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Nokia 6030 - black (AT&T) review: Nokia 6030 - black (AT&T)

The Nokia 6030 is a basic yet stylish phone that's great for those who just want to make calls.

Nicole Lee Former Editor
Nicole Lee is a senior associate editor for CNET, covering cell phones, Bluetooth headsets, and all things mobile. She's also a fan of comic books, video games, and of course, shiny gadgets.
Nicole Lee
3 min read
Nokia 6030
The Nokia 6030 is yet another of Nokia's basic phones, primarily for those who just want a phone that works. Devoid of fancy features such as a camera, a music player, and Bluetooth, the Nokia 6030 is intended only for making phone calls. It retails for an incredibly low $19.99, but if you sign up for a two-year contract with Cingular Wireless, you can get the phone for free.

The Nokia 6030 is basic not only in terms of functionality but also in its design. Measuring 4 by 1.7 by 0.7 inches and weighing 3.17 ounces, the 6030 is a tad bulky and has a simple candy bar design. Yet, it does have smooth, rounded corners and a sleek black and silver color scheme that adds style to its otherwise basic appearance. The display isn't much to look at, however, with its 65,536-color palette and small 1.5-inch-diagonal stature. Although you can't change the font size, you can change the display's contrast.


Nokia 6030 - black (AT&T)

The Good

The Nokia 6030 is a basic yet stylish phone, and it has a raised keypad, which makes it easy to dial by feel. The speakerphone and the built-in radio are a nice touch.

The Bad

The Nokia 6030 has disappointing display quality, and the navigational controls feel a bit cheap. The handset is also a tad bulky for such a basic phone.

The Bottom Line

The Nokia 6030 is a basic phone that's actually stylish. And with extra perks such as a speakerphone and a built-in radio, the Nokia 6030 is great for those who just want to make calls.

Underneath the Nokia 6030's screen are the navigational controls, which consist of two soft keys and a five-way toggle that doubles as shortcuts to text messaging, Cingular's Media Net portal, the address book, the My Stuff folder, and the menu. These shortcuts cannot be changed. Below the soft keys are the Talk and End buttons. All the above buttons were simple enough to press, but they felt cheap and plasticky, which didn't make for a tactile navigation experience. The dial-pad keys are raised and shaped in pill-like bumps, making them much easier to press than the navigation controls, and it was also a cinch to dial by feel. In a departure from most cell phones but similar to most other Nokias, the Nokia 6030's power button is on top of the handset. On the bottom are the charger and the headset ports.

The Nokia 6030 has a basic yet stylish design.

The Nokia 6030 comes with an impressive 500-contact address book, and each entry can store up to five numbers, an e-mail address, a Web address, a street address, and a note. You can add an image for each entry for caller ID, but since there's no camera, you'll have to use one of the included graphics as a replacement. You can organize your contacts by caller groups and assign a group with any of seven polyphonic ring tones, though you can download more MIDI and MP3 ring tones. The Nokia 6030 has a built-in speakerphone that you can turn on only after you make a call, plus there's instant messaging (AOL, Yahoo, and ICQ), text and multimedia messaging, a vibrate mode, automatic redial, and last-number redial. A WAP 2.0 browser that connects to Cingular's Media Net portal is also included, but Web access is predictably poky and close to unusable. Organizational tools include an alarm clock, a calendar, a to-do list, notes, a calculator, a stopwatch, and a countdown timer. There's also a built-in FM radio, which requires a headset to work.

You can personalize the Nokia 6030 with a variety of themes, wallpaper, screensavers, graphics, and alert tones. Java (J2ME) games included with the phone are Block Breaker, Club Pinball, and Tetris. You can purchase additional ring tones via Cingular's Media Mall, as well as additional graphics, games, and applications.

We tested the dual-band (GSM850/1900; GPRS) Nokia 6030 in the San Francisco area using Cingular's network. Calls sounded good despite a little fuzz, and callers heard us loud and clear.

The Nokia 6030 has a rated talk time of 3 hours, but we managed to eke out an amazing 15 hours of tested talk time. The rated standby time is up to 12 days; we got 3 extra days in our tests. According to FCC radiation tests, the Nokia 6030 has a digital SAR rating of 0.70 watts per kilogram.