First Impressions, Basic Functionality
The Nokia 6205 is one of those all-too-uncommon Nokia flip phones. It does bring up reminders of the RAZR, with its brushed metal casing. However, the most remarkable thing about the design of the phone, is its display. The display portion of the phone is extremely thin, and relatively flat. This makes the phone very comfortable against the ear. It does, however, make the phone feel a bit weird, considering that the base of the phone is more than twice as thick as the display portion.
And now, for a history lesson, as the rest of this phone needs to be kept in context. Back in 2004, Nokia had a falling out with the CDMA world. Qualcomm and Nokia entered into the legal battles that they are still hashing out. Essentially, Nokia felt lied to over Qualcomm’s licensing with Nokia. Nokia obtained a CDMA2000 chipset license, only to have Qualcomm do an about-face and launch EV-DO, instead of EV-DVÂ technology. This make Nokia’s license worth considerably less. Qualcomm felt that Nokia violated many of their patents on GSM technology… and thus, Nokia bailed on CDMA completely.
Fast forward to last year. Realizing that Nokia was losing the American market, the decision was made to allow Nokia CDMA to resume operations. Essentially, Nokia will continue to use its existing licenses to make budget, non-EVDO phones. And, they’ll outsource CDMA phone development on carriers which use EV-DO, to so-called ODM (original design maker/manufacturing) companies.
And, the Nokia 6205 was certainly not made by Nokia. While the keypad, and perhaps many of the blueprints had involvement from Nokia… it appears this phone was made byÂ notoriousÂ knock-off company TechFaith.
Note: Nokia has not confirmed that TechFaith is the ODM. We are basing that on design characteristics. Nokia has refused to state to PhoneNews.com which company is manufacturing and designed the 6205.
And, that is the first reason why this phone is terrible. By outsourcing to the worst ODM on the planet, Nokia has ensured this phone is full of bugs. See, the 6205 does not run on the Nokia Series 40 phone platform, which is Nokia’s operating system and design plan for all non-smartphones sold today.
Because of that, it lacks all the functionality which Nokia has championed. Instead of a great web browser, this has a poor Openwave implementation. Instead of amazing Bluetooth profile support, it has terrible Bluetooth. Instead of being able to stream videos with 3GPP ease, it can only play V CAST Video.
About worst of all, is the lack of the Series 40 User Interface. There is no way to get rid of the Verizon Wireless UI, which ruinsÂ nearly all of Verizon’s phones. Instead of making a VZW UI theme for Series 40, Nokia instead just hired an independent company to overlay TechFaith’s phone with this ugly interface.
It’s really hard to review advanced phone functionality on a Nokia like this. Typically, we can look at all the breakthrough Series 40 (not to mention S60) innovations that Nokia brings to the table. We would have liked to look at the Flash Lite support, the J2ME support that Nokia even offered on its older Verizon phones, and all the great things that used to be in a Nokia phone on Verizon.
Sadly, none of those are present here. Instead, all we have to look at are V CAST… oh, and the camera.
Did we mention the camera is terrible? The viewfinder software was not Nokia’s (of course), but instead ArcSoft’s dreadful camera application. Laggy, and makes Motorola’s similar implementation look almost beautiful.
V CAST Music and Video both work. That’s not to say the widescreen view, or load times on either app are great… but they do work.
Probably the worst bug on any high-end feature of this phone, is that it has trouble updating itself. The FOTA (Firmware Over The Air) Software Update feature appears to be broken, crashing whenever we check for updates. And, if past history is anything, when something like that breaks… Verizon usually opts to simply not release a firmware update for the phone. That means to get the bug fixes, you’re left stuck buying a new phone down the road, creating needless e-waste, and needless expenses.
The Verizon Wireless User Interface alone was enough to take Nokia far from greatness. The lack of Series 40 underpinnings did the phone in. We couldn’t reccomend this phone to anyone, there are great competitors such as the Motorola W755, and LG Chocolate 3, which vastly outperform this phone.
Our advice to Nokia: Bring Series 40 to EV-DO phones (not to mention S60), and make the VZW UI into a Nokia theme, which could be disabled by savvy or elderly users who are familiar/enamored with the Nokia UI.
Final Score: 1/5
Pros: Thin, good external casing.
Cons: Buggy. Lack of Nokia UI. Lack of Series 40 features.