Nokia 6210 Navigator

If you want satnav combined with real business features on your mobile should you be heading in the direction of the 6210 Navigator? We find out.

Price
£255

Anyone who's been in the game long enough will remember Nokia's very first smartphone - the Communicator 9000. Way back in the mid-1990s this phone offered modem connection, fax capabilities, PIM functions and phone. It was the first step along the road to the all-singing, all-dancing smartphones of today. But it was very big, very heavy and very ugly.

For years nothing much changed for Nokia's business handsets. But all of a sudden it seems, the Finnish firm has decided that business folk are also real people - they like a little bit of bling too. The arrival of the slim, smart and usable Nokia E71; the ultimate email phone for business proved that.

Not everyone wants a full Qwerty keyboard, though, or such a wide handset. Though the E71's is one of the slimmest around, it's still wide compared to most consumer handsets. Enter the new 6210 Navigator - a smartphone with a twist - or two.

At first glance this is a pretty bog standard Nokia fare. It's a little larger than most consumer phones - perhaps thanks to its generously-proportioned 2.4in 240 x 320 pixel screen. And its sliding keypad is nothing out of the ordinary either, though it does slide out beautifully smoothly. It doesn't even look as sexy as the more business-focused E71, though its grippy matte-grey rear, silver trim and sculpted glossy black front panel are fetching in a pin-striped suit kind of way.

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New directions

Rather than focus on design, looks or pure physical practicality, though, the 6210's raison d'etre is its navigational capabilities. That's nothing new, you might think - after all, virtually every smartphone has GPS these days. But this phone has a few couple of important extras that make its navigational features more usable than most.

The first hint of a difference is a rather odd-looking blue star icon just below the five-way directional control. This is actually a shortcut button, which you click to launch the Nokia Maps application; but, more importantly, it also lights up whenever the GPS radio is in use. Sound trivial? It's more useful than you might think. One of the big problems with GPS is that it saps battery power, and with today's modern multi-tasking smartphones it's all too easy to leave your mapping application running without realising it.

Do this a couple of times and your battery will be dead before you know it. The 6210, however, makes it extremely easy to spot when the GPS is on and when you need to turn it off, and thus helps save on battery life.

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