Except for its external music controls, the 6263's music player is not unlike those on other Nokia models. It plays tracks in MP3, eAAC+, and WMA formats, as well as DRM-protected Windows Media music files from most online music stores. The interface is minimalist but it offers choice of themes while player settings include Random and Repeat modes; an equalizer; stereo widening; and an Airplane mode. On the downside, it appears T-Mobile disabled the phone's capability to use MP3s as ring tones. You can transfer music to the phone relatively easily using Bluetooth, a USB cable, or a memory card. With the 6263's FM radio you can save 20 station presets, save station names in your city, or direct the radio's audio to the phone's speaker.
You can personalize the 6263 with a variety of color themes, wallpaper, animations, and alert tones. You also can compose your own welcome note. Integrated games demo games include AMF Bowling, Frogger 25th Anniversary, World Series of Poker Pro Challenge and Surviving Hollywood. For additional ringtones, games, and customization applications, you can download them from T-Mobile's T-Zones using the XHTML browser.
We tested the quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) Nokia 6263 world phone in San Francisco and Seattle using T-Mobile service. On the whole, the 6263 delivered admirable call quality. The signal was strong, and the clarity was quite clear, though we noticed the phone picked up a small amount of interference from other electronic devices. Volume was also good, though the phone has a sensitive sweet spot. When we moved it just a couple inches away, the volume level dipped noticeably. Likewise, while voices sounded natural the majority of the time, some of our friends sounded a bit robotic. We didn't have trouble hearing in loud environments, and the phone didn't pick up background noise.
On their end, callers said we sounded fine though they reported that the volume fluctuated up and down at times. Regardless of that issue, they were satisfied with their overall experience. Automated calling systems could understand us, but we had to enunciate clearly. Speakerphone calls were loud and clear. We could hear clearly, and so could our callers.
As mentioned previously, the 6263's menus were a tad sluggish. Some applications took a few seconds to open and moving backward through menus was also slow. It wasn't a huge problem, but we still noticed it.
Music quality was quite decent. The single speaker on right spine provided decent output, and the clarity was admirable. The quality was at its best through a headset, so we suggest using one whenever possible. As a 3G-capable phone, the 6263 supports 1700 and 2100 UMTS bands. Hopefully, T-Mobile will activate its 3G network soon so we can test that feature.