A straightforward, stylish, HSDPA capable handset with a fair features list and an ultra-competitive price tag? Sounds too good to be true, but Nokia's 6120 Classic is just that, and more. Designed for those on a budget, the 6120 still includes most of the bells and whistles of its more expensive companions, but whittles it down to a stylish design at an affordable price point.
The 6120 is a GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) and 3G/HSDPA (2100 MHz) capable phone, so it includes a front mounted VGA camera for video calling. Call quality is fair - volume is loud enough in a noisy environment, and the hands-free speakerphone also works well. Voice dialling and commands, a voice recorder, and text-to-speech are all standard inclusions; the latter being a feature that reads your SMS, MMS and email messages out loud.
The 6120 comes equipped with a basic 2-megapixel camera with flash and 4x digital zoom. The camera can also record video in H.263 and MPEG4 formats, but its quality is poor and we wouldn't recommend using it. Still images are what we've come to expect from camera phones; shots lack colour, suffer from excessive image noise and without auto focus, its difficult to capture crisp edges. Furthermore, the flash isn't powerful enough for nighttime photography. Despite these issues, the camera is adequate to create background wallpapers or for basic happy snaps.
HSDPA capabilities mean the 6120 is quite a handy device for mobile internet and email, although the latter is only recommended in small doses; typing emails on the small keypad does get tiring very quickly. We set up a standard POP3
Account and had no issues. The 6120 supports SMTP, POP3, IMAP4, and APOP email protocols and can view attachments including JPEG, 3GP, MP3, PowerPoint, Excel, Word and Adobe PDF files. For mobile Internet, the Web browser has the ability to scroll through each page with a feature called 'Minimap'. This view shows a full Web page shrunk to fit the screen and a selection box is used to navigate to the part of the page you want to view in more detail.
A basic music player supports MP3, MP4, eAAC+ and WMA formats, and has an adjustable 5-band equaliser (in addition to presets), reverb, stereo widening and bass boost, as well as random and loop play options. There is also an FM radio, but you'll only be able to use this with the included headphones, which act as the FM antenna. Sound from the external speaker is fair, but far from outstanding. Thankfully, there is a standard 3.5mm headphone jack for music listening; an excellent addition.
The display is adequate for watching videos (MPEG4, H.264/AVC, H.263, 3GPP and RealVideo files), but we really think a larger screen is needed to fully immerse yourself in the experience. Nokia includes just 35MB of internal memory, but a microSD card slot caters for further expansion. A 512MB card is included in the sales package, but the slot supports cards up to 2GB in capacity.
In terms of connectivity, Bluetooth 2.0 with the A2DP profile means you can wirelessly stream music to a compatible pair of Bluetooth headphones, while USB 2.0 is offered for a wired connection. Best of all, the 6120 uses a standard mini-USB connection and a cable is included in the sales package.
Although the 6120 is sleek and stylish, its weakness is the controls. They are cramped and squashed together, and make things difficult, especially for those with large fingers. A particular annoyance is the two selection buttons; they aren't directly underneath the text on the display, so there is a tendency to press the menu and clear buttons by accident.
The silver and gloss black colour scheme does lean towards the look of a sophisticated and stylish handset, but be warned that excessive fingerprints are common place. The 2in TFT display is capable of 16 million colours at a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels, and it's more than adequate for most uses, even if its glossy finish does tend to reflect sunlight.
Battery life is a little below what we were expecting, with just 2.4 hours talk time and up to nine days standby time on a 3G/HSDPA network. Talk time increases slightly to 3.1 hours on a standard GSM network, but this is still below average.
If purchased through 3 Mobile, the 6120 offers the lowest cost of access to 3's X-Series features ($12 per month).
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