Nokia 6230 review: Rich experience

Petr Broža, 29 April 2004.

I have been longing for a phone like Nokia 6230 for a long time. All existing models have been made with a lot of compromises: one model was lacking in one thing, another one was lacking in something else. But Nokia 6230 has everything. This article is meant to inform you about my experience over a few weeks.

You may ask why I did not choose Nokia with Symbian OS. The answer is very simple: it's too big, has insufficient control options, lacks an MP3 player and hasn't got enough power. I also did not like the Nokia 3650 because of its unnatural keys, nor the Nokia 6600 because of its size, nor the N-Gage because of the impossibility to use it with one hand. Nokia 6230 does not feature Symbian, but it does feature everything necessary for a mobile phone.


The Nokia 6230 belongs to the group of mobile phones, called Series 40, which are very similar to one another. Just one platform was designed, and it was given to dozens of Nokia models. The main differences are in the design, whereas the functions are almost the same. In some models something is added; in others something is removed. It is no wonder how mobile phone producers can manage to offer different kinds of phones, each designed for a separate group of users. With its conservative look, Nokia 6230 will not fit in the hand of a teenager, but it will definitely fit in the jacket of a manager or an exacting user, who needs advanced functions. However, I was unpleasantly surprised by the weight - over 100g, but keeping in mind the great number of functions, I could overlook this.

Click on the thumbnails for full resolution pictures.

Click to zoom. Nokia 6230 Click to zoom. Nokia 6230 Click to zoom. Nokia 6230
Conservative form • Size in accordance with the latest tendencies
• Camera on the back panel

Click to zoom. Nokia 6230 Click to zoom. Nokia 6230 Click to zoom. Nokia 6230
Volume control buttons • Power button, also used to switch the profiles • Pop-port

The Nokia 6230 is offered in two colors - light and dark. The form is totally square which is in accordance with the modern tendencies. What lends some color to the modest look is the unique design of the rear panel where the infraport and lens are located. The keys are in a block and there is no space between them. For the sake of change, the middle column is a little bit wider.

Click to zoom. Nokia 6230 Click to zoom. Nokia 6230 Click to zoom. Nokia 6230
Nokia 6230 is offered in two colors

Dark wallpapers? Forget it

The display is pretty small, 128 x 128 pixels, as it is on the other Series 40 models. The small size of the display looks embarrassing at first glance, but fortunately, Nokia interface designers have used the space effectively. There is more information on the display than on other competitive models with bigger displays. The Nokia 6230's colors are bright and clear, thanks to the active display (TFT), a lot better than the STN displays Nokia uses in other Series 40 phones.

Click to zoom. Nokia 6230 Click to zoom. Nokia 6230
The TFT display looks good

The display, as the telephone itself, is very responsive. I haven't experienced such speed in a mobile phone in a long time. Any kind of wallpaper can be set on the display, but if it's too dark the information on it (date, hour, battery) cannot be clearly seen. The letters' color cannot be changed and the only possibility for the customer is to use a brighter image for the wallpaper.

Black wallpaper? Bad idea

Message for everyone

I consider the keys unbeatable. They are not just suitable for writing; they have excellent feedback and print mistakes are pretty much impossible. I was surprised by the lack of the classic red and green symbols on the keys. On the other hand it seems logical, because the key is not only used for a call, but for WAP as well. There are two soft keys above the "red" and "green", which can change the current situation: the first one will confirm the operation while the second one will refuse it.

Click to zoom. Nokia 6230 Click to zoom. Nokia 6230
High quality keyboard

However, the left key possibilities are limited, because the 5-way navigation key carries out its primary function. Compared to the previous model, it isn't used for working with the Menu, but for confirmation by pressing in the middle. In the beginning, I often pressed something else instead of confirmation. A day passed on, then two - I still was making mistakes. It took a whole week of hard practice before I became perfect using the keys. It also took a long time to get used to the fact that the left key does not confirm most actions. You need to relearn the keys if your pervious telephone was Series 40. If the 6230 is your first Nokia, you should be happy about that.

Click to zoom. Nokia 6230 5-way navigation key

Reader comments

The wording on this article reminds me of Nowadays phone, One was Lacking In one thing, another one was lacking in something else. But now, there are no model who has everything.

  • Anonymous
  • 07 Jan 2024
  • d%$

I don't think so

  • Anonymous
  • 07 Jan 2024
  • d%$

(Still waiting :/ )...