Nokia 6303i classic review: Retro chic

GSMArena team, 20 April 2010.
Pages: ę12345678Ľ

Tags: Nokia, S40

Unboxing Nokia 6303i classic

The retail package of the Nokia 6303i is standard issue stuff. The charger is of the mini variety, thereís a short (and we mean, really short) USB data cable, and a one-piece stereo headset. The 1050 mAh battery is here as well, while a quick start guide and a manual round out the contents.

We also found a 2GB microSD card and a voucher for 25 songs from the Nokia Music Store Ė not bad for such an affordable phone.

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Nokia 6303i classic unboxed

Nokia 6303i classic 360-degree spin

The Nokia 6303i classic measures 108.8 x 46.2 x 11.7 mm with a volume of 57 cc Ė precisely the same dimensions as the 6303 classic.

The phone hits the sweetspot of comfortable handling. Neither too small, nor too big - it fits nicely into any pocket but itís not too small to use. It weighs just 96 grams Ė but donít let that fool you. Itís metal all over - the back, the front, even the keys, and has a solid, expensive feel to it.

Design and construction

The i-modification of the Nokia 6303 classic is not a facelift so on the outside the 6303i and the vanilla 6303 are identical.

The earpiece is centrally placed right above the Nokia logo up front. The ambient light sensor is right next to it.

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Earpiece and ambient light sensor above the display

The display of the 6303i classic is great in terms of both contrast and color rendering, and it has a very wide viewing angle. Sunlight legibility is an absolute treat.

The screen has QVGA resolution and can display up to 16M colors on a 2.2" diagonal.

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A decent-sized display

Beneath the display, rocker-styled buttons on both sides of the D-pad accommodate one soft key and one call key each. The navigation frame of the D-pad projects nicely over a roomy confirm key. All controls are comfortable to use and occasional mispresses are very rare.

The front has a slight curve at the bottom, which raises the end row of the keypad slightly. This makes keys a bit harder to press, but it's nothing major.

The star and hash key are smaller and slightly less comfortable but that seems a sacrifice to the curvy styling of the device. Otherwise, the keys are well defined and solid to press.

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The top and bottom row of keys had to make sacrifices in the name of looks

The display backlighting and the white keypad illumination are very strong. However, in typical S40 style, thereís no option to set the brightness manually.

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The strong and even white backlighting is a treat

The top side of Nokia 6303i classic is pretty bare, as Nokia crammed everything into the bottom. The top houses just the power button, which is recessed enough to rule out accidental presses.

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The top side of Nokia 6303i classic

The right and left side of the handset don't have much to show either: the left side is completely empty while the only thing on the right is the volume rocker.

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The neat sides of Nokia 6303i classic

The bottom part of the 6303i is where all the ports are - the microUSB port hidden under a plastic cap, a 3.5mm audio jack, charger plug and the lanyard eyelet. This means that the phone will have to be upside-down in your pocket if you've got the headset plugged in.

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Bottom is port-heavy

We conclude our round- trip of the 6303i classic with the rear. The back features a dual LED flash right under the 3-megapixel camera lens. Just next to it is the loudspeaker grill. One complaint we have here is that sound does get muffled when the phone is lying on a flat surface.

The battery cover is metallic alright and the feeling of touching the cold metal is unusual in this price range.

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The steel rear: camera lens with LED flash

Releasing the battery cover reveals the powerful Li-Ion 1050 mAh (BL-5CT) battery. The Nokia 6303i classic charges both through the standard charger plug and the microUSB port.

The Nokia 6303i wasnít with us for long, but in two days of use the battery didnít budge, it still reads full. We made about 10 minutes of phone calls, about half an hour of shooting photos, then music and games (about 30 min each) and then there was quite a bit of general testing and prodding of the interface.

This economy of power use makes the Nokia 6303i classic a very reliable handset Ė itíll run for days on a single charge.

The SIM card compartment is housed under a hinged metal bracket and swapping it is quick and easy. The microSD card slot is accessible from the side of the phone (you will still have to remove the rear cover though).

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Rear cover comes off easily

The solid feel that only a metal frame can provide is refreshing and scores big for the 6303i classic, but the plasticky keys on the front spoil that impression somewhat and itís hard to call the phone a looker.

The phone handles nicely and navigation is quite straightforward. Fingerprints are not a problem, but the gap between the front and back seems like a good place for the 6303i to gather lots of dirt.

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The small Nokia 6303i classic is a joy to handle ē size comparison with the iPhone

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