While other companies like HTC and Motorola have gone the whole hog in introducing massive changes in their touch-screen phones line-up, Nokia is taking the cautious, pragmatic approach, which brings us to the Nokia X6, a phone that is more evolutionary than revolutionary.
What sets the X6 apart from the other Nokia Symbian S60 phones? The biggest change is the capacitive screen which is the first such screen on a Nokia phone. The display is 3.2 inches across and is capable of 360×640 resolution and 16M colour output. It’s also completely made of glass and although it invites its fair share of smudges and fingerprints, it does keeps away scratches. However, it becomes really difficult to spot anything on screen when it’s under direct sunlight. The X6 also has a 5MP camera (that features Carl Zeiss optics) with dual LED flash, stereo speakers and 16GB of internal storage (there’s also a 32GB model available in the market). The large internal storage number means that the X6 has to do without a microSD card slot but I’m sure that won’t be missed.
The X6 sports the Symbian S60 OS and there isn’t much new here from what we had seen in the Nokia N97mini. Kinetic scrolling is there and there is a built-in app to take you straight to the Ovi Store to download apps, wallpapers, ringtones etc. There’s a Facebook app, a YouTube app, the free Nokia Maps app and a couple of games.
Like other phones in this price-range, the X6 is well taken care of in terms of connectivity. It supports 3G, Wi-Fi and GPS, has a 3.5mm jack for headphones and uses a microUSB cable to connect to the PC. You will, however, need a charger on you at all times since it charges from a different port and doesn’t do so through USB.
Design & Usability
The X6’s design is straight out of the school of minimalism. It’s not flashy but still manages to look good thanks to the way it’s designed with straight edges on the sides and rounded edges on the top and bottom. There are also two thin slivers of metal that frame the glass screen on two sides. The Nokia’s body is built with hard plastic and the overall build quality feels just right.
If you are familiar with other Nokia touchscreen phones like the 5233, the 5800 XpressMusic and the N97 mini, then you should know that there are virtually no changes this time around. The menus look the same and the interface works the same way: you still have to single tap in the main menus and double tap subsequently. The touch definitely works better though and scrolling through lists is smoother thanks to the capacitive touchscreen. I also noticed that the phone tended to get really sluggish when more than two apps were open in the background and also executing an app from the main menu meant having to wait for a second or two extra than what I’m accustomed to.
Browsing, Multimedia etc.
The default Symbian browser that comes with the X6 might not be the best mobile browser around but it does a decent job of rendering pages. It also works alright with touch input but still feels a little unrefined especially when using the zoom controls or trying to tap on a specific link within text. The Android and iPhone browsers do a much better job overall. Thankfully, if you want alternatives, you can download Opera Mobile for the X6.
If there is one thing the X6 does exceedingly well, it’s multimedia performance. The X6’s 5MP camera takes good sharp pictures with colour levels in check and less amount of noise. The dual LED flash ensures that low light pictures also look decent and even the video recording is very good for a camera phone.
The X6’s music playback is also really good. The player gives plenty of EQ options and others like stereo widening. The player is suited to playing all kinds of music bar none and Nokia has done well by adding extras such as a great pair of in-ear headphones and external stereo speakers that pump out sound with volume and clarity.
The Nokia X6 has good call quality although I wished it was a little louder. The battery is also very powerful and I almost made it through an entire weekend without needing to charge it.
On its own, the Nokia X6 is a great multimedia device that has a couple of niggles with respect to its UI. All in all, I recommend the X6 as a good buy.