Nokia's 6230 isn't pretty or particularly well designed, but it's stuffed to the gills with useful features. Boasting an integrated camera and video recorder, an MP3 player, an FM tuner, Bluetooth and IR support, and an expandable memory slot, there's not much this plain-Jane phone can't do. Hard-core road warriors who can put up with the handset's so-so looks and flawed keypad should give the 6230 a serious look.
The Nokia 6230 has the looks of a railway sleeper, which is to say it doesn't look like much. Sporting the usual Nokia candy bar shape, the handset measures 44 by 103 by 20mm and weighs about 97g.
Overall it feels a little heavy for its size, but it fits in a jeans pocket, albeit snugly. Available in black and silver, the mobile's straight, sensible lines make it blend into the background. If you want to make a call without drawing attention, this is the phone for you.
For a phone with such a safe, pedestrian design, the 6230 is unfortunately saddled with a would-be stylish keypad that's needlessly difficult to use. The middle column of keys is almost twice as wide as the left and right columns, which makes for tough dialing. The middle keys match the width of the square, five-way toggle, which works well when you're navigating menus, but falters when you need to select items. Too often, we nudged it one way or another while trying to push it straight down.
Flip the phone around and you'll find the camera lens, which is embedded in a shiny, black plastic strip that stretches around to right side of the phone -- the perfect place for a dedicated camera button. Alas, there isn't one. With the phone in standby mode, you activate the camera by nudging the navigation toggle up -- a shortcut we discovered by accident, as it isn't labeled.
A small, single volume control sits flush on the left side of the phone, and while it's certainly unobtrusive, it's hard to find when you're on a call. In typical Nokia fashion, a dedicated power button is located on the top of the phone, and its large size made it easy to press.While Nokia may have skimped on the 6230's design, it didn't spare any expense when it came to features. The bottom line: this phone is loaded.
The 1,000-contact phone book has space in each entry for five numbers, three addresses, and a note. You can pair contacts with a picture for caller ID, and assign one of 20 polyphonic or 10 monophonic ring tones to a caller group.
All the other basics are present and accounted for, including a WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser, email access (IMAP4, POP3, and SMTP), a speakerphone (but no dedicated speakerphone button), text and multimedia messaging, a calendar, a to-do list, a note pad, a voice recorder, a calculator, a data wallet (which stores credit card and login info), nine speed-dial numbers, voice dialing, and five-way conference calling.
The phone's generous memory includes 6MB of shared RAM and space for an included 32MB MMC card, though it's annoyingly hidden behind the phone's battery. Mobile professionals will appreciate the Bluetooth, the IR port and the ability to sync with a PC, a laptop or other mobile devices by downloading the Nokia PC Suite from the company's Web site.