Nokia 6610 Review| By Allen Tsai
Nokia released the 6610 shortly after the 7210. While 7210 was built on fashionable looks, and innovative design, the 6610 is aimed towards the businessman. Clean lines, classic looks, and a familiar design is what the 6610 is all about.
The 6610 business phone is Nokia's answer to the widely popular color phone market. Nokia jumped in after Sony Ericsson and Samsung already released their phones to an audience craving for color. The T68i and SPH-A500 were huge successes.
Nokia raised the bar when they released the 7210 instantly before the 6610. the 4096 color 128 x 128 px screen blew the T68i out of the water, and the lack of an infrared port left the SPH-A500 extremely vulnerable. Its inability to transfer files from a computer to your phone was a huge let down.
The 7210 was a good phone with a great set of features. However, some people didn't like the 7210's radical design, especially the keypad. Perhaps too much flare.
Well Nokia has released the 6610. It's built upon a successful platform of the 7210, and toned down the eccentric looks to cater to the business community. The 7210 is for image, what the 6610 is for professionalism. On the inside, the 6610 and 7210 are virtually identical. However based on looks, they couldn't be more different. Some of the problems we've faced with the 7210 were fixed, while other problems will come back to haunt us.
Overall, if you've read the 7210 review, a lot of the 6610 review will look very familiar. Much of the same stuff is in this review.
As a phone the 6610 is approximately the same size as the Sony Ericsson T68i, and slighting taller and wider than the 8310. The dimensions of the 6610 are exactly the same as the 7210, and a whopping 1 gram heavier.
The 4096 color screen is one of the best we've seen. The 6610 has a resolution of 128 x 128 px. The display shows 5 lines of text and a service line. When messaging, 8 lines of text and 2 service lines are displayed due to scaling. The screen is bright and clear in dim conditions. However in sunny weather, the screen becomes washed out. Ghosts have been a problem where you see residual images that fade out when the screen changes. But it isn't all that noticeable. Overall though, the screen is considerably better than the T68i screen. The resolution is higher and you can have bigger pictures as wallpaper.
Polyphonic ring tones are all the rage these days, and the 6610 definitely delivers. Ring tones are played through a speaker rather than an ordinary buzzer. This means you get improved sound quality for music, alerts, and games.
Proof of the better sound can be heard through the included FM headset. It needs to be plugged into the 6610 in order to access its menu. Once plugged in, its menu lets you present 20 channels or tune to stations. The excellent sound quality is in stereo, and the same headset can be used as a handsfree device.
One of our favorite feature is the loudspeaker mode. It's loud enough so people can hear you clearly while you're within 1 to 2 feet. After 2 feet you'll have to speak up a bit. The incoming voices are loud and clear too. It works great for talking in a moving car, or writing down from a call without having to hold the phone. Only works in quiet places.
When you use this phone, it'll feel familiar. Its design was conventional, unlike the 7210's keypad. We definitely like this better. The 7210 scarified functionality for form, making it difficult to message. Not a problem with the 6610. The buttons are sturdy and messaging is a breeze.
The 6610 is also equipped with a 4 direction keypad for scrolling through menus and playing games. While there's nothing bad with it, after using Sony Ericsson's 5 way jog dials, its hard to go back.
A 720 mAh Li-Polymer battery (BLD-3) is used with the 6610. Nokia claims the battery will work for 5 hours of talk time and 300 hours of standby, however those numbers are maximum times.
The 6610 comes with 725 kb of internal memory for storing pictures, ring tones, text messages, and Java applications. The max size for a MMS message is 45 kb each.
If there was a drawback in the 6610, this would be it. 725 kb is definitely not enough for a phone that supports all these features. With all the extras Nokia put in, polyphonic ring tones, higher resolution wallpaper, and Java applications, you would think they would give you enough memory to store it.
The internal memory lets you store up to 300 phone book entries, 150 text messages or 50 picture/concatenated messages, 250 calendar notes, and up to 30 To-do list entries.
On the top of the phone you'll find an infrared port for transferring files between your computer and phone. On the bottom is the outlet for charging your phone, and a system connector, Pop-port.
This is Nokia's next innovation. Pop-port can automatically identify accessories attached to the 6610. It also offers stereo sound with the use of headphones. Lastly, its also where you can charge your accessories with a single USB cable (Supplied) without the use of separate power sources. Pop-port transmits up to 230 kb/s.
Unfortunately the 6610 doesn't come with Bluetooth technology, for most people this wont be a problem, since it has an infrared port. If wires on your headsets don't bother you, or you don't have a PDA to connect to, then you'll be fine with the 6610
One thing we loved about the 6610 was the package included with the phone. PC Suite has an excellent package of tools for the 6610. One of the best support software packages we've ever seen. Most companies focus on the phone and neglect the software that supports the phone. Nokia definitely outdid itself this time.
One nice thing about the 6610 is the support of concatenated messages (Up to 459 characters). This allows you to combine multiple SMS messages into a large message. It makes sending and receiving messages a lot more enjoyable.
Also provided in the 6610 is the new MMS messaging. With MMS you can send and receive pictures and sounds with your messages. There are 10 installed pictures already on the 6610 to decorate a message.
Overall, the messaging portion of the 6610 is pretty good. It supports MMS, SMS, and Chat. While SMS, and Chat are pretty basic nowadays, there are few phones that support MMS. People who message frequently will find this feature enjoyable, but probably won't use it on a daily basis. Nevertheless, its fun to have.
This is where most of the customization is handled. Wallpaper, screen savers, and color schemes are among the multimedia features of the 6610.
Wallpapers are 128 x 128 px, which is absolutely gorgeous, when considering the competition. Even better is that you can make your own, and transfer them to your phone through the infrared port. Many phones nowadays don't have transferring capabilities, and the only way to get more multimedia for your phone is by sending them through SMS or calling. This can get very expensive if you like to change the look of your phone often.
More and more phones are moving towards better sounding ring tones with support for 16, 24, or even 40 polyphonic sounds (Instruments/channels at any one time). However, the 6610 only supports 4 polyphonic sounds. The phone sounds fine with simple tunes, however once the 6610 gets overburdened with musical instruments, noticeable instrumental gaps can be heard. It's no Samsung. One notable feature on the 6610 is it has a 40 instrument bank.
One thing we would have like to see is a ring tone composer. Unfortunately the 6610 doesn't have one built into the phone, however you can make them through the downloadable software from Nokia's website and transfer it to the 6610 either through data cable, or infrared.
You can also set the vibrating alert or ring tones. The 6610 has a weak vibrating alert, so if you keep your phone in your pocket, be wary.
Standard alarm clock. Set the time and press OK. When the time hits, it rings. Nothing special. The phone will sound an alert tone, and flash "Alarm!" and the current time on the display.
If you let the alarm continue for a minute or press Snooze, the alarm stops for about 10 minutes, and then resumes.
If the alarm time is reached while the phone is switched off, the phone turns itself on and starts sounding the alarm. If you press Stop, the phone asks whether you want to activate the phone for calls.
One great thing is the 6610 lets you can make a call or answer an incoming call while listening to the radio. The volume of the radio is muted when you accept a call. When you hang up, the radio will automatically be turned back on.
Ah... the loudspeaker. Quite possibly the best feature on this phone. I can't say enough about it. You won't come to fully appreciate a good loudspeaker until you've used one and then had it taken away from you. Anyways, the loudspeaker is nice and loud. It's even loud enough to be used as a portable radio.
Standard organizer for a mobile phone. Scroll through your tasks by month, or select the day to view. Add anywhere from 100 to 500 notes depending on your memory. You can also enable the auto delete option to delete events that have passed to conserve memory. The to-do list is fairly ordinary. Put in things that need to be done. And set the deadline.
Two puzzle games come with the 6610, Bounce and Triple Pop. Triple Pop is very similar to the popular game Bust-A-Move. The 6610 has excellent instructions for playing the games. However, one thing we were disappointed with was the absence of Snake found in previous Nokia phones.
One thing that makes the 6610 versatile is the ability to install Java applications. There are two applications preinstalled on the phone, Dictionary and Converter. Converter lets you convert distance, weight, etc. This isn't something new, but its still good to have. Other applications can be downloaded and installed. So the possibilities are endless.
The Calculator adds, subtracts, multiplies, divides, calculates the square root, and converts currency values. If the alarm is reached when the phone is in standby mode, the phone sounds a tone and flashes the note text if it is set or else "Countdown time up." And the Stopwatch measure time, take intermediate times or lap times.
The Connectivity Menu allows you to connect the 6610 to another device through infrared. Also select GPRS options.
Lastly, the Service Menu lets you choose how you want to connect to the internet. Options include setting up your GPRS or GSM accounts. The 6610 uses WAP browser version 1.2.1.
The 6610's sound quality is average when it compares with other phones in the market. Incoming calls had good tonal qualities. Voices were clear and clean, which is expected of phones nowadays. Hiss was also present. One thing we tested that bugged us was a boost in low frequency audio. Nokia probably did this to boost sound for the loudspeaker volume so it could carry farther, however the drawback was that hisses are more noticeable. No problems with outgoing calls either.
The loudspeaker sound quality was excellent. Not much can be expected for speaker quality. But for its purpose, the loudspeaker works well. Speech can be heard on the receiving end without raising your voice within a couple meters. And incoming calls come in loud and clear. With the FM radio, you could also listen to the radio through the loudspeaker.
The 6610 has very good RF. its ability to hold small signals and keep them has been excellent. It's definitely one of the better phones out there. That's a great accomplishment for a phone with an internal antenna. If this phone doesn't get reception where you live, don't expect many other phones to get better reception.
- Vibrant 4,096 color display. At 128 x 128 px the resolution blows the current competitors away.
- Good messaging software. Supports MMS, and concatenated SMS. A plus for messaging maniacs.
- Excellent list of multimedia options. Large 128 x 128 px wallpaper, polyphonic ring tones, color schemes to customize your phone.
- Cool downloadable games. With the 6610, you're no longer limited to the games they put on the phone for you. Bounce and Triple Pop are pretty fun too.
- Incredible sound quality. What makes the sounds so great for FM radio, games, and ring tones, is the mini sound card this phone has built-in.
- Built-in FM radio. Definitely a major plus. Stereo sound and the ability to save up to 20 radio channels. Also a headset that's functional and pretty cool. One of the best we've seen.
- Loudspeaker that's loud. At first we were afraid you would have to talk practically with your head next to the phone. However, that's not the case. Excellent range and clarity for a loudspeaker.
- GPRS support. With all the downloading this phone can do, it's good to know you won't be waiting a lifetime.
- Good reception. This phone can hold a signal. It doesn't sound like much, but many phones can't even do that.
- Great bundle of software for the 6610.
- No voice dialing or commands. C'mon Nokia, even cheap phones are starting to have this.
- Small memory. With Java applications and games, you'd think they would have put more memory on it.
- No Bluetooth. If you don't need it then its no big deal. I just like using my Bluetooth headset.
- Weak vibrating option. You might miss calls if you leave it in silent mode.
Like the 7210, the 6610 is a good phone. What we didn't like about the 7210, such as the keypad, we loved in the 6610. Overall, I liked the 6610 better than the 7210, but that's me. Others might like the unconventional design and look. That's why Nokia has the different phones. Inside, the phone has the same great features as the 7210, Java applications, polyphonic ring tones, color backgrounds, and a FM radio.
Options such as voice commands and a larger memory were left out. We felt these options should have been included. They're not extraordinary features, as a lot of cheaper phones have them. Another option we would have liked was Bluetooth. But with infrared, it's not essential.
Overall, it's a good phone. The RF reception is great, and the software bundle is top of the line. It's definitely not a bad phone, but it's not the best in its class. ♦
Samsung Galaxy S4: Outstanding, But Full of Gimmicks
Enjoy This Article? Get E-Mail Updates -- It's Free!
June 27, 2003
I love my phones. I usually upgrade my mobile to a new model every six months. I have had previous version of Nokia phones such as the 3210, 3310, 3315, 5210 and this is the best by far. I love color phones. I bought a Panasonic GD68 not long after they came out in Australia because it was one of the first cheap color mobiles. I regretted every day of having it.
The main things I like about the 6610 are the fact that it has the same type of navigation of the previous models so that you are familiar with the phone straight away. A few things are in different places but are easy to find. I like the whole style. I love small phones and this sits in your pocket quite easily without bulging out. The buttons are easy to press and in a logical layout. The one gripe I would have to say about the keypad though is that the direction pad can be a little hard to get used to but you don't use the left and right all that much.
The color screen is great. Pictures are displayed quite clearly with little distortion and being 8-bit color it is quite detailed. The polyphonic ringtones are good but can sound a little distorted if you play them too loud (depends on the ringtone though).
One of the best things I would have to say about the phones standard features is the fact that, like other 6xxx series phones you can store multiple details under one name in the phone book. I have a lot of people who have multiple numbers and I like the fact that you can store these details under one entry rather than Name_Mobile, Name_Home, etc.
Overall, I think this phone would make a great first buy in the color mobile world. At the moment you can find the phone as cheap as $500 which is a great price.
The Java side of things is very interesting. I have downloaded a lot of games for it and tried them. I would have to say that an extra few hundred kilobytes of memory would have helped those who like to have a lot on their phone though.Was this review helpful to you?
64 out of 68 people found this review helpful.
July 25, 2003
I never really liked Nokias before this phone, I always went for something different, I like the styling of this Nokia, I upgraded from my 8210 to this, so size was practically the same anyway.
The things that interested me were:
- The radio, which sounds great. Crystal clear through the headphones, but not so good in poor signal areas.
- The polyphonic ringtones. The phone has a passive speaker on the rear that really helps the bass response -- the ringtones sounded great... until I heard a Samsung A800. Now I think they're average, but can be distorted and unpleasant.
- The color screen is okay, but that's it. I've seen a fair few other phones on the go. The screen on this smears badly -- and flickers too. Some games are totally unplayable due to the smudging on the screen. Comparing the screen to other phones, for games, I'd say it gets a 3/10, text, etc. is pretty good -- 8/10. A lot of the other phones are visibly blocky; this one is quite smooth and clear.
- The games available, this phone has 100s of games available for it. Fantastic, 10/10 -- more than any other phone.
Overall, the phone is average, that's all. I got one cheap, so I'm happy, but it won't be long before I'll be upgrading to something better. Out of 10, it gets a 7, and that's only because everyone is writing software for it, something I love playing with.
- The WAP access, really fast, impressively so on GRPS, but you can't scale the fonts. For text messages, you can have a really small font so you can display a whole message on screen at one time. The WAP on this phone uses huge characters, meaning that most sites have the data split across a large number of pages; you get bored trying to navigate through sites. No excuses Nokia, the A800 can scale the fonts, so could my SL45, and a couple of others showed way more info than the 6610 does.Was this review helpful to you?
38 out of 42 people found this review helpful.
blog comments powered by Disqus