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Review Nokia 6230

First part>>>

Menu

This model's interface has some new things inside, since it is built in the updated version of Series 40 platform. You can select the appearance type for all lists. The default one is: list with items, you can also select an option to display files as icons. The last mode seems to be the most interesting, it ideally suits for displaying graphics, photos. Here the names of files are not as important as images. At some angle the folders with photos are similar to the ones you can see on your desktop PC .

I would highly recommend you to set this viewing mode for Gallery, but keep in mind that the file names and their shortcut are displayed in the phone's header, upper line. There is not very much space in the upper part, that's why the names and shortcuts get cut. It turns out impossible to understand what video or audio file is about, especially if it is located on the memory card. On the whole we consider this a slight defect of interface .

One of the interface's advantages Ц ability to move from one function to another. For example Ц when you are choosing the picture for wallpaper, you are free to list all folders and then from the Options menu on the left soft-key set this picture or setup its contrast level. It is nice to see additional features, but it is not nice to confirm one and the same action over and over again, earlier on you could have done similar actions by one key-press. The feeling is rather two-faced, on the hand possibilities got expanded, and on the other working time with the phone got increased, not all menus are built logically and this sometimes can cause difficulties, especially for those who are not used to these actions. I had often found myself thinking that the phone lacks Fast or Context menu function, alike the one which is used in Sony Ericsson's products.

Latest observation which will most likely be rather strange thing for Nokia's fans to understand. The choice of one or another item is bind to joystick, and not to the left soft-key. Sometimes you may find yourself trying to press the left soft-key button, but its function is not activated at that very moment. Considering the phone's functions there is no reason for piling up various items inside the menu and ignorance of free space.

To cut the long story about the interface short, I'd like to notice that I had been left with the impression that the company was preparing update for the phone's which had bigger screen resolutions, and its use in this model is just an accident, caused by the delay of new models. On the whole there are just too much senselessness, which are caused by the screen's resolution. It is the reason that allows us talking about imbalance of this model Ц on the one hand this phone is functionally rich, and on the other its possibilities are fulfilled partly. The same goes for other functions, but we will talk about them later.

The menu can be accessed by pressing the central button, in the main menu you will see rows of icons. Up to 9 icons can be displayed simultaneously, in case there are more of them (for example SIM-Menu), you can use the scroll in order to access what's beneath the limits .

Joystick's leanings into various directions is also fast access to one or another function, this makes the work with phone a lot easier. The left soft-key can be assigned with any functions (choose from the predefined list), you can also compose the list of most favourite features. Finally up to ten items can be bind with voice tags, the phone recognizes them well. Before reviewing separate functions, we'd like to tell you a bit more about memory spreading. The phone has 11.5mb of preinstalled memory. Such solid size is dedicated to dynamic spread around the applications, but in reality we get strict restrictions for each function. For example if you look in the games section and look at memory status you will see that the maximal capacity is 2.4mb. Of course you will not be able to use more memory. The memory card plays the role of supporter, you can save all required information on it. Unlike the first products from the company which had exchangeable memory cards, here you cannot make archives of the most important data. For example you are unable to save your phone numbers on the memory card, PC must be used for this purpose. In my opinion this was done un purpose, the company is trying to limit phone's functionality, and limit its consumer amount as well. On the other hand this may not be required for most of users, since Nokia 6230 will be used in duo with PC in case you want to listen to music. But let's get back to the phone's function s .

Phone book. Up to 1000 entries can be stored in the phone's memory, this is the limit. It can be achieved in case you are entering a little information for every entry, one or two fields. With average fill ratio (6-7 fields) you will not be able to store more than about 500 entries. As you had probably understood you can enter up to five phone numbers for each entry and define the type (main, mobile, home, office, fax). The first number which was entered will become the default one; however you are free to change this whenever you want. During the process of new entry input you can enter only the name and one, main number. The rest of actions will be possible only after this. Some people might not like this, but some might actually do like it. Both will have their truth. Considering the fact that similar input type is present in all Nokia phones , we can assure you that it will not cause any serious problems .

You can also add e-mail, web, mail addresses as well as text note as the additional information. One of the new functions is USER ID, this is identifier for presence service. On the whole this is an analogue for ICQ, which notifies you in case one of the users from your contact list is available at the moment. We are not yet sure how interesting and useful this will be .

Each number can be assigned with the photo (only portrait mode, or automatic scaling to the required size). When you are composing the information for one entry, you will not see the picture, in order to do that you will have to open corresponding menu item. On the other hand in the common list you are free to set name and corresponding image listing mode. In this mode the icon is not big, it does not give enough information about the photo. Other viewing modes are typical: only names, names with main number. Both entries from the phone book and SIM0-card can be displayed at once. Up to 25 voice tags can be created and bind to the corresponding phone numbers .

Up to 100 pictures can be assigned to entries. When you have an incoming call coming up you will see the caller's number and its photo. The picture is slightly bigger than the one which gets displayed in the phone book's entry list. You will have to put some effort in order to recognize the caller via the picture provided. For now this function seems to be the weakest one for Nokia's phones, and the overall quality is the worst among the manufacturers. Let's just hope that this will be fixed in future .

There are only 5 contact groups, this is not typical for Nokia phones, especially since this is a business phone. Each group can be assigned with its own custom ring tone, the problem is that the ring tones from the phone's memory cannot be used. The optimal way is to copy these ring tones to your memory card, for example one or another mp3 file. Such partial presentation of the function only shows how Nokia wanted to release this model as soon as possible, we mean the platform Ц Series 40 v2. Let us remind you that in previous version of this platform problem with contact groups existed as well. During the incoming call, in case if the caller is present in one of the contact groups the backlight would not turn on. It took 6 months for Nokia to fix this problem, there were more than two models with the same problem, even though they were already selling actively. Considering the mentioned facts we believe that this problem for Nokia 6230 will not be fixed fast, this is a matter of two-three months.

Rating the convenience of the phone book, I'd say that it is average. On one had we have a lot of information fields, and on the other input realization is mostly suited for PC, and not the phone itself. I'd like to point out that the phone book on the whole is typical for any Nokia phone, it does not have an major change or improvements. The richest functions are presented only in Siemens business phones, Sony Ericsson comes next and Nokia takes the 3 rd place this time .

Messages. The phone supports Nokia Smart Messaging standard, this allows sending and receiving ring tones and simple black and white pictures from the compatible phones. Besides Nokia phones this standard is also supported by Samsung, LG part of the new Motorola's phones. Specially for such messages 10 graphical templates can be spotted in the phone's memory. Unfortunately the company's style is limiting the users, since alternative standard Ц EMS, which is more spread today and allows sending not only melodies and pictures, but formatting text as well is not present. For European market spread of EMS standard is maximal, and its ignorance from Nokia's products should be considered as major disadvantage. Only few Russian operators support EMS, meanwhile the presence of such function for users who live outside big cities is minimal. Perhaps this solution is arguable, but in any case lack of EMS is actually a disadvantage for Nokia's phones .

The company believes that MMS can be considered as full replacement for EMS. Well, it is true actually since this technology becomes popular rapidly, and with its help you can create interesting messages which include pictures, photos, ring tones and so on. Each message can be up to 100kb big. The MMS realization is good, no problems were noticed .

The phone has built-in e-mail client, it can work with POP3/SMTP protocols. The possibilities of the client are incredibly poor, attachments are not supported, only one Russian coding is supported. In case there are no alternatives Ц you can use the one provided, but let's hope that Series 40 will gain a Java e-mail client with richer functions. This application is Java as well .

You can use the subscription lists for common sms, in those you can add contacts from the phone book, this is convenient in case you are sending out one and the same messages for your friends and colleges. The templates are traditionally present, you can also create your own folders and spread the messages around them.

Call lists. The phone features three lists Ц received, missed, dialed calls. Each list can store up to 20 entries. The date and time are displayed in the list itself, this is convenient. You can press the Call button from the stand by menu in order to see the list of last dialed numbers.

Settings. The profiles can be activated from this menu, or by pressing the Power ON/OFF button. Each profile can be activated temporary for a certain interval, after the interval will expire the profile will be switched to the default one. Sound signals can be setup for all occasions, incoming call or for a certain group. The profile realization in Nokia's products is one of the best on the market.

The screen settings allow choosing its theme, wallpapers and screensaver. The screensaver actually means a picture which will be displayed during the stand by mode, when the screen is not active. You should choose one of the preinstalled pictures for that, since they are better seen in this mode, than those which are full-colored. The interval during which the screensaver will work can be set, later on its place will be occupied by the standard digital clock.

You can also access the IrDA activation menu from the settings menu, as well as GPRS packet sending options. Bluetooth should be mentioned separately. Its settings are simple, the phone supports all currently existing profiles. The claims that the phone is not working with some PPCs (including HP iPAQ) are caused by Bluetooth driver versions on those PPCs. Mostly it is not the problem of Nokia phones. But working with headsets from other manufacturers is not so perfect. When you are about to connect it Ц you will most likely see no problems, the phone will work with almost all products. The question is that headsets from Sony Ericsson are often losing network with the phone and do not automatically reconnect, although the required options are present, you have to do it manually. Considering the fact that headsets from Sony Ericsson are the best on today's market Ц this is pity.

The Bluetooth used for synchronization with PC is ideal. No problems were encountered .

The automatic speaker's volume control should be pointed out as well. The phone will automatically define the sound level according to noise conditions. You will not notice huge difference in sound when you are indoors, but when you are outside this function can sometimes be useful.

The phone has automatic key lock function, you can also insert additional key lock code, in order your phone being impossible to use without your permission. The accessories gained ability to setup the phones default behavior. For example Ц chose the profile which will be activated as soon as you connect the headset or charger. Interesting option which allows to setup your phone more custom according to your thoughts about ideal tuning.

Gallery. Here all folders that contain files are stored . They have corresponding titles. You can view the folders in the list mode, list with names or icons. You can also gain the access to the memory card from the Gallery menu. Once you have pressed the Options button you will be offered a list of items, including formatting and setting up the password for the storage card. You can always create your own folders and sort files. The Gallery's possibilities are not very broaden, it cannot replace a simple file manager, which would have been very handy in a situation like this one.

Media. This section features all settings related to multimedia possibilities of this model, let's start reviewing them from the Camera. The built-in camera allows taking pictures in VGA-resolution, portrait mode (80x96 pixels). The photo quality at the display is average. After they are transferred to PCЦ the quality improves significantly, but still they cannot be called good ones. The camera's settings are typical, night shot mode is present, three types of quality, picture compression. The format of stored files is JPEG .

Pictures example (630 Kb, ZIP)

The video which can be recorded is 15 seconds video clips in 3GP format (128x96 resolution with sound, AMR). You have the chance to setup maximal length of the video clip, in that case you will be able to shoot up to four minutes (1.5 mb). The quality is average, the sound does not always match the things which were said. Meanwhile at PC the clips do not look nicely either, this is more of an entertaining function for the phone itself. You can define Storage Card as default storage space, in that case you will get the chance to record more video clips, but it is all up to you to decide if you really need this function or no.

Video Example 1 (68 Kb, 3GP)

Video example 2 (108 Kb, 3GP)

рVideo example 3 (180 Kb, 3GP)

Video example 4 (200 Kb, 3GP)

Media player Ц media file player, pretty simplified. This means that you are opening the file and get the chance to listen to it either via the headphones or speaker. There is no playlist support, equalizer settings were moved to a separate item and they are referred to all music applications. The media player does not show full headers of mp3 files, this is disadvantage. =

Music Player Ц this application is capable of playing the music, it supports playlists, although it is better to format them on your PC. The mp3 headers are supported, but you have to make sure that the files are located in the Music folder, otherwise the player will not playback them. The player supports mp3 files with various bitrate, including the high one. The playback quality is incredibly high, there are no distortions, even if you are listening through the speaker. The Speaker's quality deserves being pointed out. It can reproduce the mp3 files nicely, meanwhile the polyphonic ring tones are not so interesting (once again this is due to the preinstalled ring tones).

The Dictaphone allows recording up to 3 minutes of speech, it can work during the phone call as well. The number of records is limited by the amount of free memory. The reason why Dictaphone does not allow recording files with big length is clear, the software is universal, it was not created only for phones with support of Storage Cards. Just take Siemens SL45 for example, the amount of available space for Dictaphone's records was limited only by the amount of free space, you had the ability to record up to several hours. The same organization was present in Ericsson's products, everything was limited only by free space. The lack of such function in the Nokia's phone seems to be an atavism, although a lot of people will be actually satisfied with the Dictaphone's 3 minutes length.

Radio . The phone allows to store up to 20 FM-radio stations and tags to them. This function is typical for other Nokia[Сs phones, stored radio stations can be switched by pressing the button on the headset. The radio can be listened via the speaker as well, but the headset must remain connected, since it is used as antenna. The radio's signal can play the role of alarm clock, but once again you have to make sure that the headset is connected. The possibility of recording radio coverage to your mobile phone is not present, although similar function was present in Nokia 3300, seems strange that it was not transferred into this phone, perhaps they thought that this function is not required for a business class phone.

Organizer. You can enter from 100 to 250 entries into the memory, it all depends on their length. Automatic deletion of older entries (by date) is supported. You can view the calendar in the following modes: weekly (with hours), monthly. Quick jump to the selected date is supported. Up to 5 various types of occasions are present (meeting, call, birthday, reminder, memo), each occasion can be added with warning, the occasions can be repeated.

To-Do List allows creating occasions with three priority rates (high, normal, low), and set the critical date for any of the occasions.

Notes each note can contain up to 3000 symbols. On the whole this is more than enough even for the most squeamish user. Just like in the messages, two font sizes are supported.

Electronic Wallet Ц the place where you can save your data protected by the password. Feel free to enter information about your credit cards for example. On the other hand in case you lose the phone it will not be hard to recover the data you had saved, that's why keep this in mind before entering vital information.

The alarm clock can be setup as single or daily mode one.

Applications. Here all preinstalled Java-applications are stored, as well as standard functions like calculator and the countdown timer, stopwatch (intermediate results are supported as well). Unit converter and World Time functions are installed by default. The games are: Golf, Rally and Chess.

WAP-browser version is 2.0, it allows viewing xHTML pages. Nothing special can be said about it.

The PC synchronization software became universal for all Nokia's phones line-up. Now you do not have to look for the proper version of Nokia Suite in order to make it working with other models. The new appearance was introduced as well, but on the whole the functionality remained at the same level.

Impressions

The phone does not have any network quality problems, it provides good network quality in various conditions. The ring tones's volume is rather loud, especially if you pick a good mp3 file for that. Vibrating alert's power is average.

No matter how paradox this might sound, but the phone turned out being really polysemantic. On one had this is the best Series 40 phone, at least due to the amount of functions that it has on board. On the other hand a lot of features were realized with huge limitations inside, usually it was caused by the marketing purposes (lack of ability to record radio coverage, dictaphone's maximal length) or lack of testing time (problems with contact groups)

The phone has inborn defects as well, they will not be fixed with time, one of them is the squeaky panels, their overall disorder. This is not very critical, but it does only harm to the phone's reputation, the phone loses the battle for this parameter to other Nokia phones. The improved display can be considered as an advantage, it is the best from all Nokia's phones. Its behavior on the sun is also better, than other Nokia phones. But we'd like to point out that the very same displays from other manufacturers go blind when they hit direct sunlight as well.

The interface's problems will not be fixed in the nearest future, that's why you should keep this in mind in case you are looking forward buying this model. The low recording speed to MMC card is a disadvantage as well. .

Considering the fact that this model is the first representative of phones with built-in memory card slot it can be powered with guaranteed success at the market, especially among those who love to use their gadget's functions to the max. You can not call this phone a fully-functional business solution, there are a lot of defects, the main of them is overall working time. In case you believe this is a fashion phone with rather high price Ц it is idea solution for you. After the demand for this phone will decrease and the price will be dropped partly this model will be actively bought by students and the youth, who will be using this phone as m3p player. Basically this model will have two separate consumer groups.

At the moment the wholesale price at Nokia 6230 is 294 Euros or 355 dollars. Considering simple mathematical operations saying that the phone will cost about 400 dollars in this quarter is impossible. Considering that this phone will remain unique until middle of summer it will not cost less significantly. The retail price for this model will range from 450 dollars . There will be a little price drop in autumn , the phone will cost 260 euros from that moment , this price will be similar to Siemens S 65. In the future business users will be forced to choose between these two phones, meanwhile the youth will most likely pick Motorola E398 which has mp3 player meanwhile S65 lacks this option. Altogether we get the fact that the company decided to release undone product on the market, as a result it has provided guaranteed sales rate, not extremely high but pretty stable though. At the moment Nokia 6230 is the leader in Nokia's line-up. Considering this fact you should ask yourself do you really need all these functions for such price.

The SAR rate for this model is 0.59 Watt / kg .

Eldar Murtazin (eldar@mobile-review.com)
Translated by Alexander "Lexx" Zavoloka(Lexx@i-5.delfi.lv);

Published — 20 April 2004

Have something to add?! Write us... eldar@mobile-review.com

 

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