colors and crisp graphics. The menu interface of the Nokia Series 40 is quite easy to use, but we would like to have a couple of other design options besides icons. On the other hand, you can change the wallpaper, display theme and font size. And, of course, you can add shortcut options to the home screen.

The navigation array and keypad buttons are flat with the phone’s surface, but make up for it with a spacious design. You’ll find a square switch with a central OK button, two function keys, Talk and End / Power control, and dedicated keys for the web browser and camera. You can also program the switch and left soft key with shortcuts. The keyboard buttons are a bit glossy, but we had no problems composing or testing. It is difficult to dial by touch, but the numbers on the keys are large.

The 3711 has a phone book of 2,000 contacts with space in each entry for five phone numbers, a URL, an email address, an address, a formal name and a nickname, a company name and a job title and a birthday. You can assign callers to groups and you can match them with a photo or video and one of 21 polyphonic ringtones. Note that photos and videos will not appear on the external display.

Essential features include text and multimedia messages, a to-do list, a calculator, a currency and unit converter, a countdown timer, a calendar, an alarm lock, a stopwatch, a world clock and a block notes. You’ll also find voice dialing, a voice recorder, stereo Bluetooth, USB mass storage, and PC sync. Thanks to the 3711’s assisted GPS, you can also access Nokia Maps and Telenav GPS Navigator.

The 3711 does not have a flash or a self-portrait mirror.

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