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Nokia's feature packed 6230!

Review by Michael Oryl on Wednesday April 21, 2004.

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Nokia 6230
Nokia 6230
The 6230 has long been considered by some to be the second coming of the savior as far as mobile phones are concerned. The spec sheet certainly is impressive. Small, light, 65k color display, camera with video, radio, MP3 player, and the all-important MMC card slot.

But living up to the hype is never easy, and specs alone do not make a great handset. So how does the 6230 stand up? Let's see....


Multimedia is really one of the things that Nokia is touting about the 6230. I mean to say, it does everything. Pretty much. A number of things in this department set the 6230 apart from the prior Series 40 Nokia handsets like the 7250. For one, the display has been upgraded to a 65k color unit, even though it is still relatively small and only of 128x128 resolution. While this is still much better than the 4k color units Nokia had been using, it certainly is not one of the better 65k displays on the market. In fact, I would say it is one of the weaker ones. But still an improvement over the other Series 40 devices.

Of course the camera is meant to be one of the big draws of the 6230 (though not the biggest), and it is obvious that Nokia has listened to some of the complaints heard regarding their other cameraphones. The 6230's camera is a VGA type, meaning it shoots photos of 640x480 pixels. It has most of the standard features you would expect, including a fairly capable night mode. The Portrait mode (80x96 pixels) is also pretty good. But otherwise, the image quality is not all that impressive, like with most VGA cameraphones. The color is usually very good, and the white balance does a pretty good job of dealing with indoor lighting (even if the outdoor shots are a bit blue'ish), but the details of the images are very sketchy. You'll be able to get a good feel for that when you look at the Color Wheel test shot later in the story. Not the worst I have seen, and maybe ok for faces, but not that usable if you need any kind of detail in the photo.

Photos on the high quality setting range from 35 to 60k in size. 10 seconds of video is anywhere from 45 to 65k or so. Muting the microphone can save 30% in size.
One of the things that the 6230 does pretty well, though, is related to that same camera. The 6230 does a good job with video clips, playing or recording them. The 15 second MMS size video clip limit is gone. 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. This is great, and something that all of the manufacturers should pay attention to. Not only can you get rid of distracting background noise when sound is not what you are trying to convey, but the lack of audio greatly reduces the size of the video clip. How cool is that?

These photos and video clips can all be easily sent to your friends via MMS, IR, or Bluetooth. I ran into no complications at all, which is nice. But you can't even start if you don't have the storage space for these things, and that's one of the places where the 6230 really shines. Not only was there 7MB of free storage memory in the handset, but the included 32MB MMC card allows you near limitless expansion.

Lastly we have the audio. This is the real selling point for the 6230. The 6230 not only has a FM radio built-in, but it has the ability to play both MP3 and AAC audio files - in stereo. The FM radio is standard Nokia fare. You can define a multitude of preset channels, and name them what you like, and it supports manual, automatic, and direct frequency tuning. You can even use the capable internal speakerphone for the output, but you are still required to have the included wired headset attached since it acts as the antenna. In general I do no like the headset, and since it is a pop-port type, you can't replace it with your own favorite store bought headset.

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About the author

Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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