Nokia X6 review: Going up the ladder

GSMArena team, 18 January 2010.
Pages: 1234567891011

Tags: Nokia, Touch UI

Nicely geared retail package

The retail box of the Nokia X6 really manages to sweeten the whole deal. It doesn't have too many items inside but the Nokia WH-500 headset is a real gem. At the price of an entry-level Nokia phone on its own, the stereo headphones are the kind of accessory music lovers will be delighted to get.

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Nokia X6 retail package

The WH-500 headset isn't of course the best piece of audio equipment money can buy but it gets near enough so most people won't even see (or rather hear) the difference. The audio experience is miles away from the one you get from the regular headphones Nokia usually include in their retail packages. And as a small bonus, the remote on the cord is also nicely designed.

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The WH-500 headphones

Nokia must've thought (and quite reasonably) there's no way users will need a different headset, so they designed the whole thing together rather than using a detachable remote on the headphones.

Bear in mind though that Nokia chose to ship the X6 without a replacement in-ear set instead of the WH-500 headphones in some markets so you'd better check out the package contents before handing out the money. We don't say you shouldn't get the phone without them, we simply mean you should only do so if the price is adequately lower.

The other things that you will find in the box are a charger and a microUSB data cable. Luckily this time, Nokia included a regular cable rather than the extra short thingies they're so keen on shipping with their midrange phones.

A small booklet with the key you will need for enabling your Comes with Music service is also included. Finally, there's the usual CD and quick user guide that we suspect 95 percent of the users never get around to even unpacking.

You can also check out our Nokia X6 unboxing video.

Nokia X6 360-degree spin

At 111 x 51 x 13.8 mm, the Nokia X6 fit perfectly in our hands. That, of course, is strictly a personal thing and it's best that you check it out yourself. It doesn't take too much space in your pocket either but we've seen touchscreens go even slimmer.

The weight of 122 g is about what you would expect from a device of this size.

Focusing on the capacitive touchscreen

The Nokia X6 centerpiece is, of course, its 3.2" 16M color touchscreen display with a resolution of 360 x 640 pixels. Its size is about average for a pocketable touchscreen device and so is the resolution. We have seen plenty of WVGA displays recently which sport quite a lot more pixels so we can hardly consider it too great of an achievement. Yet with the HVGA still being quite popular we wouldn't go as far as calling outdated either.

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The capacitive display is the handset's main feature

The main novelty that the Nokia X6 display brings (at least to the Nokia portfolio anyway) is capacitive technology. It only requires a very gentle touch, rather than a push for a click to be registered. The downside is it's impossible to use with gloves, styluses or (for the ladies) long nails.

We made a simple test to check the accuracy of the Nokia X6 display by drawing straight lines on it. Any bumpiness on them would indicate hardware inaccuracies of the screen but luckily there were almost none to be seen. In this regard it ranks very near to the top of the capacitive pyramid, almost rivaling the resistive screens accuracy.

Unfortunately, the underlying hardware is not powerful enough to make the best use of the increased responsiveness. While the improved sensitivity is visible in simple menus where the phone doesn't have a lot of calculations to make, in most cases it is simply nullified by the laggy software.

It's a good thing that Nokia try to move forward with this one, but the improvement has to be on more than one level for the user experience to change. As things stand now, there will be more people missing the stylus input option and handwriting capabilities than those that will appreciate the increased screen responsiveness.

Another bad thing about the Nokia X6 screen is its poor legibility under direct sunlight. As a matter of fact this is the worst display in terms of sunlight legibility that Nokia have produced in years. The Nokia 5800, 5230 and 5530 trio wasn't great but the X6 is the worse of all those.

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