Nokia is one of the world's most popular handset manufacturers, but you wouldn't know it if you took a look at the North American market. Part of the issue might be that it is primarily a GSM company, focusing most of its efforts in the European and Asian markets, leaving the CDMA side to mostly wither away. Now and then, however, Nokia attempts to step up its CDMA presence in the U.S., and the Nokia 6205 is one such handset. Though it has EV-DO, a megapixel camera, and a music player, it's still not quite as strong a multimedia phone as say, the LG Chocolate 3. However, if you want one of the cheapest multimedia phones around, the Nokia 6205 certainly fits the bill at only $69.99 with a $50 discount and a two-year service agreement.
The Nokia 6205 is available in two versions; a normal light-blue version, as well as a special black Dark Knight edition handset that will launch prior to the movie of the same name. The Dark Knight edition is essentially the same as the light-blue version, except that it'll come with movie-based ringtones, a preloaded trailer, and a special Batman logo on an optional back cover.
We have to say right off the bat the Nokia 6205 has quite a boring design. It has the typical boxy clam shell form factor and even the Dark Knight edition handset doesn't look at all like the kind of phone Bruce Wayne would carry around. The mostly plastic body has accents of a faux brushed-steel surface, which makes it look a tiny bit fancier. As mentioned, the Dark Knight edition is in black, of course, with an optional battery cover that has the Batman/Dark Knight logo etched on it. Measuring 3.62 inches high by 1.77 inches wide by 0.72 inch thick, the Nokia 6205 is slim enough to slip in one's pocket, and at 3.3 ounces, it won't weigh you down either.
We're pleased to see an external display on the 6205. It measures 1.28 inches and it has support for 65,000 colors, which isn't that great, but it's good enough for photo caller ID and music player graphics. Our only issue with it is that it sits in the middle of a reflective mirror finish--it's great for checking out your makeup, but not so great when you're trying to read the screen under bright lights. As mentioned, the display can be used for caller ID, plus you can use it to view the album art when the music player is activated. It also shows the date, time, signal strength, and battery life. You can change the wallpaper and clock style, but nothing else. The display also acts as self-portrait viewfinder, but you have to first access the camera option, and then you have to keep the phone in an open position to take a photo of yourself, which isn't too comfortable.
Underneath the display are three touch-sensitive music player controls that only show up when you activate the phone. They consist of rewind/previous track, play/pause, and fast forward/next track. You can also hold down the play/pause key to activate the music player. They're definitely welcome, but we're generally not fans of these touch controls, since there's no tactile feedback at all between the keys. That said, at least they're isolated only to the music player controls.
Above the display is the camera lens, a speaker, plus an LED flash. The headset jack, volume rocker, and charging jack sit on the left spine, and the voice command key and microSD card slot sit on the right.
Flip open the phone and you'll find a pretty decent 2-inch 262,000 color main display. It's not the best display we've seen, but for a simple phone like this, it works just fine. Images look sharp, and colors are nice and vibrant. Unfortunately, the 6205 is saddled with Verizon's much-maligned tab interface that makes it a little tricky to access frequently used functions like the music player and the Web browser. The only other menu style option is a list style, which wasn't much better. You can adjust the backlight time, the contrast, the clock format, plus the size of the dialing font.