With the model number 6303, this is clearly Nokia’s official upgrade for the 6300, even though we recently reviewed the far more impressive (and more in keeping with the original design) 6700 classic.
Reflecting its lower price point, the casing is mostly plastic, with a metal battery cover on the rear – giving a rather noticeable difference in colour and texture on the lower and upper part.
On the front, the buttons are all nicely sized and spaced. Ergonomically, the phone is faultless, although the lack of a camera button is a step too far in keeping things simple.
While the 6700 classic has a much improved specification, the 6303 sits somewhere between the two models. The 2-megapixel camera has been replaced with a 3.2-megapixel one, and there’s now an LED flash. It captures VGA resolution video too, but the phone doesn’t come with 3G, Wi-Fi or GPS.
Web browsing is made possible using Opera Mini 4.2, but it works just as well with the recently released Opera Mini 5 (beta). Although 4.2 is good, Opera Mini 5 is a huge leap forward, and on a phone that lacks fast Internet access, it really comes into its own – supporting multiple tabs and using a remote server to compress the web pages before sending. Opera Mini 5 is a free download (http://m.opera.com/next) and a must-have application.
The 6303 has the latest version of the Series 40 user interface, which allows you to customise the menu layouts, but not a great deal else. S40 is really showing its age, and I am convinced that Nokia needs to give it a major overhaul soon.
The argument against a change is that it keeps everything familiar for existing Nokia users, and there’s certainly an element of truth in that, but as time goes on, people want more. The current system that requires the use of a file manager to locate content, themes, applications and games is confusing, especially if you’re also using the memory card.
Finding pictures and managing music is easier, thanks to separate applications for the job.
The Maps application also loses out by not having GPS. To find your location, without manually searching, requires a separate Bluetooth GPS receiver. At one time, this was the only way to get GPS on a phone, but who still sells them now? Maps can’t use network information to get an approximation without GPS, so this is where the 6700 classic wins again.
At the base of the phone, you’ll find a 3.5mm headphone jack, Nokia’s charging socket and a micro-USB socket, but the latter doesn’t support charging.
If you want a decent range of features, the more expensive 6700 is the way to go. Depending on the contract, you may find that it isn’t as expensive as you think.
The 6303 is a good phone for people not worried about anything more than basic talk and text, and there are some interesting themes and games to keep you amused. The usability scores it highly, as well as better battery with no 3G.
The 6303 simply doesn’t create the level of excitement as the original 6300, and basic phones are plentiful.
If you’re after a basic, no-frills phone then there are plenty to choose from, especially on prepay. The 6303 supercedes the 6300 but by now it’s nothing that amazing, and certainly doesn’t have the premium look of the original. If you want more flair, the 6700 classic is the only model that can truly move things along. The 6303 lacks 3G and doesn’t have GPS, which makes the Maps application rather pointless. The camera is okay, but there’s no camera button and that compromises usability. However the phone itself has a familiar user interface and a well designed keypad.