Nokia X6 Comes With Music
Review Nokia's X6 smartphone is more than just another touch screen smartphone in an overcrowded market. In its 32GB form, this well-spec'd music phone will only be available with Nokia's Comes With Music package. It'll be hard to avoid, and is likely to benefit from aggressive subsidies.
Nokia's X6: one of the few models currently supporting the latest Ovi Maps upgrade
Comes With Music is basically a free download subscription service, but this 'universal jukebox' allows you to keep the music you've downloaded. The cost of a year's subscription is bundled with the phone, so it appears to be free. If after a year, you choose another CWM Nokia phone, it rolls over, and continues to be free.
Either way, the music doesn't disappear, as it does with Rhapsody or a Spotify subscription. The only restriction is that it plays on one nominated PC and one nominated CWM phone. It's a great sounding concept, but the public has been unimpressed so far. So the X-series represents the company's best and possibly last hope that the CWM concept will finally catch the interest of the masses. Is the X6, and the revamped CWM enough to do it?
The X6 runs Series 60 Fifth Edition, Nokia's stop-gap touch UI, and there are no surprises if you're familiar with the 5800 or N97 handsets. Nokia opted to retain familiarity for users, and API compatibility for developers – Fifth Edition is really just the old S60 in a fishtank, so the interface and interaction are unchanged.
With a quality capacitive screen – replacing the resistive screens of its predecessors – the experience is a little smoother. That said, it really feels like the stopgap it is, S60 is Third Division compared to the Champions League smoothness of the Apple iPhone or Palm Pre.
The default home and menu screens: no surprises here
So little has changed since the N97 and S60 now also feels like a backwater. For example, Nokia also shunned the opportunity to tidy up the sprawling settings. There are no fewer than six activation wizards: Sett.wizard, SW update, Phone setup, My Nokia, Access. setup, Email setup and Switch, the migration app.
If you must complain then get it right...
Finland is NOT in Scandinavia. Get it right!
Ovi Suite 2.0 is coded with Qt, and it is already available from Nokia website. Ovi Player is still based on .Net but that is about to change this year as all Ovi software will be ported to be based on Qt.
In case of other points about the phone, well, I have to disagree. I have the phone myself, have had for the last two months and I like it a lot. Yes, sometimes it is little frustrating to use, sometimes there are bugs here and there, but then again the phone works quite surprisingly well: my approx 10GB collection of music combined to Playlist DJ makes sure that I have always music playing on, with Opera Mini web surfing is no pain and mails come nicely to the e-mail application.
Giving the phone just 70% mark is in my opinion somewhat unfair, I would have given 80% because it does have the right kind of spec and it does deliver. It may not as smooth as iPhone, but then again it doesn't cost as much, comes with music and multi tasks. No offence, but this review hinted at least bias against Nokia and the S60.
It's true, S60 has always been awful. At it's heart, it's simply a port of Nokia's most basic S40 menu style onto Symbian, that's exactly what it was at the beginning and exactly what the engineers and designers have been battling with ever since - all the more so now they've tried to make it touch friendly.
S60 isn't designed for touchscreens, it's designed for small screens and the most basic phone keypad and D-pad navigation ripped straight out of the nineties. The underlying Symbian is irrelevant to that, and always has been. The only reason S60 was ever respected as a "smartphone OS" was because it sold in high volumes - but almost universally to people who never even knew or cared that it was a smartphone OS. Those people were buying posh featurephones with good cameras etc, and a "user experience" that was as close to the most basic menu-driven Nokia that they could get in such a phone.
UIQ was far from perfect, but it was at least rooted in touchscreens, and a lot more forward thinking (at the time) about how people might actually want to use smartphones for their smartphone features.
Bit late on the S60 verdict aren't we?
A lot of those usability issues have been in every S60 phone since the year "."... I've hated the S60 UI since it was created (I was a UIQ man, although it had a lot of the same flaws in it regarding settings menus and lack of contextual UI cleverness) but I guess I can see that the sheer cack nature of it is cast into better focus by the current crop of smartphones.
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