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Nokia 6303 Classic - Nokia 6303 Classic

By Edward Chester

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

More positive news comes when we look at the bottom of this phone where lurks a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. Along with a simple to use music player and a microSD card slot underneath the battery, which supports cards up to 4GB, this makes for a great little mp3 player. The only bug bear is that music doesn't pause when you unplug your headphones. It's not all rosy, though, as the micro-USB socket - used for connecting the phone to a PC - doesn't charge the phone. Instead, you must use the tiny, cylindrical proprietary charging socket. Thankfully, battery life is a strong point and you should be able to get around a week out of it with casual use.

Navigating your way around the 6303 is simplicity itself thanks in part to the speediness of the Symbian S40 operating system. While we've had cause to complain about Nokia's continued use of Symbian in more powerful phones like the N97, where it's simplicity and limited support for touchscreens feels awkward, on a basic phone like this it really shines. Just about the entire interface conforms to a basic set of layouts: a grid of icons for the main menu, lists of items for sub menus, and further text-only lists for options. Apart from learning where a few less obvious functions and features are located, it's a breeze to use.

We were also surprised by the quality of the games. We could take or leave the Brain Training clone and peculiar City Bloxx games, but the LocoRoco clone and Sudoku games were sufficiently entertaining. It's also easy to get hold of other games and apps through the OVI app store, for activities such as accessing your favourite social networking sites and uploading photos to Flickr. However, their functionality is limited with no support for push notifications or multitasking so this certainly isn't a rival to any smartphone. The default web browser is rather limited as well with a clunky interface and an inability to display full scaled web pages – it can show full web pages but at a maximum of 50 per cent zoom. You can install Opera mini, though, to get a slightly better browsing experience.

Of course, as this is a basic phone, arguably it's most important feature is call quality and thankfully the 6303 didn't disappoint. It produced a smooth natural tone through the earpiece and likewise from the microphone. The loudspeaker being on the back isn't ideal for conference calling but otherwise this phone passed our calling test with flying colours.

Verdict

The Nokia 6303 is one of the best 'basic' phones on the market. It's small and slim yet easy to handle, and is superbly well made. It's also great for making calls on, has a vast battery life, doubles as a great little mp3 player and even has a half decent camera. It has its limitations when it comes to browsing the web and keeping up with your social network but the only real fly in the ointment is its use of a proprietary charging socket, which in this day and age is a major faux pas.

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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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