For the conservative individuals out there, you will be glad to know that Nokia has finally released their first non-radical, colour-screened handset design - the 6610. This model brings most of the features found in the more current Nokia models together, while having the added benefit of utilising these over its colour user interface. The colour screen evolution seems to be finally here.
For those who have seen and are familiar as to what the 7210 is all about, the 6610 is designed to fill in the void that its sister model couldn’t.
The Nokia 6610 shares exactly the same list of features as the 7210 on the inside - which basically means that it comes with abilities such as tri-band compatibility (GSM 900/1800/1900), a high-resolution 4096-colour LCD screen, support for polyphonic tones, WAP over GPRS, multimedia messaging (MMS) support, handsfree speakerphone feature and Java application services. Not forgetting, of course, that the 6610 comes with both data cable and infrared (IR) connectivity when used with an external computing or phone device.
Conservatism of design is maintained on the 6610, making sure that its smart looks doesn’t ruin the “look and feel” of those business suits you have - or the clothes you wear to a round of 18-holes on every perfect Sunday. And if you found the 7210’s looks to be disturbingly off-putting, the 6610 is a worthwhile alternative to consider.
Before I managed to get hold of a 6610 for review, I thought that it’s not going to be all that much different to the 7210 since it shared the same functions and user interface. Even though they shared a similar endoskeleton (which, by the way, is quite nice to hold), I finally came to realise (after a short period of use) that the overall user experience was indeed different.
Having previously reviewed the 7210, I ultimately gave up on having it make me look unique. Although I did manage to get accustomed with its radical keypad design, I found the looks were just not for me.
But my overall impression of the 6610 over the period of the review has been quite positive - realising that physical look and feel was quite important in this determination. The review unit came with a pearl white colour Xpress-on cover, while the tightly-fitted buttons of the keypad featured curves that made differentiating them an easier job than having them just plain flat (see picture - 6610-keypad.jpg).
User Interface & display
If you know Nokia menu systems, you may have guessed that they’ve maintained a similar “look and feel” for their new colour models as well. Both the 6610 and 7210 share the same colour menus, a variation of the traditional ones found on black-and-white screened models.
The high-resolution colour screen on the 6610 allows for more information to be displayed on the screen than its predecessors. For example, up to 7 lines of English-based text (including 2 lines for screen indicators) can be displayed on the message writing screen when using a large font - and up to 10 lines when small font is chosen. This benefit is also passed onto the menus - where in some cases, two menu items can be displayed on the same screen.
If you’re hoping to expect 7650 screen quality for your graphics/images on the 6610, you may be disappointed. These two models do not share the same type of LCD screen. The one found on the 6610 requires less power, but at the same time produces graphics/images that may not be as sharp and crisp.
Another user interface improvement is the new 4-way navigational key, which allows 2-dimensional movement in functions such as message composition, symbols list, and calendar. At the standby screen where you could traditionally scroll through the phone book by using the up/down arrows, you can now also have quick access to the SMS composition and calendar functions by pressing the left or right arrow keys respectively.
Making and receiving calls
On top of having great audio quality for your phone calls, the 6610 provides three methods of taking voice calls whether they are important or just for the casual chit-chat. In addition to using the handset itself, a speakerphone is also available providing handsfree and cordless conversations of close proximity - while a stereo headset accessory (included in the sales package) can be used if you’re out and about, and not wanting to physically fumble about with the phone.
For many of us, mobile phone messaging has really become something as important as the phone call. On the 6610, a wide range of messaging tools are available - including the ability to send basic text messages (SMS), picture messages, and multimedia messages (MMS).
If you’re wondering what MMS is, it’s a new messaging standard that allows the sending and receiving of rich messages that could contain images, graphics, and sound clips. The 6610 comes with a “Gallery” function that stores these snippets ready for use whenever you are!
Wanna snap up some fresh pics when they happen? The new Nokia Camera Headset enhancement (HS-1C) is a miniature digital camera that can be plugged into your 6610’s Pop-Port data interface at the base of the phone. When connected, you can take pictures at will and save those onto your phone for future use (you can also upload them to your PC as well!)
The 6610 uses a new battery design (BLD-3) which accommodates the power consumption of the new colour screen. If you think the 6610’s colour screen will drain the battery like how the 7650 does, then you will be glad to know that the STN LCD actually consumes less power when used - guaranteeing more battery life than you would get out of a 7650 on the same level of usage.
On average, I was able to obtain approximately 3-4 hours worth of talk time and 3-4 days standby on a single full charge. Note also that when the handsfree speakerphone is used, this will decrease the average talk time on a relative scale (you can refer to the checklist for more information on this).