Nokia X6 review: Going up the ladder

GSMArena team, 18 January 2010.
Pages: 1234567891011

Tags: Nokia, Touch UI

Introduction

In the world of Nokia it's all about evolution, rather than revolution. So don't expect the specs on the X6 to blow your mind. The handset is the next step for the market leader scrambling to make up for a late start in touch- screens. To be honest, the Symbian S60 touch edition has been struggling to catch up with the standard setters in terms of user experience. And the X6 claims to have the answer: the responsiveness only a capacitive screen can bring.

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Nokia X6 official photos

The Nokia X6 is also the first XpressMusic handset to head straight for the high-end. Midrange is the highest the music Finns have gone so we are interested to see how this change of approach works. Nokia have always had a strong appeal to the masses, but pleasing the selected few is undoubtedly harder.

Key features:

  • Quad-band GSM support
  • Tri-band 3G with HSDPA support
  • 3.2" 16M-color TFT LCD 16:9 capacitive touchscreen (360 x 640 pixels)
  • Symbian S60 5th edition UI
  • ARM 11 434 MHz CPU, 128 MB of RAM memory
  • 5 megapixel autofocus camera with dual-LED flash
  • VGA video recording at 30fps
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, UPnP technology
  • Built-in GPS receiver
  • 32GB built-in storage
  • FM radio with RDS
  • Bluetooth and USB (standard microUSB connector) v2.0
  • 3.5mm standard audio jack
  • Very good audio quality
  • Proximity sensor for screen auto turn-off
  • Accelerometer sensor for automatic UI rotation and motion-based gaming
  • Stereo speakers
  • TV out
  • "Comes with music" edition gives you a year of all-you-can-eat music subscription
  • Landscape on-screen virtual QWERTY keyboard
  • Ovi Maps 3.0 Touch
  • Further Ovi and MySpace service integration (direct image and video uploads)
  • Most regional retail packages include a set of the great Nokia WH-500 headphones

Main disadvantages:

  • X6 is still quite pricey (around 500 euro at the time of writing)
  • UI is still immature with somewhat inconsistent user experience
  • Touch web browser not quite polished and with dodgy Flash support
  • No voice-guided navigation license
  • No office document viewer preinstalled
  • Doesn't charge off microUSB
  • Very poor sunlight legibility
  • Slow image gallery
  • No DivX/XviD support for the video player
  • No microSD card slot (as a connectivity solution)

As you can see in the two lists above there is almost nothing new in the software package, so it all falls on the hardware to justify the high asking price. The well-stuffed retail package is a great place to start but does the capacitive screen improve usability enough to be worth the extra money over, say, the 5800 XpressMusic? And the difference in price is by no means trivial.

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Nokia X6 at ours

In the increasingly competitive touchscreen market manufacturers don't have much room for error. The unpolished S60 UI is enough of a burden already, so Nokia X6 has to be near perfect in every other respect. A tall task indeed, but let's see how they've tackled it.

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