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Old 31-10-2003, 07:02 PM
Pagemakers Pagemakers is offline
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Nokia 6600. My personal, first hand opinion

I have had my 6600 for a couple of days now and for those of you that are interested I have posted MY personal opinions about the phone below.

The phone cost £449 and was purchased in the UK from www.livetelecom.com After placing the order my phone arrived the next day.

The phone immediately prior my 6600 was the SPV e100 MS Smartphone and I have purposely compared the phones wherever possible.

I mainly use the phone for business type purposes. To me the camera stuff is a nice thing to have but not the main reason for buying the phone. I am not really interested in games however as a Tennis Addict is comparable on both the 6600 and SPV.

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The 6600 itself is far nicer in real life than any photograph you will have seen it in. I have the grey version, although in reality it colour is a much lighter shade than it looks on a photograph. I originally wanted the rose colour, but seeing the grey I'm more than happy with its colour.

The phone looks and feels delightful. The screen is better than the SPV's screen. The colours are sharp and vibrant - it really is fantastic. One down point however, is there is no way to control the backlight timeout, so I am constantly finding myself having to press a button to turn the light on when ready emails or browsing the web. Nor can the screensaver be turned off completely. A bit of a pain if you use a Today Type screen discussed below.

The buttons are a joy to use, far better than the SPV's. The centre joystick is quite firm and after several hours of playing my thumb is quite sore!!

Although the actual phone is gorgeous and its build quality very good I think you would cause some serious damage if it were to drop from your pocket. The battery cover is particularly flimsy, especially the 2 little clips on it.

Under the battery cover is the MMC slot, hidden under the battery. What a stupid place to put it! The SPV's SD card can be removed while the phone is still on.

The phone takes about 20 seconds to boot up, a little faster than the SPV. My 6600 has been on all day and I still have full battery strength. My SPV on the other hand would need to be re-charged again by about 8pm.

Now, if you love the Symbian OS you can stop reading further because you will love this phone. Period!

If however you are unbiased in your operating system preferences, read on.

I have several criticisms with the Symbian OS as you will see below. I also think parts of the OS are great. I also realise that many of the criticisms can be rectified with 3rd part add-ons, but as you will see only SOME of the 7650/3650 software works with this phone!!!

I was a little disappointed by the speed of the 6600. The menus lag somewhat and applications are not desperately fast to open. Overall it is about as quick as the SPV e100, but nowhere near as fast as the e200 which is out shortly (uses MS 2003 OS with Bluetooth, camera etc).

It's a shame the wasnít some sort of Pocket PC type Today Screen implemented into the OS. I find myself constantly looking at my phone to see what I am doing next and the Today Screen shows me right there without having to fiddle around. Unfortunately, the 2 Series 60 Today Screen apps I tried to install would not work on the 6600. The default screen on the SPV is fantastic - really useful.

The 6600 supports Themes, which can be customised to an extent - change colour etc. Again the SPV wins hands down here with their XML skins. The SPV can be completely transformed if you know a little XML. Indeed there are already thousands of fantastic skins available for the SPV.

The 6600 supports Wav files for ring tones and these are transferred across using the data suite. Standard wav files work fine although there is a slight pause in the loop as the wav rings, something that can be edited out of the SPV using a quick registry tweak. Not sure if this is possible on the 6600.

The worst thing about the 6600 is the email software. It is basic to say the least. There is no automatic polling to the email server and using a POP 3 email account you have to download the entire message with associated attachments. What a stupid idea. My first email connection yesterday resulted in 50 emails. Can you imagine how long it takes to download them? On the SPV it is no problem. Just set the software to retrieve the first 5KB of each message - perfect! Then the next problem...deleting the emails. No delete-all button. So one by one I have to delete them, and it is several clicks to delete each email. A good feature of the MS Smartphone OS is all the menus on the phone have numbers, so if delete is the 5th option down you just press 5. No need to scroll down the menu. URL's are not converted into clickable links either - bad. They are on the SPV. Ah, I hear you say, just go and buy a 3rd party email client for the 6600. I tried Active Mail which does everything I need, but you guessed it, it wont install in the 6600.

The XHTML browser is only good for basic web sites. It falls over on anything else. I had high hopes for the Opera browser, but I have to say I am disappointed with that too. It's clunky and the Smart Screen Rendering technology is not as good as I thought it would be. The SPV's IE browser is much better.

Nice to see in the 6600's calendar they have updated the day view. Now there is no need to scroll up and down the page to find your appointments. They are simply displayed one after another like on the SPV or Palm.

The 6600's camera is fantastic. Simple to use and it's quality has impressed everyone I have shown it to.

Hands-free on the phone is very good. Better than the SPV.

There is a handy print program, but it will only print to Bluetooth printers not IR. Shame.

There are lots of bundled apps on the phone and they work fine. The included games (snake and Mix Pix are so so).

Finally onto the very very worst thing about the 6600. The Nokia PC Suite!! If I want to sync my SPV I place it in a docking cradle and thatís it. No buttons to press, nothing to configure (e200 can also use Bluetooth). Sync is fast and it allows more than one phone to sync with Outlook and it allows you to sync only your contacts and not your partners for instance. I find this a very usefull feature as we use one copy of Outlook in my office but only my contacts get synched with my phone. Once the SPV is connected you can use Windows explorer to browse to EVERY file on the phone - You can only browse to a few folders using the data suite.

Now to the Nokia Data Suite. I have spent about 20 hours non-stop trying to get the bloody thing to work. I have invested in 2 different USB Bluetooth dongles and tried installation and reinstallation on 3 separate Windows XP machines several times. On every occasion the mRouter software just simply does not recognise the Virtual Com ports and consequently you can not connect your phone to your PC. I called Nokia and they said it's the Bluetooth manufacturers fault. I called them and they said it's Nokias fault!! I work in an IT environment and I am very computer literate, but neither I, nor anyone in my office can get this software to work! It's pathetic really. I installed the same software onto my laptop and hey presto it worked first time. But that's not good enough, I need it to work on my PC.

When the data suite eventually works, it's average. You can not do half the things with it that you can using Active Sync for the SPV.

So, my conclusions......Top marks for the 6600 it really is a fantastic piece of kit and like I said above if you love the Symbian OS you will love this phone. The OS is much slower than I thought however, the screen, camera and buttons on the other hand are better.

For me, the 2 most important things - email, web browsing are insufficient on the 6600, considering it is supposed to be a top of the range business type model. This can obviously be plugged when the 3rd apps arrived, but never the less I feel they should have been implemented in the first place.

Before you tell me to go and buy a P800, it's too big and ugly for me and I donít want touch screen device.

I'm not having a go at all you Nokia fans and yes I would be the first one to criticise the array of bugs in the SPV (and there are plenty).

I will be purchasing the SPV e200 when it arrives supposedly next week and depending on which model I prefer will determine which one to sell the following week!

Before you blast me for my views, please remember they are just that - my views. What is important to me in a phone may not be to you.

Nokia 6600 10/10
Symbian OS 6/10

SPV e100 8/10
MS Smartphone OS 8/10 (but buggy)!
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Phone History: 7110 > T68 > T68i > 7650 > SPV > SPV E100 > 6600 > P900 > SPV E100 > Treo 600 > SPV E200 > SPV C500 > SPV C550 > iMate SP5i