Nokia 6650: Will Americans ever love Symbian?

Noah Kravitz
 from  Oakland, CA
| August 27, 2008

Symbian S60 phones are awesome.  They're powerful, customizable, extendable, and capable of all sorts of trickery.  And yet, Americans have never embraced them.  Sure, there's a contingent of hardcore mobile enthusiasts who gladly laid down $600 when the Nokia N95 first came out, and dropped another $700 or so a few months later when the N95-3 (with North American 3G) followed suit.  But most folks in the States don't know from Symbian and went running back to their Windows Mobile smartphones or generic dumb phones the first time they tried an S60 device - not because S60 is bad in any way, but rather because it's so different looking.

Well, there's that and the fact that nary an S60 phone has ever been available direct from a US carrier.  T-Mobile's had one or two Symbian S40 musicphones in its lineup for a few years now, but the only S60 devices I can recall with carrier branding as of late were the chunky N75 and somewhat crippled E62, neither of which caught on with customers.

Fear not, though, for AT&T is making another run at S60 acceptance with Nokia's newly launched 6650.  The 6650 is something like a sleeker, more refined version of the N75: it's an S60 flip phone that trades its predecessors bulky grey exterior for a slimmed down, rounded off silver (or red) and black brushed metal body, while retaining the powerful feature set that caused the N75 to catch a few geeks' eyes last year. 

Pick up a 6650 (whenever it's launched) and you'll get yourself Quad-band GSM with EDGE and HSDPA, GPS with AT&T Navigator, push-to-talk, a 2MP camera with flash, and a 2.2" QVGA interior display and 160 x 128 secondary screen with external media controls.  You'll be able to keep tabs on Email, messaging, and the Web from wherever you go without looking like "just another iPhone/CrackBerry" user (if that's your thing).  Seriously, if you're looking for an alternative in the smartphone world, Nokia's S60 devices are worth checking out, and it's nice to see at least one carrier-subsidized option here in the U.S.

Check out the 6650 in all its online glory on Nokia's product page.


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