Nokia’s 9300i Communicator was everything I expected it to be. Stable, functional and relatively good-looking.

As a business tool, I’ve always been a fan of Nokia’s Communicator range, although, granted, there is a smaller portfolio of business applications compatible with the Symbian operating System (as opposed to Windows Mobile).

The Nokia 9300i Communicator is a slightly beefed-up version of the 9300 Communicator (which was delivred in 2005), adding Wi-Fi connectivity as a standard feature.

Although the 9300i includes Wi-Fi 802.11g, and also includes a hotspot finder, connecting to a hotspot was less than straightforward. I found the reception not that great when compared to, say, a notebook with Wi-Fi connectivity. But it worked well when the operating environment was ideal.

The 9300 and 9300i are slightly sleeker than their 9500 big brother, but do not sacrifice on internal screen size or keyboard size. While the 9300 and 9300i do not include elements such as a camera, for corporate reasons, I still consider the 9300s as ladies’ phones, based purely on the size and curves of the phone (almost as you would describe a Peugeot 206 as being a lady’s car).

One small problem I had with the 9300i (and also with a colleague’s 9300) was the fact that when you received an SMS or call, only the person’s number displayed. Nokia SA admits that this is a software bug, but, if the phone is still under warranty, a flash upgrade is available.

If you can see past this little shortcoming, the 9300i is still a really decent phone. Given the choice, however, I’d still opt for the larger 9500, purely for the camera and “manly appeal.”

Overall, Nokia’s 9300 and 9300i Communicators deliver on their promise. I would really have liked to see 3G support, but the units’ EDGE support is sufficient for downloading e-mails or synchronizing with a BlackBerry server or briefly checking the day’s headlines.

OUR VERDICT

Sleek, pocketable and functional, this lacks the camera of the larger 9500,but works well.