Nokia C6 Unlocked Review - Good Phone?

I am reviewing Nokia Unlocked C6 here first since I had time to play with it, I will review the N900 soon in a bit under the N900 product site on Amazon (I reviewed the N900 on 10/13/10 so look for it under my "Kingmonkey" ID). The C6 . . . I couldn't decide between Nokia N900 and C6 (did not want new N8 coming out end of September 2010 since there was no physical keyboard), so I bought both N900 and C6. Phones do not come with a case to hold, which is a disappointment considering how much each phone costs. For some reason Nokia only sells OEM cases for these phones to the European market, if you go to Amazon UK site or Nokia EU site you will see cases made for N900 and C6, so I had to go to Amazon UK site to order an OEM case for N900; the C6 on Nokia EU site has some nice ones but could not find them on Amazon UK and on Nokia EU site I cannot order them online being from the USA as you need to go to a retail location in Europe. Anyway got some generic case (more like a pouch) for the C6 from Amazon UK.

Nokia C6 Unlocked Review

The Nokia Unlocked C6 is a nice looking, stylish phone, good size phone, not too thick or long at all, it's fairly small and fits in your shirt pocket if you are a guy. Made of quality materials and feels like a quality product from the weight of the phone and also when you slide the keyboard out, it is stiff and not moving about. The top row keyboard key is a little close to the top half of the phone so when you type your thumb hits the top and gets in the way; not a deal breaker for me as I just learn to adapt.

Those with bigger hands (fingers) may find the keyboard a little cramped but I wanted a smaller smart phone compared to the other ones out there such as Samsung Galaxy or Motorola Droid, so it is expected to be smaller overall as that is part of the appeal. Physically that was the only issue, again, Nokia is stylish, smart looking, and as always, love their Nokia ringtone theme. One last thing on the physical side, being a middle of the road phone (between N8 and lower end Nokia phones) it doe snot have al of the bells and whistles hence the lower price. One feature I wish it had, like the more higher end N900, is a camera lens cover, the camera is just exposed to dust, etc; the Nokia C6 does come with a factory "screen protector" and since this is a new phone and you can't buy a screen protector just yet I suggest leaving it on to protect the screen, since after I set up the C6, the screen protector is scratched from my use of the phone (normal use with fingers swiping back and forth, mind you, I take care of my nice things, gently putting it down, wrapping it in napkin until my pouch comes in the mail, wash my hands and dry them, no lotion, before I handled my phone), so even with all of this the screen still gets scratched slightly if you look at it at an angle. Anyway will need to buy a screen protector when they are available and hopefully the one that came with it will last.

On the software side, the 2GB microsd chip only holds the California map and voice navigation (street names + male voice both for US as two separate files); that's about 2GB total. If you want all of US and other countries, need to buy a 16GB microsd but even with this not sure if it can hold all the maps as you will need to delete some still as some maps are several gigs(I think 16GB additional gigs is the limit the C6 can handle for a microsd card). I don't travel a lot outside of California so it does the job and don't need to buy a bigger sized microsd card for now, I can wait until I need it and by then the microsd card price will go down.

The other major issue is I use Google calendar, right now you can use MS exchange to set up google mail, calendar and contacts but it imports ALL of my gmail contacts into my C6 even though I don't actively keep in touch with all of them, I suppose you can choose to update only calendar and gmail and skip the contacts, don't remember if this is an option. The calendar also only updates my main Calendar so others I created, including Holidays calendars, bill due date calendars, etc do NOT get imported. This was a deal breaker for me so I deleted this newly created/added gmail account and all of the contacts and email and calendar got deleted, which is what I wanted and it went back to how it was, being empty. By the way when you import this way, any contacts or information you had in the calendar gets overridden with the new import, so my one contact I created with a photo and all got overridden with the import. I had to reenter it.

Anyway my workaround is to use instead of MS Exchange option on Nokia to add Google accounts like gmail and calendar, etc, I used the "Gmail" option via the email icon to set up the email account and it works well. As for Google calendar, there is a Google Mobile site and one bookmark webpage you can set up is for Google Calendar, so for my Internet application I set my default homepage as the Google calendar address so when I want to look at ALL (holidays, bills, color coded too) of my Google calendars I just open up that bookmarked web page homepage and it is there updated in real time by Google. As for the Ovi calendar, don't use it, maybe I'll look at it just to see what day it is every sooften. So I get my Google calendar but via a webpage site, not the Ovi calendar because like I said the MS Exchange way to sync gmail mail and calendar and contacts only gives you the main calendar, no other calendars created as discussed above.

I also downloaded OVI software to my PC and the linking between the C6 and Ovi software on my PC works well, this is how you sync the photos, maps, contacts, etc from your PC to the C6, also faster way to update your Nokia C6 with software updates since you download them from the PC first and then link your C6 to the PC via a USB cable and the data transfer is faster. Otherwise you would have to do it over airwaves on the C6, which is slower even using 3G but you can connect to wifi if available using the C6.

I customized my desktop icons, which is pretty cool, I added a couple rows of frequent contacts, then 3rd row from top Gmail, then a couple row of shortcuts below such as web access, a bookmarked web page, calc, camera, last row has messaging icon, then I downloaded an app for messaging, including google talk, from the Ovi app store by searching for "messaging"--it's called Nimbuzz and with this you choose your account type, Google talk, Yahoo messenger, whatever . . . at first I was lookign and looking for Google Talk app but it does not exist, you have to access Google talk through this 3rd party app Nimbuzz or something else equivalent (it was a free app) and it works perfectly fine. The C6 home screen icons,being Symbian software based, is a bit "cartoonish" when compared to more sophisticated phones like the N900 or Droid icons or Blackberry 9000 Bold, but it's fine and the learning curve is not steep to learn to master the C6 menu and navigation as discussed above.

Overall I am happy with the Nokia Unlocked C6, good size, small bar type smart phone, good looking, quality materials. The C6 is Symbian based and my N900 is Maemo based so another reason I bought both to compare and see how I like them. C6 works with ATT 3G so since I have an existing ATT SIM card it works great, the N900 I signed up for a T-Mobile individual plan text+web+voice and the N900 3G only works with TMobile 3G, So I am set here; if I used the ATT SIM card the ATT 3G does not work with Nokia N900 and would have to settle for EDGE (non 3G).

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