MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.
- Dual cameras, MMC Card slot, Bright, clear and large screen, good battery life, excellent voice and signal quality
- Odd design, keypad layout confusing, no voice dialing, interface slow at times, uncomfortable earphones, can’t SMS while using media player
The 6680 comes confidently recommended for any 3G user, although the unique button layout can be somewhat discomforting.
Price$ 849.00 (AUD)
The Nokia 6680 is an upgrade to the previously released 6630 and adds some innovative features to an already impressive 3G package.
Measuring 108 x 55 x 21 mm and weighing 133 g, the 6680 isn't going to win points for size and weight, but it is just about average when compared to most other 3G phones on the market. Nokia have interestingly opted for a non-conventional design for 6680 but end up sacrificing the useability of the traditional handset layout. In particular, the Menu and Clear keys are placed low and wide on the phones keypad and the selection keys are hard to reach. The phone's functionality does takes a while to get used to and the inconvenient key placement may end up putting off potential buyers and frustrating existing users.
The 6680's 262K colour screen is stunning, and clearly visible in all lighting conditions. Bright and clear, the screen also includes a handy light sensor which automatically adjusts the backlight to help preserve battery life. One of the key innovations on this product is the 'active standby screen', which allows you to easily select most frequently used functions without having to navigate through the phone menus. Essentially this is a handy row of menu items including Contacts, New Text Message, Calendar, Gallery and Image Print which are always displayed on the screen.
The 6680 includes two digital imaging cameras - a 1.3 megapixel on the rear of the phone and a standard VGA on the front. The latter is used for video calling and still images, while the rear camera is an imaging camera which can't be used for video calls. The quality of images produced was quite impressive for a camera phone and the photos we uploaded to our PC were for most part bright and clear, although the zoom was fairly meagre. The camera boasts flash, night mode, sequence mode, a self-timer and the ability to adjust settings including brightness, contrast, white balance and colour tone. Photos can be captured in either 1280 x 960 or 640 x 480 resolution and can be stored in either the phone or included MMC card. While it won't replace a stand alone digital camera, overall the camera on the 6680 performs admirably.
To go hand in hand with the 6680's camera, Nokia have provided support for PictBridge printing on the 6680. This allows users to print images from the phone straight onto a dedicated photo printer, without the need for a PC. You simply open the Image Print application on the 6680, connect the phone to the printer using the supplied USB cable and select the images you want to print. It is a practical application for those who enjoy mobile phone imaging and something we'd like to see on more handsets in the future.
The 6680 includes support for text, multimedia and e-mail messaging and predictive text input (T9) is standard. Frequent SMS users will find the keypad somewhat disappointing - the keys are cramped together and accidentally pressing the wrong button was a common occurrence during testing. We were also frustrated with the location of the ABC button in the messaging application, which is oddly located as a separate key altogether instead of being used as a secondary keypad button. Most handsets use either the Star(*) or Hash(#) keys as the ABC button and we feel that Nokia should revert back to the accepted standard.
Like most handsets on the market, the 6680 doubles as an MP3 player. The included 10MB of internal memory is paltry, but thankfully an MMC (Multimedia Card) slot on the right hand side of the phone allows you to increase memory by up to 1GB. The sound quality of the MP3 player is fairly average and regrettably Nokia have not included a standard headphone jack, which means you are required to use the provided headphones. While we didn't have much to complain about in terms of their sound, the standard Nokia earphones are very large and extremely uncomfortable for long periods of use. Don't bother using the external speaker on the phone itself to play your tunes - the quality is largely distorted and not nearly loud enough in volume. Another disadvantage of the media player is the fact that you can't message while the application is open, although you can browse other sections of the phone.
The 6680 offers support for tri-band GSM, GPRS, EDGE and of course 3G. Bluetooth and USB 2.0 are also provided and a USB cable is included in the sales package. Users can also view Microsoft Office files, such as Word and Excel documents, on the 6680 using the installed QuickSheet and QuickWord applications.
Quality of calls on the 6680 was excellent for the most part and reception quality was exceptional. The speakerphone was loud and clear and worked well but we were disappointed with the lack of voice dialing. Battery life was admirable considering the functions that the phone possesses, with approximately 3.5 hours of talk time possible on a GSM network.
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