The Nokia 6820 has just appeared in the US market
and is available online from AT&T Wireless. If you're familiar
with the Nokia 6800, this model adds many more features and is
smaller. This GSM feature phone has all the bells and whistles
that phone power users want, and then some! It's got an integrated
camera, Bluetooth, color display, basic PIM functions, and runs
on AT&T's EDGE (Enhanced Data rates or GSM Evolution) network.
The 6820 isn't a Smartphone, but rather a Series 40 phone with
Java. However, it may be the perfect companion to your PDA or notebook
thanks to its integrated Bluetooth, IR and fast EDGE network performance.
And of course, its most salient feature: the flip open to full
QWERY keyboard design, is perfect for those who short message on
the go, or need to send quick emails.
Side view of the hinge as the phone opens.
Design and Ergonomics
Those of you who are familiar with the 6800 will
feel at home with the 6820. Both models look like a standard Nokia
phone, but flip open to reveal a QWERTY keyboard. While the 6800
was by no means a large phone, Nokia managed to pack many more
features into the 6820 while reducing its size noticeably. The
6820 is quite small and light, and sports an attractive silver,
blue metallic and white finish. The screen orientation automatically
changes to landscape when the phone is flipped open to reveal the
keyboard. The four control buttons that flank each corner of the
display automatically switch functions as well, so all controls
and features are available in both modes.
The Nokia has a standard number pad, call send
and end buttons, a power button on the upper right corner and three
control buttons whose functions vary depending on the current context.
In addition it has a mini 5-way joystick which you'll use to navigate
on-screen menus, move the cursor in text messages and speed launch
selected apps (left=SMS, right=calendar, up=camera, down=contacts.
Right can be reassigned to launch the app of your choice). When
in a call, moving the joystick left and right will raise and lower
The 6820 has a Pop-Port for
use with Pop-Port headsets and car kits. It comes with an 850 mA
removable battery, and ran for 3 days on a charge with moderate
phone use and light Bluetooth use. Like most recent phones, the
Nokia supports profiles and comes with six: General, Meeting, Silent,
My style 1 and My style 2.
The Nokia has a lighted number pad, and both the numbers
and two vertical bars that run between the number keys illuminate white
when you first wake up the phone from standby or press a key. The backlighting
will turn off at the same time the screen backlight turns off to conserve
power. The phone has keyguard, which you can activate by selecting Menu,
then pressing the asterisk (*) key. You can turn off keyguard by selecting
Unlock, then pressing the asterisk key, or simply by pressing the Talk
button when a call comes in. Voice features include speed dialing, call
waiting, caller ID, speakerphone, conference calling, SMS and MMS. The
6820 comes with 14 polyphonic (MIDI) ring tones (you can install more
if you wish) and 8 color themes.
The phonebook can hold up to 500 entries, has speed
dial, supports up to 10 voice dial numbers (you'll record your own voice
tags), offers voice commands for up to 9 available menu items (5 active
at the same time) and can record memos/conversations up to 90 seconds
in duration. The unit has a call log that tracks missed calls, received
calls and dialed calls. As you'd expect, you can dial using a call log
entry, and reset the call log whenever you wish. The call log also tracks
GPRS connection times and the amount of data transferred.
Keyboard and Display
The Nokia has a full thumb-typeable QWERTY keyboard,
and it and the 6800 are the only models with a traditional phone form
factor to offer this useful feature. Flip open the phone and you'll be
greeted by a keyboard that has 5 rows: the top row is dedicated to numbers,
the next three rows are for letters and the bottom row has shift/caps
lock and a space bar on both the right and left sides. Kudos to Nokia
for giving us two shift keys, an easy to find "@" symbol and
on-screen as well as keyboarded common punctuation and symbols. While
the keys are quite small, the keyboard is still quite usable and it certainly
beats T9 as an input method! It can't compete with the Blackberry thumb
keyboard, but the Blackberry is large and unergonomic as a phone. The
keys don't automatically light, so you'll press the keyboard light button
on the upper left corner of the keyboard to turn lighting on and off.
At 128 x 128 pixels, the display is just large enough
to work with SMS messages. Of course, if the screen were larger, the
phone would be larger and battery life shorter. The 12 bit display has
4,096 colors and looks decent when viewing photos and great when playing
games. The LCD is very viewable outdoors in direct sunlight.
Synchronization, EDGE and Bluetooth Connections
The Nokia uses PC Suite for Windows to sync data between
phone and a computer. You can sync using Bluetooth, IR or via the optional
cable. In addition, the phone supports syncing over the air to an online
sync service. Yyou can also transfer data between the phone and a PDA
using Bluetooth or IR— for example, you can send a contact to the
phone from a Palm Tungsten T3 via Bluetooth. Using PC Suite, you can
sync contacts, calendar items, to-do items and notes, as well as transfer
photos and videos taken with the camera to your PC. You'll use PC Suite
to install Java games (or you can download them over the air), and it
includes modem drivers for the phone.
Nokia does an excellent job with Bluetooth, and I had
no trouble pairing the phone to a Tungsten
T3 (note the T3 has been hard to pair for some users), and to Pocket
PCs such as the Dell
Axim X5 and Toshiba e805 using Ambicom's
Bluetooth CF card for Pocket PCs, as well as an HP
iPAQ 5555 using built-in Bluetooth (note that there seems to be a
problem with the iPAQ 19xx and 22xx Bluetooth firmware and these won't
work correctly with the 6820). Once paired, I used the 6820 as a wireless
modem for the PDAs on AT&T Wireless' EDGE network. I got speeds in
the 40k range in Northern California. EDGE is an enhanced GPRS wireless
data connection that should offer speeds close to 100k (rivaling Verizon
and Sprint's 1xRTT service), but so far speeds have been closer to the
top end of GPRS. Speeds will likely be a bit faster if you're using the
phone as a modem for a notebook computer since those are able to sustain
faster network connections compared to current PDAs. Hopefully as the
network matures, speeds will increase. The phone will automatically connect
to the EDGE network if available, so you don't have to do any configuration.
In addition, we tested the Nokia with a variety of
Bluetooth Headsets including the Bluespoon Chameleon and the Logitech
Mobile Headset and had no trouble pairing and using them with the phone.
What feature phone would be complete without a camera?
The Nokia 6820 has a CIF camera capable of shooting still JPEG images
at 352 x 288 pixels resolution and it can also shoot video with audio.
Camera modes include Standard photo, Portrait photo, and Night mode.
The camera has three quality settings, allows you to turn the shutter
sound on and off, and manually specify image titles. Videos are saved
in H.263 (SubQCIF) format and are limited in duration only by the amount
of available internal memory. Audio quality is very good (excellent for
subjects within 5 feet of the phone), while video and still image quality
are average for a camera phone of this resolution. Images and videos
are good enough to send to other multimedia phone users, and sending
them via MMS is quite simple: just choose Send from Options when viewing
The 6820 comes with a suite of PIM applications
including contacts, calendar, to-do list, notes and an alarm clock.
You will also find applications that will work with your camera,
images, videos and voice recording. The connectivity tools include
built-in Bluetooth and IR. The 6820 supports Java and comes with
a world clock, calculator, Wallet (for storing credit card info
for online transactions), a WAP browser and a converter. In addition,
several games are bundled with the phone: Bounce,
Bowling, Chess Puzzle, Water Rapids and Backgammon.
supports up to 500 entries, with up to 9 fields per entry. You
can attach an image to a contact (JPEG, GIF, WBMP, PNG and OTABMP).
The number of contacts to whom you can assign an image varies
depending on the amount of remaining phone memory. You can assign
speed dial and voice dial entries to contacts.
calendar has a day view and a month view. Dates with appointments
appear bolded in month view. You can send appointments (called
Notes in Nokia-speak) to a compatible phone devices via Bluetooth
and IR as calendar entries, SMS or MMS. You can set old calendar
entries to be deleted automatically after a period of time, though
repeat events such as birthdays won't be deleted.
To-Do list- This
is a very simple to-do list where you can add new to-do notes,
view the current to-do items or mark to-do items as done. When
you add a new to-do note, you can specify the Due date and Priority
(high, medium or low).
can write notes up to 3,000 characters in length using the built-in
keyboard (or number pad, but why would you?). Notes can be sent
via IR, Bluetooth, SMS and MMS. Using Options, you can insert
the current date and time into the note. The phone will warn
you if you try to send the note via SMS and the maximum length
is a Java program that runs faster than the 6800's Java email
client. It supports POP3 and IMAP for incoming servers and SMTP
(including SMTP Auth) for outgoing mail servers. You can manually
specify the server port.
A great phone packed with features! It's a very
small and light mobile, yet thanks to the clever design it packs
a full thumb keyboard. Excellent Bluetooth implementation, EDGE
high speed data connection, and a camera in one small and reasonably
priced package. It runs on AT&T Wireless' new 850 MHz band
(as well as the standard US 1900 MHz band) for best coverage. Definitely
a must have for those who message on the go, and competes nicely
with the Sony Ericsson T610/T616.
price $349, currently $229 from Cingular
Wireless in the US with contract
color LCD, 12 bit, 4096 colors. Screen resolution:
128 pixels wide x 128 pixels high.
Ion rechargeable. Battery is user replaceable. 850
mA. Claimed battery life: talk Time 3 hours (according
to Nokia's web site, 7 hours according to the manual),
12 days standby.
megs internal memory.
in. x 2.17 in. x 0.91 in. Weight Approximately 3.5
triband world phone GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/1800/1900 MHz.
GPRS and EDGE for data. A GSM 900/1800/1900 MHz version
is available for carriers other than AT&T Wireless.
in speaker and speakerphone. Mic with voice recorder
functionality. Supports Pop-Port headsets and Bluetooth
40 operating system. Java support. WAP browser, Messaging
application for email, SMS and MMS. Also supports
Instant Messaging via AIM and ICQ. Image viewer and
video player, Camera application, Call Log, Calculator,
Wallet (for storing credit card info to be used for
online purchases), Calendar, Contacts, Notes and
To-Do list. Preloaded Java applications: E-mail Client,
Instant Messaging, Converter, World Clock, Portfolio
Manager and games: Bounce, Bowling, Chess Puzzle,
Water Rapids and Backgammon.