Nokia gives us 30 polyphonic (24-chord) ring tones, and you get a vibrate mode. Organizer features include an alarm clock; a calendar; a notepad; a to-do list; a calculator; a countdown timer; a stopwatch; a world clock; a unit converter; and a translator for English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. The converter and the translator are nice features, although they're limited in scope. Also, the breadth of the translator is in question, as it didn't recognize the word hello.
The Nokia 6236i supports text, enhanced, and multimedia messaging, all of which are easy to use. The handset has an infrared connection, supports faxing, and offers PC Sync as an accessory. It lacks push-to-talk capabilities, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi connectivity, but we wouldn't expect them on such a bargain phone.
The VGA camera with two resolutions (640x480 and 160x120), a self-timer, a portrait mode, three image-quality settings, a 2X zoom, and a night mode that snaps clear, concise pictures. It takes a while to load the camera, and the absence of the dedicated camera key is a nuisance; we also wish the Nokia 6236i included a flash. Once you take a picture, you can zoom, rename, open the picture gallery, or set contrast on the photo. Inside the gallery, you can then choose any picture, rename it, set it as wallpaper, get details, select how to view, sort, or delete. Our one complaint is that we were unable to easily send pictures; instead we had to open the photo gallery and pick the picture we wanted to send. The Nokia 6236i also has video capture of up to 2.5 minutes with sound and a resolution of 128x96 pixels. We were content with the quality of the video capture. Overall, the Nokia 6236i has 10MB of shared memory.
Audio features include voice commands and voice recordings of up to 3 minutes. The feature that most impressed us was the FM radio; when used with a headset, it gets good reception. You can store up to 20 preset stations. The Nokia 6236i allows customizable ring tones and supports a host of formats, including MIDI and MP3. The personalization settings on Nokia 6236i were ample. We could download and set wallpaper, change the color scheme, customize the backlight to any length of time up to 100 minutes, have a different screensaver with any customized time-out screen, and personalize a banner. You can download more options from Verizon using the WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser. The handset did not come with games, but BREW-enabled titles are available from Verizon's Get It Now service.We tested the dual-band (CDMA 800/1900) Nokia 6236i on the Verizon network in San Francisco. We were impressed with the call clarity on our end. There was little friction, and voices on the other end sounded good. It was obvious to most callers that we were on a cell phone, but this was based more on network spottiness than the handset. We didn't encounter interference from other electronic equipment when using the Nokia 6236i.
The speakerphone distorted at higher volumes but was clear and loud enough when used within a normal range to understand the caller. The phone gets a little warm after extended use, but this doesn't seem to affect the quality of the sound or performance of the phone. The quality of the sound on the radio is also impressive. The browser has very slow connection speeds and download times on applications, but the online interface is easy to access.
The rated talk time is 3.5 hours, while the promised standby time is 12 days. In our tests, we came away with 5 hours of talk time, and our standby was 10 days. According to FCC radiation tests, the Nokia 6236i has a digital SAR rating of 1.24 watts per kilogram.