Review: Nokia 6110 Navigator

Review: Nokia 6110 Navigator
Review: Nokia 6110 Navigator

The Nokia 6110 Navigator really does pull its weight in the convergence of technologies it aims to bring together. It's an excellent GPS solution in a great phone for a very tempting price.Think of where you are, how you got there. Think of how you plan to get there tomorrow. Do you need a map? Have you got it memorised? When you leave everyday for work or play, you grab your phone, the keys, your wallet or purse, the contents of your life sitting on the counter or dresser waiting for you to use them again.

One item you don’t normally carry is a map or a street directory. If you needed to find a meeting or go somewhere new, carrying a huge clunky map just isn't practical. But what if you could, and what would you say if all you had to do was pick up your mobile phone like you normally did?

Nokia think they might have found the answer with an impressive new phone, the Nokia 6110 Navigator.

The 6110 Navigator is the second GPS phone from Nokia with the N95 coming before it. But while the N95 was more of a convergence device of sorts combining GPS with multimedia and imaging brilliantly, the 6110 takes the already excellent GPS from the N95 and makes it better.

When you first see the 6110, you might think less of it for adopting such a basic design. If you're at all familiar with recent Nokia sliderphones, you'll find a similar pattern in this phone as it's pretty close to the 6288 and E65. Because of this, it feels just as good to hold as those handsets did.

The buttons are all very firm and the overall build quality seems very good. Too good in fact as taking the back cover off to replace the SIM card or battery is one of the most irritating parts of this phone: it's just way too hard to do! That said, all the parts do seem quite stable and the overall feel of this phone will leave you with a good taste in your mouth.

Now I've been using a Sony Ericsson K750i for the past two years so I've seen decent camera ability in a mobile phone but don’t be misled with the 6110 Navigator: it may have a 2 megapixel camera in it, but Nokia would have been better off packaging a decent 1.3 megapixel camera rather than the far from impressive 2 megapixel they went for instead. While the camera looks like it could be decent and it comes with some cool features, it's all a bit moot as the images produce far too much noise and banding to be of any real or decent quality.

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Multimedia wise, there's a lot of solid functionality with a Flash player, radio, mp3 playback and more. Audio sounds very clear when listening to music, the GPS or phone calls. While the built-in stereo speakers are nice, they do have their limitations and if you can use either a wired or Bluetooth connection for the sound, especially for listening to music.

It's actually surprising how good the phone call quality is. Through either Bluetooth or the handset, the speech is sharp and clear at both the handset end and the receiving end. Plus, with the phone supporting 3g and quad-band GSM, you're unlikely to find a place where you wont be able to use you phone anytime soon.

Writing on the 6110 is quite easy if you're a veteran SMS'er. While it can get uncomfortable typing one handed, this review is a testament to how quickly one can get used to it with either one or two hands as this review has been written entirely on the phone itself.

Likewise, the 3g capability of this phone with the strong text editing functionality makes this an excellent mobile email candidate. While not QWERTY, it is easy to work with.

With all of that taken care of, let's look at the crowning achievement of the 6110 Navigator: its GPS functionality.

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The 6110 comes with Route 66 software which does an excellent job. While getting that first GPS connection can take a little longer than I'm otherwise used to, the connection seems more stable than the other GPS I was using to test with. The software too seems to do the better job than much of the competition. In testing the 6110 Navigator as a GPS, I found Route 66 to provide better and faster route calculation than on competing software TomTom.

Battery life is pretty decent. Nokia rate the phone for up to 11 days standby and up to 3.5 hours talk time. In my tests, if you're using GPS and Bluetooth, you'll likely need to recharge it every day or two. Otherwise, you should get a fair few days in before your next recharge. Storage is pretty good too with the 6110 coming with 40mb built-in as well as a MicroSD slot for memory expansion. The handset is packaged with a generous 512mb card which allows you to put a decent amount of music or images on it.

As a phone, the Nokia 6110 Navigator really does pull its weight in the convergence of technologies it aims to bring together. It's an excellent GPS solution in a great phone for a very tempting price.

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There are some niggles however. None of these issues are really enough to stop me from buying the phone so they certainly shouldn't stop you, but they are worth noting.

The 6110 sports a 2.5mm headphone jack which is a shame, especially now that a fair number of mobiles are finally adopting the 3.5mm standard that almost every consumer headphone uses. WiFi would have been a welcome inclusion and would have really made this a perfect little package. Also, the top row of keys could do with a bit more separation from the top half of the phone.

While the 6110 Navigator uses the tried and tested Symbian S60 3.1 operating system, Nokia still seem to have some bugs to work out as I've experienced some odd battery management issues and sound cut-off's that required handset restarts. It should be noted that these problems occurred very randomly and are certainly not something I saw often.

The desktop software could also be a lot better. What starts as a very nice user friendly install leaves you feeling a bit patronised by how many icons and connections will clutter up parts of your explorer. You can’t choose what parts get installed and what doesn't and you'll probably be unimpressed with how slow the software is.

Still, the Nokia 6110 Navigator does a pretty admirable job for combining technologies you could certainly find yourself wanting more and more of. I haven't even touched upon the included office productivity applications or the organiser functionality but rest assured, when you get a Nokia 6110 Navigator, you get an amazing little package.

Pros

  • Great GPS
  • Excellent build quality
  • Sound quality is top notch
  • Lots of applications included on the phone

Cons

  • Desktop software isn't very good

Product: Nokia 6110 Navigator

Vendor: Nokia Australia

RRP: $759

Website: Nokia 6110 Navigator

Written by Leigh D. Stark

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