Nokia 6230i review: On the top, again

Marek Lutonský, 12 April 2005. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
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Tags: Nokia, S40

Lower speed?

The old Nokia 6230, with its instant reactions, is almost an unnaturally fast mobile phone. As for Nokia 6230i, it did not surprise me that much, and obviously, my impression is not subjective. The new model is also very fast, but I could immediately notice certain lags (when accessing the main menu, switching between items, opening the messages menu) and some bigger reaction delays (starting the camera, gallery opening).

The slowing down is recognizable on the Java speed test, measured with jBenchmark, as well:

  • Nokia 6230: 1957 (1.0), 292 (2.0)
  • Nokia 6230i: 1394 (1.0), 147 (2.0)

There is no doubt the phone's speed is influenced by the display's higher resolution. The latter has also affected the phone's overall environment. When in a stand-by mode, you will not recognize any other change, but the different font. The main menu is classically displayed in big tri-dimensional animated icons. At first sight, it looks as if the option for switching the menu to a matrix image has been abandoned. It has not. You can reach it by using the context key of the Main menu options. The icons themselves look quite chaotic on the pictured wallpaper.




Stand-by display and the complete main menu viewed in big icons

Another innovation offered by Nokia 6230i is the graphic themes support. There are seven different images in the original setup. In them you will find wallpaper, a menu background, an animated screensaver, which gets activated after certain time of inactivity (and can be deactivated from the menu), and color sets. The various types of wallpaper can be animated as well.


Themes menu • the menu, this time displayed on light background (the themes' broken relief sometimes debases their good graphic image) • option for setting up highlighted colors


Various themes

The caller's name is displayed in a frame - just like in the latest firmware versions of the old model - and therefore is easy to see on dark wallpaper. In addition, Nokia 6230i offers an extra option for choosing the text color, available in a stand-by mode. You can choose out of 35 colors. Try the poisonous green on dark background. It is impressive.


Innovation: text color selection on the main display


We have not demonstrated what the second level menu looks like yet

Something more on the phone calls

All the descriptions I make in this review are based on the last-year review of Nokia 6230. Except for several details I am going to expand on, everything is quite much the same. Besides, Nokia 6230i is a model of the commonly known Series 40, so I may repeat myself a lot.

The phone supports the 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz bands. The phone calls are loud enough. Nokia seems to have generally improved the sound. Moreover, there is a Sound improvement option in the context menu, which is said (see the user manual) to have influence onto the clarity of speech, especially in a loud environment. When I activated it, however, I did not notice any difference. As for the built-in handsfree, it is good and needs no special remarks.


Dialing telephone numbers on the display • dialing • receiving a phone call • missed call alert

Making phone calls, writing messages or taking pictures - altogether at the same time - is not a problem. There is a one-hour recording time in case you decide to record a phone call. The phone beeps every 5 seconds notifying this way the opposite side that it is being recorded.

Oh that synchronization!

The phonebook can store up to 1000 contacts. It is a multi-item one. Each name can be accompanied by up to five numbers and five text details (email, web address, street address, instant messaging ID, note and Push to talk address). If you attach a picture or a photograph to a name it will appear with the incoming call in the bottom right corner of the display.


Types of phone numbers • Text items; options

Searching in the phonebook is easy and fast. You need to only press the down-arrow from the stand-by mode and then enter the first letters of the names one by one.


Search in the phonebook • name detail

The phonebook can be viewed in four different ways on the display. They differ in font size, quantity of the displayed details and in the number of items that can be displayed simultaneously. The option Big phonebook is set for the users with not very good sight. It offers a huge font, which should be easily read by anyone. The Name and Picture option shows the photographs attached to the names. I myself use the most compact image, which shows five names on the display en bloc.


Setting up the phonebook options plus three different phonebook views

As for the synchronization of the phonebook with the computer - for example with Microsoft Outlook - apparently, Nokia has not solved the old problem with the first and last names' order. There is only one item assigned for both details and the synchronizing program files them in first name-last name order without any preliminary questions. I suppose I am not the only user who minds this system for I sometimes cannot remember the first names of certain people, especially when my contacts number hundreds. This aspect of the synchronizing program has been present for many years now, but Nokia has not made a resolution to change it yet.

Rings in MP3 and more

Names can be gathered into contact groups. There are no such in the phone's original setup, but they are easy to create. I created 15 groups, which did not burden the Nokia 6230i even a bit. By sorting the contacts by groups you can individualize those using different ringing melodies. A new option enabling picture attachments has also been created (earlier, a symbol was possible to attach or remove only). It also includes the use of attachments while call sorting. What Nokia does not allow for is the attachment of a specific ringtone straight to a name.


Group list • ringing profiles menu

Nokia 6230i supports a 64-voice polyphony, which improves the sound remarkably. The older model had "only" 24-voice ringtones. Plenty of formats could be found among the ringing tones: MID, AAC, NRT, AMR, and, of course, MP3. Thanks to the mp3 application you can use any piece of music as a ringing tone. Even with an MP3 file of several megabytes saved on the memory card, the sound has no lags and starts running right away.


Pre-installed ringing tones menu

The T9 dictionary has gone wrong

Nokia 6230i works with text, multimedia, email and instant messages. Now it also supports Push to talk.


Messages Menu

When setting up messages you can choose whether you want a smaller font size allowing for six lines to be displayed en bloc, or two bigger and less economical ones, which are easier to read. The editor has a character countdown option and states in how many parts the message is to be divided (max. 6 parts). Apparently, the phone's memory can take in up to 150 SMS, although Nokia traditionally does not state the memory capacity and makes do with the general formulation, that short messages use shared memory. All messages can be deleted at once. Moreover, the phone asks whether to delete all messages including the unread ones.


Three font sizes in the SMS editor • graphic smilies

Obviously, a new T9 dictionary has been installed in Nokia 6230i, which features a new complete-the-word function. In reality however, this option hardly ever works causing more problems than drawing benefits. I feel even sorrier for the insufficient vocabulary, which is a great disadvantage.

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