Nokia 6170 review: A new generation clamshell

Marek Lutonský, 07 October 2004. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
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Tags: Nokia, S40

Camera phone

We will have to wait for a megapixel camera in a normal Nokia mobile phone. The resolution with the tested model is still only 640 x 480 pixels. Nevertheless it brings one new feature: 4x digital zoom.

Click to zoom. Nokia 6170 Click to zoom. Nokia 6170 Click to zoom. Nokia 6170
Digital zoom in action: nothing special

For shooting you can choose between two resolutions (lower resolution is meant for the pictures attached to the address book) and select one of three quality levels. Night mode and self timer are available but still there is no possibility of exposure compensation. The mini display can be used also as a finder.

Click to zoom. Nokia 6170 Click to zoom. Nokia 6170
Night street in a standard and a night mode

Photo quality is average, comparable to the most of the VGA camera phones. Pictures are fuzzy on the edges and unwanted light effect appears sometimes due to the cover glass of the lens.

Click to zoom. Nokia 6170 Click to zoom. Nokia 6170 Click to zoom. Nokia 6170
Click to zoom. Nokia 6170 Click to zoom. Nokia 6170 Click to zoom. Nokia 6170
Sample pictures

The phone allows video record. Resolution is still very low, only 128 x 96, video length depends on the free memory. A useful feature: it's possible to abort recording and to continue later - you can get more scenes to one 3GP file.

Download a video sample

Pictures, video and other multimedia files are stored in the Gallery. You can choose from three different views, you can zoom in a picture or run a slide show. I miss the possibility for full-display view without the stripes around. You can "play" with your photos a bit - add a text, a clip art, a frame or crop them.


Three types of Gallery view

The situation with the memory is a bit strange. The phone shows about 2.2 MB, but I doubt this will be the case with the final product, because Nokia is not saving memory space with its last phones. There was information about 11 megabytes on the Internet…

Don't take this information very seriously

Perfect telephony functions

Nokia 6170 functions are the same as with other Series 40 phones. Only the graphical interface has changed, because of the bigger display. Further features are almost the same, so I won't analyze them in details again.

Telephony sound is average; Nokia phones are not on the top from this point of view. I can praise loudness of the earphone and the integrated handsfree. It's possible to record a call, but it's not enough just to press a button - the respective option must be selected from the context menu.


Entering a number • dialing • incoming call

With clamshell phones it is always a question what to do with a call when the phone is in closed position. By pressing the side buttons Nokia switches off ringing, by opening the phone and fast pressing the red button you'll reject a call and if you don't do it fast, you will hear the caller in the earphone in a while.

The address book in the phone can handle 500 names. Each name may contain up to five numbers (you can choose from five types) as well as further text information such as push to talk address, e-mail, web page, postal address, chat nickname (WV) and a text note. Names can be sorted in groups and this way only you can assign them different ringing tones. You can also add a picture to a contact, which appears on the mini and main display with an incoming call. Nokia traditionally supports My Presence Service which makes it possible to find out whether the opposite side is available for a call. However that can't be used without operator's support.


Types of numbers that can be saved • text information menu

You'll enter the address book by pressing the down arrow; searching goes very fast with gradual writing of characters. Pressing the green earphone button starts dialing a number and this function is set as default; the middle confirmation button brings you to details.



Four different views on the address book • name detail

Polyphony with 40 chords celebrates a premiere with Nokia phones - in usual phones at least. And I have to acknowledge that the quality improvement is noticeable. Moreover, Nokia rewrote the old hits to use the potential of the higher polyphony. Besides the ringing in MID files it's also possible to use AAC sounds.

Ringing profiles menu

After 5140, Nokia 6170 is the next phone supporting Push-to-talk service; operator's support is necessary.

Push to talk menu

Messages: complete offer

Text and multimedia messages editors are the same as before. For SMS writing you can set the font in two sizes, the phone counts down written characters and you can see right on the display in how many parts the message will be split. The MMS editor inserts pictures to text only as links; you can see the result in a final view only. You can attach more pages; data limit per one MMS is 100 kB.


Text message written with small and bigger font


Multimedia messages editor • you can see the pictures in the final view only

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