Nokia 6681 review: Extra style

Marek Lutonský, 08 May 2005. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
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Tags: Nokia

The new smart phone Nokia 6681 has appeared on the market - a prettier successor of the previous model. It has a better display, a handy lens cover and a highly convenient view at the calendar events on the main display. Be the first to read the review.

Key features

  • Design and high-class finish
  • Active standby mode (Today screen)
  • 1.3 MP camera
  • Lens protected by an active cover
  • Stereophonic MP3 player
  • Improved internet browser and email client
  • USB memory card reader, part of the standard package

Main disadvantages

  • Works with RS-MMC Dual Voltage cards only
  • No radio, even though Nokia has proved it can make one
  • Dictaphone's capacity limited to one minute
  • Quickword and Quicksheet do not work in the tested piece
  • Stability issues

Nokia 6681 is a smart phone with Symbian Series 60 operating system (Developer Platform 2.0, 2nd Edition, Feature Pack 2). It has been made mainly for work. Yet, fun is a matter of course, considering phone's relatively rich multimedia functions. Nokia itself has classed the new model into the "Imaging" category. The phone is quite expensive - it costs approximately 500 euros.

Nokia 6681. Click to zoom Nokia 6681. Click to zoom Nokia 6681. Click to zoom Nokia 6681. Click to zoom
Nokia 6681

Together with 6681 Nokia offers the parallel 6680 model, which features richer equipment. There are three main differences between the two devices: 3G support, video camera mounted on the front cover, and the memory that is somewhat bigger in the 3G model.

We are testing the final version of the Nokia 6681 with V 3.10.6 firmware (dated 11. April 2005).

Smartphones keep being the same

During the discussions I happened to hear several complaints about Nokia 6681 not being as innovative as its forerunner. Those voices also claimed that the owners of the 6630 model do not have a single reason to replace their mobile with the new model. I could only agree with those opinions. What's more, Nokia does not expect this to happen. The previous model hit the market only half a year ago, so it is naďve to think that users will change their phones that often.

The dilemma customers are going to face will be whether to buy the new Nokia 6681, or to go for the cheaper 6630 model instead. The latter is still available on the market, being still one of the best current high-class mobiles. That is why in this review I will be frequently clutching at comparisons between these phones.

Nokia 6681. Click to zoom Nokia 6681. Click to zoom
Comparison to Nokia 6630

Nokia 6681 could be a suitable new phone for the owners of the older Nokia 6600, for example. To be honest though, the innovations it offers are not that numerous to make such a replacement an absolute must. Unfortunately, smart phones have become almost as identical as pocket computers: their critical part is their software. If the software has not undergone any significant changes, the differences between the individual models are relatively minor.

Not a long time ago, I was preparing some documents about mobile phones, when both Nokia 7650 and 3230 fell into my hands… Both were smart phones of Series 60. Nokia 7650 was the first ever, the other one was the newest Nokia's model at the time. You would hardly believe how little those two phones differed one from another…

No removable covers: a smart idea

The size of the new Nokia 6681 (108 × 55 × 21 mm) speaks about a big phone. Its ancestor, however, was even bigger: by 2 mm in height and 5 mm in width. The weight of 131 g sends this mobile nowhere else but into the category of very heavy phones. Even though Nokia 6630 is lighter only by 4 grams, the new 6681 model, being of a smaller size, feels heavier.

Phone Size Weight
Nokia 6681 108 × 55 × 21 mm 131 g
Nokia 6630 110 × 60 × 21 mm 127 g
Nokia 3230 109 × 50 × 20 mm 110 g
Nokia 6600 109 × 58 × 24 mm 122 g
Nokia 6670 109 × 53 × 21 mm 118 g
Nokia 6260 102 × 49 × 23 mm 130 g
Siemens SX1 109 × 56 × 19 mm 116 g
Sony Ericsson P910i 115 × 58 × 26 mm 155 g

The phone will be available in three color versions: blue, silver and white. Covers are irremovable - a wise decision in my opinion. This makes me hope the phone will stay solid. I also believe dust will not get under the display, provided it is carefully sealed. As a matter of fact, I have never had good experience with the removable covers of Nokia's smart phones of Series 60 for they would always get loose after a certain period of time.

Phone's construction is very solid, except for the part of the back cover, which slides up and down, uncovering the lens of the built-in camera. This sliding part is actually a plastic plate, which sags a bit when pressed. Its both final positions are secured by a relatively solid spring. The plate should not displace, if you decide to stick the phone into your pocket, for example, for its top side stays in alignment with the back cover of the phone.

Nokia 6681. Click to zoom Nokia 6681. Click to zoom
Lens cover when both closed and open

What I mind even more than the sagging of the plate is the fact that it is convex. Due to this detail the phone is unstable; it trembles and spins when it is placed on a table.

You can automatically activate the camera by uncovering its lens. Closing the plate deactivates it. Provided the phone has been locked when you start taking pictures, its keys get automatically blocked again after you close camera's applications. The slider plate is a smart innovation, used by Nokia for the very first time.

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