Okay, so I bought the Nokia 6255i. I couldn't resist - it was just too sleek a phone not to own for myself. The problem with a full on review, however, is that it's a year old already - so Nokia has already gone on to do other things, and critical analysis isn't going to do much for anyone. So let me just say, I like it a lot.
First, I bought the phone at MetroPCS which is a regional low-cost CDMA operator. Low-cost means that I was able to buy the phone for $240 which included a a non-contract service plan of $35 a month. Non-contract means that if at the end of this month I don't feel like paying for another month, I don't have to. And the $35 includes unlimited calling and messaging for this area. It's a pretty sweet deal if you're just looking for a decent phone to have if you don't want to deal with a contract and/or pre-pay to make local calls (and they have slightly more expensive plans to make longer distance calls). MetroPCS doesn't work outside the Bay Area, so it's not something for the traveller, but it works for me. I was in and out of the store with my new phone in 10 minutes - and that includes the time I was waiting in line.
The only major problem is that MetroPCS doesn't have a data plan. This is insane, if you ask me. They have no way of buying ringtones or games or accessing the web, so even though the phone is advertised as having a web browser, it's completely useless. If I were MetroPCS I would come up with a data-access strategy quick. Maybe a flat-rate plan for $10 to $20 a month, or something more a-la-cart like Boost's 25 cents per day. Either way, it's pretty stupid not to have data. Not that the phone can't connect. I can in fact send my pictures via MMS - so the phone and network has some level of connectivity, they just don't realize the value of mobile data I guess. Too bad.
The 6255i is a *great* phone. It's got the same basic features as the 6230 - Bluetooth, MMC, MP3, FM Radio, Java - but also includes some notable additions. The first, obviously, being that this is a CDMA phone, so you can't use it across networks. Too bad, as I'd swap to using this phone in a heart-beat, even if it's just a Series 40 model. The phone also has a standard mini-audio jack, so you can plug in your normal headset to listen to MP3s or Radio and it has a light for the integrated camera. In theory it also supports Brew and GPS, though neither is activated on the phone I have. And finally the keypad is simple and clean - I wish Nokia would standardize on this sort of keypad for all their phones, as it's a joy to tap on.
The screen size on the 6255i is also taller than the standard Series 40: 128x160. This is the same resolution as a Sony Ericsson T610 or a Z500, though Nokia doesn't seem to want to bother hiring graphic designers as the icons are those same crappy S40 icons we've been seeing for years now. Seriously, I know it's just eye-candy, but they Sony Ericsson's have such a nicer set of icons than Nokia's it's insane. I used to think it was due to lack of screen real-estate, but this phone shows that it's not true. Nokia just doesn't want to put the effort into spicing up their UI I guess. Actually, while I'm on the topic, Nokia IMHO needs to support industry standard 176x220 screens or just move to QVGA. Non-standard screens - no matter how nice they are, for example on the new N90 - are just a pain in the ass for developers. Okay, end rant.
It'll be interesting to see if any of the other US CDMA carriers go with this phone, or move on to some of the newer models announced earlier this year. If you happen to have a chance to buy this phone, I would definitely recommend it, though it's definitely not nearly as functional as it could be on the MetroPCS network without data access, it's still a damn nice phone.