Some mobiles turn heads with their looks but don't wow so much with the features beneath the bonnet. The Nokia 6220 classic is a mobile that takes the opposite tack. From its unassuming outside you might expect a standard-issue set of features on a mid-table device - but what you actually get is a high spec smartphone, loaded with A-GPS satellite navigation kit, sporting a high quality 5-megapixel Carl Zeiss lens-equipped camera, and powered by high speed HSDPA 3G connectivity.
Nokia has effectively taken much of the best bits of its recent high-end Nseries handsets and packed them into a more mid-tier handset chassis. It's a no-fuss design, but like many Nokia workhorse handsets before it, it's aimed more at the mass market than niche fashion phone buyers.
As well as Nokia spreading its GPS technology and camera gadgetry down the range, the 6220 classic is underpinned by the Symbian v9.3 smartphone operating system, using Nokia's S60 3rd Edition SP2 user interface. It's packed with the multimedia capabilities you get from the likes of the N82 - video calling (there's a secondary low-res camera up front), video and music players, high speed downloading and streaming of content, a full web browser, plus the capability to upload and share your own content online.
Unfortunately, despite high speed mobile connectivity, there's no Wi-Fi capability - which is a shame, as it would have offered another low cost, higher speed option for uploading as well as downloading content.
Still, for a mid-tier handset, the Nokia 6220 offers a stack of features, both for entertainment - including an FM radio and VGA quality video recording with TV-Out option - and more office orientated productivity, including document viewer software to deal with email attachments, plus extensive organiser and synchronisation tools.
Design and handling
Although the functionality is Nseries-like, the build quality feels much less so. It's a lightweight 90g, but has the plasticky feel of a low cost handset. The front panel is made of the glossy plastic we've seen on several Nokia mid- and high-tier models, and this gives the casing a creaky feel when pressing buttons.
The conventional button layout is mostly OK, although we'd have preferred more differentiation between keys on the smooth numberpad. The positioning of the S60 menu 'squiggle' key, on one side of the large navigation D-pad, stuffed between a softkey and the Call button, is a bit cramped but is raised slightly to deter accidental pressing.
Although texting is OK with the smooth numberpad, the softkeys under the display have a stodgier action than most Nokia smartphones. This impression isn't helped by the way the user interface is fractionally slow at responding to button presses - there's a slight hesitancy as apps are opened or commands carried out. Nonetheless, the smooth transitions implemented in this version of the software, and additions to selection options are nicely implemented
The display is a reasonable 2.2-inch screen, a lovely bright 16-million colour array offering QVGA (320x240 pixels) resolution. There's no accelerometer auto flipping of the screen, as you get on some Nseries models, but the screen does auto-flip to landscape when the camera is fired up.
Some may feel that the display is too small for in-car GPS requirements, compared to standalone dedicated Sat Nav kits. But as a phone with Sat Nav as an extra, we found it perfectly acceptable; in addition to viewing navigation and positioning instructions, you can upgrade the onboard Nokia Maps software to add voice guided navigation, and Nokia includes a 3-month trial as part of the 6220 classic package.
The high quality Carl Zeiss-branded 5-megapixel camera on the back doesn't weigh down or bulk out this phone. It adds minimal bulge to the body, which measures in at 108(h) x 46.5(w) x 15.2(d)mm. There's a sliding lens cover built into the bodywork, with a slider toggle that's just a little too easy to shift accidentally in a pocket. Still, it offers some welcome lens protection. Beneath the lens is a powerful Xenon flash, adding considerably to the snapper's low-light shooting capability.
The main camera is capable of some very impressive photography. Its software is similar to Nokia's N82 and N95 8GB 5-megapixel cameraphones, and includes the option for geotagging pictures - adding precise location information that can be used later on mapping applications.
It features a responsive 2-step autofocus system, with a range of shooting controls and modes, including macro option for close in shooting.
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