Review by Sunetra Chakravati,
12/12/2011 3:56:49 PM
The Playlist DJ application is an excellent and innovative way of mixing up your music to suit your mood.
There is a slight lag in response time between pressing on an application and it firing up.
We have to admit; we expected Nokia’s Comes With Music service to be far more popular than it’s proved to be. The prospect of unlimited music downloads for the duration of your contract seems too good to be true yet, forever whatever reason, it hasn’t taken off as Nokia would have liked. With news that Symbian is joining both Apple and Android in making Spotify available as a downloadable app, Nokia would be forgiven for cutting its losses and focusing on other projects. Instead, it has come out fighting with a rebranded XpressMusic range – now simply ‘X’ – the first of which is the rather fetching Nokia X6 that comes bundled with, you’ve guessed it, Comes With Music.
As well as being Nokia’s first ‘X’ phone, it is also the manufacturer’s first capacitive touch-screen device. We’ve gone over it before but just to clarify, the difference between capacitive and resistive touch-screens is; the first works by sensing finger swipes as they create a distortion to a local electrostatic field, whereas the latter requires a degree of pressure so that you are affectively pushing down on the display, though a stylus can also be used. Our preference is capacitive (and we’re quietly confident we’re in the majority), so we for one are happy to see Nokia taking this approach. Yet a capacitive screen doesn’t automatically guarantee success, so what pleased us even more is that the X6’s capacitive screen is both responsive and tactile-friendly. In fact, if we were really nitpicking, then we might say it was a little ‘too’ sensitive, as swipes through menus sometimes fired up an application accidentally. This does only require a bit of practice though, but we would recommend you scroll on the right of the display as this is where the scroll bar lies. However, one issue we did have with the X6 was that there was often a slight lag from pressing on an icon to that application opening up.The Nokia X6 is available in two colours. Our review sample was what is referred to as the ‘blue on white version’, with a red on black version also available. In truth, though the back and sides are undeniably white, the only blue is two thin streaks at the bottom and top of the black fascia and a matching coloured home screen. We thought these streaks were going to do something cool like flash when you receive a text or call for example, especially as they look a tad transparent. Yet the reality is, they are only there for decoration and we advise against picking at them as they don’t feel as though they’d need much to prise them off.
It’s not the slimmest of devices, but this accommodates the various buttons and ports found around the handset. On the right-hand side are the volume keys (they double up for zooming functionality), a dedicated camera key and, sandwiched in-between, a sliding mechanism that can be pushed to lock and unlock the device. At the top of the phone is a miniUSB port, a 3.5mm headset jack (props to Nokia for including that) and the power button. Down the left-hand side of the phone is what we presumed was a memory card slot, but was in fact where you insert the SIM card. The memory card slot is ……… Well that’s just it, there isn’t one. Now before you throw your toys out of the pram, the Nokia X6 does have a memory capacity of 32GB, which is massive. However, as Comes With Music offers over six million tracks it is feasible that you could be left pining for more, especially if you use the X6 for storing other media content like large video files and photos.Memory issue aside and the X6’s music credentials are spot on. With the inclusion of a 3.5mm headset port you can of course plug in your own set of cans, but Nokia has actually included a rather impressive handsfree kit. Not only does it feel and sound great, it has built-in media controls so you can flick, pause and rewind tracks while the phone remains safely in your pocket. Yet our favourite musical feature is a new application called ‘Playlist DJ’. There are given four colour coded bars that you can alter depending on your mood, and Playlist DJ will then profile your songs determining what mood they best suit. For example, raise the red bar with the heart shape to its pinnacle et voilà, your music collection will be arranged into a romantic playlist. You can alter all the bars to the same level to create a mishmash of tunes and it’s a hugely innovative way of shuffling your tracks.Internet experienceNokia has installed some shortcuts to popular websites such as Facebook, MySpace, Friendster and YouTube. The latter was excellent when played via a Wi-Fi connection and we loved how you could save specific video links to play at a later date. However, we did find on more than one occasion that our Wi-Fi connection was inexplicably lost. Turn the phone horizontally and you’ll be able to enjoy a browsing experience in widescreen. However, we’re not sure why Nokia chose to take up nearly a quarter of the screen with a tool bar. We would have preferred one that you could bring up only when necessary, which is generally the case with other handsets. That said, we liked the fact you could search for keywords within a page and also flick between pages you’d visited in a ‘visual history’ type fashion.If you’re a regular to our reviews then you’ll know we always grimace when we discover there’s no form of protection for a phone’s camera lens. We feel it’s akin to a lemming taking a walk along a steep cliff – an accident waiting to happen. With no such armoury, we urge you to take care with the X6 as it is fitted with Nokia’s now staple yet excellent Carl Zeiss optics. A five-megapixel snapper, Tessar lens and a dual LED flash add to a decent snapping experience, and an equally impressive video recording function enables you to shoot up to 90 minutes of footage.
The Nokia X6 sports the manufacturer’s best touch-screen to date and it’s also sure to hit the right note when it comes to music fans. The sound experience is top-notch, the addition of Comes With Music a bonus and we simply loved the fun yet practical Playlist DJ. However, considering its price tag, we felt the X6 had too much lag when opening applications, especially in comparison to other, more affordable handsets that include a much faster processor.
Reviewed by Danny Brogan