After a couple of years of using inexpensive, low-featured phones, I finally took the plunge and bought the best thing that I could find (without going into the overkill area). My priority was to be able to post quality photos on the blog and be able to moblog text easily. That meant a high-quality camera and a good keypad and at the same time, staying within a reasonable budget.
I could have gone for something like the WiFi-equipped i-Mate (aka K-Jam) that my friend Sohaib owns, but buying that would have pushed things over my budget and not all its features would be used by me. I also wanted to stick to Nokia this time for various reasons. My Samsung x600 is worthless right now and even the Sony Ericsson won’t sell for much. Nokia’s have the best resale value here. Also, my friends are mostly very happy with Nokia while I have always had at least one major complaint when using other brands. And the simple, globally compatible power adapter is awesome.
Initially, I was thinking of going for the Nokia 6600 since the photos are of an amazing quality, despite it having just a VGA camera. The price has also dropped a lot, but it is now a bit old and seems bulky. The next in line was the 6630. I loved the matt-chrome keys and it just has this “solid” feel to it, but the rounded, bulging bottom was one of the things that put me off of it.
The 6680 is a slight improvement over the 6630 in terms of features, though it has its share of aesthetic issues and costs a bit more. It’s the phone I eventually settled on. Regarding the appearance, it looks a bit flimsy and cheap due to the clear plastic keys, loose lens slider and the shiny chrome parts, but they grow on you pretty fast. The shop only carried the light bronze model and I realized later that it is better than the other, “baby blue” color.
Photos taken by the main 1.3 megapixel camera are of excellent quality if you don’t use zoom and hold the phone stable. Otherwise, you’ll get a very grainy photo. The 1280×960 mode churns out some nice photos, but 640×480 is quite enough for me (for now) and allows more images to be stored at one time.
Next challenge was making it accessible from my Linux system. The phone comes with a USB cable and is recognized by Linux as a Nokia device when connected. It was a good time to upgrade my kernel since I had to do it anyway to use Gnokii. After a lot of trouble getting Gnokii’s CVS version compiled, I found out that not all features of this model are currently supported. In fact, all I can currently do is identify the phone and monitor it. To use the rest of the features, I had no choice but to plug it with a PC running Windows.
I was starting to regret spending all that money to buy the 6680 when I could have had the 6630 for less. That is, until I read this review and comparison. There have been a few issues with the 6680, such as applications running out of memory until the phone is restarted (WHAT? even in a mobile?), but generally, I like it.
Since I was already spending so much money, I decided to spend a little more and get a bluetooth headset plus an extra memory card. Got the Nokia Wireless Boom HS-4W Headset, mainly for the borg look, and 128MB of extra MMC memory. It’s not much at all, but they didn’t have higher capacities and I’m still getting by on the 64MB one. The headset is cool, but you get some interference and it seemed to die for no apparent reason one day. For no apparent reason, it’s back now.
Now that I’ve bought it, I’ll stick with the 6680, hoping that either 3G will reach Pakistan soon or that I’ll be in a 3G-enabled country soon, but if I could do it again, I would save my money and get the good ol’ 6600.
Coming up: How I’m trying to get a working photoblog. Fast.