CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Nokia 6220 Classic review: Nokia 6220 Classic

As the name suggests, Nokia has stuck to a tried and tested candy-bar design with the 6220 Classic. It still manages to pack in enough features to keep most people happy, from GPS to a 5-megapixel camera to HSDPA. If you're looking for a compact camera phone with a xenon flash, it's worth having a look

Andrew Lim
3 min read

Camera phones with 5-megapixel snappers are all the rage these days, but they're often too heavy or lacking a good flash. Nokia's 6220 Classic offers a more lightweight alternative and a xenon flash among its myriad features. Is it the perfect, pocketable solution?


Nokia 6220 Classic

The Good

GPS; HSDPA; 5-megapixel camera with xenon flash.

The Bad

Lack of 3.5mm headphone jack; lack of Wi-Fi.

The Bottom Line

The Nokia 6220 Classic is a great phone if you want a lot of features but don't want to carry around a large handset. Our only disappointments are that the camera isn't as good as the one on the Nokia N82 and that there's no Wi-Fi

The Nokia 6220 Classic is currently available for free on a monthly contract from most networks.

As the name suggests, this is a classic-looking phone. A standard candy-bar handset, the 6220 Classic features a medium-sized screen, which is bright and sharp, and a flat but sensible keypad. Unusually, the 6220 sports a black glossy front and a matte grey finish with a grainy texture on the back. It's a strange combination that offsets the smooth feeling of the front.

Considering how many features are crammed into this handset, it's rather small and light, but not so petite that you feel you need to handle it with care. We accidentally dropped it from waist-height a few times and it survived unscathed.

It's the camera on the back that we're really interested in, though. Similar to the Nokia N82, the 6220 Classic comes with a 5-megapixel camera that sports a xenon flash and is protected by a sliding cover. To use the camera, you simply slide the cover open and click the dedicated shutter button on the side.

If you look closely on the left side of the phone, you'll also notice another dedicated button that gives you access to Nokia Maps and activates the assisted GPS. Above the button is a useful blue light, which flashes if the GPS is on.

So far, so good: all the buttons are in the right place, the screen is easy to view and the camera packs all the right design features. Unfortunately, there's one area of the 6220 Classic's design that disappointed us: the headphone jack. Unlike the Nokia N82's 3.5mm headphone jack that will work with any pair of normal 'phones, the 6220 Classic only comes with a 2.5mm jack. You either have to use the in-box headphones or buy a special pair.

The 6220 Classic's star feature is its camera, boasting a similar spec to the Nokia N82's snapper. Slide the protective cover open and the 5-megapixel camera is automatically activated, although it does take a few seconds to start up.

We found pictures taken with the Classic's camera came out looking good on the 6220's screen but less sharp than we expected when viewed on a monitor. Compared to the quality of picture from N82's camera, our results weren't as well balanced.

Happily, low light performance impressed us. The xenon flash provided a high level of illumination and, in our opinion, is much better than using a camera phone with an LED photo light. The xenon flash is particularly useful at night because it's so bright.

You can transfer your pictures using the phone's HSDPA or Bluetooth options and you can add the picture's location using the built-in GPS. Simply upload your pictures to sites like Flickr and then pinpoint them on a map. The Classic's assisted GPS manages to find your location fairly quickly, too. We tested it out with Google Maps and it worked well, which is very handy when you're lost and need to find your way home.

If you want to see your pictures on the Web, you can use your 6220 Classic to browse sites using Nokia's own browser or you can download Opera Mini. While the screen isn't iPhone 3G-size, browsing the Internet isn't too uncomfortable.

HSPDA (3.5G) helps make this Web surfing much quicker. We do wish that the 6220 Classic also had Wi-Fi, similar to the N82. The lack of Wi-Fi means that you'd better get a flat-rate data contract if you don't want to incur massive data charges.

Battery life was adequate and didn't present any unexpected highs or lows. We found that with moderate use, we managed to get around two days but obviously that figure decreased when we used HSDPA and GPS more often.

Playing it safe, Nokia has stuck to a tried and tested candy-bar design, but still manages to pack in enough features to keep most people happy. It's definitely more attractive than the similarly-specced N82, but the camera isn't as good.

If you're looking for a compact camera phone with a xenon flash, it's worth having a look at the 6220 Classic. Alternatively, the Nokia N82 will give you more bite with its excellent snapper.

Edited by Shannon Doubleday