While many cell phones attempt to lure consumers with fun extras such as changeable covers and extensive gaming options, the Nokia 6200 for AT&T Wireless and Cingular service is targeted mainly at business users looking for strong connectivity features. Indeed, many will find this handset's EDGE high-speed data transmission and strong battery life appealing, but they're not likely to be as thrilled with its suspect call quality. The mobile's $219 sticker price with service is on the high side, but you should be able to find it for less than $100. The Nokia 6200 sports the company's familiar candy bar style, measuring 4.17 by 1.77 by 0.75 inches and weighing 3.2 ounces. It's a bit bulky, especially on top, but tapers slightly toward the base. The brushed gold-and-black casing isn't particularly striking, but the phone feels solid and comfortable in your hand.
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|Shunning the usual silver cell phone coloring, the 6200 is gold and black.|
The graphical menus are easy to navigate, helped along by a large four-way navigation button. The flush-faced keypad is also well sized, with the middle keys (2, 5, 8, and 0) set slightly lower for more-comfortable operation with your thumb. The white backlighting is clear and bright enough for low-light environments, as is the 4,096-color display. Business users will appreciate the Nokia 6200's hefty 500-contact phone book, which handles up to five phone numbers per contact. You can establish up to five caller groups and include street and Web addresses within each entry. The call log lists the last 20 dialed, missed, and received calls and the times and dates for each, in addition to maintaining a GPRS data counter so that you can keep track of your wireless Internet usage. Other features geared toward business users are a 250-entry calendar that can be synced with the phone book and the prioritized to-do list, 90-second voice memos, a speakerphone, an alarm clock, a calculator, and a currency converter. You also get 19 polyphonic (18-chord) ring tones and a vibrating alert. Caller groups can be assigned images and ring tones for caller ID (when available).
Integrated with a WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser, the 6200 supports EDGE high-speed data transmissions. Indeed, we found connections for AT&T Mobile's mMode to be fairly swift in our tests. We have one complaint: Every time you click a hyperlink, the phone takes you to the Service Options menu, where you must click the Open Link option to access the page. It would have been easier and faster if clicking a link took you directly to the appropriate site. The mobile also has an infrared port, through which you can sync (using Nokia's PC Suite software) with a PC, a laptop, a PDA, or another mobile phone.
For those who like to keep their friends or associates abreast of their whereabouts, the 6200 features templates for e-mail, text, and multimedia messaging, such as instructions to call you at work or at home. You can send these canned messages to individuals or distribution lists. You can even define your multimedia messaging settings to disable advertisements--a nice touch. Business-centric though it may be, the 6200 has a fun side, such as a gallery of 10 images that you can set as wallpaper or send as picture messages. You can also personalize the phone with various color tones or screensavers. One game (Bounce) is included, and the phone supports Java for downloading additional images, ring tones, games, and applications through mMode or Cingular's Web site. With the included earloop headset, you can listen to the integrated FM radio using up to 20 presets.
We tested the Nokia 6200's triband (GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/1800/1900) capabilities in the Chicago area using the AT&T Wireless network. Though we got a consistently strong signal during our tests, call quality on this phone was subpar. We encountered constant static, and we often struggled to hear our callers, even at the loudest volume setting. The problems persisted when we used the speakerphone feature. Callers had no problem understanding us, though they said they could tell we were using a cell phone. The sound on both ends was noticeably better when we used the supplied--and very comfortable--earloop headset.
On the plus side, the phone's battery life is exceptional, which will certainly appeal to business users. We coaxed 4.75 hours of talk time from the lithium ion-battery, beating the rated time of 4 hours. We also exceeded the rated standby time of 10 days by a full day.