The 6110 is not the prettiest phone on the market, but it's well put together, with a large display and well-spaced soft keys.
The stand-out feature of the 6110 is the built-in GPS and integrated Route 66 mapping solution. However, the handset is also HSDPA powered, so you'll be able to whizz around the internet at high speeds.
C'mon, this is a Nokia, so it's blissfully easy to use as a phone. However, just as importantly, it's exceptionally easy to use as a navigation device. It puts the original Nokia N95 to shame in this area.
Absolutely no complaints about its sat-nav performance, although finding the original fix did take a few minutes. Once we were up and running, though, it was a breeze.
The phone's battery is not weak, but we would have hoped for a bit more oomph. Make sure you get hold of the in-car charger for sat-nav trips.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:48:38 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
The sat nav performance is much more realised than the N95 and is hard to fault.
The 6110 isn't geared for quick and easy operation due to the lack of touch-screen and its small display.
Nokia's first handset with built-in GPS, the N95, launched in a blaze of publicity earlier this year. This mobile tour de force not only offered sat nav capabilities, but also packed a five-megapixel camera, DVD-quality video capture, HSDPA and Wi-Fi connectivity.The Finnish giant's second device with an embedded GPS receiver, the 6110 Navigator, is no such multimedia monster. As the name suggests, it concentrates purely on the sat nav side of things. That's not to say the 6110 isn't an accomplished Symbian Series 60 smartphone - it features a two-megapixel camera, a built-in music player, 3.6Mbps-flavoured HSDPA and all the other trimmings you would expect from a contemporary smartphone. However, this time, Nokia, with help from Route 66, has got the navigation performance spot on after the less convincing N95.
The 6110 slider is a bit chunky and a tad porky at 125g. The nearest comparison would be a narrower N95, but the upshot is a well-constructed and robust device. Nokia has also varnished the 6110 in shiny plastic and this makes for a tactile and smooth handset. The slider action is also springy and polished and when opened, it reveals a nicely spaced, easy-to-use keypad. Along with a front dedicated sat nav key, the 6110 also has a customisable multimedia button, camera shutter key and hot-swappable memory card slot lining the sides.
The 6110 doesn't plump for the N95's sat nav solution where the relevant maps are retrieved over the air from a central server. Instead, it chooses the more renowned Route 66 Navigator setup. Software and UK street-level maps are already installed on a 512MB microSD card (around 200MB is left for storage of other multimedia bits) and it's just a case of firing up the sat nav via the dedicated front key. It opens up with a Google Earth-style globe and homes in on your current position.
Finding a GPS fix took a good five minutes from a cold start, but the 6110 is now helped by A-GPS (Assisted GPS), which uses an internet connection to download info on the satellite's predicted positions to speed up the process. Once it warmed up, subsequent satellite links were much quicker. It's important to know that the GPS receiver is located in the top right-hand side of the 6110, so to get a satellite fix, you must be outside, keeping the handset facing skyward.
After finding your position, you can then plan your route. The Free Text search facility is one of the best features on the 6110 and is painless to use. Just enter a postcode, street or business name, restaurant or airport name and it will delve into its database and find the relevant addresses within seconds. If you want to be more accurate, you can type in a partial or complete address, navigate to a nearby POI (Point of Interest), use your address history, access My Landmarks (favourites) or navigate to your synchronised contacts (great for business trips). The 6110 will also let you plan journeys with multiple waypoints.Calculating a route is quick and accurate and the 3D maps are rendered brilliantly on the 6110's bright and detailed 2.2-inch QVGA, 16-million colour screen. Unfortunately, Route 66 has packed a lot of info into a small space, so it can be hard to make out what's on the screen when you glance over while driving. You can de-clutter by selecting which POIs you want displayed, although you'll find yourself relying entirely on the voice commands for directions. The absence of a touch-screen does make operation a little fiddly (although we recommend, if you're driving, to pull over before tampering with it).
The 6110 also packs two large rear speakers for announcing the turn-by-turn voice instructions, and these arrive loud and clear over the noise of the engine on a motorway drive. The device also has a pedestrian option, so you can be guided on foot and you can MMS friends and family a map of your current position. Sadly, dashboard or windshield mounts aren't supplied with the 6110, so you will have to visit the Nokia online shop (shop.nokia.co.uk) and invest in a CR-48 Mobile Holder and HH-12 Easy Mount to secure the phone while driving.
If you're in the market for the 6110, then the navigation feature will be the number one priority, but this smartphone also has capable multimedia talents. It runs just like countless other Symbian Series 60 smartphones - easy to use and ripe for third-party software - while you get a two-megapixel snapper with a neat active sliding lens cover. This shutterbug takes decent snaps, despite underperforming on close-ups, and video is shot in a respectable but still judder-tastic 240x320-pixel resolution. A full HTML web browser lets you surf the mobile internet over fast HSDPA speeds (networks only support max speeds of 1.8Mbps despite being future proof for 3.6Mbps), while business types can retrieve their emails, get organised with its PIM functionality, or view documents on the Quick Office app suite.
The Nokia N95's sat nav performance was diluted by all its other features jostling for attention, but the 6110 shows how it is done without the added distractions. GPS-enabled mobile phones still can't topple dedicated rival systems for functionality and ease of use, but they're getting close. The 6110 Navigator is perfect for those who spend their life on the road and need a convenient convergence package to keep them company on their travels.