Nokia 6233 has a plastic body with a shiny metallic frame and a matt surface. It has dimensions of 108 x 46 x 18 mm and a weight 110 g. That surely doesnít necessarily make it the lightest device, but when held in hand it feels very comfortable and you hardly notice the weight. The plastic looks give it a bit of a cheap look but once you get used to it you start to realize that itís the small details that make it look classy. There is also a silver version which also might appeal to some of the consumers. The classic shape and construction do not make the phone dull in any case Ė the more appropriate word to describe it would be Ė discrete.
The phone has a very solid build and didnít give out any creaks during the testing. The display takes up the central part of the phoneís front body. Above it we see the silvery speaker aperture. A strange solution used by Nokia engineers is the lack of a frontal video camera while the phone itself supports video calls. The video image during such call is captured by the main 2 megapixel camera which effectively means that the video call feature is rather limited.
Right below the display is the 6233ís keypad. It features a central navigation D-pad which is rather comfortable to use and provides precise navigation. Our opinion is that itís much more user-friendly than the rival Sony Ericsson solution used in some of their K-series mobiles.
Writing with the keypad is exceptionally easy. The keys are very well spaced allowing for fast typing even with big fingers right from the very start. It takes you no time to get used to it and generally speaking, itís one of the most user-friendly keyboards we have used. A longer press on the zero key activates the phone Web browser. In the dark the keypad glows in blue color and all the keys are evenly lit except for the navigation D-pad which doesnít have any backlighting at all. That is not necessarily a bad solution, we must add, and doesnít hinder the work with the phone in the dark.
The left side of the phone features the usual Push-to-Talk shortcut key and the microSD memory card slot cover. Unfortunately, the Push-to-talk feature doesnít have a wide operator support.
Right next to the PTT key is the left stereo speaker. Each of the speakers has dimensions of 15 mm x 11mm.
The right side incorporates the swing volume button and the camera shortcut key. The Voice Dial and Voice Commands are entered after a longer press of the DOWN volume key. The commands are speaker independent and need not to be recorded in advance. Next to the volume key is the left stereo speaker.
Turning the phone around we see the camera lens and the self-portrait mirror next to it. The bare design back of the phone looks cheap.
The battery cover takes up half of the back surface and comes off readily with a slide. The battery used here is the Li-Polymer Nokia BP-6M with a capacity of 1100 mAh. According to the manufacturer, the battery should provide up to 4 hours of talk time in GSM-only networks and up to 3.1 hours in 3G networks. The expected stand-by time is up to 340 hours.
Unfortunately, we couldnít test the phoneís battery life since we used the phone heavily during our tests and thus the battery life we experienced is not indicative for the real-life performance of the phone. Looking at the official figures however, we may conclude that Nokia has set on continuing the tradition of long battery cycles in the 62-series phones. Usually the previous models managed to provide recharging cycles of up to a week when used in normal urban conditions. Removing the battery allows access to the SIM card bed which has a traditional hinged cover which holds the card in place. We must admit that itís a very convenient solution.
The top part of the phone incorporates only the On/Off key which is traditionally used for invoking a menu for changing the current ringing profile. The bottom part of the mobile houses the proprietary Nokia Pop-port.
The Nokia 6233 has a nice TFT display with a QVGA (320x240 pixels) resolution which proved great under direct sunlight. The legibility outperforms most of the displays of the other manufacturers in that price range.