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Nokia C6 - Software, Call Quality and Verdict

By Edward Chester

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

In terms of features you aren't left wanting for too much, though, or at least so it seems on the surface. There's a web browser, email support, apps for Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube preinstalled as well as many more available through the OVI store. The free OVI maps and its very capable sat nav mode is also included, which is particularly good as it doesn't need a data connection to download map data, making it much more practical when travelling abroad.

When it actually comes to using a lot of these features, though, they don't live up to expectations.

Starting with contact management, there's no social network integration, so adding and managing your contacts is a lengthy process. Likewise, messages are only presented in standard inbox and outbox format, rather than the back and forth conversation style that's now so popular.

Moving onto more sophisticated fare, the web browser does a good job of displaying full size web pages but it lacks support for Adobe Flash and more importantly it feels a chore to scroll around the large pages, it doesn't support tabbed browsing, and the zoom function is a pig to use. Likewise OVI maps, while eminently useful is slow and frustrating to use. Indeed the whole device can feel sluggish when trying to do anything that requires manipulating graphics more complicated than simple blocks of colour.

One area where Nokia handsets tend to do well is their cameras and for the most part it does so here as well. With five megapixels on offer, and both autofocus and an LED flash available, it can get a half decent shot in most casual situations, so long as you're not moving around too much. Likewise video, which is shot at 640 x 480 is okay for the odd clip. Both are still a considerable way behind dedicated compact cameras and camcorders but okay for a phone. However, the camera application is rather slow so you'll need to be patient when you do feel the need to record a moment for posterity.

Call quality threw up no causes for concern and in fact the phone delivered rather a nice tone at both ends. The speaker phone is a bit weak, though, and there's no active noise cancelling either. Battery life didn't seem all that impressive with a couple of days being about the best we got, but we did have a number of onscreen widgets running so this could potentially be stretched by another day or so.

As for price, the C6 is pretty much on the money in terms of features. However, the resistive touchscreen in particular puts us off. That said, the keyboard is certainly among the better ones at this price point.

Verdict

The C6 is a big improvement over previous mid-range side sliding phones from Nokia. The keyboard is very good, the software is much easier to use and aside from the screen, build quality seems decent. However, while it has made progress, the phone still lags behind the competition in many ways and there are few situations where we'd recommend it outright.

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Martin Daler

October 4, 2010, 8:57 pm

I thought the industry had finally settled on micro-usb for charging. Sure, the charger design is funky, I hate packing UK plugs in my bags, and this looks like a nice solution. Of course, it would take up even less room in my bags if I didn't need to pack the Nokia charger in the first place, but could rely on just the one, one-size-fits all, micro-USB charger.

Mike Rose

October 4, 2010, 9:28 pm

How annoying is that. No micro usb charger. What is the matter with the phone companies. It's time to move on.

Mattj

October 4, 2010, 10:37 pm

Very odd it doesn't charge over Micro USB, given that other Nokias can (And indeed have it as the sole Data/Power port.

JK

October 5, 2010, 12:47 am

@Edward Chester - I didn't quite understand what you were trying to say regarding the software on this Nokia C6.


In the video review you say that the phone uses "the new S3 version" of Symbian.


In the written review you say "On the software side of things, we see an improved version of Symbian", and the 'Specifications' page says the phone uses Symbian v9.3 S60 rel 5.





But a quick visit to nokia.co.uk would suggest that the C6 (with a slideout keyboard) uses Symbian v9.4 S60 5th edition. This version of Symbian was released in October 2008 (so two years ago now) and was first found on Nokia's first touchscreen phone, the 5800 Xpress Music that TR reviewed in February 2009, which you yourself made a video review for.





So I don't see how this version of Symbian could be new or improved. Maybe they've improved the UI, but the OS seems to be the same as on previous touchscreen phones from Nokia.


The truly new Symbian OS, Symbian^3, was released last week when Nokia started shipping the N8. Other models with Symbian^3 will be the upcoming E7, C7 and C6, all of which were revealed at Nokia World three weeks ago.





NOTE: The C6 model that Nokia revealed three weeks ago, is NOT the same as the one reviewed here. Check Nokia's website and you'll find two different models named C6.


Why Nokia chose to give the same name to two different models with only a few months separating them, is beyond me.

Ed

October 5, 2010, 1:40 am

@JK: Argh, forgot I'd made that mistake when shooting the video. I'll correct it during our next shoot on Wednesday.

swift11

October 5, 2010, 2:24 pm

The Nokia C6-01 is the new (recommended) Symbian^3 model ;-)

Ed

October 8, 2010, 7:09 pm

Video now fixed.

JK

October 9, 2010, 10:13 pm

@Ed - Good man.

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