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April 16, 2012

Nokia 603 – an ideal first smartphone by Andy Hagon

You may remember a few months ago when Andy wrote a guest post about his N9 experience. Well, today Andy is back on Nokia Connects to share with you what he thinks of the Nokia 603, which he recently trialled in our trial a Nokia programme. Take it away Andy…Paul at Nokia Connects kindly arranged for me to trial a Nokia 603 smartphone and for the last two weeks I’ve been putting it through its paces. The first, most striking thing I noticed about this phone was how lightweight it is. It does not feel cheaply made, (it’s a Nokia remember!) it feels sturdy and well-built, but it is very light, which makes it a great phone for travelling around with.

The other notable aspect of this device is the Nokia Belle operating system, which just sings on this phone. I had recently updated my Nokia E7 with Belle, and I enjoyed all of the new features, but the 1GHz processor under the hood of the 603 really does Belle justice. Apps open quickly and gliding between home screens is just superb.

But let’s be honest for a second. This is not the kind of phone that power users are going to be clamouring over each other to get. It is a very nice looking phone and it gets the job done just fine, but it won’t be at the top of any list for those people that must have the fastest, flashiest, most expensive devices. Which is why I think this phone is perfectly placed for those folks who are moving away from feature phones and are looking to purchase their first smartphone, but at the same time don’t want to be overwhelmed by an operating system that can handle moon landings or nuclear disarmament! Nokia Belle is a very user-friendly interface, and things just make sense. So if somebody is used to say, a feature phone user experience, then moving to Nokia Belle will feel like a natural next step up.

Another great aspect of this phone is its camera. Now people will scoff at the fact that it’s only 5MP without a flash, but I managed to take some excellent shots with it. The best thing about the EDoF camera is that its full focus configuration means you can snap away without having to wait for it to focus – the whole picture can be captured straightaway, and the results can be quite superb. This is very handy for when you’re travelling and you see something that needs to be snapped quickly.

Using the 603 as my main phone for a while has been enjoyable. I have thoroughly taken to how Belle works so fluidly with that faster processor, and keeping up-to-date with Facebook, Twitter and emails on the go has been a breeze. Incidentally, I was using the 603 while in England both in London and in the countryside, and it held onto signal well. In Paris, France, it picked up the local 3G networks there without any problem. With regards to battery life, and I’m pleased to report that the 603 would go all day on a full charge.

Overall, I think this is a wonderful phone for those who are starting out in the smartphone realm and who need a something that will keep them in the loop with their friends without confusing apps or menu structures. I’m not about to swap my Nokia N9 for one anytime soon, but for those people who have been put off buying a smartphone because they think it’ll be too much for them, the Nokia 603 may just be the perfect upgrade.

Do you agree with Andy or have anything to add? Let us know in the comments section or reach out to us on Twitter.