Nokia is renowned for making phones that try to push the industry into all sorts of directions alongside more sensible offering like the Nokia 6300. So which side of fence does the Nokia 6220 sit? We get dialling to find out.

On the surface the 6220 looks like your average phone. Sporting a candy bar design, the phone is simple in its execution. It doesn't push the boundaries of the design world or come with anything that is likely to confuse.

There is a 2.2-inch screen, the keypad, a series of shortcut buttons and a camera on the front, and a camera complete with sliding lens cover on the back.

The keyboard, although rather shiny and cheap to touch, is laid out traditionally with big easy-to-use keys. It looks like another entry-level handset that, despite the numbering system, would follow the simple and excellent 6300 and 6500 models. We don’t know why it's called the 6220, but let’s not trouble ourselves with Nokia's naming conventions here.

Great! A simple handset for making calls - just what I need. But it's not until you start looking at the features this phone offers that you realise the 6220 is anything but simple.

On the connectivity front, rather than just settling with quad-band GRPS, Nokia has included HSDPA giving you mobile broadband speeds (3.6Mbps). It might not have Wi-Fi but if you've got a good data package with your operator you shouldn't need it.

Then there is the 5-megapixel, yes you read that right, 5-megapixel camera on the back that features a flash and the one on the front for video calling. Images can be saved to the on-board memory, a disappointing 120MB, or more likely to a microSD card from the hot swappable bay at the side of the phone. The phone supports microSD cards up to 8GB giving you plenty of space for your media.

Not content with giving you a decent camera (see a snap we took in the gallery) with the Nokia usual Carl Zeiss lens, the 6220 also sports GPS and AGPS that can help you find your way to the pub/meeting/park (delete as applicable), but also let you geotag your images for when you upload them to photo services such as Flickr. Now when you stagger randomly back from a night on the sauce, at least you can re-trace your steps from your photos. Handy.

All this is before you start using the S60 interface, getting into the email capabilities, N-Gage games, FM radio and all the usual software and standard features that you associate with Nokia phones today.

So it is feature packed, but is it any good? Well the answer is yes. While the keypad is a bit ropey to use (that cheap touch again) we found the simplicity of it great. The camera responded well, allowed us to "take" good pictures and gave plenty of options thereafter to share them with others.

While the battery life is good, we survived a good couple of days without recharge on general use, as soon as you turn on that GPS you'll find you'll be needing a power charger sooner rather than later. The same, although not quite as bad, goes for the music player.


Without looking at the spec sheet the Nokia 6220 comes across as one of those phones that will be your best kept secret.

Getting it out at the pub will garner no looks, no oohs or ahhs, in fact most people will believe you're on some dirty pay-as-you-go offering because it's the weekend. What they won't realise is in this case looks really are skin deep.

Is it a winner? If you like simple and easy but with plenty of features then yes it is. It is just a shame that the outside, with its rubbery feel, looks so plain Jane.