Camera phones with 5-megapixel snappers are all the rage these days, but they're often too heavy or lacking a good flash. Nokia's 6220 Classic offers a more lightweight alternative and a xenon flash among its myriad features. Is it the perfect, pocketable solution?
The Nokia 6220 Classic is currently available for free on a monthly contract from most networks.
As the name suggests, this is a classic-looking phone. A standard candy-bar handset, the 6220 Classic features a medium-sized screen, which is bright and sharp, and a flat but sensible keypad. Unusually, the 6220 sports a black glossy front and a matte grey finish with a grainy texture on the back. It's a strange combination that offsets the smooth feeling of the front.
Considering how many features are crammed into this handset, it's rather small and light, but not so petite that you feel you need to handle it with care. We accidentally dropped it from waist-height a few times and it survived unscathed.
It's the camera on the back that we're really interested in, though. Similar to the Nokia N82, the 6220 Classic comes with a 5-megapixel camera that sports a xenon flash and is protected by a sliding cover. To use the camera, you simply slide the cover open and click the dedicated shutter button on the side.
If you look closely on the left side of the phone, you'll also notice another dedicated button that gives you access to Nokia Maps and activates the assisted GPS. Above the button is a useful blue light, which flashes if the GPS is on.
So far, so good: all the buttons are in the right place, the screen is easy to view and the camera packs all the right design features. Unfortunately, there's one area of the 6220 Classic's design that disappointed us: the headphone jack. Unlike the Nokia N82's 3.5mm headphone jack that will work with any pair of normal 'phones, the 6220 Classic only comes with a 2.5mm jack. You either have to use the in-box headphones or buy a special pair.
The 6220 Classic's star feature is its camera, boasting a similar spec to the Nokia N82's snapper. Slide the protective cover open and the 5-megapixel camera is automatically activated, although it does take a few seconds to start up.
We found pictures taken with the Classic's camera came out looking good on the 6220's screen but less sharp than we expected when viewed on a monitor. Compared to the quality of picture from N82's camera, our results weren't as well balanced.
Happily, low light performance impressed us. The xenon flash provided a high level of illumination and, in our opinion, is much better than using a camera phone with an LED photo light. The xenon flash is particularly useful at night because it's so bright.