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.