Nokia X6 (16GB) is now available in the UAE for AED 2,100
The Nokia X6 comes with music but should you come a'calling?
The 32GB X6 was first launched at Nokia World in September last year along with N900 Maemo wonder that no one could stop talking about but still managed to get a fair bit of attention with its 3.2" capacitive touchscreen, 5 megapixel camera and, more importantly, the Comes With Music service. For the uninitiated, the service allows you to download tracks from a library of four million songs over the course of 12 months for free. Yes, free.
After being made available in sixteen other countries including the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa since 2008, Comes With Music recently made its regional debut signing on leading Arabic labels such as Rotana, Melody and Mazzika and offering a selection of Western as well as Arabic music. That in itself deserves applause since Apple has been ignoring the Arab world for a long long time now in terms of opening dedicated iTunes stores with localised content.
To use the service you need to install the Nokia Ovi Player on your PC, which is registered along with your handset, using a special code included within the X6 pack. I decided to install the entire Ovi Suite, with Player as just one of the components. That didn't go so well since the Ovi Suite is a whopping 93MB file and nearly took my laptop to the happy gadget place in the sky. My second attempt on a heartier desktop was more successful.
The setup process, which requires you to create a dedicated account, is fairly straightforward. Within minutes I was selecting songs like a kid in a ear candy store. The usual Western pop princesses and rock gods aside, I also found tracks from the good ol' Frank, Icelandic wonders Sigur Ros and Niger musicians Etran Finatawa who struck all the right chords at WOMAD Abu Dhabi last year.
While there are no constraints to swapping and transferring music between your registered phone and computer, Windows Media DRM restrictions means that you aren't allowed to burn them on CDs [If you try, you are politely asked to to purchase the selection from Ovi Music]. Fair enough.
Nokia is really trying to carve out a future for itself, and one where it's not
necessarily about phones. Ovi Music is impressive but so is the entire Ovi
Store with its games, apps and Maps with around 1.5 million downloads a day (read Q&A below).
Moving on to the X6....I suppose I should compare it with the XpressMusic 5800 model, which it's an obvious improvement over, but I've chosen to look at it from a fresh perspective. The X6 is Nokia's first phone to feature a capacitive touchscreen, which is definitely more responsive that its other touchscreen offerings in the market. But it was sluggish at times especially when trying to open multiple menus and apps. I'm also disappointed it doesn't have multi-touch support, which the phone's current Symbian^1 OS doesn't deliver on, or a microSD slot to expand memory which means you're stuck with the 16GB for all your multimedia needs.
Some of the features that impressed however were its built-in stereo speakers that delivered good sound quality from the 192kbps music files downloaded, the 5MP camera that came up with better than expected photos and videos, general ease of use and seamless synchronisation with the Ovi Store so you can get all the apps you need while on the move.
With a price tag of a little over AED 2,000, the X6 is decent enough if you're comfortable with brand Nokia and want to upgrade to a touchscreen phone. But coupled with the Comes With Music service, it's a good deal, especially if you can't get enough of sweet sweet music.
Frederic Copper-Royer, Music Manager for Nokia Midde East & Africa, answers all our X6 and Nokia Ovi questions:
Aside from using a credit card to buy tracks using a user's Ovi account, there are two options for downloading music off Ovi Music - prepaid vouchers and the Comes With Music service. How can people in the UAE get hold of prepaid vouchers?
Today we are including pre-paid vouchers with all of our other music device that do not have the Comes with Music service.
How much will each track cost using the vouchers?
The price per track is 3AED, based on the prices of the tracks when we launched the Nokia Music Store.
How does the X6 cost here in the UAE?
The price of the X6 is 2,100, available now in the market.
Will both the 16GB and 32GB X6 models be available?
Only the 16GB Nokia X6 Comes with Music is available.
Other than the X6, are there more Comes With Music Nokia phones launching here this year?
We will be looking at introducing other devices with the service, but for now the focus is on the Nokia X6.
Moving away from the Ovi Music side of things, how many applications and content items are currently available through the Nokia Ovi Store?
The total apps number is not being disclosed, but considering the scale of the service includes support for more than 100 separate Nokia devices and active users in more than 180 countries, we're seeing around 1.5 million downloads a day through Ovi Store. On average, each registered user has downloaded (12) items from Store since the launch of the service. We're seeing 22 downloads per second, 24/7, with daily highs of 1300 downloads per minute.
Playlist DJ, an application that helps in making playlists according to the mood of the listener, is preloaded on the X6 and there are other music applications such as Shazam amd Midomi available on Ovi Store.
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