Nokia 7230 Review

Introduction and Design
This is a global GSM phone. It can be used with AT&T's 3G network (on the 1900MHz band) and T-Mobile USA's 2G network.
The American version supports AT&T's 3G network.


The Nokia 7230 is a 3G entry level slider that was released earlier this year running Nokia’s S40. Although it is a basic slider, the phone still sports some decent features such as a 3.2 megapixel camera and a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and therefore seems to be aimed at the teen market. Inside the box is the phone, a battery, a mains charger, a stereo hands-free kit, a 2GB Micro SD card and an instruction manual. A notable absence from the box is a PC connector cable.


The Nokia 7230 is a slim slider with a glossy, curvaceous design. The sides have a chrome-like finish with a dedicated button for the camera and a matte textured plastic battery cover on the back. While the phone looks deceptively solid, once you take it in hand, its flimsy low-end nature becomes evident. The screen is surrounded by a finely textured panel that covers two soft keys, a send button and an end button with a five way d-pad within. This panel comes in pink or graphite, as does the battery cover.

You can compare the Nokia 7230 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

The screen's size and resolution are fit for purpose, though poor viewing angles let the display down. Measuring in at 2.4 inches it has a resolution of 240 x 320  pixels. While it is sufficiently bright for comfortable use, saturation and contrast levels vary greatly depending on the angle at which you view it. This makes enjoying images and video on the Nokia 7230 less than ideal. The phone's glossy finish also attracts finger-prints and provides a challenge in direct sunlight. At 2.4 inches, the screen is also small for prolonged web browsing, despite the on-board browser rendering pages well.

The build quality of the Nokia 7230 is disappointing. Press one of the soft keys for example and you will invoke an unfortunate creaking noise. To compound this, the soft-keys are difficult to press, requiring harder presses (and more creaking). Slide up the glossy screen to reveal a slightly raised set of number keys, which are responsive and well lit, albeit a bit small and cramped.


While S40 is a pretty basic interface when compared with the likes of Android and S60, it still provides users with Java app support via the OVI Store as well as email that is easy to set up and a passable web browsing experience.

The home screen is relatively customizable, enabling the user to view the default information (time; signal strength; carrier; battery; profile; date; soft-key functions), or to select a range of links to applications of your choosing to reside on the main page for easy access. While these did clutter the 2.4 inch screen, they provided useful, customizable functionality.

Phone Book:

The phonebook is traditional enough to be instantly familiar with anyone who has used S40 before. With support for 2000 names, picture ID and an array of optional details for each contact, the Nokia 7230 delivers a basic, yet comprehensive phonebook experience.


As with other S40 devices, the organizer is a breeze to use, just tap the right side of the d-pad to dive into your calendar. Alarms and other tools work reliably as well. They can also be assigned to the home-screen as shortcuts and so don’t have to be accessed through menus. Additional features include voice recording, to do list, countdown timer and notes, while on board memory is 75MB  (45MB after Nokia’s platform-content is loaded onto the device upon booting).


Messaging is done through traditional keypad entry with the option of predictive text. With the small size of the device coupled with the small keypad, typing messages on the Nokia 7230 feels clumsy. If typing one handed, the phone feels top heavy, as if it could fall out of your hand, and when typing with two hands, the keyboard is just cramped.

On-board email support is basic, but reliable. Nokia have made it easy to get your email quickly set up with it only taking a username and password to sync Gmail and Hotmail accounts. There's also support for custom email addresses, where you will have to enter some additional details.

Connectivity and Data:

Connectivity options include GPRS, EDGE and UMTS on board. The Nokia 7230 also has Bluetooth 2.1 and Ovi Maps, so it can be connected to an external GPS unit. No Wi-Fi means any net surfing will be eating into your network data package.

The device we were using came pre-loaded with the standard S40 web browser and Opera Mini. Both did a good job of rendering pages but were let down by the screen’s size and poor viewing angles.

The omission of a micro USB cable means that the on-board Bluetooth will be the default option for synching the device with Nokia OVI Studio which can be downloaded from Nokia's website. This was easy to set up and use.


The 3.2 megapixel camera on the Nokia 7230 lacks autofocus or a photo light, limiting the uses to basic snaps when out and about. To access the camera, there is a button that should be held down on the bottom right side of the device, or an option to do so through the menu. 

Images taken on the device suffer from lack of autofocus and bad noise handling. Colour representation was flat with limited contrast range, although detail in the images wasn't terrible.

Video fared worse than photos, capturing MP4 files at a resolution of 320x240 at 15fps. Videos taken on the phone would only be usable only for playback on the device itself.


The Nokia 7230 supports MP3, WMA, WAV, NB AMR, WB AMR, MIDI, AAC, eAAC, eAAC+. While a 2GB memory card and a 3.5mm jack are included, no volume controls on the side of the device and tinny music playback via headphones made the practical experience of using it as a music phone less than ideal. The on-board speaker played music back at a decent volume, however, the sound was too muffled and unclear to be enjoyed.


The Nokia 7230 doesn't tend to slow down or lag too much in use. The menus are simple, and make it quick and easy enough to get where you want to. The exception to this is when browsing the web, very large pages made the phone hang while loading, but once completely downloaded, browsing was a breeze.
The reception was generally good. While the phone dropped a few words every now and then in areas of patchy reception, we found the device to be capable of providing a decent experience for the most part. Outgoing calls from the Nokia 7230 experienced a slight muffle and lack of clarity while still being audible.

The 860 mAh Li-Ion battery lasted approximately 3 days with regular use and daily web browsing, with the battery meter providing an accurate representation of remaining battery life. The battery is rated to last about 5.4 hours talk-time and 15 days of standby time with a music playback time of 27 hours.


The Nokia 7230 is a mixed bag. While it provides a reasonably priced means of getting internet on the go, bundles in a camera, 3.5mm headphone jack, 2GB of memory for your music and a slim design, all these are unrefined positives.

We would recommend the Nokia 7230 to someone looking for handset with a decent feature-set on a limited budget who could overlook its flaws.

Alternatives to the 7230 include the Nokia X3, which has the same interface and a similar form-factor, only better audio quality or the Sony Ericsson Zylo – a new Walkman slider, if Nokia is not your cup of tea. If, however, you want something touch screen, the Samsung Corby provides a fun, good value option.

Nokia 7230 Video Review:


  • Included 2GB memory card
  • User friendly interface
  • Quick email setup
  • 3.5mm headphone jack


  • Plasticy build quality
  • No Auto Focus
  • Viewing angles leave a lot to be desired
  • Music playback is flat and tinny

PhoneArena Rating:


User Rating:

4 Reviews

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