Nokia 6210 Navigator mobile phone

Navigation in your pocket... but at a price

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Nokia 6210 Navigator
  • Nokia 6210 Navigator
  • Nokia 6210 Navigator
  • Nokia 6210 Navigator

Pros

  • Slimmer and lighter than predecessor, well laid out controls, Nokia Maps 2.0, HSDPA

Cons

  • Turn-by-turn navigation only free for six months, questionable build quality, Navigator concept lost, no cradle/window mount included

Bottom Line

We were expecting big things from the 6210 Navigator, but the fact that turn-by-turn navigation is only free for six months is a huge disappointment. We can’t see the point of this handset when most handsets in Nokia’s new range offer GPS and Nokia Maps.

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The successor to the popular 6110 Navigator, Nokia’s latest Navigator phone features a much slimmer frame and comes equipped with an updated version of Nokia Maps software. Unfortunately, what was a great concept for the Navigator series has been ruined, with turn-by-turn navigation only free for six months.

The 6210 feels quite different to the 6110 Navigator. It’s much slimmer, somewhat more stylish and the controls are well designed and implemented. The front of the handset features a sleek gloss black finish; it does attract fingerprints, but it gives the handset a classy look and feel. Providing a nice contrast are the sides and rear, which are finished with grey and charcoal matte plastic, respectively. The keypad is almost completely flat, but the keys are very large and comfortable to press, providing excellent tactility.

Unfortunately, the build quality is questionable. The rear casing is annoying to remove and feels like it could be easily broken. Although the controls are comfortable and smartly positioned, selecting down on the navigational pad results in a loud clicking noise. When the slider is open, using the navigational pad results in the slider feeling unsteady — it rocks slightly when you are pressing any keys.

Obviously the key selling point of this handset is its navigational capabilities. Whereas its predecessor used Route 66 software, the 6210 has Nokia Maps 2.0, with Australian and New Zealand maps pre-loaded. Nokia has done an excellent job with the interface considering the size of the display. The time it takes to pick up a GPS signal has been improved; in most instances it takes around a minute.

If you are used to standard in-car GPS units, using the 6210 Navigator will involve a steep learning curve because there is no touch screen. The Nokia Maps 2.0 interface will be familiar to most Nokia users, with all menu options available by using the right selection key. One complaint is that when searching for an address or POI you can't type using predictive text input. Using the options menu you can perform a search, access your favourites (including history), switch the map view, and access settings and extras (including the recently launched Lonely Planet city guides).

The combination of a digital compass and a built-in accelerometer makes using the 6210 on foot a valid option. This technology allows the map to rotate to face the current direction you are moving in. Voice guidance is excellent, with the volume more than loud enough at its highest setting. Unfortunately, when mounted in the genuine Nokia cradle, the volume button isn't accessible and it is difficult to slide open the handset if you need to access the keypad.

The fact that Nokia doesn't include a window mount or cradle in the 6210 sales package is disappointing; you'll have to purchase one separately (bundled along with an in-car charger for a hefty $99). But the biggest issue with the 6210 is that the concept of a 'navigator' handset has been lost. The original model was a specialist GPS handset with free turn-by-turn navigation, while the 6210 only provides turn-by-turn navigation for six months. You’ll then have to pay a yearly subscription fee of $124. Free navigation was supposed to be the big drawcard of the Navigator handsets, so the question has to be asked: why did Nokia bother with the 6210 when a plethora of its handsets are available with GPS and Nokia Maps 2.0?

Navigation aside, the 6210 doesn’t boast any real outstanding features. The handset is HSDPA 3.6 capable, but there is no Wi-Fi. The popular Symbian S60 interface is again featured here, but it isn’t as speedy as recent Nokia releases that use this OS. The camera has been upgraded from the previous model, however, utilising a 3.2-megapixel sensor with autofocus and an LED flash. The sunken lens could have used a cover, as dust and fingerprints are easily collected.

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