Another guest post courtesy of TP Friend, Jade Bryan Jardinico --
TP Gadget Reviews presents...
Nokia C6 Quick Review, First Impressions
Finally, I got my hands-on the Nokia C6 that came from Nokia PH for review purpose only. With the limited time I have for the device, I managed to make a thorough review emphasizing the C6 placement in the market and comparing it's specs against it's close-price-features phones.
- CPU: ARM 11 434Mhz
- OS: Symbian^1 / S60 5th edition
- Display: 3.2" Resistive touch screen plus slide out four-rows QWERTY keyboard
- Camera: 5 MP autofocus with LED flash and video light, Geotagging
- Storage: 240MB Phone plus microSD slot (2GB included expandable to 16GB)
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G
- Others: 3.5 mm audio jack, micro USB 2.0
Affordable smartphone with touch and physical qwerty keyboard
Four-row QWERTY keyboard is convenient in fast and precise typing
Design is somehow pleasing for everyone but it's a little bit bulky
Feels very solid in hands
Camera quality in terms of still images and video quality is good eventhough it is not Carl Zeiss optics
Ovi Maps is a blessing
S60 5th edition UI is clunky
Single LED for flash and video light is not enough
Don't charge off via USB
Sometimes I can feel that back is really a plastic
It's bulky although it's solid
Physical keys at the side needs a little revamp
What's special on C6 hardware is not on the numbers of its ARM cpu, RAM and etc., but thankfully because of good implementation of the OS the experience is somehow positive on this. There are few slow processes yet Nokia C6 is not prone to many lags. Compare to my Nokia N97 and N97 mini experience at first hands-on, C6 is quite at the brighter side.
To power up the C6 in terms of hardware is the solution of adding the RAM for more apps in multitasking, the same I feel when I owned N97 and N97 mini. So far this solution is not that a necessity, like I said before that there are no much problems when running the C6.
- 3.2" Resistive touch screen, 360 x 640 pixels
- 113 x 53 x 16.8 mm
- Four-row QWERTY keyboard
I think the another design caveat that I should highlight is the side controls and keys of volume rocker, slider lock and camera key. I just don't feel its plastic thin keys although there are no complaints on the usage section, it's just awkward to see when close up. On the other side is the slot of microSD, basically a hot swappable feature.
The bottom of the phone is dedicated for lanyard and pin charger purposes. Whilst the top is for the 3.5mm audio jack and a microUSB hub with cover. Another whatnot is the placing of speaker at the back, but don't worry because the curve made the speaker safe when positioned in front during music or video playback.
On the façade of the phone, there are three noticeable keys, mainly the call and end button with menu key on centre, and the front camera and proximity sensor. These keys sloped like a oblong objects taking account that it's part of the resistive experience that the designer made for us. Also, if you're thinking that N97 mini and N97 classic sensitive keys would be better substitute than these keys, just think again of the price vs design factors.
For me, the 3.2" resistive touch screen is either the last resort on getting the affordable price of C6 so we don't see any capacitive screen. Yes, I admit it fully that I don't prefer resistive touch screen any more after testing the Nokia N8. But I should always think that capacitive is not for everybody, actually resistive touch screens are more preferable for masses. Both have cons and pros to swallow, though.
Next, we focus on the four-rows QWERTY keyboard that mostly young and old smartphone users lust for. What can I conclude in the start is that C6 keyboard is a hell attractive and has very efficient approach. The marble-like bezel in the 2nd layer and the copper colour accent are genius and these part of the phone are the sexiest. And the slide mechanism is undoubtedly perfect without any signs of slight looses or moving keyboard layer. The durability of the keyboard was one of the perfect touch of design. Although you just need to get used for a new four-row QWERTY of Nokia for a little time, and if not, then you have no choice but to get used on the resistive touch screens. Nonetheless, there were now problems in keyboard layout, keys and the D-pad.
For Nokia C6 users, you can actually use the Swype app from the Ovi Store. But it's a little cumbersome when there is a screen protector 'coz it makes harder to swipe in a resistive screen.
Nokia C6 runs on the Symbian S60v5 or Symbian^1 which we had on the first touch screen smartphone of Nokia, the 5800 Xpressmusic, way back almost three years. The OS seems to be clunky when we talked about its UI during these days, but the question is if this is still suitable to use. Could we just consider upgrading the UI to Symbian^3? Or it should be better if we should skip the S60v5 and finally jump to Android and iOS? Maybe you should consider my experience with C6 and that's how you would find the answer on these questions. Find out below.
Clunky, mediocre, boring, or whatever descriptions that current geeks says about the UI of S60v5 are somewhat true in many angles and situations, but they don't know is that S60v5 is far more flexible and extensive when it comes to smartphone use. There is true multitasking, more extensive settings for connectivity, battery friendly OS and a rather a considerable OS for affordable touch phones. There are surely no mass compromise if you think a $200 below smartphone budget and what to expect in future is a far more cheaper availability of this OS.
The task manager dashboard for S60v5
S60v5 home screen supports one page for your widgets and empty one for the other.
Music player dashboard at single play
Photo gallery needs a retouch and that's seen on Symbian^3 devices
Web, Services and Apps
The UI of the S60v5 could be underestimated, but in terms of messaging and organizer prowess it is still an excellent choice. Nonetheless, C6 is under the umbrella of wide S60v5 support and excellent services like Nokia Messaging, Share Online, Ovi Store, Adobe PDF reader, Quick Office and other tools.
You can't see magic on default web browser for s60v5 rather you will have to separate download the Opera Mobile to experience a little enjoyment on your web surf. Mostly, you will get good response in mobile pages, but don't wish for any full flash support, though. Major social network sites have already mobile version so no worries at all.
Ovi is being praised for their maps service, a big treat for C6 and other Nokia smartphones is of course the lifetime turn-by-turn voice-guided navigation. While the Ovi Store will have a big update soon, the current store is just good for digging free apps because Philippines is still on process on getting all paid contents to this hub.
Below are few recommended applications which are not pre-installed.
- Opera Mobile for web browsing
- TuneWiki for music support with lyrics
- Ovi Maps Challenge game
- Pixelpipe and Furtivs plug-ins for sharing photos and videos online
- Gravity for twitter, facebook, google reader and foursquare
- Bright Light for flash light
- SPB TV
Almost all new phones today are geared with heavy connectivity components such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G, etc. On the C6, these features were all packed in one so social savvy out there are surely connected every time you hook up online with facebook, twitter and web or even in your maps.
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
- Bluetooth 2.0
- 3G - 3.6 Mbps @ download packet acess
- microUSB 2.0 but doesn't charge off via this medium
- Standard 2mm pin charger
- 3.5mm Audio jack no TV-out
- Stereo FM (RDS)
- GPS, geo tagging
I don't see any problems with minimal use of C6 for the battery life. With just few calls, lot of sms and a few minutes of web browsing or social networking, the phone can surely last for a day.
C6 is accompanied with a BL-4J rechargeable battery at 1200mAh and uses standard pin charger and lacking the USB charge off support which is a slight disappointment.
I will first lay down the basic specs of the camera before proceeding to sample videos and shots.
- 5 MP autofocus camera with LED for still images flash and video light
- QVGA Secondary camera for video calling
- VGA video recording at 30fps
There is no doubt that C6 performs as good as Carl Zeiss optics enable like Nokia N97 mini. A perfect tandem for not-so-action shooting mode and short video clip. Its autofocus really benefits in many scenes especially on close up shots. But don't mind the single LED if you're not planning for a heavy video plus light duo.
The sweetest audio experience is on the stereo headphones and the bitter part is on the mono speaker. The quality can't par N97 mini but we should understand that we are comparing a Cseries with a Nseries, slightly a mortal sin because they're in different section with different prizes. Still, we should consider C6 as a good multimedia performer like on the music.
Nokia really did well on pushing an affordable smartphones in the market like the Nokia C6. It packs a touch screen and QWERTY combination which are really a good bait for the mass and a choice between the higher end devices like Nokia N97 mini. So the final question for some if which part do the C6 comes better than N97 mini.
When we are talking of price range, the difference is quite big on C6 from N97 mini. Let's say N97 mini is around 19,000 PHP and C6 is roughly 14, 000 PHP. The big shredded features of C6 from N97 mini were memory, camera, design, speaker and microUSB charge off. One can really sacrifice for these missing features. Of course, if your're only willing to get the keyboard and touch experience and then consider the C6.
Nonetheless, Nokia C6 is a better choice if you're looking for not-so-expensive market trend device. Packed with wide features and created with well-designed slide-out keyboard and touch function.