Nokia X6 smartphone

Nokia's first smartphone to feature a capacitive touch screen

Nokia X6
  • Nokia X6
  • Nokia X6
  • Nokia X6
  • Expert Rating

    3.25 / 5

Pros

  • Capacitive touch screen, drop down media bar, customisable home screen, 3.5mm headphone jack, good multimedia capabilities

Cons

  • Questionable build quality, poor screen visibility in sunlight, outdated and clunky Symbian OS, Comes with Music subscription not included

Bottom Line

The X6 brings the first capacitive touchscreen on a Nokia smartphone, but this handset is ultimately let down by questionable build quality and a user interface that is neither attractive or user friendly.

Would you buy this?

Nokia's X6 smartphone is the company's first to feature a capacitive touch screen. A successor to the 5800 XpressMusic, the X6 takes two steps forward and one step back from previous Nokia releases and remains let down by the outdated Symbian operating system.

The Nokia X6 smartphone is one of the first to follow the company's new naming conventions. According to Nokia the X Series focuses on "social entertainment" and the number signifies the range of functionality on offer, and the approximate price of each handset — one being the lowest and nine being the highest. This makes the X6 a mid-to-high range smartphone in the X Series line-up.

Unfortunately, the design of the Nokia X6 smartphone doesn't lend itself to this description. The largely plastic build isn't necessarily a problem but the X6 feels second rate when compared with the competition. The battery cover case is flimsy and creaks when pressed, the plastic flaps covering the SIM card and microUSB slots feel cheap and nasty, and the slider key that activates the keypad lock sways from side to side when pressed. The Nokia X6's capacitive screen is a highlight as it's responsive to use and displays a bright and clear image. It doesn't fare as well when viewed outdoors though, with poor screen visibility in direct sunlight a real distraction.

The Nokia X6 runs the Symbian operating system, so using this smartphone is a familiar experience. The capacitive touch screen is a welcome inclusion that enhances the user experience, but the user interface isn't attractive or user friendly when compared to the many alternatives on the market, headed by the Apple iPhone 3GS. Performance is responsive, but the selection of buttons is inconsistent, with single clicks required in some menus and double clicks in others.

Holding down the menu button displays the application manager, which allows you to close currently running programs. There is also a touch-sensitive button just above the display that drops down the Media Bar, providing quick access to the music player, gallery, share, video centre, and the Web browser no matter what menu or application you are in.

You can customise the home screen theme to display a shortcuts bar, contacts bar or a basic screen. A contacts bar allows you to add four contacts (including a picture) onto the home screen, while the shortcuts bar provides instant access to four applications. The built-in accelerometer rotates the screen orientation in most applications and does so without any delay.

The Nokia X6 is reasonably well equipped for a smartphone at this price with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth with A2DP, HSDPA and built-in GPS all standard features. The X6 also comes pre-installed with Nokia's Ovi Maps client, providing free turn-by-turn navigation. HSDPA and Wi-Fi capabilities mean the X6 is a capable smartphone for mobile Internet use, but the included Web browser doesn't render pages or scroll as well as many alternatives.

Multimedia functionality is excellent, and it is aided by the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack and an FM radio. The media player is similar to the one seen in most Nokia's N Series handsets, displaying album art and allowing the adjustment of multiple settings including loudness, stereo widening and a five-preset equaliser. Nokia has taken a leaf out of Apple's book by not providing removable storage — the X6 comes with 16GB of flash memory, but Australia won't be getting the 32GB model which has been released in other markets.

Disappointingly, the Nokia X6 doesn't come bundled with Nokia's Comes with Music subscription service in Australia. Nokia claims to be working on integrating the Comes With Music service under the Ovi umbrella (including Maps and Ovi Store), and says a Comes with Music upgrade will be seen "later in the year".

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