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Review: Nokia 6555

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Menus Calls/Contacts Messaging  

The 6555 is running Series 40 3rd edition, and this is reflected in slightly updated portions of the menu system of the phone. Most of the usability of S40 we've come to expect is still there, but there are some added shortcuts and touches that make it a nice little upgrade from 2nd edition.

When you first start up the phone, you get pretty much a blank screen with some choices along the bottom that are tied to the function and D-pad keys. They are Options, Menu, Music. Hitting the center of the D-pad takes you to the main menu, which has 10 items in there. Each icon does a snappy little dance when you scroll over it. If you leave a selection highlighted for too long without choosing it, a dialog box will open up and tell you what that application or folder does (this can be turned off). They are the usual assortment of Nokia apps and AT&T-specific applications/services. These 10 selections aren't placed in optimal positions and include more links to shopping services (which users may or may not take advantage of) than we care to see. Luckily this menu can be fully customized so that it is efficient for each user.

As always, the settings menu is the most extensive, and gives users the opportunity to modify and set up the phone in pretty much any way they might please. One modification that really enhances the usability of S40 is the active standby mode. This mode lets users have quick access to nearly any application or service on the phone from the home screen without the need to dive into the menu system. Being able to add something like the Gmail client here is especially appealing. These shortcuts alone have always made S40 a useful tool.

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One difference over S40 2nd edition is that the animation of the icons along the top of the screen is a bit different and smoother. You also have more choices to customize the active standby mode. And everything moves quickly. There is very little delay in choosing an action and waiting for it to happen. Scrolling through shortcuts in active standby is almost instantaneous.

Perhaps the nicest improvement in S40 3rd edition is in the messaging application, so we'll discuss it there.

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