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Review of Nokia's 6650 smartphone - coming to AT&T

Review by Russell Jefferies on Wednesday August 27, 2008.

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Nokia's new clamshell smartphone, the 6650, was released on T-Mobile UK this summer. Sporting Nokia's powerful S60 user interface and a 1500mAh battery, the device is sure to impress heavy users as well as S60 fans. The 6650 also features a built-in GPS receiver for navigation with Nokia Maps, and an external display with touch-sensitive keys. Pretty decent specs for a clamshell device, but read-on to find how it fares in our tests.

[The Nokia 6650 smartphone will be available in the U.S. from AT&T in the future. The AT&T version will have support for additional AT&T apps, such as navigation, and will include support for North American 3G frequency bands. -editor]

Physical Aspects

The Nokia 6650 is quite an attractive phone, with lashings of brushed stainless steel covering its exterior. In terms of size, the 6650 is fairly average, measuring in at 100mm x 47mm x 16mm (3.9" x 1.9" x .6") in the closed position. It weighs in at 112g, giving it a very solid feel and nice weighting. The clamshell mechanism felt very sturdy and would spring out to its final resting position from about 90 degrees onwards. I struggled to open the device one-handed, but people that use clamshell more often than me will probably find it acceptably easy.

In the center of the device's outer front panel is the 128 x 160 pixel exterior display, which is capable of showing up to 262,000 colors. This display was easy to read, even in direct sunlight. Below this display, hidden within a glossy black area, are the device's exterior touch-sensitive keys. These are used to operate the limited functions that are available via the exterior display. There are three touch-sensitive keys, with menu scrolling being achieved courtesy of the volume controls that are located on the left side of the device.

Just below the exterior touch-keys you'll find the device's loudspeaker, cleverly hidden in an extremely narrow slit that most people will likely not even notice. Below this is the T-Mobile logo, tastefully engraved into the metal casing of the phone. Above the exterior display is the Nokia logo, also engraved. Above this is the device's 2.0 megapixel camera and flash, which protrude slightly from the device. The bottom edge of the front panel is made from a matte grey plastic, which also covers the sides and the bottom of the device where the antenna is positioned. The rear of the device is otherwise dominated by the brushed stainless steel battery cover, which is easily removed for access to the SIM card and the enormous battery.

On the left side of the lower half of the clamshell you'll find the Nokia 6650's micro-USB port, covered by a small plastic flap. On the right side you'll find two more plastic flaps that cover the microSD slot and the headphone and charger ports. These flaps help to finish off the tidy appearance of the phone, and have symbols on them to indicate what they cover. It's a shame that the charger and headset sockets were placed at the bottom right corner of the device, as this makes it difficult for right-handed people to use the device whilst charging or listening to music.

Upon opening the clamshell you're greeted with a very simple yet stylish keypad. The keys are all flat, but, cleverly, each of the numbers/symbols have been slightly raised so that you can feel your way around. The keypad is well spaced and feedback is good, despite it being perfectly flat. Overall I really liked the 6650's keypad, which also featured a choice of 7 backlight colors. Happily, the exterior touch keys change color to match the keypad's backlight.

Just above the numeric part of the keypad are the send/end keys, S60 menu key, cancel/clear key, right and left softkeys, and the 4-way d-pad and select button. The 6650 can be switched on or off by holding down the red 'end' key, which also doubles as a shortcut to the profiles menu. Just click the end key once from the standby screen and the profile list is brought up, along with options to switch the device off, switch into 'offline' mode, remove the memory card, or lock the device with a PIN code.

On the inside of the upper-half of the device you'll find only the 2.2" color display with 240 x 320 pixel (QVGA) resolution, and the device's earpiece. The display looked bright and attractive, and is capable of displaying up to 16.7 million colors, while offering superb performance in direct sunlight. Just above the display you'll find a silver Nokia logo and the earpiece slit. The area surrounding the display is clad in glossy black plastic, which matches the majority of the plastic on the keypad and the plastic area around the external display.

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H @ 4:51:52PM EST on Wednesday March 4, 2009

This phone is NOT a great product. I love Nokia and the dependability of having service virtually anywhere and had NO issues with the N75, but this 6650 is troublesome. I have had 2 exchanges and they do the same things. Names will not register in the phonebook for the phone to say the name of the caller, bluetooth connection is not always guaranteed and the options button sometimes does not function at all.

Cincyphoneguy @ 1:16:26AM EDT on Monday April 13, 2009

I am already on my second Nokia 6650 from AT&T, and I hear crackling/interference in the line when I make a call. My other phone did it too, so I think it might be a network issue. Pleae AT&T, fix the voice quality in Cincinnati, Ohio. There is a lot of static/crackling in the line.

Al @ 1:40:46PM EDT on Monday July 20, 2009

This was THE WORSE phone I've ever purchased. I would definitely NOT recommend it for anyone. I don't know how anyone could say this phone is easy to use.(too many steps to get anywhere) I also had a factory battery problem. The only thing I could mention good about this phone is the multi color choice on the keypad. So, if that's all you need go for it otherwise stick to a Motorola or Samsung phone.

PaleRider @ 3:48:09AM EDT on Thursday August 6, 2009

Hands-down, one of the best phones on the market. H, sorry to hear of your issues, as I've had none of it & Cincy, sounds like maybe AT&T needs to upgrade their service in Cincinnati. Al, if you find the OS interface of a smartphone ever so difficult, maybe you should stick with something simple, like a Jitterbug.

Bill @ 1:50:56PM EDT on Friday September 4, 2009

I have had this phone scince att introduced them, the first one froze up a bit but was in my 30 days so got another one right away,still using it no glitches everything has worked well, all in all great phone for the money.

RIHARD DU BURKE @ 3:35:13PM EDT on Friday September 18, 2009

Where and when can I buy a Nokia 6650?

daniel @ 1:42:56PM EDT on Thursday June 10, 2010

I have one phone and i must say its the best phone i have ever had but i am in Jamaica and the phone won't pick up here i have tried every chip in my country and it still hasn't worked can you help me.PS a lot of people are having the same problem out here in Jamaica.

About the author

Russell Jefferies
Russell Jefferies reviews mobile phones for MobileBurn from his home located in Bristol in the United Kingdom.

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