So many phones, so very little time. In just a short span of a month, we have seen the Nokia E71 replacing its predecessor, the Nokia E61i. Next up, the Nokia 6110 Navigator will be making way for its successor, the Nokia 6210 Navigator. We had our first experience with this phone earlier at both the Mobile World Congress 2008 and Showcase Nokia 2008, and this time, we'll be rolling up our sleeves, putting on our thinking caps and savor the 6210 Navigator in its entirety.
Aptly utilizing the Navigator moniker to showcase the device's dual objectives as both a phone and a navigation device, the 6210 Navigator comes in a modern compact slide design and is available in both black and red. On the left profile, we have the micro-USB slot and the microSD slot which is protected by a hinged plastic cover as seen previously on the Nokia 6220 Classic. On the right, we have the volume control buttons and the camera capture button. Our biggest gripe was found with the battery casing due to its interlaced design that took us quite a while (and a whole lot of force) to pry open.
On the display front, the 6210 Navigator gets a slight boost to a 2.4-inch screen from its predecessor's 2.2-inch. Sliding the handset up reveals the standard 12-key numeric keypad. Though we do appreciate the bigger buttons as opposed to the thin and numbing ones seen on the Nokia N78 and Nokia N82, there were two prominent issues with the keypad. For one, the front row of the keypad is too close to the slider, thus you'll be prone to some typing mishaps for the top three buttons. Furthermore, the keypad is too flat and failed to provide the right amount of tactile feedback for messaging.
The 6210 Navigator comes with a dedicated button (represented by a "star" just below the five-way navigation pad) that gives you direct access to your preloaded Nokia Maps 2.0. Gimmicky as it may be, the star flashes when you're within Nokia Maps 2.0 and is also the shortcut key to zero in on your current position. Utilizing the Nokia A-GPS service and our data service plan, we managed to retrieve our positioning in under 35 seconds, which was very commendable indeed.
Other bells and whistles on the 6210 Navigator includes a compass that utilizes the integrated accelerometer to sense your current orientation relative to your heading, which will definitely enhance your pedestrian navigation. In short, the 6210 Navigator is the definitive device that unlocks the full functionality of Nokia Maps 2.0.
Of course, the inclusion of the accelerometer allows for various enhancements to your user experience, such as silencing an incoming call with the flip of your phone, or games such as Jelly Chase, which confounded us with its sensor navigation. If that is not your cup of tea, the onboard 3.2-megapixel camera with 4x digital zoom will surely whet your appetite. For those who seek a full connectivity suite, you might want to note that the 6210 Navigator comes with HSDPA and Bluetooth 2.0 options but if you're seeking Wi-Fi connectivity, this device falls short on this aspect. Nonetheless, with a 950mAh battery, these features should give you a good run of up to a day and a half with moderate usage.
For the record, while the 6210 Navigator is after all a phone, there's no denying that its purpose as a navigation device is also well-met with its swift satellite lock and a snazzier looking Nokia Maps 2.0 to further enhance your experience. While we are seeing a plethora of devices with an accelerometer such that it may well become a standard feature in the near future, it is still a nice addition to the list of features here. For now, you might want to check out the Nokia 6210 Navigator which should be reaching our shores in the coming weeks.