Nokia 6300 review: The slim Finn

Jan Horalík, 02 April 2007. Read the original review at
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Tags: Nokia, S40, MobilMania

Palatine keypad

The keypad in Nokia 6300 is divided into two parts located in two levels. The functional keys are situated about 2 millimeters higher than the numerical ones, which, however, has no negative impact on control comfort.

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Numerical keys could have been expressed better in order to facilitate touch orientation

The numeric part of the keypad consists of one block of keys without spaces. The keys alone are big enough, respond surely to pressing, accompanied by a quiet click. Typing becomes comfortable once you get used to the vague touch feedback. The keys are made of silver plastic material; however, their footing to the base could have been better. When you pass your finger across the keypad, keys wobble a bit. Keys legends are well and evenly illuminated in blue.

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Functional keys are pretty small • numerical keys do not stand out of the surrounding surface

Nokia 6300’s main control element is a four-way navigation key with a confirming center. The latter is spacey and easy to press; it is surrounded by a silver, a little bit elevated frame, which activates each of the four ways. Even though the frame is not much wide, its uplift makes usage seamless. The navigation key features no backlighting.

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Superb even backlighting

Around the navigation key are situated four well known buttons: two for initiating and terminating calls and two context ones. They are rather small, but the space around them is large enough so errors are rather rare. All four buttons have identical size; their differentiating element is the color of the tiny rectangle located inside each key.

Enchanting display

Nokia has equipped the 6300 model with a truly spectacular TFT display capable of visualizing the incredible 16.7 millions of colors. It offers a QVGA resolution of 240 x 320 pixels on a surface of 31 x 41 mm, which results in superbly fine images; individual pixels are not visible to the human eye. Add especially deep and true colors and high-quality backlighting and you will manage to imagine what satisfactory experience any look at the display is. Pictures look gorgeous. The display is perfectly legible under direct sunlight.

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Display is large enough

Neither backlighting, nor contrast is user-configurable. In the menu you can only set up what should happen, if the phone is left inactive. An animated screen-saver can be set up to appear on the display and consequently convert into a screen-saver with a digital clock, the corresponding date, and with icons indicating missed events if any. All these details are perfectly legible in any light condition. In the menu you will also find a sleeping mode option, when the display goes out completely. Not even with a dark display, however, will you miss a single event as the informative LEDs on the sides alert you of all those.

Superb image and visualization quality

User interface and control: quality proven plenty of times

There are no surprises here. Nokia 6300, alike plenty other Nokia siblings, is built on Series S40 3rd Edition user interface. In other words, neither the menu, nor the control of the phone differs in any way from those in other Nokia models based on the same platform. You will be pleasantly surprised by the broad user-configurable options of the phone; the drawback is that these make the menu structure somewhat complicated and hard to navigate.

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Various views at the stand-by display • active stand-by mode is available too

When on stand-by, the display visualizes not only the pre-selected wallpaper, but in the top bar you can also monitor signal strength, battery state, time, and the icons of any other currently activated functions. Beneath the top bar are the operator name and the date. The bottom bar is reserved for the descriptions of the functions assigned to the center of the navigation key and to the two context keys. The center of the navigation key opens the main menu, while the context keys can be assigned a function of your choice. The left key is pre-set to serve the Go to menu, where you can insert all your favorite or most used items. The font on the main display can be of any color.

User-configuration options do not end here, though. Each way of the navigation key can also start any function. Besides, the functions assigned to them can be displayed in the form of a cross with icons.

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All four visualization modes of the main menu

It is hard to imagine a Nokia phone without an active stand-by mode nowadays. The one implemented in Nokia 6300 consists of several parts that can be edited or relocated in various ways. In the standard case, the top area is reserved for instant access to favorite functions indicated by their respective icons. The central area provides instant access to the music player and the built-in radio. In the very bottom are displayed events from the calendar corresponding to the current day.

The main menu in Nokia 6300 can be visualized in four ways: a matrix with icons with or without legends, a list of items, and strips. According to our opinion, the best of them all is the matrix without legends, because it is the only visualization form that allows for all 11 icons to be displayed simultaneously. The legend of the active icon is displayed in the top left corner. The icons are designed with style; the active icon is animated. Icons can be freely re-ordered.

Lower menu level

The other menu levels are miscellaneous. Some legends are accompanied by an icon, others are not. In certain cases you will be able to see selected item described in small font so you will not need to step further into another menu level. As usual, the menu items are accessible through keyboard shortcuts. The color background of the entire menu as well as the wallpaper on the display can be easily modified by applying one of the 5 pre-installed profiles. More profiles can be downloaded from WAP.

The menu responds promptly, without delays. It offers a highly practical, intelligent voice control, which does not require pre-recording of one’s own voice labels and, at the same time, can be used for the activation of numerous functions. The firmware of the phone can be user-updated straight from the corresponding GSM network. New versions are downloaded Over-The-Air and immediately installed, so you need no PC for this purpose.

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