TechPinas Gadget Reviews presents...
Nokia X6 is one of the first phones to be released under Nokia's new single-letter-one-digit nomenclature for handsets. Falling under the X-series, X6 is a multi-media release with strong music-centric, photo-and-video and social networking features.
Design-wise, Nokia X6 comes with a quite svelte design identity - having dimensions of 111 x 51 x 13.8 mm and weighing 122 g. Its slim form factor makes carrying and playing your multimedia files and staying connected with your online social networks a breeze.
Quoting Nokia Philippines:
The Nokia X6 is spot-on when it comes to providing applications for the fervent multi-tasker who leads an on-the-go lifestyle. What they get is a full blown entertainment experience and complete social entertainment centre. Manage your entertainment & social life directly from the homescreen using your Contacts bar and Media bar. The Contacts bar puts 20 of your friends and your favorite social networking sites directly on your home screen. Keep in touch with your Ovi Contacts -- you can chat, share your status, location, and even what song you’re currently listening to through the Nokia X6. You can even tweet about your daily musings, follow your favorite blogs, and create your own social RSS feeds! And since it’s a music phone, you can release your inner DJ and create playlists on the phone—based on moods or even pre-selected songs.
Nokia X6 has been out in the Philippines since the last week of March with an SRP of Php 22,000.
Design Identity and Form Factor:
Because photos speak louder than words (moreso, when we're talking about product design), here are photos of the various angles and panels of Nokia X6 --
This shows Nokia X6's 3.2-inch 360 x 640 pixels Capacitive touchscreen.
(Read Capacitive vs. Resistive touchscreen discussion via the link)
Holding the phone, you'd feel that most of the device's weight actually comes from the relatively thick screen.
This touchscreen is made of scratch-resistant glass and features proximity sensor for auto-turn off and accelerometer for auto-rotate.
Above the touchscreen, we will find the earpiece, video call camera and the touch-sensitive media key, which launches photo and video albums, web browser and music player.
Below the screen, we have Call and End buttons and the Main Menu knob.
Either sides of the front panel are lined with solid metal accent, which adds to the style of the phone while providing some shock resistance to the screen.
Here you'll find 2 stereo speakers and the SIM card slot covered by this thin plastic flap. Note than removing the SIM card is not as easy as placing it in, you'd have to remove the battery to take the SIM out.
From top to bottom: microUSB port, headphone jack, slot for charger, power button. Unlike in other phones, the misroUSB port is covered with plastic flap, which protects it from dirt and dust.
Here we have the mouthpiece and lanyard loop.
At the back, you will find the 5 Megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lens and LED flash.
The back is encased with matte plastic -- Note that this is not 'painted' plastic; It's 'colored' plastic. So you don't have to worry about chapping nor fading paint here.
Nokia X6 is available in Black or in White-and-Pink combination. Obviously, we have the latter as review unit.
Samsung OmniaPRO B7610 vs. Nokia X6 vs. Blackberry Bold 9700 (in that order)
This photo also shows the right side of Nokia X6 where you find the volume rocker, the camera key (pressing it at any time launches the camera app - except, of course, when the camera app is already on) and the screen lock slider
TP Verdict on Design:
While not as sleek nor as elegant as the more expensive Nokia N97 nor N97 mini, in my opinion, Nokia X6 has its own charm. It's no wall flower, really. I remember I brought the review unit to a family reunion once and most of my cousins who saw the phone would ask me flattering questions about it like... "It looks expensive, is it any good?" or "What's the model? You got for how much?"
General build is above average. Nokia X6 feels very solid in the hand. I believe this phone can take daily beating in the pocket or in your bag and still run flawlessly. No worries in that department.
Touchscreen, Operating System and User Interface
Nokia X6 is the first ever Nokia phone to don a capacitive touchscreen. Yet, there's nothing amateurish with the way Nokia X6 works this feature. The screen is very responsive, no dead zones. And as far as the touchscreen goes, no complaints from me whatsoever.
Operating System and UI
Just like Nokia 5800, 5230 and 5530, Nokia X6 runs on Symbian OS v9.4 Series 60 rel. 5 operating system. Nothing new here, except for the unique-to-X6 preloaded themes.
Nokia X6, middle, with Symbian OS S60v5 homescreen
I have to admit that I'm not too much a fan of Symbian on Nokia as I'd prefer Maemo OS on Nokia anytime, any day. Nonetheless, I'll do my best to remain as unbiased as possible when talking about the former.
One of the greatest strengths of Symbian S60 v5 is that it's very simple to use. If you just need a phone for messaging, taking photos and videos and keeping and playing multimedia files, this operating system should work very well for you. And come to think of it, that's largely what Nokia X6 offers. So yes, it's all good.
Here's how uncomplicated Symbian S60 v5 is to use: From the main menu, you just need to do two to three taps to play a music file, open a message in inbox, launch the camera app, browse the photo album, play video files and even to open the web browser. Working with the operating system and its user interface is almost instinctive; Expert-know-how is absolutely a non-requirement.
While Symbian S60 v5 doesn't support multi-touch gestures, user experience on the OS remains to be quite good. You practically need just one finger to navigate through the interface. On the main menu, you just have to tap on an icon to launch it and click on the menu knob to return to previous page. On the photo albums and music player page, you just have to swipe to the right or to the left to go to the next or previous file, respectively. When working with the browser, you just need to double tap on the screen to zoom out and double tap again to zoom out.
Nokia X6's on-screen keypad is also one of the better ones I've seen and typed on:
The keys are quite big -- In fact, I could even use my two thumbs to type on it; instead of using my right pointer finger like how I do it with on-screen keypad of other OSes.
Web Experience: Internet Browsing
Being Wifi and 3G enabled and having a powerful ARM 11 434 MHz processor, Nokia X6 is also an internet capable device.
The default internet browser of Nokia X6 is Web Browser for Symbian S60, which you can launch by going to the Internet Apps menu and tapping on the Web icon. If you're on a 3G network, you will be immediately taken to the browser. If not, the app will show you available Wifi networks and prompt you to choose your connection --
To choose a Wifi connection, you just have to tap on the network name. Of course, if you're trying to connect to an encrypted Wifi network, you will have to enter the necessary password.
After establishing connection, you can start browsing your favorite webpages:
By the way, aside from double tapping on browser screen to zoom in and zoom out, you may also use this on-screen knob to adjust the size of the webpage.
Once connected, Nokia X6's powerful processor and internal memory will make sure that webpages load fast.
While Web Browser for Symbian S60 is a decent mobile browser, it's far from being the best. Having used both Maemo Browser of Nokia N900, Mobile Safari and Opera Mini* of other phones, I found the numerous security 'pop-out' queries of the Symbian S60 browser quite annoying. Other than that, I didn't really experience any problems while working with it. The kinetic scrolling feature is quite smooth and gives you the impression that while a lot of work still has to be done on the Symbian browser, it is clearly moving in the right direction.
NOTE: I tried installing Opera Mini, which you can download for free via Ovi Store, on the X6 review unit but sadly, it didn't work. I'm guessing the app needs to be tweaked a bit to work on Nokia X6. If you're using X6 and you got Opera Mini to work on your device, please let me know how you did it. Thanks!
Camera: Photo and Video Quality
Because the true test of a cellphone's camera lies in the quality of its low-light captures, here are some indoor photos taken using the 5 Megapixel camera of Nokia X6:
ISO Sensitivity - Automatic
White Balance - Automatic
Exposure - 0.0
Flash - Auto
High Resolution; 5 Megapixels
And here's an indoor video taken using the phone:
White balance - Automatic
Exposure - 0.0
Resolution - 640 x 352 pixels
I find photo quality above average for a camera phone. Fine details are captured well enough, the colors are accurate and the contrast is good. Noise reduction is also above average.
As for the video quality, I'm going to make a bold statement by saying that it rivals that of full-fledged digicams; It's really good. I actually didn't expect the phone to record and play sound that well. The sound playback is absolutely impressive.
On paper, Nokia X6 should be able to offer 420 hours of standby and 6 hours of continuous talk. Using the phone, however, I found out that browsing the net via wifi drains its battery quickest -- giving only around 4 hours of continuous surfing.
Conclusion and TP Verdict:
In many ways, Nokia X6 is a success.
Despite being Nokia's first handset to have a capacitive touchscreen, you wouldn't feel that there's still a whole lot of improvement to be made in that hardware department. Once you learn the ropes, you'll find that X6's touchscreen is top-notch. Paired with an equally amazing operating system, it should be hard to beat.
Nokia X6 is a multi-media phone and it delivers wonderfully as one. You wouldn't have problems using camera and playing videos and music on this device. As shown in the sample shots and video, the camera's photo and video capture quality is very good. As for its music features, Nokia X6 enables music fans to download all the music they could ever want - quickly, easily and for free. If you like bringing your music with your wherever you go, you should seriously consider getting this phone.
Browsing experience via Symbian S60 browser is decent. But if you can get Opera Mini to work on the device, use that one instead.
I'd give Nokia X6 4.25 out of 5 stars with the 4 stars given on the merit of its amazing hardware quality alone. This phone may be tad more expensive than other devices in its category but if you intend to get it, rest assured that 'expensive' is exactly how Nokia X6 looks and feels in the hand.