Hands on with just announced Nokia phones - Nokia 6086, 6300, 6290 and 2626

Press Information and photos of Nokia: 6086, 6300, 6290, 2626

Formerly known as Nokia Mobility conference, Nokia World 2006 is currently taking place in Amsterdam, the Nederland. The annual event used to be separated in two different venues – the NMC and Capital Market days event, which are now combined in one. 

Overall, four new models were announced – the mid-range 6300 and 6290, the entry level 2626 for the European markets and the UMA 6086 for US/EU. 

Nokia 6086 is simple clamshell phone capable of world roaming as it is quad-band GSM supporting UMA, which makes it a candidate for T-Mobile's network. The 6086 is UMA-capable version of the 6085.

Nokia 6300 is stylish looking candybar from the middle level. It's not a smartphone like the 6290 but has similar 2-megapixel camera and also QVGA display. It features FM Radio and music player with 135MB of internal memory and slot for microSD cards. It is tri-band GSM.

Nokia 6290 is mid-level smartphone in clamshell form-factor with internal antenna. It is 3G GSM with QVGA internal display (16mln colors) and 2-megapixel camera with digital zoom. It also has large external color display and stereo speakers for music playback.

Nokia also announced the budget 2626. It is dual-band European phone with basic features and candybar design.

View the next pages for our live hands-on photos and information about the four new phones!

Source: Nokia


The first impression we got when we took the 6300 in our hands was – feels like the 8800. The main reason is the metal frame and back which definitely brings for the “stylish” feel and look. Even though Nokia does not view the 6300 as a direct successor to the 6230i, the new device could definitely be called one. Its height and width are almost identical, with the 6300 having thickness of 0.5” or 12mm compared to 0.8” or 20mm for the 6230i. The weight is also trimmed down to 3.2 oz (91 g).




Nokia 6300 and 7610
Nokia 6300 and 7610
Nokia 6086 US Version - Nokia 6300 - Nokia 6290
Nokia 6086 US Version - Nokia 6300 - Nokia 6290

Below the display are the two soft keys and the hang-up and answer buttons. The large, 5-way navigation key is in the middle and a pleasure to use – excellent tactile response and huge central OK button. The main keyboard has decently large keys, but they lacked almost any tactile response when clicked. In addition to that, there is also no space between them horizontally which should make the text input more prone to errors. Vertically, the rows of keys are separated by easy to feel, deep rifts.

The only other button is the rocker switch located on the right side. It is easy to feel without looking at the phone, but offered again little tactile response and was not very easily pressed. We hope this will be improved before the 6300 hits the store shelves.

We think Nokia is finally starting to realize (like the rest of the manufacturers will eventually) that from a consumer stand point, using proprietary charging/connectivity ports is NOT convenient and NOT the way to go. Unfortunately, they still do not realize it completely – the 6300 and 6290 both feature standard mini-USB ports, but ONLY for connectivity to PC, and not for charging the devices for which separate port is used. Still this is a step in the right direction.

To bring a little sense of “coolness” the 6300 features two lights on each side of the phone. They illuminate in Blue when there is incoming call or text message. 

The 2 mega pixel camera is situated on the back. The test photos we took at the conference show about average image quality, but keep in mind that the models are not with final and software improvements are normal.

The differences between the 6230i and the 6300 do not end here – the 6300 features large QVGA (240x320) pixels display with 16 million colors, very sharp contrast and brightness.

We didn't mention, but unlike the 6230i which had only EU/Asian version only, the 6300 will have US version as well, with the only difference being the 850 MHz instead of the 900 European band.
The features set also includes EDGE for Internet connectivity, Java based E-mail client with POP/IMAP support, FM/Visual radio and 2.5mm jack. 
Our first impressions of the device are extremely positive – superb built-quality with excellent design, very good display and 2 mega pixel camera!

The 6300 is expected to start shipping in Q1 of 2007 and should have unsubsidized price of about $330 (250 EU). 

Nokia 6300 complete specifications

The 6086 is the second phone which will supposedly be available in the US. In actuality, it is 6085 with UMA added – allowing flawless switching between GSM and WLAN networks. In the US, T-mobile is already offering the @home service, which allows consumers to use their UMA enabled phone to connect via Wi-Fi to a router at their home or T-Mobile hotspot. Then the regular Internet is used to deliver the digitized voice to a T-Mobile center, after which it continues it path to the other party via regular lines. The main benefit would be a lot cheaper phone calls when initiated over the UMA service. In case the user does not have a good reception at home, the @Home would be the perfect and easiest way to overcome this obstacle.  

The 6086 will be available in two versions – a black for Europe/Asia and a silver one for the US. The European version has rubberized texture on the keypad and around the screen, which believes us feels weird. The silver one is just normal plastic.

EU version - US version
EU version - US version

US version-EU version

The design is overall pleasing – brushed metal look of the top shelf with some mirrored accents.
For menu navigation there is a large, convenient to use 5-way navigation key. Below it is the keypad with raised, easy to fell keys. Since it is pretty much older 6085 with UMA, is still have a proprietary connector on the bottom and not mini-USB.

The device could be either considered a higher member of the entry level segment, or a very low, mid-range phone. On one hand it only has STN display and VGA camera, but on the other it is quad-band with EDGE, Bluetooth with stereo streaming plus a microSD slot. No matter which segment it is a part of, obviously it will be marketed to budget cautious consumers, who have desire to try the new UMA service, but only if the price is very low. For all the rest who mainly should be the early adopters, more advanced devices should be offered.

Nokia 6086 US Version - Nokia 6300 - Nokia 6290

The Nokia 6086 is expected to start shipping in Q1 of 2007.

Nokia 6086 complete specifications

The 6290 was touted by Nokia to be the first mid-level S60 Symbian phone with 3G support. It has comparable design to the 6086 and again will be available in all black or silver versions (both for EU/Asia only). The similarities end here. The 6290's main display is like the 6300's – 2.2 inch QVGA with very saturated colors, brightness and contrast. The external is with high 128x160 resolution, but lacked the necessary brightness. Just under it are three music dedicated keys, allowing for easy music player operation without the need to open the shell. The 2 mega pixel camera with a LED flash are also on the top shell.

Another positive trait we noticed was that manufacturers are no longer scared to use the available space and threat their customers with large, easy to use navigation keys. The 6290 is not an exception. Considerably larger are the side keys as well – allowing easier operation. We only did not like the keys in the central row, which required a lot more effort to be pressed.

Nokia 6086 US Version - Nokia 6300 - Nokia 6290

What Nokia reps didn't hype about was – the 6290 is not only the first mid-level S60 with 3G, but is also music oriented. We mentioned the external controls, but it also has 2.5mm jack on the top, microSD memory expansion and Bluetooth (presumably with A2DP), as well as our favorite mini-USB port. Coupled with the S60 smartphone capabilities, the new 6290 has undeniable appeal to people who want mid-level 3G device with more advanced music functionality. 

Nokia 6290 complete specifications 

Overall, we noticed several very positive improvements in the four new phones announced during the event. The first one is that more and more device manufactures start to embrace the idea of standardizing connectors and moving towards mini-USB and 2.5 or 3.5mm headset jacks. The time has passed when only the technology maniacs had to carry around several different cables to connect and charge their gadgets. Nowadays, a lot of people not only have MP3 players, but Bluetooth headsets as well, more than one phone, laptops, digital cameras which create a lot of cable cluttering.  

The second improvement is the use QVGA displays in not only the high-end but as well as in the mid-range class. Raising the resolution alone is great, but the newer displays show also better color contrast and sharper images.

The third improvement is having memory expansion options in more devices. All of the new handsets announced at the event, expect the 2626, had microSD slots. This should be the norm in all mid and up class phones as pretty much all of them feature ether a camera, music player or other memory-eating capability which makes the extension slot very useful.  

The last new device showcased in Amsterdam is the entry level Nokia 2626 phone for Europe. It is simple dual-band GSM in candybar design with integrated antenna and small mediocre STN color display with resolution of 128x128 pixels. It lacks camera or Bluetooth and its only feature is FM radio.

Nokia N95 Sample Photos.

*Based on prototype unit with beta software and taken in very dark enviroment, this pictures DO NOT indicate the real potential of the N95's camera

Nokia N95 complete specifications

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