C’mon, admit it. You’re on Facebook right now. You log in every… single… day, read up on what everyone else is up to, and occasionally watch a video of that hilarious piano playing cat. If you’re like me and gazillion other social network junkies, then I think I might have the phone for you.
I initially set my eyes on an older phone model: the E71, which was specifically marketed for business users. I scoured the malls for a good price and promised my beloved Mr. B I will be patient and wait a month before buying (to make sure I really, really want it). Lo and behold! Two weeks later, Nokia released a new set of phones specifically targeted for a much different market: Social Networking addicts like me! And one of them was the Nokia C6.
The new phones will feature what most of us really need: Facebook and Twitter feeds, even Gmail and Yahoo! Mail, pushed right to your phone and displayed prominently on the screen. I mean think about it, in terms of practical applications, at least 80% of our online presence are spread across these apps!
What makes the Nokia C6 more attractive is of course, its price. At 14-16K a pop, it almost costs two thirds of its more expensive older brother, the metallic encased N97 mini (P23K). Screw the E71 phone; I’m getting a Nokia C6!
The biggest selling point of the C6 is its home screen (also available in other models like the C3, N97 mini). This makes it the ultimate social networking phone with email, facebook, and twitter feeds, pushed right to your phone’s home screen. This means that if you’re on wifi, or using your mobile’s data plan (Smart’s Nokia Messaging service for P20/day, more on this later), emails can be “pushed” to your phone as they arrive. I triggered mine to say “You’ve Got Mail!” every time I get something on my Gmail or Yahoo account.
You also get the option to choose the 4 most important people in your life and have their beautiful faces in clickable avatars, to make it easier to call, text, or email. Unfortunately, if you have at least 5 most important people in your life like me, its better not to show the 5th person your phone and have them ask “Why am I NOT HERE!!”
Like most Nokia phones, you can customize your phone’s appearance. Download free themes at the Ovi store (think iTunes for Apple devices), and install them easily on your phone. Mine is a cutesy red theme “b.wing Xmas Sky”. Depending on the theme, it can change your wallpaper, icons, progress bar, etc.
Under the hood
The Nokia C6 features a “newer” Symbian OS S60 5th edition, with a 3.2” resistive touch screen, and a full QWERTY keypad. You can easily connect to a wi-fi access point, your mobile carrier’s data network, and to other phones or devices via Bluetooth.
It only has a 200MB internal memory that’s only good for Ovi apps but you can plug in up to 16GB microSD if you want to take a lot of photos and videos with its 5-megapixel camera or store multimedia files for mobile entertainment.
Pros and Cons
After playing with the phone for exactly 10 days now, I DO have some issues with it. Here’s a quick list:
1. The resistive touchscreen takes some getting used to as my favorite toy for the past year has been (and still is) my iPod Touch 2nd Gen, well a close tie with the C6. Comparing the two is no comparison at all. The iPod’s touchscreen is leaps and bounds ahead of the C6. I truly had some trouble scrolling up and down my Nokia’s web browser, even clicking and double clicking has been an issue. Fortunately, after 10 days, I think I have mastered my C6’s screen sensitivity, sometimes (gasp!) using the tip of my nail to click on an icon or file.
2. I signed up for Smart’s Nokia Messaging at the store on the day we bought my phone, because a sexy Nokia lady was very charming and convincing. Free P50 load if I activate for P20 (http://www.nokia-ph-gs.com/referafriend/). Whatta deal! So we said yes of course, and she also gave me a free Smart SIM. Here’s the catch! Nokia Messaging for the Nokia C6 is ONLY GOOD FOR PUSH EMAIL. That means Facebook, Twitter, and Chat is not supported just yet. Careful now because your data charges might eat up your load (wasted about P30 when Smart Internet was accidentally activated). I’m now keeping my load at less than P10 to avoid getting charged. I’m also contemplating deleting the Smart access point and just stick to my wifi connections at home and at the office. It’s just a short drive in between.
3. The battery has also been disappointing, especially with the PUSH functionality enabled. I have to constantly charge my phone, usually every 2 days, which was a far cry from my previous phone where I only needed to plug in every 5 days. (Of course my old phone was boring, with no personality, and it didn’t pick up my emails for me). With Nokia Messaging activated for a day, my Nokia C6 was actually pretty warm even if it was just left in my bag.
4. Mr. B’s also complaining about the home screen avatars because according to him, the icons are quite small and is not really ideal for guys with big hands. The onscreen text for new emails and FB status may not as readable because of the small font size. In a nutshell, Mr. B said “It’s not old people friendly”. Hmnn!
5. Finally, web surfing in the Nokia C6 leaves much to be desired. Compared to the iPod Touch, the images and text on the Nokia are pixilated and navigation is difficult. The only saving grace is the navigation cursor key in the key pad which I use a lot for scrolling and clicking on links.
On to the good stuff…
1. The QWERTY keypad is awesome! The keys are bigger and easier to type on. There is a light sensor so the keypad is beautifully lit when you’re in a dark area. In my opinion, The Nokia C6 keypad better than the E71’s where the keys are microscopic.
2. Gone are the days of the annoying “*Unlock” keypad guard. The C6 features a physical switch on the side of the phone for locking and unlocking the screen.
3. The 5MP camera is not too shabby either. It has an auto-focus picture, and a blinding LED flash. It’s like the sun, don’t stare directly into it.
4. An app called Communities (currently used in Nokia C3) has both Facebook and Twitter interface. It’s cool because you can put a Communities widget on the home screen and it will show scrolling updates from both accounts. Again just be sure you have your data connections managed properly.
5. Expandable memory is also a huge plus. My phone came with a free 2GB microSD card, which I can expand up to 16GB. You can use the space to store movies, music, and books. Battery might be an issue so keep your charger close at all times.
It took me 5 years to decide to buy a new phone and picking the Nokia C6 was a good decision. I love the Home Screen and how it instantly connects me to my social networks, even when I’m outside of the range of my WiFi points. The resistive touch screen and web surfing is definitely NOT perfect, but I think the pros far outweigh the cons. For its price and other features, I would definitely recommend this phone to my Facebook and Twitter super-user friends.
- Quad band EGSM 850/900/1800/1900
- 3.2” resistive touchscreen (640 x 360)
- Symbian OS 9.4 S60 5th Edition
- 200 MB internal memory with microSD support of up to 16GB
- 5mp camera with autofocus and LED flash
- High-quality 16:9 video recording (30fps)
- Secondary camera for video calls
- Stereo FM Radio with RDS
- Integrated GPS / A-GPS
- HSDPA 3.6 Mbps, WiFi b/g, Bluetooth 2.0
- SRP: Php15,100
Editor’s note: This post is contributed by Gena Singson with some slight revisions by the editor. Gena is a simple gal who loves the simple things in life. Things like DSLRs, Photoshop and stick-shift.