Nokia 6230i review: On the top, again

Marek Lutonský, 12 April 2005. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
Pages: 1234567»

Tags: Nokia, S40

Usually small innovations are hidden behind the small "i", added to the old models' names. Those at Nokia 6230i are no big either. Nevertheless, they are sufficient to make Nokia 6230i one of the best mobile phones nowadays.

Key features

  • Good quality display
  • USB Mass Storage function (memory card as PC drive)
  • Push to talk
  • Four-way button function customization
  • Email client works with attachments
  • One hour voice memo
  • Megapixel camera

Main disadvantages

  • Bad implementation of T9 dictionary
  • Phonebook sorting when synchronizing
  • An average quality camera
  • Memory card is hidden under the battery
  • Sending a megapixel photo in an email attachment not possible


Nokia 6230, which hit the market exactly a year ago, comes under the type of phones the manufactures manage to create only once in few years. As for Nokia, it simply listened to the customers' reproaches. After a long series of flabby mobile phones it finally created a model without big trade-offs. Although we could have certain remarks regarding the small, low resolution display and some other features, altogether it was and still is a very well-balanced telephone. It comes under the category of the older 6110 or 6310 models - is there anybody surprised by its repeated success then?

Nokia saw the opportunity to cash in even more on the 6230 success and now is coming with a new improved mobile phone with a small letter added. It is a pity Nokia did not launch such a phone straight away, but the year that has passed since the 6230 model was introduced is reasonable, so the old model's present users should not be too angry.

Nokia 6230i. Click to zoom. Nokia 6230i. Click to zoom. Nokia 6230i. Click to zoom.
At first sight, you will not even recognize you are looking at a new phone

Nokia 6230i was introduced on the market just days ago. For two to three months it will be possible to find both models next to each other, afterwards the old 6230 model will disappear from the shops' shelves. The phones are also going to differ in terms of price - around 30 Euros.

No difference at first glance

Nokia 6230i is a classical construction telephone of an unobtrusive design. It will be available in a light and a dark version, but more colors will also be possible to get, thanks to the removable covers. We should not expect vivid colors though, for design is rather conservative. The only part that stands out is the glossy camera lens legend on the back.

Nokia 6230i. Click to zoom.
Phone's most distinct element

Telephone's dimensions - 103×44×20 mm - are just the same as at Nokia 6230. When compared to the rest of the mobile phones, it fits into the category of the small ones. It is two grams heavier (99 g) than the old model, but it could still be considered a medium-heavy phone.

Nokia 6230i. Click to zoom. Nokia 6230i. Click to zoom.
Size comparison

Nokia 6230i is very solid. The back cover, which is almost impossible to remove, seems to me even much too solid; on the other hand, better this way than being loose, wobbling from side to side. The covers are plastic, but their surface design resembles metal - especially as far as the whole-silver model we have been testing is concerned. By the way, I like this one more than the 6230 dark version we obtained a year ago.

What a display

The display has undergone the most remarkable innovations. First, it is slightly bigger - it is 30×30 mm compared to old model 27×27 mm. The surface is by 1.7 sq. centimeters larger and even though it is perceptible, some of the competitors have much bigger displays:

  • Sony Ericsson S700i: 16.10 cm2
  • Siemens S65: 13.02 cm2
  • Motorola V600: 11.30 cm2
  • Sony Ericsson K700i: 10.44 cm2
  • Nokia 6230i: 9.00 cm2
  • Nokia 6230: 7.29 cm2

Nokia 6230i. Click to zoom.
During the presentation we did not even notice the phone is equipped with a bigger display

This time Nokia has not spared a pixel and has jumped from the uneven raster of 128×128 pixels straight to 208×208 pixels. Although this is not the finest display on the market, as we thought during the first look; being uninformed about its size, Nokia 6230i comes under the first five best. It is beaten by Sharp and Sagem myX-8 only.

  • Nokia 6230i: 4807 pixels/cm2
  • Sony Ericsson S700i: 4770 pixels/cm2
  • Sony Ericsson K700i: 3709 pixels/cm2
  • Motorola V600: 3396 pixels/cm2
  • Nokia 6230: 2247 pixels/cm2
  • Siemens S65: 1784 pixels/cm2

Finer, but less economical

My first impression of the display was: extremely fine, bright enough, with a good picture contrast. It is a TFT type, of course, and I appreciate the fact that when looked at from aside its colors do not change. Even though it toys a bit when seen in daylight, with some more effort and at suitable angle it is usable. The display glass cover is not protected enough, so you may welcome the possibility to remove and change phone's covers.

Nokia 6230i. Click to zoom. Nokia 6230i. Click to zoom. Nokia 6230i. Click to zoom.
Have a look at one of the finest displays ever

A display is also evaluated by the number of lines it is able to view - when writing or reading text messages, for example. In this aspect Nokia shows weaker results. Even though one can choose out of three different font sizes instead of the previous two, using the smallest one will allow you to view six lines only, whereas in Nokia 6230 it was enough for eight.

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