These Nokias are worth the price tag

This is a Nokia country and majority of the buyers trust Nokia. There are millions of mobile phone users here who think that Nokia is the only reliable manufacturer. This post is not about bashing Nokia. It’s about helping those going for Nokia get a worthy device. Many times, I have seen dealers push devices with very low sales down customer’s throat (like Nokia 5530XM) to clear stock.

Inside 5000 INR:

Nokia 5130 XpressMusic:

This phone is without a doubt the best phone inside 5k INR and that’s not just among Nokia devices. The Symbian S40 UI is easy to use and is something that majority of mobile phone users in India are very familiar with. The best feature would be the audio/music quality that puts other sub 5k phones to shame. If you are in the market searching for a good music phone inside 5k, this is the one for you and look no further.


Status : available for 4.5k-5k

The good:

      • Audio quality
      • stylish design
      • dedicated music controls
      • 3.5mm jack
      • very good keypad

The bad:

      • average battery life
      • below average camera quality


Under 10k non-touch device:

Nokia E63:





This is Nokia’s cheapest  business class phone available in the market now. Like the other E-series devices, this phone has a full qwerty keypad in portrait mode and is the cheapest E-series device available in the market. This device is powered by Symbian S60 OS. This phone may get some competition from the new C3 but among these two, I would pick E63 (though it costs 1.5k-2k more) as it has more internal memory, better display, better battery life and free document editor.


Status : available for 8k-9k

The Good:

      • Good quality qwerty keypad
      • Wi-Fi
      • Symbian S60v3
      • Extremely good battery life
      • free document editor
      • video calling (with front facing camera)

The Bad:

      • no GPS


Nokia X2:



This was a big surprise for me. Who would’ve though that Nokia, among all top brands would release a music centric phone with a 5mp camera for 6k. Well, here it is. Though the number of mp is does not directly impact camera quality, it’s good to have this in a budget phone. Bud to remember that this is a new release and it is better to wait for just a while to make sure that it doesn’t have any bugs. The most innovative feature of this phone is USB OTG. Using USB OTG, you can connect USB mass storage devices like pen drives to the phone using bundled USB cable and access content from the phone. This means that there is no need to connect your phone to PC every time you want to copy content that is on USB storage devices.

Status: 5.6k-6.2k (not yet available in all parts of the country)

The Good:

      • USB OTG Support
      • 5mp camera
      • dedicated music controls
      • 2.2” display
      • very good battery life
      • good number of pre-installed games
      • S40v6
      • powerful stereo speakers

The Bad:

      • average build quality
      • average display quality


Nokia 6303i:



There isn’t much to say about this phone. A vanilla sub 6k phone, comes with standard features like EDGE, 2.2” display, good battery etc. The release of X2 has made this phone lose it’s value as X2 offers a bit more for same price. If you are one of those who are a bit sceptical on buying a newly released product, you can go for this phone.

Status : available for 6k-6.4k

The Good:

      • Very good keypad
      • Crisp display
      • very good battery backup time

The Bad:

      • average build quality


Under 10k touch device:

Nokia 5230/5235:



5230 and 5235 are stripped down versions of the very popular 5800 XpressMusic. The only difference between 5230 and 5235 is that 5235 offers music subscription (unlimited download for a year) from Ovi (India) Music and costs 1k more. These are without a doubt, the best sub 10k devices that you can buy. I personally would recommend 5235. This way you are doing justice to the music that you download as Nokia pays to record labels for the content that you download and you can proudly say that all the music in your phone is legitimate even when you are not shelling out hundreds of bucks for every album downloaded. Do remember that the Ovi Music store is a fully loaded music store and the classics collection available in this store is just superb and some of these are not available anywhere else (torrents etc.). Coming back to the devices. Powered by Symbian S60V5, these devices are the best VFM smartphones available in the market and they have surprisingly good audio quality that can put many 10k+ phones to shame. Also, the display’s 16:9 aspect ratio is perfect for watching movies (though going through webpages is not that great).

Status : 5230 – 7.5k; 5235 : 8.5k

The Good:

      • 3.2” high resolution touch display
      • superb audio quality
      • very good battery life
      • Symbian S60v5
      • 3G
      • GPS with free Ovi navigation (turn-by-turn and voice guided)
      • Free music download for one year (5235 only)
      • 16:9 display good for watching movies

The Bad:

      • Bulky form factor
      • very weak camera
      • no Wi-Fi


Non-Touch phone under 15k:

Nokia E71:


This is one of the best business class smartphones that Nokia ever designed. Super sturdy and super thin shell and rock-stable firmware made it very popular and one of the best selling smartphones. When you take a look at the non-slider E-series phones that were released before E71, most of them were like bricks with very wide body and ugly design. The best way to explain the design revamp is this:

E71 dimension: 114 x 57 x 10 mm

E62 dimension: 117 x 69.7 x 14 mm

It’s width is more than centimeter less than the earlier device with same form factor. Still, the keypad was excellent and had just the right amount of width. And for the first time, this phone had very good multimedia feature-set. good music playback quality, FM Radio, decent video player, 3.2mp camera etc.

Status: 13k

The Good:

      • Superb metal shell, just 10mm thick
      • brilliant display, Symbian S60v3
      • Document Editor
      • Decent camera
      • superb battery backup
      • rock-solid firmware
      • Very good qwerty keypad

The Bad:

      • should’ve come with 3.5mm audio jack instead of 2.5mm


Nokia N79:



Unfortunately, there is nothing much to choose among non-touch devices inside 15k. There were few good phones like N81, N82, N85 etc. While most of these are now pulled off from market, N79 is one phone that is still worth trying/getting. But do remember that Nokia is soon going to release new C series devices that cover this price range (most probably in a month). This phone was meant to replace the aging N73. And the phone did justice to the successor tag. N79 is like N73 with better hardware and more stable firmware, without the UI lag that N73 used to have. Anyways, This phone might be pulled off the market to make way for newer C- series S^3 powered devices.

Status: 13k-13.5k (may not be widely available)

The Good:

      • very good display
      • superb camera
      • Wi-Fi with DLNA
      • very good keypad
      • sturdy build
      • Navi Wheel

The Bad:

      • none in particular


Touch Phone inside 15k:

Nokia X6 8Gb/16Gb:

x6 front


If I am right, this is Nokia’s first ever touch phone with a capacitive touch display. This phone is more like 5800XM with better display, huge onboard memory and slightly better camera. Everything else is just the same. It will be great if Nokia can push S^3 updates to this phone as it’s hardware is well worth putting S^3 on. Also, the retail package of this phone is one of the heaviest that I have seen. The phone comes along with high quality in-ear headset, has lifetime free (unlimited) music download subscription from Ovi Store, car mount and charging kit (this may or may not be included). The overall package is so good that I would pick this phone over any of those sub 20k android devices.

Status : 15k approx. for 8Gb and 16k for 16Gb

The Good:

      • 3.2” 16:9 Capacitive touch display
      • 8Gb/16Gb onboard memory
      • Good looking shell design
      • comes with music lifetime subscription
      • very good retail package content
      • very good audio quality
      • flawless GPS operation.
      • TV-Out
      • high quality in-ear headset included in the package which eliminates the need to buy 3rd party earphones

The Bad:

      • Thanks to S60v5 UI, though it has capacitive touch, double click in required many times. UI not refined for capacitive touch use
      • dedicated music control keys would’ve been a nice addition
      • Charging through micro-USB not possible



Under 20k non-touch:

Nokia N86:



We have seen few phones 12mp camera but N86 holds the best camera phone crown even though it comes with 8mp camera. Sometimes, I wonder why Nokia PR folks didn’t do any marketing for this amazing device. There is no doubt that this phone is one of the best phones that Nokia ever brought into the market and it blows phones like X6, 5800XM away with it’s rich feature set. 2.6” AMOLED display, powerful camera, good build, very good keypad, 8Gb internal memory, EDGE/3G/Wi-Fi/GPS. This phone is FULLY LOADED.

Status: 18k-18.5k

The Good:

      • 2.6” 16M color AMOLED
      • best-in-class 8mp camera
      • Dual slider with dedicated volume controls (N95 style)
      • 8Gb internal memory
      • excellent build and keypad quality
      • very good audio quality

The Bad:

      • really bad marketing done for such an amazing device
      • Xenon flash and 720p recording absent (dual LED flash)


Nokia E72:

E72 frontE72 rear


E72 is the successor to highly popular E71 and is currently the top-end E series phone available in India. Initially this phone was ridden with firmware bugs but the current generation firmware has resolved most of the issues and is very stable now. Addition of 5mp camera and 3.5mm jack gave this device decent multimedia capabilities. The notable improvement over E71 is better processor, more memory, better camera. The build quality is good but not as solid as that of E71.

Status: 17.5k approx.

The Good:

      • classic E-series. good build, excellent qwerty
      • improved multimedia feature set
      • optical track pad
      • document editor
      • 600MHz ARM 11 processor
      • Wi-Fi with DLNA
      • excellent battery life

The Bad:

      • nothing in particular


Nokia N97 Mini:

n97 mini frontN97 mini keypad


N97 was a phone that had lot of buzz before release but bombed really bad in India. The price tag of 28k-29k (22kn approx. now) made many look for other options, and given that iphone and android phones were available for similar price or slightly higher price, this phone’s sales were not like Nokia expected. Then came the younger brother, N97 Mini. Smaller display, less storage and more importantly price tag of 22k (19k now) made this phone a better choice.

Status: 19k approx.

The Good:

      • 3.2” 16M high resolution display
      • slide out qwerty
      • good audio quality
      • good camera performance
      • decent battery backup
      • 8GB internal memory

The Bad:

      • UI is not so optimized for touch
      • should’ve gone with capacitive display atleast


Phones above 20k:

Nokia N900:



This phone is best example for what happens when the released is delayed for a long time without any reason. The phone was released in 2009 November and it took more than 8 months for Nokia to release the phone in India. Had Nokia released this phone in 2009, it would’ve been instant hit. That was the time when there was no solid Android device that could compete with N900. Instead Nokia went on to release the phone when there was a flurry of Android devices coming out. Another factor that made people move away from N900 was it’s size. It’s bulky and heavy. The area where this phone really excelled is UI. Maemo 5 that runs on this phone is more like a desktop OS and is a boon to those Linux geeks who prefer to do lot of customization. It’s fast, intuitive and powerful. More importantly, it supported full multitasking. Nokia then dropped the bomb that they won’t be using Maemo for future mobile phones and moved on to MeeGo.

Price: 22k-23k

The Good:

      • Maemo UI is awesome
      • superb camera
      • sturdy build quality but very bulky
      • high quality qwerty keypad
      • 32GB onboard storage
      • Adobe Flash support and full multitasking
      • powerful CPU (Cortex A8) and GPU (PowerVR SGX530)
      • very good audio and video quality (DivX playback through 3rd party apps)

The Bad:

      • Extremely bulky
      • one handed operation not easy
      • most of the functionality works only in landscape mode
      • Application store is minute
      • Bleak future for Maemo


A sneak peak at future releases:

Nokia N8: This phone is creating buzz that a new Nokia high end device used to generate a while ago. Best camera in mobile phones, 720p recording, HDMI output, slim aluminium body, 3.5” capacitive touch. But, the only concern is that it runs S^3, which though runs very fast on this phone, is slightly improved S60v5 and this will be the only N series devices running S^3 (Nokia moving to S^4 and MeeGO, S^3 relegated to midrange devices).


Nokia E7: Announced first time in Nokia World, this is successor to highly successful communicator series. Big 4” display, full qwerty keypad, 8mp camera, HDMI output, This is the best phone ever designed for business class users.




Nokia C7: This should replace X6 and N97 mini and be Nokia’s competition to sub-20k Android devices and Bada devices. AMOLED display, stainless-steel body, 8gig storage and 1GB ROM, 8mp camera, Wi-Fi N, USB OTG, dedicated GPU, strong battery life are it’s strong points.


Nokia C6-01: This phone is successor to C6 (which is yet to release in India) and should replace aging 5800XM. Expected to be available under 15k. AMOLED, 8mp camera, 720p recording, capacitive touch, Wi-Fi N are the strong points.



Nokia C3-01: This one is an interesting device from Nokia. Will be priced under 10k. Runs S40 UI but it has god touch display along with usual numpad. This can very well be the best seller if marketed properly. After all this is a unique device that offers 5mp camera, Wi-Fi (N support), touch-n-type form factor for budget minded consumers.


Nokia X3-02: Another touch and type sub 10k device. This phone is likely to be placed at 6k-8k price point. Good thing is that this device, like many S^3 devices, comes with Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, Gtalk,  Facebook, Twitter integration. Specs wise, this phone is a bit inferior to C3-01 and should be priced significantly lower than C3-01.



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3 thoughts on “These Nokias are worth the price tag

  1. Nokia touch phones over 10k with Symbian S60v5 are not at all worth buying now as Symbian S60v5 is dead in favor of Symbian^3.

    Have a look at Nokia C6-01 for approx Rs 15k when available. That is one phone, which is going to sell in mases & is very well entitled to be next in line of Nokia’s Efficiency phones after N73 ME & N79. This runs on Symbian^3.

    Another good phone similar to C6-01 is Nokia C7 but I would recommend C6-01 still as U save Rs 5k but opting for a 3.2″ screen over a 3.5″ screen. There is no other noticeable difference in Nokia C6-1 compared to C7

    • Yes. The new S^3 phones are lot better than existing S60 phones. None of the S^3 phones were available when the article was written and only N8 was up for pre-orders.

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