I bought myself a Nokia 3500 Classic back in September 2008 as the battery life of my 5140i was at the point that it didn’t live for more than a day, maybe two. I was looking for something similar, sturdy, not too expensive and has some features I tend to use (5140i does not have bluetooth and infrared is just plain annoying to transfer files with).
After looking through the Nokia site (I never had another brand and up until now I’ve been satisfied with all my previous cellphones) I didn’t find anything I really liked. In the end I stumbled upon the 3500 Classic, it looked good, was (somewhat) pricey back then for the features it had but it was going to be the best deal I could get (I’m not into the whole smartphone thing, if I can call and send text messages with it, it’s good).
Now, about a year later and a year working with this phone I wouldn’t recommend myself buying it, sure it works well, the battery life is good (5 days +) and recharging is extremely fast but there are some things that annoy me. First of all, the music player and the microSD slot, why (in this digital revolution) did they think having the slot behind the battery is a good option? Now, luckily I’m not the guy that listens music with his cellphone so I don’t switch SD cards (at all actually), 1gb seems enough for me (no HC support). The card holder and pins are fragile, I’m pretty sure I bended them a little while inserting my microSD card for the first time as whenever I accidentally drop my phone (which rarely happens) even if it’s only from a height around a foot or something it happens that contact with the card is lost and whenever you try to run the music player it just completely freezes your phone, the only way to “fix it” is to turn off your cell, remove the battery, mess a bit with the sd card and boot the phone again hoping it’ll work again.
But like I said, I don’t use the memory card that often as the photos the camera makes aren’t exactly high quality and I prefer a real music player. That being said, another thing I love about cell phones is their sturdiness, they should break if you drop them, this phone is somewhat mediocre. It has a metal ring around the screen and keypad that somewhat protects it but on the back and the sides there’s a little layer of plastic, paint or something like that that will easily come loose and will be teared off in a matter of months, leaving the case extremely vulnerable for scratches.
The software is decent, I don’t like Nokia PC Suite but since there’s no alternative that’s reasonably priced (yes, Oxycube I’m looking at you) I learned to live with it even if it’s slow and not practical to work with. The phone works with S40 software and I noticed a very strange glitch that happens when you got a ton of text messages in your folders (around 2000 to 2500). The phone starts to freeze, screen turns white, reboots, loads, freezes, white screen, reboot, … the cycle goes on. The way I could fix it is whenever it booted I quickly turned on bluetooth and deleted as many messages I could with PC Suite. After a while (about 6 reboots) there were enough messages deleted to ease the crashing madness the software had.
All in all, this isn’t a bad cellphone and there are far worse models around but like I said before, I wouldn’t recommend you this one, there’s cheaper ones around that have more stability and have PC software that’s by far more advanced and better than Nokia’s PC Suite (the one for Sony Ericsson for example). I’d give this phone about 6/10 overall.