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Review GSM smartphone Nokia 6260
Nokia announced several smartphones for the last several months and Nokia 6260 is the only clamshell among them. In fact the model doesn't differ from other smartphones of the company run by Symbian 7.0 s (Feature Pack 1), for instance Nokia 7610. The differences in functionality are caused by marketing considerations but not technical reasons. First, the company considered clamshell form-factor attractive for users and giving some status to the owner. This reasoning was true two years ago but today there are too many models in this form-factor and thus it lost its leadership. The company realized this fact and decided to create not a plain clamshell but a model with a turning screen. By the way, this solution allowed to refuse an external display that is much necessary for a clamshell for comfort use.
The turning screen has brought many innovations and solutions that look unjustified. For instance, a VGA-camera gap that is on the left-side surface of the device. When taking the model in the hand you'll often touch the gap and thus make it dirty.
Let's remind that the first model with such disposition was LG G7100 with a turning screen. And if it were unusual and uncomfortable to turn the screen and view an image in that model there are no such problems here. A pleasant thing is that the camera is activated automatically in the last chosen mode on turning the screen. Shooting is done by pressing a camera button on the right-side surface.
Push to Talk (PTT) is assigned to the same button, having opened the device in a traditional for a clamshell way and pressed the button you activate PTT but not the camera. This double assignment sometimes leads to wrong activities, so you get PTT instead of the camera. On the other hand it is necessary to get used to the fact that the camera is on the side surface and the screen has to be turned.
The screen may be turned in two directions to shoot yourself and also in front of you. Also the screen may be swung around and turned into an outer surface. The turn on the joint is committed easy with a slight effort. This guarantees the stability of the mechnism work, it will barely loosen.
The dimensions of the phone are typical for smartphones but not for usual clamshells. It's impossible to call the phone small even in a closed mode (102 x 49 x 23 mm). This is a typical device for men and women will find it hard to use also because of the weight (130 grams). Two colour solutions are available, they are silvery and black.
Unordinary solutions are not exhaused with the outer surface. Thus an interface Pop - Port connector may be found not on the bottom but on the top of the phone. And the charger connector is also here. The explanation is when the phone is closed and the screen is turned around the connector is much more comfortable to use this way. There are no any connectors on the bottom of the phone.
The handsfree headset connector has not undergone any changes. This is a characteristic connector for phones by Nokia. The main discomfort is that it's fixed in two places and juts out much. Such connectors get loosed with time especially if to carry the phone in a pocket but not in a special cover. The handsfree headset is stereo and provides rather good sound of the radio. But at the same time mp3 player sound is mono, this is a hardware limitation of the platform.
An IrDA is under the camera gap and it is an advantage of the model over Nokia 6670, 7610. There is a coupled volume level button on the right-side surface. Unfortunately, the manufacturer has not worried about a possibility to change the key functions when the phone is opened (the screen is on the top). Thus trying to increase the sound level (moving up, that is natural) you decrease it on the contrary. The possibility is rather easy to realize technically and may be it just was missed.
There is a service indicator working when incoming calls, charging and other events on the outer surface. And before passing to control items inside of the phone let's consider a cover. It is fixed with the only one catch and moves rather freely (a gap is 1 mm). As a result the device may have a backlash in the hands although a creak is absent. The fixing of a back cover needs revision.
The company announced a hot RS-MMS cards change. That is true though you won't find the connector for memory cards without opening the back cover. So under it you'll see the connector that may be opened by pulling. This solution is intermediate and can't be called hot changing.
It is impossible to change a SIM-card the same way, the holder is under the connector for memory cards. The card is just slid into the slot then it may be pulled out with the help of a small catch. This process needs accommodation, it is unordinary. It is possible to insert or take a SIM-card out only when a battery is absent.
The battery is Li-Ion, 760 mAh (BL-4C). According to the manufacturer it may work for 2 - 4 hours in the talk mode and 100 - 140 hours in the standby mode. In Moscow the device worked for about 2 days in case of 35 minutes of talk time and up to 25 minutes of using other functions. The working time of the smartphone is a bit less than in similar models by the company and this is explained with a less battery capacity. Full charging takes about 1.5 hours.
According to SPMark 04 test program the score for the battery is 1061. Working time is 4 hours and 51 minutes (a cyclic carrying-out of all the tests with a backlighting on for a half of them) 91 cycles were implemented. Just to compare, Nokia 6670 worked for more than an hour longer and managed to implement 122 cycles. The difference in working time is about 15-20 per cent.
On opening the device you see a standard screen for Series 60 (TFT, 65K). The resolution is 176 x 208 pixels (35 x 41 mm). It shows up to 8 text and one service lines. In general the screen is comparable with similar ones by the company and is not bad. The picture looks vivid, the colours are not very bright, a bit muted. Considering the fact the interface is drawn according to the possibilities of the screen the feeling that the picture lacks brightness and contrast doesn't appear. The screen is not bad for its segment but shouldn't be compared with the ones in usual phones, it is incorrect. It fades in the sun but it is possible to read information in the majority of cases.
An On/Off button is in the right-top corner above the screen. The button is sunk too much and it is necessary to turn the phone and press it only then. In the standby mode fast change of the profiles is assigned to the button. I bet the majority of users won't use the button for this purpose because it is very uncomfortable.
The next innovation is the division of functional buttons into two blocks, the digital one and Call/End call buttons are in the lower part of the device, soft and a navi one with an OK button on it are in the upper part. Edit button, C and access to applications are also on the top. The ones who had ever used Symbian-smartphones do know how often it is necessary to press soft keys and navigation fully depends on the comfort of the navi button. The naked eye may see the developers have complicated the keypad ergonomics unnecessarily. You have to put fingers from the horizontal lower part to the upper one that is placed with an angle of 45 degrees. Working with the phone fully is possible with two hands, holding it in one hand and working with it is similar to revealing wonders of tightrope-walking. It would be much easier to work with the phone if the manufacturers had placed at least soft keys in the lower part. Just imagine you enter SMS and right then send it with soft keys and no any transferring of your hands to another plane. Unfortunately, the manufacturers haven't thought about use of the phone in ordinary situations. The comfort of the digital keyboard is crossed out with the disadvantages described above. It is curious there is a lot of space on the lower part of the panel for control items placed in the upper part. It seems to me that in the next model of the same form-factor control items will be placed lower and a larger display will be set into the upper part.
The backlighting is white, the characters are seen clearly not in all the conditions, the font-size tells upon. But in the majority of cases they may be read quite well, the device should be given its due.
It is not surprising that the model is similar to Nokia 7610 and 6670 in productivity. Considering the same platform one shouldn't expect great difference in functionality and operating speed.
SPMark 04 test package was used for measuring the productivity. The following results were gained, we represent them in comparison with N-Gage QD, Nokia 7610. High frequency of the processor tells upon the operating speed of the device well and it is much faster than the game console in all the parameters.
We also tested the productivity with JBenchmark 2.0.2 and the results were the following:
The first version of JBenchmark provided the following results:
The data gained with JBenchmark of both versions is rather high and shows the device will work well with the majority of the applications. You shouldn't worry the operating speed won't be enough.
Preinstalled programs in Nokia 6260
Considering that Nokia 6260 is a smartphone the manufacturer may pick up software corresponding with the status of the device easy. As it is easy to guess by the index of the model the manufacturer intends the model for a business segment. Thus there is a VPN utility for access to company mail systems and other services. The function is not interesting for ordinary users.
Push to Talk is the following offer. In principle, any Symbian smartphone may get corresponding possibilities for work with PTT, for instance, the same application may be used in Nokia 6600.
QuickWord, QuickPoint are applications for viewing MS Word, MS PowerPoint files. There is no support for editing files, only viewing. The applications are rather plain in use. The advantage is they are preinstalled, a user doesn't have to load them and install separately.
Games – Bounce (a familiar labyrinth with a bubble), CardDeck (a set of patiences, playing with a keypad is uncomfortable), Snake Ex (a famous snake).
Six applications are preinstalled on the card and all of them are trial versions. Any program may be run only three times then it should be refused or paid for. Only one of the six applications may be used at the same time and it is a serious limitation.
Desktop manager ActiveDesk is not very interesting, there are many of similar programs, the majority of users does entertain themselves with these programs a couple of times and then gives up.
MobileFax is a program to send and receive faxes using the phone. It would be wise for a business phone to preinstall it for free.
PDF+ is a useful utility for reading PDF files, the limit for running is three times.
PhotoBase is a simple photo manager, there is no any sense in using it.
RockitPinball is a good pinball but the note Try mode on the screen does really irritate.
WayFinder is a service for finding a route between two points, it refers to a data base and uploads the routs on your smartphone.
The innovation concerning preinstalled Try & Buy applications is rather interesting. But the manufacturer should notify a part of applications needs buying in advance. The press release for the phone told the device might read PDF files but no any extra expenses for the program were mentioned (27 USD or 22 Euro without taxes).
Disadvantages of the construction
I'll note the model is a commercial product and is taken accidentally from the ones being sold in a usual shop. Test showed the described problems are characteristic for one third of the devices today (in this or that combination).
The first thing that I was surprised by is the presence of comparatively large (read noticeable) gaps around the screen. A gap was so large in one of the models that a factory dust may have been seen there. In the dark with the backlighting on the presence of the gaps rouses no doubts, the device looks not very neatly.
The second thing that roused astonishment is incorrect positioning of the screen, the display doesn't match the edging in the plastic. It is a bit dislocated in the diagonal for about 1 mm and it is viewed clearly in the picture.
Having found such a mistake I considered the device attentively. The camera gap is dislocated wrong also, just compare two circles (on the camera and on the plastic). The mistake is not very critical and is more a matter of aesthetics. Similar inaccuracies tell that the production line responsible for the model is not fixed still and has little faults. The found mistakes do concern the appearance of the phone mostly.
If to look at the camera gap in the dark (the device is open, the keypad backlighting is off) you'll see a small lighted lag (a reflection of the 1 button). I admit I do not remember similar imperfections in other models by Nokia. It seems the reason is that the German factory still has not settled the production of the model.
As for the connection quality the device rouses no any cavils, the phone works well. The volume of the polyphonic call signal is average and it may be heard in the room but problems appear in a noisy street. The power of the vibrating alert is also average.
I'd like to stress that polyphony remains a weak point in the phones by Nokia. The device is much inferior to Korean phones and models by Siemens, Motorola. The only way out is to set an MP3 melody as a call signal and all other variants do not look acceptable (the quality of the sound is acceptable but not more, it is better to set MP3). The mono output may be referred to the minuses, this prevents from using the device as an MP3 player. Such files serve only as call signals.
And by the way according to the manufacturer the model has 48-tone polyphonic alert that has to sound well. The disadvantages of the call signal are connected with its principal realization mostly and the quality of the loud speaker.
The manufacturer announced FM-radio and stereo sound for radio mode. That is rather strange because then mp3 compositions (software realization) should be stereo. But it is not so. We didn't manage to check if the radio sound is stereo or mono because cloudn't think out a corresponding test. We'd be glad to get your ideas on the matter. The difference between mono and stereo sound of the radio is imperceptible by heart.
The model is more experimental and it may have got the 7 index but not 6-series. The phone can't be called a business solution and is a fashion one (similar to Nokia 7610, Siemens SX1) because the comfort of work with the majority of the applications is not achieved. The presence of the integrated radio set (that is not a business function), 32 MB memory card in the standard kit (for instance, 64 MB card is included into the standard kit of Nokia 7610) indicate the phone refers to a different class.
This smartphone with the price of 380-400 USD is a solution for those who liked the design and the dimensions do not scare away. There are no any advantages over existing solutions by Nokia in this model and technically it is the same phone (for example, Nokia 6600 is quite the same, Nokia 7610, 6670 are better thanks to the camera and the battery).
The ergonomics of the model doesn't amaze and even disappoints in some kind. It is not clear who the target group is. The dimensions are too big for a fashion solution but the keypad is uncomfortable for everyday work. In some kind the only rival is Siemens SX1. Both phones are represented in the same class, coming disguised as business solutions they are fashion phones. Considering the sales of Siemens SX1 we may surely say the sales of Nokia 6260 will be low. This is a niche solution in the line of the company and an abrupt decrease of the price will hardly save it.
We are going to publish several reports concerning Nokia 6260:
Materials on the topic:
We are grateful to Dixis for the provided device
Published 16 October 2004
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