Now we'll address the basics. The phone book holds 500 contacts, with room in each entry for five phone numbers and an e-mail address. You can pair contacts with a picture for caller ID and select a ring tone from the phone's measly selection of five polyphonic tones. Other features include a vibrate mode, text and multimedia messaging, a calendar, instant messaging (AOL, MSN, and Yahoo), an alarm clock, voice dialing, a notepad, a world clock, a calculator, and a tip calculator. Incidentally, in another Verizon menu quirk, the option for setting the user-defined shortcut on the toggle is buried in the Tools menu. The speakerphone is quite user-friendly, though; you can activate it before you make a call.
The 1.3-megapixel camera takes pictures in four resolutions (1,280x960, 640x480, 320x240, and 160x120) and comes with a 3-, 5- or 10-second self-timer; brightness and white-balance controls; four color options; and three shutter sounds, plus a silent option. There's also a flash and a 2X digital zoom, though it's unusable at the highest resolution and with a flash. And if you're ever lost in the dark, you can activate the flash to stay steady for use as a flashlight. The video camera records clips in one resolution (176x144) with sound and at 25 frames per second. The flash and the zoom are usable here too, and you can adjust the brightness and white balance. Clips are limited to a short 15 seconds.
When finished taking shots or clips, you can save them to the Nokia 6305i, upload them to your online Verizon album, or send them in a multimedia message. Photo quality wasn't great. Images were blurry, and colors weren't very sharp. Video quality was about average for such a camera--fine for quick clips but nothing remarkable.
You can personalize the Nokia 6305i with a variety of wallpaper, display themes, screensavers, and sounds. If you want more options or more ring tones, you can download them via the WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser. There are no included games, so you'll have to buy titles from Verizon. The streaming-video options are the standard V Cast offerings.
We tested the dual-band, dual-mode (CDMA 800/1900; EV-DO) Nokia 6305i in San Francisco using Verizon's network. Call quality was decent, with admirable clarity and little interference or static. Callers said we sounded the same, and they didn't report any problems. We found the volume level somewhat low on our end, so users with hearing impairments may want to test the phone before buying. Speakerphone calls sounded a bit more robotic, but the volume level was loud. Web-browsing speed over the EV-DO network was speedy for the most part, though a game purchase did take about 5 minutes to download. EV-DO coverage was also spotty in buildings. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, EV-DO service was not activated, so we weren't able to test the streaming-video quality.
The Nokia 6305i has a rated talk time of 3.5 hours, but our tests showed a surprising 5 hours, 10 minutes of talk time. It also has a promised standby time of 10 days, which we met in our tests. According to FCC radiation tests, the 6305i has a digital SAR rating of 0.79 watt per kilogram.