While Nokia’s first entrant into the megapixel camera-phone market, the 7610, was welcomed by many people, some people were put off by its flashy looks and styling, and there were plenty of business people who were not interested in owning such a phone to use for work. The keypad also stirred up controversy, with mixed feelings towards its looks and usability. It's to these people that the Nokia 6670 has been introduced. Built on the same base and technology as the 7610, the 6670 has had its looks toned down to a more acceptable level, and the keypad has been changed to the standard 4 x 3 layout of keys.
The 6670 features a one megapixel digital camera capable of still and video capture, 65,536 colour TFT main screen, Reduced-Size MultimediaCard (RS-MMC) support, and full HTML web browser, among other things.
The Nokia 6670 is a phone that follows in the footsteps of the 7610 when it comes to new features. As the 7610 has introduced everything well before the 6670 made it to the production line, the 6670 has to settle for the title of “Toned-down 7610”. Because that’s all it is. Hardware-wise the 6670 is the same as the 7610, featuring the same one megapixel camera, the same 48 tone polyphonic synthesiser, the same TFT main screen and the same operating system. For detailed information on those aspects, refer to the 7610’s review
What’s great about the 6670 is it allows you to capture images at 1152x864 resolution, as well as videos at 176x144. The 65,536 colour 176x208 pixel screen is used as the viewfinder during capturing, and is a good size for other applications too. Captured files can be saved to the included 64 megabyte RS-MMC memory card included in the package, or onto the eight megabyte shared memory if you please. A USB data cable is included for copying data to your PC, and the phone supports Bluetooth for data transfer or for wireless headset usage. The Netfront browser is an application included with the 6670 that allows for browsing of full HTML webpages designed for PCs, with technology for making viewing on the comparatively small screen comfortable and seamless.
What has changed in the 6670 are those that are the most obvious, the first being the styling. While it’s still the same shape as the 7610, the colours have been toned down to a less controversial one-tone silver on black (or blue on black, depending on your preference). The swirl keypad of the 7610 has also been changed to the conventional and more recognisable row of buttons, no doubt pleasing many potential buyers.
The 6670 is a straight, candybar style phone, although it has a leaf-oriented shape where the top left and bottom right corners are pointed, and the top right and bottom left ones are curved. The phone as a whole is comparable with other candybar phones with big screens in terms of size. It measures 109 x 53 x 21 millimetres and weighs 120 grams, which is a touch on the heavy side compared to most GSM phones, although still very manageable. When you pick up the phone it doesn’t feel very heavy, although it does feel fairly durable. The Xpress-on covers slide around very slightly though, and that is unfortunately the disadvantage of having interchangeable covers.
The front of the phone is dominated by the 176 x 208 pixel 2.1 inch (54 millimetre) LCD screen, taking up more than half of the front face. In contrast the 20 button keypad is squashed into the remaining space below the screen. The keypad consists of a five-way Navi key flanked with two soft-keys. The dial and end-call buttons, Series 60 menu button, Clear and Edit buttons are all placed around the standard 12 key numerical buttons. The buttons surrounding the keypad, particularly the clear and edit keys, are extremely small and hence extremely difficult to press. This is a problem that is going to plague Nokia and many other manufacturers of candybar handsets when large, high resolution screens take up all of the phone’s front face’s space. Hopefully we will see some more phones from Nokia utilising other form-factors, such as clamshells and slider phones in the future. Otherwise, the functions of the buttons and their locations have been done well and aren’t a problem.
The back of the phone only consists of the megapixel camera module, poking out of the Xpress-on cover. Removing the cover reveals the battery compartment, and removing that reveals the SIM card socket and RS-MMC socket side by side, meaning that unfortunately, the memory card isn’t hot swappable and the phone must be switched off to remove or swap the card.
On the top of the phone is the extremely-difficult-to-press power switch. Why it has been made so difficult to activate is beyond me, as the button is locked with the rest of the keypad when the keypad is locked. In any case you need to use your nail to push the button, and even then it takes plenty of effort.
On the bottom of the phone rests the charger socket and Pop-Port interface for connecting any compatible accessory to the phone, such as a wired headset or data cable.
User Interface & display
Nokia’s mainstay 176x208 pixel 65,536 colour TFT LCD screen again appears in this model. There is nothing wrong with this screen and it displays everything from the main menu to high-detail pictures adequately, although the main obstacle to improving the screen, as mentioned earlier, is the size of the phone, hence you can expect Nokia to remain with this screen for some time yet.
The user interface is typical Series 60, so if you have used a Series 60 phone before you should know what to expect. A tap of the menu key will get you to the main menu, arranged in a grid of icons typical of most phones, although there are 10 rows of three icons in the 6670’s case. Virtually all of the phone’s functions can be accessed directly from this menu, or otherwise a menu on the next level down. The important features, such as messaging, contacts, gallery, camera, RealPlayer, web, calendar, themes, profiles and settings are all accessible from the main menu. Second level menu are based on text lines with icons, and can display up to four of them at one time.
Making and receiving calls
Calls are simple to make and can be made and held in a number of ways. Apart from simply dialling a number and calling using the call button, you can press up, down or the centre of the navi key to bring up the contact list, select the person you wish to call and initiate the call. The phonebook here has the potential to support thousands of contacts as it makes use of the 8MB shared memory. For example, I had 100 contacts, each with one phone number, saved onto the phone, and the phonebook only consumed 30 kilobytes of space. You can add a multitude of different details to each entry, such as company, job title, address, birthday and personal note, as well as nine phone numbers, three email addresses, a pager address and three website addresses. Plenty of options to satisfy anyone’s appetite for a diverse phonebook.
A phone call can be held either the traditional way, through the integrated handsfree loudspeaker, through the included wired headset or through a Bluetooth wireless headset. The phone was tested using Vodafone’s network and while reception is not as good as Telstra or Optus’ network may be, the phone always had good reception almost wherever I went with it. Making phone calls by speaking and listening the normal way yielded no problems, with the caller able to hear me properly and volume able to be set to a fairly loud level. The integrated loudspeaker can be turned on from the moment a call is ringing, and again, the volume can be set fairly loud, loud enough that it can be placed in the drink holder of a car to make conversation while driving. The caller at the other end I was speaking to was able to make out I was using a loudspeaker, but otherwise didn’t have any other problems.
Speaking through the wired headset worked as expected, and I had no problems speaking through my Motorola HS-801 Bluetooth headset. The phone activated the connection with the headset when the phone rang or another person was dialled, and then deactivated it when the call was over.
When receiving a call you can only answer in normal mode; loudspeaker can be activated after accepting the call, although you can do it instantly after. Various different ringtone formats are supported by the 6670, including monophonic, 48-tone polyphonic, MP3, AAC and AMR formats. They can be stored on either the shared memory or memory card and used as ringtones.
Messaging is a mixed bag with the 6670. SMS, MMS and POP3/IMAP4 email are supported. The messaging system used in Series 60 is a superb one – you can go straight to composing an SMS by pressing the left navi key button. You can specify the recipient of the message at any point during composition, rather than always at the end, and selecting multiple recipients is as simple as marking each one in the contact list and pressing the left soft key to return to composition. T9 is also included for speedy predictive text input, and it’s very speedy indeed. Text is input very quickly by the phone, which will please many fast thumbs. Up to eight lines of text can be displayed on the 6670’s screen when composing.
Composing MMS is simple as it uses the same interface as SMS, with the extra options of attaching pictures, sounds and video. These can all be created straight from the compose screen using the phone’s camera and microphone. Slides are supported for creating a slideshow, as well as having multiple attachments, up to the size limit of 100 kilobytes.
Email is also supported, and can be used with email addresses already set up with an internet service provider. POP3 and IMAP4 mailboxes can be used with the 6670.
The reason that messaging is a mixed bag is because of the cramped keypad. This keypad makes inputting messages a slow and careful process. This is unfortunate as the phone’s OS handles message input extremely quickly. In particular, the keys on the last row, as well as the clear and pencil (edit) keys are difficult to push. The clear and pencil buttons are extremely tiny. To be able to type quickly at all you need to use your nails, which is somewhat uncomfortable.
The 6670 comes in two different triband GSM versions – one for Europe, Asia and Oceania supporting the 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz bands, and one specifically for America supporting 850, 1800 and 1900 MHz bands. The phone works in five continents and is the ideal travel partner. The phone also has GPRS Class 6 support, for wireless internet browsing. There are two included browsers in the 6670, the first one being Nokia’s standard WAP 2.0 compliant browser, which can view xHTML webpages. The second one is the Netfront browser, which can view any standard HTML page, as well as WAP 2.0 pages.
When connecting to a PC, your options consist of either the USB data cable or Bluetooth. There is no infra-red included, but with Bluetooth included it isn’t really needed. The included PC Suite software allows you to do a myriad of things with your phone, including managing your contacts and SMS, sending messages direct from your PC through your phone, synchronising contacts and other information with programs such as Microsoft Outlook, and copy data between your phone and PC.
The build quality of the 6670 is top notch – the phone is extremely sturdy and the Xpress-on covers latch on to the phone quite well. The phone is solid with the Xpress-on covers covering the front and back of the phone. My test unit was very slightly loose – not enough to cause concern as I had to push the cover a fair bit for it to slide.
According to Nokia’s official specifications, the 6670 should be able to last between 6.25 to 10 days on standby, and manage two to four hours talk time. This is on the BL-5C 900mAh Lithium-ion battery. In practice I was able to get two full days out of the phone with mixed usage, consisting of a few phone calls, SMS, and small camera usage. To recharge the phone takes about one and a half hours.