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Nokia 6303 Classic review

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  • Recommended by TR

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Nokia 6303 Classic
  • Nokia 6303 Classic
  • Nokia 6303 Classic
  • Nokia 6303 Classic
  • Nokia 6303 Classic
  • Nokia 6303 Classic
  • Nokia 6303 Classic
  • Nokia 6303 Classic
  • Nokia 6303 Classic
  • Nokia 6303 Classic
  • 6303 classic Cellular Phone (Tri Band - GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900 - Bluetooth - GPRS, EDGE - Polyphonic, True Tone - 16.7 Million Colours - Bar)

Summary

Our Score:

8

Nokia's smartphone division may have taken a battering recently due to a string of underwhelming handsets, including the N900 and N97, but the company does have a long history of producing well built, easy-to-use candybar phones like the immensely popular 6300 and the equally loveable 6700. The latest model in this dynasty is the 6303 and it looks to be a worthy successor.

The primary thing that has set these handsets apart from the masses is their build quality and the 6303 doesn't disappoint. While the bulk of the body is made of plastic, the front section that surrounds the screen and keys is made of stainless steel, as is the battery cover. The result is a phone that feels very solid and has a reassuring weight to it, though at 96g it's by no means heavy. Its slim body and rounded edges also mean it slips easily into a pocket and is comfortable to hold. If you're not a fan of the black and blue finish, a silver model is also available.

The controls on the 6303 are simple, with a keypad sitting below a D-pad and buttons for call answer, call end, and soft menus positioned under the 2.2in, 240 x 320 pixel LCD screen. Up top is a power button-cum-keypad lock-cum-profile selector while the right edge adds a volume rocker and the left edge is barren.

The main buttons are all large enough to easily locate and though they don't have the sharpest of breaks, it's still easy to tell when you've pressed a key or not. Certainly, we found we were able to type at a decent pace with few mistakes. The only real downside is that the D-pad is a little small, but it's only a minor annoyance.

As for that screen, it makes both text and images sharp and crisp - a virtue of its relatively high resolution in such a small frame. It's also bright and colourful and has superb viewing angles; so good, in fact, that colours and contrast stay true almost to the point of viewing the display completely side-on. The screen is also transflective, meaning it is still readable when the backlight is turned off. This enables it to display a basic readout showing date, time, and profile when the 6303 is in standby. The screen's slight downside is its surface, which is a relatively soft plastic that we would imagine could scratch easily. However, a colleague has a two year old Nokia 6300 that has a very similar screen finish and it's still in great condition (it's never been protected by a case, either).

On the back of the phone is the single speaker, which delivers surprisingly rich and powerful audio. Next to this is the camera, which has autofocus and a dual-LED flash. It's nothing too clever but is definitely a step up from what you'd expect at this price. It can take a useable picture in most scenarios and the flash has a decent range of a couple of metres. The app is also quick to load so you shouldn't miss that vital hilarious antic.

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MrGodfrey

March 8, 2010, 6:16 am

Thanks Edward. I have been looking for a small, simple and cheap but well-made phone, because sometimes the enormous smartphone is just a pain and a liability. I had just about given up hope of finding such a phone under £100, but this seems to be exactly what I was after.

Orinj

March 8, 2010, 3:59 pm

This would be ideal for my mother if only it was 3G enabled so she could use it with her Vodafone Sure Signal.

Jamesd52

March 9, 2010, 3:20 am

I bought this phone yesterday as my iPhone is broken, it's a good basic phone but be warned:





The alarm is VERY quiet!! I don't know when or if Nokia will fix this but since I bought the phone I've read lots of people complaining about it. If TR could pass this along to Nokia to try and get it fixed that would be great :)





I'm surprised this wasn't noticed in the review.

whybother

March 9, 2010, 3:28 pm

I've had my 6303 since august, would really reccomend, fantastically simple, great battery life and it is really sturdy. Have dropped it several times on the floor in various places and it has stood up to it! Also as mentioned in the review the camera is really suprisingly decent considering the price of the phone.





Wouldent reccomend it as an mp3 player thougth as the lack of shortcut keys for it can make it a bit of pain.

Aktar

March 10, 2010, 3:41 am

I got this phone since 2 months now. I can tell you that this phone is extra ordinary as a simple to use phone. The best bit is the build quality. As soon as you touch the phone you know good it is to use...I would recommend this phone to anyone who is looking for simple and cheaper phone..buy it..

BOFH UK

March 16, 2010, 1:10 pm

I've had both a 6300 and a 6303 and really think they're the best non-smartphone you can buy right now. Massive battery life, easy to use, good basic functionality (the countdown timer in particular is incredibly useful and I'm surprised more phones don't include one as standard) and the 6303 even has a halfway decent camera.





My only complaint would be that both phones have been VERY scratch-prone on the screen. They're kept in a pocket either on their own or, recently, with a MiFi dongle yet my 6300 got several nasty scratches and the 6303 has two areas of... it's kinda hard to describe, very light scratches that almost make it look like the screen is 'fogged' slightly. Definately scratches though. Poor for a phone that's going to get chucked into bags, pockets etc without the sort of protection a more expensive handset would get.





On a side note, how come so few phone manufacturers are producing handsets like this anymore? I went looking for a new handset on the weekend and there's nothing with decent mid-range specs under £100 that's not a touchscreen phone with a proprietary OS. Yeuch.

Stuea4

March 27, 2010, 6:10 pm

I got one of these back in December. As soon as I touched it I was shocked! I didn't expect much, it was a freebie from Vodafone when I renewed my contract but it really does feel well made! It actually feels better than any recent £400+ smartphone I've handled, which just goes to show how poor the market is becoming.





Great little phone, fantastic battery (1-2 charges a week, rather than the 1-2 a day I have with the iPhone) and perfect as a back-up to a smartphone.

JDoe

June 6, 2010, 1:16 pm

Speediness? This is quite literally the slowest phone I have used since the Samsung T100 - which, at the time, was quite cutting-edge.





Yes, the phone is sturdily constructed and features one of Nokia's over-specified 16 million-colour LCD screens, but this is somewhat useless when the handset takes an average of 5-10 seconds to even open a text message, and as seen in the video, considerably longer just to display the applications list.





Other notable issues are that of multi-tasking - because the phone is generally slow to register everyday key sequences (i.e. locking the phone often occurs 2-3 seconds after the Menu+* sequence has been pressed) - which is compounded further if multiple key sequences are entered in quick succession - the whole interface feels quite clunky.





Multi-tasking on this phone is dreadful - an attempt at playing music and viewing photos at the same time will, inevitably, lead to the phone crashing in a manner reminiscent to a full-shutdown, which causes a hard reset to be performed to bring the phone back up.





As a simple phone, I will concede that the Nokia 6303 is fantastic (speed gripes aside) - however, if you want to use any of the extra functionality (including mundane options such as the Calculator) at a usable level, this is not the phone for you.

wale

January 2, 2014, 11:49 am

i plug my fone to internet for upgrade but mistakenly unplug it not knowing it was working. thereafter it is neither booting nor showing anythingon the screen. it is not eevn sure wether the battery is charging.
Please what do i do

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