Nokia has finally made a touchscreen music phone worth craving with the X6, which is everything the 5800 XpressMusic should have been. Plenty of water has flowed under the bridge since the 5800 was released, and the X6 doesn't break any new ground, but there's still much to like about this music maestro.
The Nokia X6 is available from free on a £35-per-month, 2-year contract or £400 SIM-free.
Nokia struggled to make us crave the 5800, due to its chunky design and unresponsive resistive touchscreen. The X6 feels like the 5800 reborn, with a capacitive touchscreen and sleek, angular body.
The X6 uses a touchscreen-orientated version of Nokia's Symbian operating system, which isn't the smoothest or most user-friendly system out there. For example, you have to tap an option once to open it in some places, and you have to double tap in other places. It's not a huge problem, but it can get annoying.
The X6's capacitive touchscreen makes it feel more responsive than other touchscreen Nokia phones, because you don't have to apply pressure with a fingernail or stylus to get it to respond. Even with its capacitive advantage, the screen could be more responsive, though. At times, we felt the phone took too long to respond, although it isn't the slowest phone we've used by any means.
The X6 sports an epic 32GB of memory and Nokia's Comes With Music service, so you can fill it up with a year's worth of free downloads, choosing from zillions of music tracks. The tracks are chained-down with DRM, so you can't listen to them on your other music players, but you can keep them on the phone even if you choose not to renew your subscription to Comes With Music after your free year is up.
Nokia has released yet another version of its desktop syncing software to help you get music on and off the phone, and it's an improvement on previous versions. Now called Nokia Ovi Suite, the software is a good attempt at creating an iTunes-style music store. We found downloading tracks easy, and syncing the phone was surprisingly simple. We particularly like the ability to sync the phone over Bluetooth, so, if your laptop has built-in Bluetooth, you may never have to break out the USB cable once the phone is set up. You can also download tunes directly onto the phone when you're on the move.
Once you've helped yourself to some free music, you can listen to it on your own headphones, thanks to the standard 3.5mm headphone jack. We weren't blown away by the audio quality, though, especially at low volumes, and even when we were using high-end cans. The volume settings also leap too quickly from tinny and quiet to deafeningly loud.