The NaySayer here…
Nokia was kind enough to send one of their competitively priced (I’ve seen prices from $250 or so) smartphones over for us to check out, and I have a few first thoughts after a couple of days.
Look and Feel
It’s good for the hands, with a nice heft, which I like, for such a small phone. It feels substantial and dense somehow, which gives a sense of quality manufacturing. Realize that I’m in no position to assess that with any certainty, I’m just noting how it feels.
This phone is one of those with a slideout keyboard, and that too feels good. It comes out smoothly and solidly, and again, it feels weighted and strong, like the parts are well machined.
My daughter (14, and texting daily) immediately grabbed onto it and said she wanted it. She has a very cheap slideout phone, and without even turning the C6 on, figured she had to have it. Like me, she was responding to something about the way it works in your hand.
That kind of feel is important to me as a first interaction with a device. I need to be convinced right away that I shouldn’t have buyer’s remorse, something I get easily. The Nokia deals with that pretty well at first touch, with some kind of textured plastic on the back that gives it strength.
Here’s where I started having some nags, and I’ll speak more to this in another post, after my blogging partner gets a chance to weigh in on it.
This phone has a touch screen, and you can use your finger or a stylus (Nokia recommends using their own specific stylus) to interact with it.
It gives you a satisfying haptic buzz when you activate an icon (and I really liked that), but I had a hard time getting a response right away, having to tap a couple of times to get things happening. Either I am clumsy and sausage-fingered, which would be odd for someone who uses a keyboard as much as I do, or I was simply not yet accustomed to the vagaries of this particular touchscreen. I’ve used other phones that have a much better response for me.
I also needed to spend a bit of time digging through the menus to find features. I decided I wouldn’t use the manual at all, preferring to run at it the way most users will – pawing away at it out of the box. I just started playing around. One specific note: Getting to the camera (5 megapixel) took more digging than I thought, although there may be a shortcut that I haven’t yet found, and the quality of the picture was good, but not great, particularly in low light. You won’t be replacing your DSLR with it, obviously.
I should point out that I handed the phone around to some of my students, however, and they were snapping pictures, adding contacts and whipping around in the UI without any complaints or questions, so I think my slowdowns with it are because I am used to a different paradigm of phone use, with a much simpler interface.
I asked the kids (Grade 11 Media class) what they thought, and like me, they focused on the feel, really liking it and wishing they could keep it. I think the C6 is a great transition up from the phones most kids get free with their initial texting plans.
I haven’t yet messed around with Ovi (the Nokia apps store), but I did watch some video from CNN, which streamed in quickly and without any snags, although it was in the wrong aspect ratio. (which will only bother a small segment of the population, according to my wife…)
So far, I like it as a phone very much, I struggle with the slide out keyboard even though most people really like it (again, it’s just not my usual phone typing style) and I find getting used to the interface taking me longer than I would have expected.
We’ll have a little more to say on the Nokia C6 soon.