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Tomtom Nokia 6630

In this long term review of the 6630 Steve finds much to recommend the Nokia 6630 and concludes that, whether bought cannily on a contract or snapped up in the final minutes of an auction on eBay, it could be just the bargain you need.

Tomtom Nokia 6630

If you've been watching AllAboutSymbian over the last month, you'll have spotted my full review of the Nokia 6680, the very latest Series 60 smartphone that's actually available (the N Series being a few months away, in the real world). So what on earth am I doing here reviewing the 6630, a device that was announced last year (2004) and which has been on the streets for six months?

In fact, a little tardiness on the review front makes talking about value for money really, really easy. If you're looking for a cutting-edge Symbian smartphone and don't want to dig too deep into your pocket, the Nokia 6630 is easily the one to go for. All around the High Street, stores are offering the 6630 for free on quite modest SIM contracts, or you can pick one up on eBay, second-hand, for not much more than 100. When you consider that you're effectively getting a Symbian-powered mobile computer, plus (up to) 3G telephony/data, a stereo music player and a Megapixel camera, all for not an awful lot, it's hard to resist.

With the Symbian OS baseline constantly improving and with Series 60 v2 bringing interface and PIM application improvements by the score, we saw the Nokia 6600 and 7610, much better devices but still very limited in several areas. The Nokia 6630 was the first device of the 'next generation' of devices, with hardware improvements to match those in software. Looking back at the hit-list from those initial Series 60 smartphones, the 6630 has significantly improved PIM apps (intelligent display of appointments in the Day view, entry popups in Month view, etc.), a far more attractive and useful interface (themes, wrap around menus, etc.), great battery life, full stereo headset output, hot-swappable memory cards and a good Megapixel camera. Plus the third party software scene has matured and most applications you can think of have now been done. As mentioned in the Nokia 6680 review, this all adds up to a smartphone that offers genuine convergence and genuine usefulness.

So to the device itself. The Nokia 6630 is smaller than its spiritual predecessor, the 3650, and thankfully the circular keypad is now a traditional grid, with the Series 60 'extra' keys now the ones that help fill up the 'bulge'. The screen's very good in all lighting conditions and a light sensor at the top of the device switches on the keypad backlight if needed. The feel of the keys and navigator is good, although not quite up to the exemplary level of the 6680's. There's a (by now traditional) Pop-port connector on the bottom, for plugging in the supplied stereo headset or for mounting on the optional video calling stand. This last requirement will be a real pain for anyone buying the 6630 for outright 3G use, as you can't do two-way video calling using just the device as there's only the one camera and it's on the wrong side. If you need video calling, look at the 6680 instead.

Messaging is virtually unchanged from earlier incarnations, but then it does the job. A Symbian smartphone can probably never be your only email monitor, which is why there's no attempt to delete emails from the IMAP4 or POP3 server. It's simply a way of seeing what's waiting, of grabbing anything important and responding if necessary. And this the 6630 allows with relative aplomb. The only fly in the ointment is that there's no readout of message size when displaying email headers. Instead, you have to go burrowing into the menu for 'Message details' every single time. Please fix this, Nokia.

Extra applications shipped in the box include the read-only version of Quickoffice and, in line with the marketing of the 6630, a fun (but slow) 'Image manager', a (even slower) 'Photo editor' and a 'Video editor'. None of these applications are heavyweight, but they're still handy to have for novices. Miscellaneous utilities, of varying worth, include an Instant Messaging client, a units converter, a secure database (this doesn't sync to anything, though) and a 'File manager' for beginners that hides all the scary parts of the file system and just shows the bits that Nokia wants you to know about 8-) A generic Bluetooth keyboard driver is supplied and worked well with my Think Outside keyboard.

As mentioned in the 6680 review, I've long railed against Nokia for excluding the possibility that people might want to experience true convergence and listen to their music on their smartphone, with most previous Nokia smartphones only having mono audio output. With the 6630 and 6680 (and siblings and successors), there's full stereo output via the Pop-port connector and quality over the supplied headset was very good. Nokia intend you to listen to your music in MP3 format using RealPlayer, but canny users will want to encode their favourite CDs in Ogg Vorbis format and use the freeware OggPlay instead. This has far superior tag sorting, is skinnable, is more efficient and produces louder output, quite apart from being able to cram twice as much music on your card. Ok, so your Nokia smartphone many not be an iPod killer, but it can comes damn close for casual listening purposes.

As with the 6680, general connectivity is almost perfect, with exemplary Bluetooth performance, good PC Suite 6.6 integration with your PC data, and support for every telephony standard across the world, from the various GSM bands to full 3G, although the usual caveats about being beholden to the mobile data policy of your 3G network provider apply here. The only omission is infrared, for which I still have a soft spot. Every time you come across someone with an older infrared-only PDA you'll wish the 6630 had the same.

I mentioned the 6630's unique position in the market right at the start of this long term review. Money, as has often been observed, makes the world go around and we're all looking for a bargain. The Nokia 6630, whether bought cannily on a contract or snapped up in the final minutes of an auction on eBay, could be just the bargain you need. It has all the multi-tasking Symbian OS power you've been looking for, it's bang up to date and right now it needn't cost the earth.

For starters, you'll need the right Series 60 phone. The TomTom web site suggests a choice between the Nokia 6260, 6600, 6630, 6670 and 7610, with no mention of older (or newer) models or indeed anything from other smartphone manufacturers. In practice, I'm led to believe that any unit with Symbian OS 7 and above should work, although you'll need something with lots of execution memory (RAM), MOBILE 5 needs up to 6MB all to itself when running. I tried it on the 6600 and 6670 (from their list) and am looking forward to trying the Series 80/90 versions on the Nokia 9500 and 7710 respectively (watch this space for a separate review link for this).

NOTE: That works for my old but useful Nokia 6630 with GPS and TomTom. I don't know much about which manufacturers are accepting AAC format, maybe your mobile is even accepting MP3 directly as ringtone.

I got my last phone (a Nokia 6630) on an 18 month contract with T-Mobile, and as I haven't had any real problems I decided to get the E61 from them as an upgrade (plus they do an unlimited data plan for 7.50/month). I've also found that T-Mobile don't muck around with the firmware quite as much as some operators (like 3 and Vodaphone).

The phone looks and feels very solid with none of the annoying slidy bits that I've seen on some of Nokia's other recent phones (N70). Would have been nice it they had shipped a stereo headset like they did on the 6630, but that's not a big problem. The BP-5L battery has double the capacity (1500mAh) of the old BL-5C that I've got in my old phone, and I can see the necessity due to the additional drain from a big display and Wifi, but it's a pity because I've got about 5 BL-5Cs lying about and my bluetooth GPS (a Nokia LD-3W) uses them too. The charging socket is one of the new micro ones (same as my GPS), but they do provide an adapter that lets you use an old charger instead.

It's hard to fault the connectivity - it's got pretty much everything. GPRS, 3G, Bluetooth (with support for multiple connections), WLAN, USB (via Pop-Port), and even good old IR (which was sorely missed on the 6630).

Memory expansion is now via Mini SD which is a bit annoying because i'd only just got a 1Gb RS-DV SD card for my 6630, and the supplied 64Mb card is next to useless. But you can get a 1Gb card for less than 20 now so it's not the end of the world. You can change the memory card while the phone is switched on, but you have to take the back cover off to do it. At least it won't keep popping out in my pocket like the Treo used to do!

Ya os hablaré más extensamente de Symbian, del 6630 y de poder llevar un GPS con sus mapas en el bolsillo, pues son temas que como sabréis me apasionan bastante y de los que siempre me gusta escribir. De momento os dejo una fotillo de mi último cacharro.

A Nokia 6630 telefont 2004 dátummal adta ki a Nokia.1 db kamerája van. A kamerájának maximum felbontása 1,x Mpixel. A háttértárának mérete Nincs GB. A telefongurun az elmúlt két hétben 110 alkalommal tekintették meg a készüléket. A felhasználói szavazatok alapján összesítve 9.25 pontot kapott. A készülék nem kapható. 041b061a72


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