The claim Nokia makes for this phone is that it offers the richest features in the most compact form, a claim which cannot be disputed here -- it's small and light, one of the coolest, no-fuss, exteriors we've seen, and it has a 65k-colour display, camera and video, MP3 player and an MMC card slot. On the connectivity side you have Bluetooth, 6230's Infrared and GPRS systems.
The handset measures 103 x 44 x 20mm, and is 97 grams weight. The keypad is quite spacious, in that it takes up a lot of room on the handset, but it is no-nonsense. The keys are large and packed in tightly together, but you get used to this. The only trouble we really had was with the five way dial at the top of the phone, which easily leads you into the camera (accessed by pressing up) or the phone book (accessed by pressing down) if you don't hit the menu option bang in the middle of the button -- but again that's something that comes with practice.
The volume control on the side of the phone is sleek and discreet, and doesn't look or feel like a run of the mill volume control -- it seems smoother. A major gripe about the exterior of the phone is the back cover and a) its flimsiness (it felt like we could snap it just by looking at it) and b) its insistence on clinging steadfastly to the back of the phone whenever an attempt at removal was made.
What you won't find on the exterior of the 6230 is a slot for the MMC memory card. That card goes into an indentation located underneath the battery in the rear compartment.
Once inside, multimedia is the biggest drawing card of this phone and to this end, you couldn't ask for much more. Some new additions from prior Nokia handsets such as the 7250 include a superior 65k colour display (with 128 x 128 pixels), and we had no troubles reading the screen on even the brightest autumn morning. The camera is of the same type used in Nokia's 7600 and 6600 -- a VGA type, meaning it shoots photos of 640x480 pixels. As with most VGA cameras, image quality is not of the calibre to make you pass out with admiration but it has most of the standard features you would expect, including a fairly good night and portrait (80 x 96 pixels) modes and a 10-second self-timer.
Using the video camera you can now record clips up to 4 minutes in length, provided you have the memory for it. You can even turn off the microphone on the clips, which is not a trifling matter. It means that not only can you get rid of distracting background noise (or the sound of your embarrassingly whiney voice) when sound is not what you are after, but the lack of audio also greatly reduces the size of the video clip.
These photos and video clips can all be easily sent to your friends via MMS, IR, or Bluetooth and storage isn't a problem -- there is 7MB of free storage memory in the handset, but the included 32MB MMC card offers further expansion possibilities.
The 6230 also has a FM radio built-in, and this has the ability to play both MP3 and AAC audio files -- in stereo. The FM radio is much as you would expect. You can define a multitude of preset channels, and name them what you like, and it supports manual, automatic, and direct frequency tuning.
Navigation around the applications is pretty standard, but one of the changes to previous Series 40 Nokia phones is the ability to view the main menu in a grid of icons format instead of only in the "one item per page" method that most Nokia devices have previously used.
The 6230 comes with a fairly extensive set of pre-installed applications. The Calendar holds no surprises, nor does the To-Do list. Other applications that are included are: Remote Sync (SyncML), Notes, Wallet, Converter II, World Clock II, Calculator, Countdown Timer, and Stopwatch.
The business user will benefit from the ability to time the five profiles so that you can request that the phone revert back to the normal profile from, say, meeting profile once an appointment is over. Contacts are easy to use -- in each contact you can store multiple numbers, an e-mail address, and street address. Synchronisation with Microsoft Outlook on a PC comes courtesy of the included PC Suite software.
The new MMS editor allows for multiple slides in a MMS message, and each slide can have a picture or video, and potentially sound and text, too. The current version of the MMS editor also allows you to adjust the timing of each slide, so that you can control the flow of the presentation, which is nice of you take pride in your visual communications.
With a talk-time of five hours and standby time of 300 minutes, the battery life threw up no bad surprises. If you veer towards simplicity when it comes to the aesthetics of your phone, and you're after an all-round business and leisure mobile, the 6230 might take some beating.
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