Nokia 6210 Navigator review: On the road again

GSMArena team, 06 August 2008.
Pages: 12345678

Nokia 6210 Navigator unboxed

The box contents of Nokia 6210 Navigator are standard. Along with the phone itself, you will find a wired handsfree, a USB cable, a CD and a DC charger. A manual, a quick start guide and a 1GB microSD card are also in the box. Just as a reference, the first Navigator ships with a 512MB memory card. An in-car holder is optional, which is a bit of a downside considering the targeting of the device. We can't help reminiscing of the Asus P750, which comes with a whole bunch of accessories including a windshield mount holder.

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The modest box contents of the retail package

Nokia 6210 Navigator 360-degree spin

The first thing to notice about the new Navigator is the trimmed-down waistline. Nokia 6210 Navigator is 14.9mm thick, keeping pretty much the same height and width at 103 x 49 mm. We have the same volume of 89 cc, but weight is down to 117 grams. And that tells when handling and using the device.

The phone feels surprisingly light in hand, while the build quality is commendable. The slide mechanism feels very sturdy and reliable, even if not as smooth as in the hi-end Samsung U900 for example. Using the D-pad and the adjacent controls with the slider up is a different issue though. There's a tangible wobble and pressing any of the mentioned keys makes the whole upper part of the phone clatter.

Design and construction

The 3G enabled Navigator features a video-call camera in the top right corner. Right next to it is the ambient light sensor. The earpiece is centrally placed right above the Nokia logo.

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Nokia 6210 Navigator offers video calling and an ambient light sensor

The 2.4" display follows, with the large soft keys right under it. They are placed on each side of the D-pad and above the Call and End keys. The End key also acts as a Power key, for the lack of a dedicated button.

The smallest knobs in this user-friendly layout are the main menu (Symbian) and C (clear) key. They are conveniently lifted up, so size doesn't hurt tactility. And finally, there is a dedicated key for navigation at the very bottom of the slider.

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Control and navigation are just right

Sliding up unveils the alphanumeric keypad, which takes the entire lower deck of the phone. Keys are amply sized, well defined and solid to press. Mistypes are quite unlikely, and we are very happy with the build quality and the comfort of use. The only issue is the utter lack of headroom for the top row of keys, which are crammed into the slider.

Both the keypad buttons and the main controls around the D-pad are slightly curved and quite tactile. By the way, the Nokia 6220 classic has virtually the same keyboard and soft key layout, only in the bar form factor.

We are not really happy with the plastic used on the front (counting the keyboard too). It looks cheap - much like a Nokia 3500 classic. Pressing any of the navigation keys gives out an audible squeaking.

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Quite a decent keypad, though a typical slider issue hasn't been dealt with the plastic looks cheap

On the top side of Nokia 6210 Navigator you'll find two apertures - a charger connector and a 2.5 mm audio jack. It seems 2.5 mm is the standard Nokia pick, leaving the 3.5 mm for the high-end multimedia devices only.

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2.5 mm jack and the charger plug on top

The right side of the handset hosts the volume rocker and the dedicated camera key, which is exactly the same layout as with the old Navigator. Even though the phone has lost some good 5mm in thickness, the controls are still big enough and comfortable to operate. Their size and elevation are great for touch orientation.

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Volume rocker and shutter key keeping the old Navigator style

Turning to the left, we come upon two essential elements. The microUSB port is placed closest to the top, its plastic lid, keeping the phone looks intact. The same holds true for the memory slot, which is halfway down the left side.

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Connectivity port and memory expansion

Bottomside, we find the battery cover latch, the mouthpiece and the neck/wrist strap eyelet.

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Battery cover latch, lanyard eyelet and mouthpiece at the bottom

We conclude our shape-and-looks tour with the rear. The new Navigator has lost the camera lens cover but has gained some on looks. The back panel is made of matt plastic, which is fingerprint-proof. The dual LED flash is right above the lens. In the top left corner is the loudspeaker grill: another loss for the new Navigator is the stereo speakers of its predecessor.

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No lens protection, no stereo speakers

Releasing the battery cover is a formidable task, quite unlike the original Navigator. The rear cover is so tight you can hardly deal with it. Underneath you'll find the BL-5F 950 mAh battery and the SIM bed. The battery wasn't exactly a great asset of the old Navigator and, given the pretty similar standby and talk times quoted by the manufacturer, we fear the successor won't be much of an improvement.

We put the 6210 Navigator through our usual GPS battery test to see how far you can get with it in GPS mode. We left the device at a standstill position with GPS satellites locked and the display constantly on. The 6210 Navigator kept going for 4 hours straight, which is nice - it's on par with the Samsung i900 Omnia for example.

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Rear cover off (after quite some effort)

We have no reason to complain with the build quality of the handset but we can't say either that it outdoes the old Navigator in terms of durability and solidity. The phone still handles nicely and the reduced thickness has quite a positive effect. The plastic casing is not much of a treat in terms of looks and feel, but construction is adequate. The only major downside is the cheapo plastic used on the front, which even has a glossy finish susceptible to fingerprints.

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Navigator in hand

Backlighting is very nice and even, and darkness poses no obstacles to usability. The ambient light sensor takes care of the display brightness, so it's never bothersome.

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Solid backlighting a match for the great display

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