Measuring 4.64 by 1.95 by 0.87 inches and weighing 3.76 ounces, the candy bar-style 3595 isn't the slimmest phone on the market, but the bright 4,096-color display (which is on a par with that of the company's 7210 model) works in its favor.
Husky design: This 3595 is bigger than many candy bar-style phones currently available.
A new twist: Nokia mixes up the keypad with a new design.
We like the little rubber pad on the back of the phone that provides a better grip for your index finger as you hold the handset. It also prevents the unit from sliding when lying on a desk. But we didn't think as highly of the funky keypad layout, which pairs the 2 and 5 as well as the 8 and 0 keys on the same buttons. It takes a while to get used to dialing without looking at the backlit keys. Also, those protruding, oval buttons often get in the way of the surrounding keys. Nokia likes to alter the basic keypad for phones (see the rotary-style arrangement on the 3650), but this design is definitely an acquired taste.
Although we liked the placement of a separate power button at the top of the handset, you have to press it fairly hard to get it to work. On the plus side, you can choose from several Xpress-on color covers ($19.95 each). You can also customize the display with eight color schemes and a selection of wallpaper templates.
Personalization options aside, the 3595 offers plenty of features for heavy phone users, including room for 500 entries in the contacts list; furthermore, each item can hold up to five phone numbers and three text notes. The phone also includes polyphonic ring tones, a vibrate mode, a 500-date calendar, and a to-do list that can manage up to 30 items. Because you can include street addresses with your contacts, as well as notes, e-mail, and Web addresses, the phone can easily serve double duty as your personal organizer. It's also MMS ready, which means it can receive pictures from other MMS-equipped phones from the same carrier.
From the call log, you can send text messages to numbers maintained in the directory. You get a choice of four preset profiles--Normal, Silent, Meeting, and Outdoor--as well as two customizable profile options. You can set these profiles to expire at a certain time; for example, if you know your meeting will be over within an hour, you don't have to bother with resetting it to your default profile. You also get voice dialing for up to 14 numbers and an alarm clock with snooze. About the only thing missing is a speakerphone function.
On the fun side, the phone comes loaded with four games: Backgammon, Sky Diver, Air Glide, and Bowling. Since the phone is GPRS ready, you can surf the wireless Web using AT&T Wireless's high-speed network. You can also download additional games, polyphonic ring tones, picture messages, screensavers, and Java applications.
Built to last: Like most Nokia phones, the 3595 has impressive battery life.
We tested the 3595 (GSM 850/1900) in the Chicago area using AT&T Wireless Service. Call quality was excellent; for the most part, callers couldn't tell we were using a cell phone. And even after a couple of hours of continuous use, the handset remained fairly cool to the touch.
As expected from Nokia mobiles, this phone also provided outstanding battery life. We squeezed a little more than 6 hours of talk time, exceeding Nokia's maximum rating of 5.5 hours. We also matched the standby rating of 10 days.