Nokia 6630: WTF happened to the RAM?


Since Nokia handed this phone off to me the other day for free (I LOVE YOU CHARLIE!) I've been completely enraptured with it. Having used pretty much every Nokia Series 60 phone to date I can really feel the improvements. The 200Mhz ARM5 processor makes the screens zip and makes taking pictures painless, and more. The internet connectivity is definitely *fast*, the difference is night and day from the Nokia 6620. (Though when I went to DSL reports I was only getting around 112kbps down and 80kbps up - so I'm not sure if I'm using EDGE or actual UMTS connectivity... I *think* the latter, but I'm not sure. My Moto got up to 256kbps so I'm a bit confused.) With the speed increases in both processor and net connection, the tweaks to the OS, great camera and video and the integrated apps, I'm in love with this phone. It's great.


See, you didn't expect Nokia to finally give you everything you ever wanted in a mobile phone, did you? Noooo... of course not! Why would you upgrade then! Leave you wanting more, that's Nokia's motto! I get it now! If you got all the features and functionality you expected in a mobile phone, you'd never bother to buy another one would you? Yes, as par for the course, there's some fatal flaws even in this incredible, cutting edge phone.

First, Sync still sucks, but I wasn't expecting otherwise, so that's okay. Then there's the email app - even though it's been updated to check on schedule - still sucks big time. I tried to use it with my IMAP server and it was unusable. And this seems to be a selling point of the phone... obviously the marketing department didn't actually use this feature. But, again, that's okay, because Profimail exists, so no biggie.

Another thing, I was completely surprised that I couldn't take my 512MB RS-MMC out of my 7610 (that Nokia also leant me) and pop it into my 6630. I was warned, but I didn't believe it until I tried it. Yep, Nokia's changed memory standards again and are now using a Dual Voltage Reduced Size Multimedia Card (DVRS-MMC). Oh. My. God. And people call the Memory Stick proprietary? You can't even *buy* this memory!!!! Arrrgh. So I'm stuck with the 64MB of RAM that came with the phone, and even though I can hot-swap it out, I have nothing to swap it with. (Can you see the tears welling?)

I can deal with this stuff... But The worst thing is something I just discovered last night. I was chatting on Agile Messenger and I swapped over to Opera to look something up and Agile disappeared. It was as if I was low on RAM or something. "That's strange," I thought, "I use two or three apps at once all the time on my 6620..." That's when I found out this morning that Nokia only put 7MB of usable RAM on the phone. The 6620 has something like 30MB and the N-Gage has something like 12MB. You can see the charts above of the available memory with only FExplorer running.

Insane. Abso-fucking-lutely, mind-bogglingly insane.

Advanced Processor, advanced 3G networking, advanced OS (Symbian 8.0a), and enough RAM to only run one app at a time. I am astounded. Amazed. Chagrined. Angry! I spent Friday expounding on the phone's virtues, deriding the Danger Hiptop and Blackberry as not being worthy and got three (count them) coworkers to order the phone on the spot. Now I have to explain that, yeah... you can have it checking mail, but if you want to run the chat app at the same time, don't expect it to work like you'd expect.

Was it really worth it to Nokia to save the, say, $4 extra per phone it was going to cost them to skimp on memory this badly? On a $500+ device? I mean it's so asinine it's incredible. This phone was *that* close to being perfect.


Update: So I'm doing some more testing. I've got AgileMessenger, ProfiMail and Opera running (with a big page loaded up) and I've got about 3.0MB left over, so it seems it's more than possible to run a few of the core apps you want to at the same time. I wonder if one of them has a memory leak or balloons up in memory size over time for valid reasons? Very possible. I think more testing is needed, but I still think it sucks that there's not more RAM on board.

Also, I got it confirmed that I'm not using UMTS data - the frequencies don't match what's on the phone. But the 6630 *is* getting faster data rates than my 6620, so something is up. Either it's a better EDGE phone or the processor speed is somehow helping data transmission throughput or something.

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