My First Week with Nokia 6630

It is hard for me to imagine that I am carrying around in my pocket a computer that is as powerful as my first generation Pentium powered AST desktop, I wrestled with back in 1995, typing out scintiallting stories about memory chip prices for Quick Nikkei News. It seemed breezy enough, running the now forgotten Windows 3.1. With some kicking around, the TCP/IP stack on it worked for me to get Internet access as well. Fast forward by ten years, and the new Nokia 6630 packs a mightier punch – a 200 MHz ARM 5 processor – in a small but lethal package.

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The Nokia 6630 is based on Symbian OS. It is a tri-band phone for GSM 900/1800/1900, EDGE and WCDMA networks. Weighing 127 grams and measuring 110 x 60 x 20.6 mm, it is world’s smallest megapixel phone for GSM and WCDMA networks. It has everything you would normally want in a good smart-enough phone. Clearly, this is the best 3G phone on the market, especially given that how the others are so clunky and well ugly! It is light enough that sometimes I forget it is sitting in my pocket. (more…)

With 6620 and 6630, Nokia has put the strange design adventure behind it. Even though 6630 is a little quirky and reminds you of the roundish bottom of Nokia 3650, it still doesn’t feel too hip for an aging hipster. The brushed aluminium exterior has a solid and reassuring feel to it. It looks really nice next to my Powerbook. The keys feel responsive to the touch, and are easy for someone like me who would rather SMS than talk on the phone. I like the fact that Nokia has packed this tiny phone with a lot of features. The 1.3 megapixel camera is a delight, and photos are exceptionally nice and bright. Video recorder does a decent job of grabbing short clips. The bluetooth is exceptionally good, and easy to use. The screen is bright and colorful. The internal antenna is good enough to receive signal even in the farthest corner of my apartment.

In recent months I have taken a shine to Symbian OS, and have found it to be more nimble and responsive that either the Palm or the Pocket PC phones. That doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t like them. Symbian, it seems is more made-for-phone OS. The calendar, address book and even the clock has gone through a makeover to match the brushed metal exterior. The phone has new icons and in general feels like a serious enough upgrade from the Nokia 6620. (I also like the fact that I don’t have to do reset on the phone like with the Treo 650 and the Pocket PC devices.)

Now for the bad news. I ended up switching to AT&T Wireless and signing up for their UMTS plan hoping to enjoy DSL-type speeds on the phone.. Oops, for this phone is a not-for-US model and as a result, it uses a different frequency than the AT&T Wireless UMTS which uses the 1900 band. So really I have been getting EDGE speeds on this device, and overpaying for my data plan. Now that’s something I should have looked into it. However, as a phone, it will work across the planet, and that’s the upside of this device. If you are in Europe, it will also let you make video calls, though not sure how it works since I cannot make those calls here in the US.

6630_features.jpgThe email client is rather limited and so is the inbuilt browser. I have to say, with NetFront and/or Opera broswer, I do find the surfing experience much nicer. Profimail is a much better email client, and I encourage all Symbian users to buy it. Rael thinks that as well! Wait… the bad news is not over. The phone while is discovered by my Powerbook, does nothing really except for sending files from the phone to the desktop. Reverse link, i.e. powerbook-to-phone does not work. Windows users, if you have bluetooth, have a better time dealing with the phone, and it syncs quite easily with Outlook. I have an Acer Ferrari 3200 Scream Machine sitting at home which is my test bed for the month for all windows apps. It has bluetooth built-in, and the pairing to transferring files and syncing outlook 2003 was a breeze. The Stinkpad with a D-Link USB bluetooth devices well did not do the trick and still having pairing problems. Lastly, Nokia switched the damn memory card standard on US again, and that means another $100 or so down the drain. Still, Nokia listened and now it is easy to remove the card, (see image) I like the music player, and the old headphones work with this device as well.

So what’s the verdict: got about $700 to burn, go ahead and buy this one. You will like the way you hold it! (More on this at Russell’s website!)

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