Yesterday I brought the Siemens SX1 back to the shop (o2) and asked for the Nokia 7610 - not in stock. I then eyed the Nokia 6600. Well it had an odd shape. I remembered I saw this last year and hated the design but the size was very similar to the SX1. The next option was the RIM Blackberry 7230. But it costs £150 on my tariff and I wasn't planning to subscribe to the 5Mb GPRS service.
I asked for a working unit and tested the keypad. The keypad was fine and works like it should. I then weighed the options between the 6600 and 7610. The 7610 costs only £50 extra. Not much but £50 can buy me another 1Gb MMC card - or it could go into my next PDA purchase.
The 7610's design is way better than the 6600 in my opinion. The keypad was unusual but way better than the SX1. But it was a fashion phone. I do not like fashion phones as too many people seems to think I would be following a trend. The 6600 was a business phone. I like the idea of business phones as Nokia tend to support those longer. My father has a 6310i that came with his Mercedes and that was based on the classic 6210 design that came out eons ago. I suspect the 6600 platform will be supported for a long time.
It had a 1 Megapixel digital camera on the back compared to the 6600's VGA camera. Well I already own a 2 Megapixel camera so its not important. It also happen to use RS-MMC cards (Reduced Size Multimedia Media Card) which is more expensive than traditional MMC cards.
I then compared the screens. While the 7610's was slightly better it was not a big improvement over the 6600's screen which was viewable outdoors. The OS speed feels the same. Both runs on Symbian's latest version 7.0 although the 7610 runs on Series 60 v2.0. I am not sure what GUI version does the 6600 runs on.
So the 7610 is basically a 6600 in a different clothing with a slightly better camera and nicer design. Is that worth £50 extra? Maybe not. I already have a nice collection of MMC, SD, MS and SM cards and I will be damned if I needed invest in RS-MMC cards. So you would say that the MMC slot on the 6600 was the deal breaker. If the 7610 came with a MMC or SD slot then I would not mind paying the £50 extra.
Next was where it was made. Still Finland. Good. I know some of the components might come from Taiwan or Japan but still its reassuring that the construction of the mobile was in Finland than a nameless factory in China.
I exchanged the SX1 for the 6600 then. Felt like downgrading actually since the SX1 was better than the 6600 in many areas but it all comes down to the usability of the keypad.
What did I think of the 6600? Well apart from the extremely ugly and fatty look (it is the same size as my friend's Sony Ericsson P800) it was al right. I doubt the thickness has anything to do with its internal component and more to do with Nokia's designer trying to figure where to put the extra soft keys. The joy stick was easy to use.
What did I miss from the SX1? Well the black piano finish was one. The MMC slot was the other. The extra 12 pixels on the screen. The FM radio (though not so important). The free 128Mb card (the 6600 came with 32Mb). What you see is possibly the first person to downgrade first from a newer Sony Ericsson K700i to a Siemens SX1 and now a Nokia 6600.
But I like it (again apart from the ugly design - but it is no where near as bad as Motorola's upcoming MpX). It was useable and that is more important. I am sure I would get used to the look. Bad looks has its limit though and the 6600 was the limit. Anything worse than that (Motorola MpX) and they should fire the designers.
One grip. I still can't figure out how to implement mp3 as my ring tone so I can use my Carcass grindcore tracks as my alarm tones. I am new to this so called 'smartphone' mobiles but so far I am not finding S60 phones to be as good as being on PalmOS or Pocket PC.
Why didn't I get a Treo 600? Well o2 does not have them. And I still prefer to use a candy bar 'smartphone' rather than a PDA phone like the Treo or XDA due to I like my mobile to be voice centric rather than data centric. Any data fetching would happen on my proper PDA.
Update: I actually did finally go for the 7610. Felt guilty about it, but the 7610's size eventually won me over.