The presence of Nokia on AT&T over the last year or so has been ho-hum. Lackluster performances from the 6555 and 6126 left a lot to be desired from one of the world’s leaders in handset sales. On AT&T, Nokia’s biggest success story in recent years was the N75, a Symbian S60-powered flip phone with a plain and boxy design. It didn’t win any beauty pageants, but it sure won the talent portion.
So Nokia’s best shot at bringing back its dominance and repairing its damaged reputation is the 6650. Essentially, the Nokia 6650 for AT&T replaces the N75 and does a good job of it. Still using the S60 platform, the 6650 is skinnier, thinner and better looking — complete with additional features to make it more attractive on the inside, to boot.
Design of the Nokia 6650
As mentioned already, the N75 was big, boxy, and plain. Its successor is quite the opposite — the 6650 is easier to handle, lighter, thinner, and skinnier. The only negative is that this results in a smaller keypad, but otherwise makes this a much nicer phone to look at.
The phone is offered in both silver and red colors. On the front we find what seems to be a normal viewing screen but in reality is a touchscreen with basic features. More on that in a later section.
Also from the above pictures it’s easy to pick out the 2.0 MP camera with flash tucked right underneath.
On the right side of the AT&T Nokia 6650 we find a slot for the MicroSD card (a must have as the 6650 only offers 30 MB internal memory), a 2.5 mm jack, and the standard tiny Nokia charger port.
Not much to talk about for the left side of the Nokia 6650, but we find a handy Micro USB port for data connections and syncing — a big plus for this device — as well as volume controls and a shortcut button.
As you can see, my first impressions of the phone are very good. While I’m not a huge fan of clamshell phones, I love the look and style of the 6650. The biggest sell for me is the stainless steel on the faceplates and back cover. I feel that every phone should be made with similar-quality (if not better) materials, instead of the standard cheap plastic that plagues so many phones. The 6650 simply feels like a solid phone.
Opening up the phone reveals a very nice-looking keypad.
On this keypad we find dedicated camera/camcorder and GPS buttons, as well as the standard soft keys, call and end, and menu button found on every Nokia S60 phone so far. The numbers themselves are still large enough to handle easily, and are not raised.
Features of the AT&T Nokia 6650
The Nokia 6650 is certainly packed with goodies, as any S60 smartphone should. First, let’s get the bad out of the way; it only packs 30 MB of internal memory. So it’s essential to get a MicroSD card for it to hold any respectable amount of information, whether it be videos, pics or music. The 6650 will take up to 8 GB, so don’t be making a mad dash for the newest 12 or 16 GB cards coming on the market now.
We find that the 6650 is quad-band GSM/EDGE but only dual-band 3G. The US version lacks the 2100 mHz band.
Other features of the 6650 include:
- Hearing-Aid compatibility
- Reads most popular audio formats including any iTunes format
- Stereo Bluetooth
- 2.0 MP camera and camcorder with flash, and video share support
- Email attachment support for Office docs, plus zip and PDF files
- OMA data sync support for contacts, calendar, tasks, notes, etc.
- AT&T Navigator through aGPS
- Push to Talk capable
I also like the external touchscreen. While nothing fancy or extravagant compared to other touchscreen phones, it does offer up touch controls for music player as well as other basic applications such as calendar. It’s definitely worth a look to see if this would come in handy for you, but I felt it was a nice touch (no pun intended).
The Nokia 6650 also comes with a nice internet browser, for having such a small screen.
Impressively, the internet browser still shows full HTML and comes with a cursor to assist in navigating it. While I’m sure there’s a way to change the browser settings to not show full HTML and thus all fit on the screen, it’s nice to know the choice is yours.
One unique thing about the browser is that when you hit the back button, minature versions of the most recently viewed pages pop up, allowing you to quickly jump to whichever page interests you the most.
Performance of the Nokia 6650
This is the area that Nokia has struggled in recently. Its latest handsets have had terrible battery life and okay call quality that’s nothing to write home about (although, if you have a cell phone you probably wouldn’t be writing a letter home about it I suppose. But I digress). How does the 6650 stack up?
The battery life of the 6650 is rated at 4 hours talk time and 14.5 days of standby. I would expect better from a 1500 mAh battery, to be quite honest. In calling tests, the sound quality was excellent. The 6650 features a 369 MHz ARM 11 processor which keeps the OS from slowing down as long as you don’t have too many applications open at the same time.
Also, the speakerphone and ringtones were loud enough to hear well, but as always the ringtones that come on the phone by default aren’t necessarily going to win any Grammy awards. Look into bringing some of your own ringtones into the phone via PC Suite or by downloading them directly from AT&T’s site.
In my review of the Nokia 6650 I find that Nokia has made a great successor to the N75 and is one step closer to getting back on the right track. This is one of Nokia’s better looking clamshells and the inclusion of S60 was a wise decision to help keep the handset maker a valid competitor in the mid-range market.
The Nokia 6650 can be found at any AT&T retail location or online for $69.99 with two-year contract.
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