The Nokia 6230's camera takes colourful, if somewhat fuzzy shots, although that's to be expected with even the best VGA-quality camera phones. You can snap photos at three resolutions (160x120, 320x240, and 640x480 pixels). The snapshots average about 35K in size, and you can take smaller portrait shots or switch to Night mode. A self-timer gives you 10 seconds to dart into the frame for group shots, and you can even shoot 15-second video clips with sound.
Unfortunately, there's neither a flash nor a mirror for self-portraits, and a multishot function would have been nice given the phone's extra memory. You can use the pictures as the phone's wallpaper or screensaver, and you can send them to your friends via an email, a multimedia message, the IR port, or Bluetooth.
When you're done snapping photos, you can take a break with the 6230's robust media player. The phone plays MP3s and unprotected AAC files, which you can listen to using the included headset; the music mutes for incoming calls, which is a nice touch.
You can tweak the sound using the onboard equalizer, which includes four presets (Pop, Rock, Jazz, and Classical) and two user-defined modes, and play your tunes in repeat or shuffle modes. Done with your own music? Try the FM tuner, which boasts 20 presets and automatic tuning (although we wish it would program the presets automatically). Finally, the phone's video player will stream short, low-quality clips.
The 6230 comes with a choice of five Java (J2ME)-enabled games: Space Impact, Train Biker, Beach Rally II, Chess Puzzle, and Golf. The Beach Rally racing game was especially fun -- you can set the handset to vibrate when you bump another car, or you can compete with your Bluetooth-enabled pals in the two-player mode.
There are plenty of customisation options.You can pick your own wallpaper and screensaver using either the pictures that come with the phone or snapshots from the camera. You can also switch between the eight available colour schemes. And you can toggle the menu display mode between list and icon styles.
Call quality was excellent -- we heard our callers loud and clear, and our friends on the other end couldn't tell we were using a mobile phone. We were also impressed with the speakerphone and included headset, especially when we were listening to the 6230's MP3 player. Music was warm and detailed, with a decent amount of bass. That's a good thing, considering you can't use your own headphones with the phone.
Nokia promises five hours of talk time on the 6230. We were pleased with the results of our tests, beating the rated talk time by an additional hour. For standby time, we managed just over a week. While that's a few days short of the promised 12.5 days, it's still a good time.
Edited by Kent German
Additional editing by Nick Hide