Nokia X6 review: Going up the ladder

GSMArena team, 18 January 2010.
Pages: 1234567891011

Tags: Nokia, Touch UI

Design and construction

The Nokia X6 looks pretty nice with its opaque plastic finish. You can't be too imaginative when designing a full-touch handset but a huge display up front always has a positive impact on a handset's look.

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Nokia X6 next to the 5800 XpressMusic and the Apple iPhone

Our main concern is the all plastic body. While it might suit nicely an entry or midrange handset, we can't help but wish for some metal both for looks and durability. We've never seen much steel on an XpressMusic phone, but then again, we've never had to pay this much to get one.

Below the display we find the three traditional for the S60 touch devices keys. Those include Call and End buttons as well as a menu knob. They aren't touch-sensitive so the transition between them and the screen might be a bit awkward. On the other hand their size and tactility renders no other usability obstacles.

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There are three keys under the screen

At the top of the front panel of Nokia X6 we find the earpiece, the video-call camera and the Media key and a couple of sensors. The sensors are embedded in the earpiece hole this time rather than needing a separate space on the front panel.

The Media key is touch-sensitive and is noticeably more sensitive than those of previous Nokia touch phones.

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The video-call camera, the earpiece and the touch-sensitive Media key

The top of Nokia X6 is quite crowded with no less than four functional elements to be found here.

The power key, which is also used for alternating the active profiles and locking the device, is the first thing of interest. Next come the 3.5mm standard audio jack and the charger plug, followed by the microUSB jack. The microUSB slot is covered by a lid to prevent dust and dirt from accumulating.

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The power key is next to the charger plug, the 3.5mm audio jack and the microUSB slot

The Nokia X6 right side features three keys - the volume rocker, the camera key and the screen lock slider. They are large and comfortable enough so using them is no trouble at all.

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The three keys on the right: volume rocker, screen lock slider and camera button

The stereo speakers and the SIM card slot are on the left side of the X6. You actually need to remove the battery to eject the SIM card but you don't have to do that when inserting it. Yet you shouldn't expect some kind of hot-swap functionality or anything like it. You still need to restart the device for the new card to work.

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The stereo speakers and the SIM card slot are at the left

The bottom is quite bare. The microphone pinhole is here along with the gap you use to pry open the back cover.

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There isn't much to see at the bottom

The back side of Nokia X6 hosts the 5 megapixel camera lens and its dual-LED low-light assistant. The Carl Zeiss branding sits right next to it, suggesting good optical quality. Unfortunately, there is no lens protection aside from the edgy frame surrounding it.

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The 5 megapixel camera is the star backstage

Removing the battery cover reveals the 1320 mAh BL-5J Li-Ion battery. Its got an impressive performance rating on paper and in real-life scenario as well.

Quoted at up to 420 hours of stand-by and up to 8.5 hours of talk time, it could give you good two and a half days of extensive usage (half an hour of web-browsing, 20 minutes of talk-time, an hour of listening to music and 30 minutes of using the other features of the phone per day).

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Taking a look at the 1320mAh Li-Ion battery

If you are planning to use the Nokia X6 as a dedicated music player (for which it definitely seems fit) it can give you an amazing 35 hours of playback. That of course counts only in offline mode with the display backlighting switched off. But it gives you an idea what to expect.

The general build quality of the Nokia X6 is quite nice. However we suspect that the opaque plastic might polish itself here and there when used for a longer time and lose a large part of its appeal.

On the positive side it is perfectly prone to fingerprints so the X6 doesn't become a smudgy mess.

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Nokia X6 held in hand

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