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Review of GSM-handset Nokia 2626
Following extraordinary popularity of handsets with a music player inside, makers have started tacking music capabilities on even their entry-level offerings. Naturally, arming a 90-dollar worth device with an MP3-player is not an easy task – there should also be enough of memory bundled or support for memory expansion, though incorporating FM-receiver into a budget model can be done hands down.
This is exactly what Nokia has done, releasing the successor to the 2610 in the form of Nokia 2626, that is notable for presence of radio and revamped color schemes. Speaking of the latter improvement, there are four trims available: light blue, gold-blue, pink and white-pink. Subjectively speaking, only two of them posses visual appeal – more feminine white-pink and more masculine light blue, as for the two remaining schemes, they look lackluster.
Unsophisticated design of a rectangular casing looks neatly and boasts pretty much conventional dimensions: 104x43x18 mm, weighting 91 g. The handset feels nice when held in hands and readily slips in just about any pocket or purse, meaning that the 2626 will suit both men and women.
The casing of Nokia 2626 is composed of three different types of plastic and an inset made of tinted glass with mirror coating on the front. The phone looks quite spectacular, yet the build quality will our main gripe with it. At first, nothing delivered problems – all parts were finely adjusted, neither gap nor creaking noises were spotted. But shortly after that the panel edging the display and keypad loosened, producing unwanted noises.
The side plates have been set free of controls or sockets, except for a few things. The top and the right-hand sides house two loudspeakers, while at the bottom you will find charger slot, 2,5 mm audio jack and an odd-looking socket that turned out to be a service slot only for firmware updates in service centers
The upper part of Nokia 2626’s front fascia is covered by a layer of tinted glass (another design-related difference between Nokia 2626 and Nokia 2610). Visually such solution looks very fetching and eye-candy – when the backlighting goes off, the display disappears under the mirror-like surface. But it has two letdowns. First, it picks up fingerprints and smudge with ease, so you will need something you can rub it down with. Then, in daylight information on the screen gets poorly legible due to that tinted glass and passive matrix.
The display here employs STN-matrix with a resolution of 128x128 pixels (27x27 mm) and ability to show up to 65 K colors. In average light conditions the picture it outputs looks pretty bright and vivid, but as I already mentioned in the sun it gets washed out, albeit remains readable. When typing in messages, at smallest font settings, the display accommodates up to 8 text and two service lines, while browsing menu it offers 5 text and 2 service lines.
The keypad is completely identical to that found on Nokia 2610, being made in ledges and very comfortable to handle. The numeric buttons are big enough and well-spaced, thus wrong presses aren’t likely to bother you much. Long-press of the “*” button calls up radio, doing the same thing to the “#” actives silent mode. The navigation key is not particularly convenient, as it is a tiny silver string edging the OK button that can prove to be utterly unhandy for people with big fingers or owners of long nails. Every direction of the navigation key may be configured to launch user-defined functions. The navigation key is flanked by pick/hang up buttons and two functional keys – the left one is permanently bound to fast menu, while the button on the right can perform just about any action, even lock the keypad.
All keys are evenly lit in pretty bright white, which makes for legible key captions in almost all environments.
Nokia 2626 utilizes a surprisingly powerful battery – a 970 mAh Li-Ion unit. As the manufacturer claims it can keep the handset up and running for up to 3 hours in call mode and up to 300 hours in standby. When tested, it lasted for about 5 days at 20 minutes of calls and about 2 hours of gaming and other functions usage. It takes the 2626 around 2 hours to charge from empty to full.
As regards the user interface, Nokia 2626 is a typical offspring of the Series 40 band. The menu comprises 12 items and may be viewed as a 3x4 grid or a list. In the former case you will see only 9 icons per screen, thus getting to the remaining three you will need to scroll down; in the latter mode the screen houses only one amplified thumbnail of each item with up and down directions of the navigation key used for browsing the menu. Shortcut number navigation is also supported.
Phonebook. The 2626’s phonebook contains 300 free entries and allows accessing the SIM-card memory. At that in settings you can choose which contact list to show (you can use both the handset’s memory and the SIM-card at the same time). Each entry contains three fields: First Name, Last Name and Phone number – should you submit two contacts with identical names the handset will automatically notify you. In case these are the name fields that match, then the 2626 offers you to change the number of the corresponding entry, and when the phone number is duplicated, then it just warns you. Contacts can’t be customized with personal pictures or ringtones, though you still can create groups that can have a tune or picture assigned. Speed dial function with up to 8 numbers is supported.
Call log. The handset comes equipped with 3 standard call lists – dialed, received and missed, with each of them housing up to 20 numbers. Aside from that there is also merged list of calls and 10 most recent contacts you sent messages to. The general list features contact name or number, call date and time, while the detailed view shows duration of each call.
Messages. The 2626 handles SMS and MMS in pretty much conventional fashion – on message creating you are offered to pick one of the four types: text (SMS), multimedia (MMS), flash and audio (the last two are in fact some sort of MMS). No message templates are available. Predictive text input system, more known as T9 is supported. Voice mail is a stand-alone item in the menu.
Organizer. This section plays host to a selection of standard applications, but more importantly, for an entry-level product the array of apps here is quite something.
There is only one alarm clock, though it can be adjusted using several settings. First, you can make it trigger off on particular days, then Snooze (when it keeps ringing at regular intervals unless you turn it off manually) may be configured manually (5, 10, 15 minutes and so on).
The calendar can be viewed in month- or week-mode. Each date can have any event belonging to these five types: meeting, call, birthday, note, and reminder. Events can be made recurrent.
Using the To-Do list you can create events with three different priority types (high, normal, low), due date and Done mark for completed entries.
Notes can comprise up to 3000 symbols, apart from text you can take advantage of smiles as well.
The implementation of calculator is the app we should praise in the 2626, as here it allows for squaring numbers and extract root. You can also instantly switch to a basic currency converter.
There are also countdown timer and stopwatch, where you can save up to 20 temporary values.
Gallery. This item holds folders with various content categorized by type. You can also create some folders of your own.
The folder tree can be viewed in list from, list with captions or a grid of thumbnails. You can also sort files and folders by name, date, format or size.
Radio. A function that can barely change with time, thus we won’t dwell upon it at all.
Media. Here you will find Sound Recorder, allowing you to make audio clips in .amr format up to 1 minute long. Number of clips is limited only by the volume of free memory available. The Sound Recorder can be launched during a call too.
Applications. Applications item stores two folders: Games and Collection. The former one has two games in it, while the latter one is initially empty, but you can upload Java-applications via WAP into it. You are free to create your own folders in this section as well.
Both games found on the 2626 are quite boring: Glamour Pinball and Phantom Spider, thus all fans of entertainment on-the-go will have to rush to WAP-resources outright.
WAP-browser. This standard browser enables uploading wap-pages and small internet-pages. While it is not particularly convenient to browser full-size internet-pages (as you have to scroll them in both directions), the 2626 gives you such ability. Since the default set of pictures and games on Nokia 2626 is everything but large, the manufacturer has added corresponding links to own resources, where one can purchase games, ring tones and tunes.
Settings. Here you can take advantage of an array of settings to make the handset fit you best.
The list of profiles contains four standard modes and two user-manageable ones. Each of them can be personalized by changing tunes and alert volume. Apart from that, for every profile you can select duration.
There are only three themes available that alter only the wallpaper and the color scheme of the menus, without bringing along any groundbreaking changes. Here you can also upload extra themes onto the 2626.
In sound settings for a selected profile you can manage alert sound, key tones and volume. For incoming calls and messages you can assign not only standard sounds, but any tunes you uploaded. The silent alert can trigger off at one time with sound.
Using the display settings you are free to adjust the screen to your needs – contrast, wallpaper, screen saver, power save mode. For standby screen you can modify font color, and for messages and the web-browser – font size.
Apart from all that, with Settings you can adjust date and time and program directions of the navigation key and the right functional button.
The memory volume Nokia 2626 comes with is quite middling – 3 Mb for all purposes. Though, for want of an MP3-player or built-in camera, this will be just enough, as on top of all that, it doesn’t even have Infrared connectivity.
The handset delivered reception quality standard for Nokia-braded devices – we experienced no problems with call sound. The volume of 24-chord polyphony is sufficient to notify you about an incoming call or message in various environments. You are at liberty to set MP3 and MIDI files as ring tones, or go for a sound clip made with the Sound Recorder. The silent alert found on the 2626 is not quite strong, so you might end up not feeling it with the phone in outerwear.
All in all, for its type the handset has turned out to be quite good, and in terms of suite of pre-installed applications, it is far ahead many counterparts. At a price of around 90 USD it is a rival chiefly to Sony Ericsson’s entry-level solutions – J230, J120, J110, J100, Motorola-branded basic offerings Motorola – Ñ168, W208 and Samsung SGH-C240.
Published 23 March 2007
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