Nokia 6300 review: The slim Finn

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

Camera makes a huge step backwards

Nokia 6300 has a 2 megapixel camera considered a standard in all mobiles of this price category. The highest image resolution is 1200 x 1600 pixels. Whatsoever, the camera is rather disappointing: it has neither autofocus, nor flash or lens cap. The glass protecting the lens is only slightly embedded, but even so it could hardly be scratched. What it will suffer from, however, will be your fingerprints, and so make sure you polish it before every use.

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Camera view-finder and its menu • video camera view-finder

When photographing, you should hold Nokia 6300 in a vertical position; pictures are oriented vertically too, both characteristics being rather uncomfortable. Since the phone lacks a side release button, this is substituted by the center of the navigation key. The view-finder uses the entire display; resulting images are not cropped. Photo quality is average; when the weather is favorable, images come out pretty well, sharp enough, with less deep colors. The noise levels are high in areas with no detail like the sky for example. Given the absence of autofocus, you’d rather not take picture of closely situated objects of text, as they will surely be blurred. Text is only legible if captured from distance.

Sample photos taken with the built-in camera:

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8x digital zoom reduces image size to 240 x 320 pixels

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Night mode is handy

Demonstration of color effects:

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The camera options are standard. There is an 8x zoom, which, if used, shrinks photos to a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels. Further on in the menu you can set up the white balance and general image quality, activate the self-release function, burst mode, or night mode. There are five color effects, as well. Where you will save your ready photos - in the phone memory or on the memory card – is up to you.

In the phone, pictures can be viewed in fullscreen mode, they can be cropped or you can add various designs, frames, and text to them. They can also be easily sent out to another device via Bluetooth or printed out via PictBridge. Inside the Gallery application the address structure of the internal phone memory is fully separated from the one of the memory card. Nonetheless, you should have no difficulties to move files or organize them into folders.

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The gallery serves as a file manager • two preview modes • viewing images in fullscreen mode

The biggest disappointment for us was the miserable video resolution of mere 176 x 144 pixels. We expected Nokia 6300 to manage video records in VGA resolution, just as its colleague Nokia 6233, but it does not, unfortunately. The length of videos in 3GP format is only limited by the free memory available. Zoom can be applied during the recording process.

Telephony: no need of video calls

One of the main differences between Nokia 6300 and Nokia 6233 is the absence of 3G network support in the first. Nokia 6300 only operates in GSM networks at 900/1800/1900 MHz (850/1900/1800 MHz in the version for the Americas). The quality level of the other telephonic functions is traditionally high. Everything is just like in any other phone built on Series 40 3rd edition.

The phonebook offers space for 1000 names as well as various configuration options. Each contact can be assigned plenty of fields; for example, 5 phone numbers, email address, website, and street address; birth date, company, working position, and nickname. First names are separated from last names eliminating problems when the phone is synchronized with Outlook. Contacts can be differentiated using various ringtones as well as accompanied by a special image and video during incoming calls. Sound is good. A loud speaker and a voice recorder are available too.

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Two view modes within the phonebook • contact details and its editing

The phonebook can show only the contacts saved in the phone memory or only those stored on the SIM card, or both list simultaneously. Searching any of them is made by gradual typing of the name of the corresponding contact. The phonebook can be displayed as a simple list of names, as a list of names with numbers, or as a list of names with their assigned images. Users with sight problems will surely appreciate the option for font enlargement. And that’s not all: contacts can also be organized in groups and these can consequently be used as call filters. Another application worth our complements is voice dial; no pre-recording of voice labels is necessary.

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Phonebook menu • call groups • editing a ringing profile

Ringing profiles offer extensive user-configuration options. Nokia 6300 offers 7 profiles, each of which allows you to set up ringtones, Push-to-talk sounds, vibrations, message alert tones, and key tones. The profiles also help you to filter incoming calls. What’s more, each profile can be activated temporarily, with a pre-set expiry time. One of the profiles is called Airplane; its activation cuts off all network functions of the phone. The rest of the functions remain active. Identical situation is created when Nokia 6300 is switched on without a SIM card. The phone rings in 64-voice polyphony or using files in MP3, AAC, WMA, and AMR formats.

Messaging

The message menu has not undergone any modifications, either. It is organized almost perfectly. Besides standard text messages, Nokia 6300 receives and sends multimedia messages, sound messages via MMS, instant messages straight to display, and emails. Message type is selected before their creation.

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Message menu • received messages list • reading a SMS displayed in the smallest and the largest font

As soon as you activate the SMS editor, it will offer you a space for the number of the recipient, which you can insert through standard typing, selecting it from the phonebook, from the caller groups, or from the list with last recipients in the call register. Everything is practical and saves time. Once you have inserted the necessary number, a single press is enough to switch you to the space for text and you can start typing. The phone offers a T9 dictionary with rich vocabulary.

The menu offers three font sizes to choose from. 10 lines in the smallest available font fit onto the display at a time when messages are typed. If you use the largest font, then you will see 6 lines. Messages are read on 12 and 7 lines according to the applied font, respectively. A message can be a maximum 1000 characters long. Both the number of typed characters and the number of sub-messages are constantly visible. All messages use shared memory, independently on their type.

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Message type selection • creating SMS using the largest font

Quite surprisingly, the phone is equipped not with one, but with two MMS editors. One is standard, identical to the editors in other recently launched Nokia models. The other one creates the so called “multimedia messages plus”, in which any kind of file, even one in a non-compatible format, can be inserted. A photo in full resolution, a contact card, or an event from the calendar can be sent via MMS too. MMS size limit in both editors is 300 KB.

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Two MMS editors

The email client is a built-in Java application, which explains its slower speed. It works with POP3, SMTP, and IMAP4 protocols. When a message is to be sent, it finds the email address of the corresponding recipient in the phonebook. Automatic message download is not user-configurable. There is a simple spam filter for unsolicited mail. Sent attachments are not limited in size. Both entire messages and message headers can be downloaded as long as these, together with the attachments are no bigger than 300 KB.

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