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Nokia X6 32GB - Nokia X6 32GB

Niall Magennis

By Niall Magennis


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Review Price £239.95

Of course Nokia is pushing the X6 as a music phone, so it’s not surprising that the company has spent some time tweaking the music player. In fact it turns out it’s one of the best music players we’ve seen on a phone, although it's still not quite as straightforward to use as the iPhone. Nevertheless, after a quick play around with the main menus and controls to get yourself orientated, most functions quickly become second nature to use and you’ll find the capacitive screen really does make it a breeze to whizz through long lists of albums and tracks.

The phone’s sound quality is also impressive as it’s able to push out fat-sounding bass while keeping the mid-range sounding tight and focused. The fact you also get a 12-month Comes With Music subscription is also a big bonus, especially as you get to keep your tunes once the subscription runs out (although they are DRMed and locked to the handset). And if you get bored of all this you can always turn to the onboard FM tuner.

The supplied headphones are pretty good too, although it’s easy to swap them for your own as Nokia has kitted the handset out with a standard 3.5mm headphone jack and sensibly placed it at the top of the phone so it doesn’t snag when you’re taking the phone in and out of your pocket.

It’s rare to find a Nokia phone that doesn’t have good call quality and thankfully the X6 doesn’t let the side down here. In fact, it has pretty much all the connectivity bases covered. It supports HSDPA for fast web access on the go and also has Wi-Fi for use at home or in hotspots. Naturally, Bluetooth is also present and the onboard GPS worked without any problems with the preloaded Nokia Maps software. Battery life was good too, as we got around two and a half day's use out of it under fairly normal usage conditions.

When it comes to photos, the X6 sports a 5-megapixel camera, which has autofocus and uses Carl Zeiss optics. The sensor is also flanked by twin LEDs to help out a bit when it’s dealing with low light situations. Unlike many camera phones it’s easy to reel off a few shots in quick succession rather than having to wait around for the camera to respond. The shots it takes aren’t half bad either as the sensor and lens do a good job of capturing vivid looking colours and plenty of detail.


We could forgive the X6 many of its faults if it wasn’t such a pricey handset, ranging from £400 to £450 SIM-free depending on where you shop. It’s certainly got a good range of features, but the build quality is a let down and Series 60, even with the tweaks that have been applied here, still looks a bit tired. As a result we’re not sure Nokia has got its sums right on the value for money front. That said, the capacitive screen does put it leagues ahead of all of Nokia’s other touchscreen phones, bar the N900, and if you make really heavy use of the Comes With Music service it may swing the value for money pendulum back in the right direction.

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December 31, 2009, 6:12 am

Well i quite like the look of that phone but could you actually recommend it to me?

Im a student so i am not loaded with cash.

Im more interested in a music phone than anything else, i have always had Sony Ericsson, got a w910i atm but it's useless crashes every day a couple of times and gets very annoying. I have also had enough of the headphones, decent but hard to come by as im still using their own design and not a standard jack. Kinda annoying actually as i manage to break headphones more than anyone i know.

Looking into the iPhone but it's far to expensive for how few mins and texts i would get, so any thoughts atm?


December 31, 2009, 8:20 am

if you're looking for a phone to mainly play music on, i'd go for the nokia 5530. basically the x6 without gps, 3g, capacitive screen and lessor camera.

its more than 3x cheaper and fantastic as an mp3 player


December 31, 2009, 12:14 pm

Or Nokia 5800 - it's basically the x6 without capacitive screen, lesser camera and only 8GB of memory (but you can use 16GB card instead). And 5800 has GPS/3G/3.5mm jack. Read TR's 5800 review and my comment to it.


December 31, 2009, 2:45 pm

@Kieran: if you're looking for a phone to mainly play music on, I'd continue looking at the iPhone; although you mention the expense, if you can find the funds, it's still the best music phone out there by far. I think Nokia is a bit of a spent force now.


December 31, 2009, 4:31 pm

Im very happily using the Nokia 5630 xpressmusic phone at the moment and would recommend it to everyone. Its very small and slim (112 x 46 x 12 mm) runs symbian 60 V3 so is a smartphone with the ovi store, has a proper keypad for fast one handed texting, 3.5mm headphone jack and dedicated music buttons, microSD slot, wifi that can be used with Jokiuspot (google it) so I can use it a wireless router for my Ipod Touch, and a solid 3.15mb camera with dual LED flashes that work well in low light conditions. Plus its only £159 new and simfree from Play.com


Currently my perfect phone, just need Nokia to eventually update it with a better camera, better battery ect (you know the score) worryingly tho it seems that Nokia are moving towards touchscreen phones and leaving the standard one behind! Nooooo! I cant text one handed (and anywhere near as fast) on a touchscreen!


December 31, 2009, 6:43 pm

@SRS: that's what i am currently doing, hopeing they will increase minutes and texts across each network throughout the beginning of the year, with Tesco and Vodafone offering more than O2 and Orange hopefully it will spark a tariff was even if the prices stay the same.

If i go for an iPhone i will wait till the 4th model in June


December 31, 2009, 6:57 pm

@ Kieran: a 16Gb iphone 3gs is the same price as this on pay and go and comes with 12 months free data.

personally I wouldnt get an iPhone whereas the ipod touch is the best mp3 player arround the iphone is nowhere near the best phone (you can't even send or recieve anything via bluetooth from another phone), I used to think it was pretty good but now I just think it's nothing more than an expensive toy and needs to mature in functionality a lot.


December 31, 2009, 8:19 pm

@jay: It strikes me as a bit much to say the iPod touch is the best mp3 and the iPhone fundamentally flawed. They both have major issues and It very much depends on what you prioritise as to whether one's good or not. Personally, if I were to buy a dedicated mp3 player I'd want better sound quality and a smaller device.


December 31, 2009, 8:27 pm

My wife has the 5530 which uses the same operating system. In a £100+ phone, its perfectly fine, even quite good. But, in a £400 phone, then the iphone or an Android-based phone would make more sense methinks. Symbian just hasn't caught up with the fully touch-based OS's yet.


December 31, 2009, 8:39 pm

I'd concur with the Ed when he suggests buying a separate mp3 player. The additional advantage of such being that you don't have the constant problem of rationing the use of each function in order to preserve the battery life.


December 31, 2009, 11:58 pm

Get a 5800. It's way cheaper than the iPhone and has a better sound. For the money it's a difficult one to beat and the battery is pretty good.


January 2, 2010, 11:22 pm

Its a shame that a handset with great promise turns out quite poor.

While the capacitive screen looks good in the specs, Nokia's S60 software hasnt used it to its full potential: no multitouch gestures, still uses a lock switch instead of an onscreen one, you still have to drag a scrollbar for lists!?

Its simply the 5800 again (good phone) with a capacitive screen. The S60 OS really kills this phone's potential and Nokia really need to improve or replace it as nowadays, a premium phone without multitouch etc. is just not good enough.

Its not worth the £400+ price tag in my opinion, might as well get the HD2.


January 3, 2010, 5:26 am

i agree with scotw.

i find S60 touch fine on my 5530, especially after the recent firmware upgrade that fixed loads of bugs.

but for £450 i'd be sorely disappointed with the OS.

for an extra £350 you get a 3.2" capacitive screen, 3G, GPS and a 5mp camera.

it has the same processor and RAM as the 5530 as well.

all said, i can see the X6 selling well in the near future on dirt cheap monthly contracts(as the 5800 is doing), when retailers realize that they can't sell it as a premium product.


January 3, 2010, 4:34 pm

typical nokia.... pricey... have they learned that competitors are catching up.....real fast and they're no longer at the fore-front...


January 3, 2010, 7:56 pm


Lock switch is for choice - you can lock your phone using the screen itself.

Would think that 99% of the people would find it a much more convenient method of locking the screen, since it is instantly accessible.

And as for multitouch - I don't see the big deal about it. I have an iPod Touch and a SE Xperia (Any geek worth their salt should know that one supports MT and the other doesn't.) and I never wished the Xperia had a multitouch screen (Certainly a flush screen perhaps, but that's irrelevant to multitouch.) so much that it becomes a negative. Double tap to zoom - how hard can it be?


March 17, 2010, 10:56 am

@Kieran - you wouldn't go wrong with an iPhone. The nay-sayers wouldn't have it if it were given to them anyway so don't listen to the negatives. It is a very capable device in all ways. You won't miss the lack of BT file transfer unless you actually NEED it, which probably 99.999% of people don't. It would be insane to eschew the iPhone for that alone. Sound quality is excellent for on the move, out and about. If I want to listen to HiFi I use my 1,000 watt sound system at home!

Don't like Apple? Then go take a closer look at the Android crowd, there is an ever growing choice. The Google Nexus One is a superb touchscreen handset and with many media player apps available if you don't like the built-in. I have both and it is difficult to actually decide which is "better", they're different, but damn good.

Nokia are trying too hard with Symbian S60 and turning out rubbish like the X6 and the N97 before it. It is encouraging they've finally started to use capacitive touchscreens, but will they extend it across the range or is this just an experiment?

Seriously, if anyone is considering spending £400 on a SIM-free handset there are plenty of much better alternatives out there than the Nokia X6.

Nokia a spent force? I don't think so. Not yet. But if they don't up their game significantly they may well find themselves marginalised in {at least} the smartphone market.


May 2, 2010, 4:01 pm

As the 32 gig device was reviewed I will be applying my comments to that phone. The iphone at the size costs more than the Nokia X6. I and other buyers love music, one of reasons to buy this phone. My daughter and son have spent a bomb in the itune store. I have downloaded 476 top songs from the Nokia music store---free free. In itunes that would be about 468 pounds. I have downloaded 17 albums, cost in itunes about 60 pound-ish. I now have a phone that has easily paid for itself. NO it is not expensive, its just you are failing to factor in the cost of songs as is convenient to undermine phone that way. Plus I don`t have that autocrat Steve Jobs telling me what I can and cannot put on my phone. I owned an iphone on tesco mobile but was distinctly unimpressed with what I was actually ALLOWED to do with it.

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