Review: Nokia 6650

30. August 2008 at 18:32

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The Nokia 6650 was launched at the CeBIT 08 and is available at T-Mobiles only. However, is it worth buying? What are its advantages and disadvantages? This review will find it out!

Advantages:

  • Size
  • Build quality
  • External display
  • Battery

Disadvantages:

  • Small 2.2´´ display
  • Some S60 Feature Pack 2 additions are missing ( i.e transitions)

Sales package:

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The 6650 comes in a thin box which contains the most necessary things. These things are:

  • Nokia 6650 (RM-400)
  • Battery with 1500mAh (BP-4L)
  • 1GB microSD card
  • microUSB-cable (CA-101)
  • Charger (AC-4E)
  • Manual
  • Nokia Maps Guide
  • Headset (HS-47)

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All in all the content in the box contains everything you need for the start. However,  the headset looks really a little bit old and not as stylish as the device itself. Nevertheless, the headset does it job more or less well. The 1500 mAh battery really surprised me and should guarantee a long battery life.

Build quality:

Having the 6650 in the hand the first time I was really surprised of its build quality. Especially since the back and the front is made out of steel which looks nobly and stylish at the same time. Opening the clamshell you will see mainly black plastic on which you can find, from time to time, some fingerprints which aren’t to bad or to big. No doubt, the 6650 is solid like a rock. However, my test-device was shaking a little bit in closed mode when you touched the front or used the external display.

Keys:

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Besides the numeric keypad you can find also following keys under the 2.2” display

  • Left soft key
  • Right soft key
  • Clear key
  • Red-end key
  • Green-answer key
  • Menu-key
  • Up on the d-pad
  • Down on the d-pad
  • Left on the d-pad
  • Right on the d-pad
  • OK, the middle of the d-pad

All these keys, including the numeric keypad have a pretty good pressure point giving you good feedback. However, they are a little bit harder to press than other keypads but this isn’t a big deal at all. As you can tell the keys are pretty big and also good for older user. Unfortunately, the keys aren’t spererated that good but you should get used to is pretty soon. One really nice and stylish feature/gimmick of the 6650 is the keypad light. Thus you have seven different light colours you can choose. This makes it stick out and makes it more attractive for young users.

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On the left hand side you find the dedicated volume keys and the camera-key. If you want to control the external screen you can use the dedicated volume keys to move the icons up and down. These keys are neither small nor big but nevertheless good to use.

Other than other S60 devices the 6650 doesn’t have a power-button on the top to turn on/off or to change the profile. So, you need to use the red-end key to do this. This is pretty much like all the other manufacturers do it. Using this key makes it much easier for new users finding the power button.

Size:

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The 6650’s dimensions are 99.7 x 47 x 16.2 mm which is actually pretty good. When it’s closed it is really small and isn’t as wide as other models. If you open the 6650 it becomes really big but also very thin. I actually like its size. More over, it only weights 112 g.

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Multimedia:

Although the 6650 isn’t targeted to be a multimedia phone it still offers a lot multimedia abilities, also due to S60 Feature Pack 2. It offers 128MB internal memory and compatibility for microSD and also microSDHC cards. In the test my 4GB microSDHC card worked without problems. The slot for the microSD card sits on the side and is protect well, just like the 2.5mm audio jack, micro USB port and the power core.

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The internal 2.2” QVGA display shows 16 millions colors. The external display ( 128 x 160 pixels) shows 256k colors. By closing the 6650 you can use the secondary display. Under the display you can see three touch sensitive keys. Using this three touch sensitive keys and the volume-keys on the left hand side you can access and control 6 applications such as the calendar, music player, camera (good for self portraits) , stop watch and some more. As usual, you can see the battery status, time, date and so on too. Of course you can also personalize the external display ( for example of a picture like I did it).

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Camera:

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On the front you can see the 2 megapixel camera along with the little LED. However, since the 6650 is a normal mid-tier device it doesn’t offer autofocus nor any other special imaging features.

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Having an external display it is pretty useful since it allows you to take self portraits easily. Selecting the camera application on the external screen you can see yourself and capture pictures. Opening the 6650 you can activate the camera application by pressing on the dedicated camera-key. The camera application is rather simple but still offers some settings in its tool box or in the options. So you can adjust the white balance or colour tone, activate night mode and the flash, set a self-timer or sequence mode. Here some image samples:

(click to enlarge)

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Of course the 6650 can record videos with 240 x 320 pixels,15 frames per second and up to 1 hour of length as well. This isn’t anything special but still good enough for uploading to Ovi, Youtube, watching on the PC or on the device itself. To improve or change the video-quality, you can choose between some modes. Here a video sample:

Music

Just like every handheld nowadays the 6650 can playback MP3 files also. Unfortunately the 6650 has only a 2.5mm jack, thus you can’t use your favorite headphones. However, using an adapter you can fix this problem. The music quality with the provided headset isn’t that good but if you use other headsets e.g. a Sennheiser headset (with the adapter of course) , the music quality is much better. Just like on your Computer you can create easily own playlists of all your favorite music on your 6650. The usage of the music-player is really easy. All you need is the d-pad and the volume keys to adjust the volume.

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To improve the music quality, you have an equaliser with 6 modes – Default, Bass booster, Classical, Jazz, Pop and Rock. More over you can select two visitations which looks more or less good.

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You can also playback the music through the mono loudspeaker. This one isn’t the loudest but loud and good enough for the living room, bath or car. Having the external display you can open and control the music player also via the external display easily. The 6650 supports following audio formats: AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MP3, MP4, M4A, WMA, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, Mobile XMF, SP-MIDI, MIDI Tones (poly 64), RealAudio 7,8,10, True tones, WAV

Connectivity:

The 6650 offers a lot connectivity ways. From GPS, HSDPA, Bluetooth, UMTS, GPRS, IrDA to micro-USB everything is under this sexy hood. Anyway, in the test Bluetooth works fast and great with the E71, my computer and also with my SU-8W. When you insert the micoUSB-cable into the 6650, you can choose between four modes – PC Suite, Data transfer, Image print and Media player. I usually use the Data transfer but if you like to have access to your internal memory you have to choose PC suite. Of course the 6650 can receive and send emails. The internal email client is good and easy to set up. Downloading the attached HTML file you can view the email just like you know it from your desktop; with all graphics and so on. More over, you can receive emails and with attachments like pictures, MP3 and other files.

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Thanks to S60’s excellent open source webbroser you can have the full internet on your device. Using GPRS or rather HSDPA you can enter the world wide web really fast and easy. The pretty nifty mini map helps you to navigate through the website. Well, the web browser is actually called web’n’walk but it’s the same you may know from other S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 1 or 2 device. More over, you can zoom in and out the pages and download pictures from websites you like. To be up to date you can also subscribe to RSS feeds really easily and read them wherever and whenever you like.

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Although the 6650 isn’t a multimedia device or flagship but a mid-tier device it offers build in GPS with A-GPS. Using the GPS and Nokia Maps you can see where you are or where you friend lives- either in map, map3D, satellite or hybrid mode. Furthermore, you can see how to come to the train station or any-other place. This all is for free but live navigation, which most the user are looking for, isn’t. You have to buy licenses to use Maps as good as possible. The GPS works good and in addition with A-GPS (Assisted-Global Positioning System) you can get a faster GPS-fix.  It always depends on your location but you should get a GPS fix within a minute or even less. Nokia is offering a program called Sports Tracker using the built in GPS of the 6650 to give you information about speed, altitude and many more.

Usage:

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The 6650 runs on S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2 which offers a lot improvements and addition in terms of usability and personalisation. Thus this is the perfect platform for a device like the 6650. As a result of various polls S60 totally improved the Task-manager. Either you open it via the traditional way (long press on the menu-key) or you go to the menu, click opinions and choose ”Show open apps”. More over, it’s more obvious now that you can open application by clicking on the central soft key. I have to confess, that I can’t judge this category that good because I’m a S60 user for some years. However, for a new user it’s pretty tricky to find into the menu. I’ve seen a lot user pressing the navigation key to get access to the menu which is the wrong way. After pressing the home key you can find plenty of icons and some folders. The icons already say what they stand for and furthermore you can read the application’s name. If you don’t like the menu structure you can create new folders, delete some, move the application as you like or change the menu view from Grid to a List or other modes. Furthermore, you can choose between several standard themes and hundreds more which are in the World Wide Web. For those with bad eyes you can also change the front size. The 6650 has a ARM 11 369 MHz CPU and about 18MB RAm after a fresh boot available for the user. Unfortunately, the 6650 doesn’t bring all the advantages S60 3rd Edition FP 2 actually could offer. So you’ll miss the really cool looking transitions which you may know from other Feature Pack 2 devices.

Business and Organizer:

Its obvious that the 6650 isn’t a devices targeted to the business market. Nevertheless, it still offers some useful business and PIM applications. In a folder called ”Office” you can find following content:

  • Calendar
  • Clock
  • Converter
  • Calculator
  • Notes

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Seeing all these programs you can not really talk of a business device but the 6650 is a device combining everything. To don’t miss any meeting you have the calendar entries on the Stand-By-Screen. You can create a to-do list, a memo and also some more. The calendar, the contacts and your bookmarks you can sync with the PC using the PC Suite. In the test it worked also pretty well.

Verdict

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To sum up, the 6650 puts the usual S60 feeling, great build quality, stylish look, GPS and  improvements in terms of usability for new user under a sexy and nobly housing. Indeed, this is a perfect device for the average user and newbies.