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Hints and Workaroundsgeneral information
Also applies to the 6230i, 6820 and similar Nokia phones.
The Nokia 6230 and 6230i smartphones are quite popular devices with many capabilities, but, as usual these days, also with many big and little flaws, shortcomings, and defects. This page tries to help you with these and also needs your feedback. Please add a comment or reply below if you have additional information.
Except for support questions, I answer every email. If your email didn't ask for support and you still didn't get any reply from me, then my email was swallowed by your email server. AOL and some other providers are prone to do that.
If you want to write to Nokia, here are some paths, found by Mario S. DePillis Jr.:
E-mail form for the US: https://www.nokiausa.com/support/contact_us/email?category=&topic=&keyword=
Email für Deutschland: http://www.nokia.de/de/service/kontakt/emailkontakt/85898.hml
The Board of Directors may be contacted at: http://www.nokia.com/nokia/0,8764,48509,00.html
There are email addresses for some other countries as well. You have to find yours on the respective national web site.
2004-12-14 – First impressions
On the weekend I bought myself an early Christmas gift—a new mobile phone. The old one couldn't provide an Internet connection—the new one has GPRS, a data protocol that optionally offers pricing by the Megabyte or by the minute. So I can leave the connection open if I like. However, it is still too expensive for everyday use. I bought a 50 MB per month (€29) plan and will have to stay within that limit, which is really not enough. I can only hope that the prices will come down soon. One of the biggest problems at those prices is the large amount of spam I receive. I have a good filter, but the filter needs to download much of the spam first, to be able to filter it. Doing this through the mobile phone Internet connection can easily gobble up several Megabytes per day.
The upside is that the GPRS connection is established quickly and reliably, works very well, and is almost as fast as a normal modem connection. I had given some thought to the faster UMTS protocol with speeds up to 384 Kbit/s, which is already available in Germany, but only few phones are available for that (Samsung mostly), and the system may be too new. I don't want to be the beta tester. I'll give that a few more years. In fact, the Nokia 6230 contains an EDGE Class 10 modem capable of 160 Kbit/s downward and 56 Kbit/s upward speed if the service provider actually provides this service. O2, regrettably, doesn't.
The phone surprised me no end, and now I'm really glad I bought it. It has more features than I ever wanted or need, like a built-in radio, MP3 player, camera, but I guess they all have that these days. But he biggest surprise came today when I investigated its synchronization software and found that it works with the Windows Address Book (WAB) that is also used by Outlook Express. The problem is that I have almost 1,000 addresses in my address book, but I tried nonetheless. I cannot describe my surprise when it actually worked! I now have my entire address book loaded in the mobile phone, and I can even make independent changes on the computer and on the phone, and the software merges them intelligently. Judging from how well the software is designed and works, Nokia and the whole of Finland scored a very fat point. Should I buy Nokia stock?
The GPRS Internet connection is one feature that has almost always worked very well, very reliably, and reasonably fast, save for one night when there was a local breakdown of the O2 network, which was not the phone's fault. I've had two or three brief failures in establishing a connection, and even those may have been the network's fault, rather than the phone's. A retry always solved the problem instantly. So GPRS from inside Germany is a success story. But wait until I experience the first GPRS roaming stories. I'll try that in east Africa later this year, if roaming is offered there at all until then.
Addendum: Tried it, but it doesn't work. The roaming "partners" don't offer any compatible GPRS.
The following chapters concern these and other weaknesses, flaws, and defects from a less enthusiastic perspective, after having used the phone for a few months.
The Nokia 6230 has an interesting little feature, a small hole in the upper right edge. This hole is obviously designed to attach a lanyard. Of course Nokia doesn't include a lanyard with the phone, perhaps because they would much prefer that you drop it, thus destroy it, and buy another one.
These lanyards are not readily available if you don't know where to look for them. The trick is to ask in any photo shop or photography department of a superstore. In my experience they always have a whole collection of lanyards somewhere in a drawer, because people tend to leave and forget them there. Every time I asked, I was offered one for free.
My advice is to obtain one, attach it to the phone, and use it conscientiously. Get into the habit of always sticking your hand through the lanyard before you hold the phone in your hand. If you do that, you cannot destroy your phone by dropping it.
Indelible connection settings
When you request connection settings by SMS, these settings are inserted into the phone for eternity and can never be removed or altered again, perhaps short of resetting the phone to the factory configuration, but I haven't tried that.
If you get enough of these to fill the list entirely (I think 10), then you will never be able to add or change any of them any more.
One solution to this is a factory reset (or having a firmware upgrade done), but there is also a control code that does this. Please read on.
There are some secret codes for this phone. If you know any useful one that isn't yet listed here, please let everybody know by adding a comment below.
Several codes have been provided by Milo and the two shortcuts by Tan Joo Li. Thanks!
Note that certain reset codes work only on phones of series 60 or later. If anybody knows how to determine the series, please let everybody know by adding a comment below. Others appear not to work on newer versions of some phones.
 Deletes various attitudes, among others:
 Battery should be charged to at least 75%. Do not touch the phone or interrupt the procedure under any circumstances! It takes approx. 3-4 minutes.
2006-05-12 – Andy wrote:
Indeed an interesting line of thinking. I've already put that result into the table above. Thanks!
If you enter *#0000#, you'll usually be shown the firmware version of your Nokia mobile phone. Mine was 4.44, so I went to the nearest Nokia Service Center and asked them to upgrade the firmware. Now I have 5.24, which corrects a number of problems (and introduces at least one other—the alarm clock can no longer wake me up by radio unless I leave the phone on).
Nokia PC Suite (see below) can now upgrade the firmware of certain phones. Alas, the 6230 is not among them.
I know of no other way to upgrade the firmware. Be aware that the upgrade erases all your information in the phone, so back it up first.
The various reminder functions of the phone are all severely unreliable. You can set calendar alarms and to do items with a deadline and a reminder signal, but the phone requires user confirmation only for some of these, but not for others.
What I would expect is that such a reminder is shown by the phone until I explicitly confirm that I have seen it, but it isn't so. In fact, the phone shows the message and sometimes it waits for confirmation by the user, but sometimes it doesn't. If any of the other problems mentioned here hadn't made me conclude that the designers are just ruthless money-makers, rather than honorable engineers, after slowly and painfully discovering this, I am now fully convinced.
One suspicion is that reminders are swallowed when you switch the phone off. Another situation is that a reminder without alarm tone comes before a reminder with an alarm tone. In that case the phone shows the first reminder, but neglects to sound the alarm for the second. If the screen blanker was active or if the phone is in your pocket, you cannot have seen whether there was a reminder, and you definitely haven't confirmed it, so consequently the phone has to show it again the next time it is switched on at the latest, until you confirm it. If it doesn't, words to describe the abilities, particularly the conscientiousness, of the designer are difficult to find and certainly not fit for publication.
In other words, you can't use this function for anything of importance. Might as well not use it at all. An unreliable function is sometimes worse than no function at all.
Back up your phone data
Of course you should use the backup function from time to time.
My old laptop didn't have Bluetooth yet, so I bought a tiny Bluetooth 1.1 Dongle, Acer BT-600. So far it works well and allows more freedom to place the phone than the infrared connection I used before. It is sufficient if the phone is within a few meters of the computer, and grabbing and lifting the phone doesn't interrupt the connection, as it does with infrared. The connection is also faster, at 721 Kbit/s.
I later bought another one, a Belkin F8T003v, made in Taiwan, which uses Bluetooth 1.2 and is smaller, so it doesn't impede any neighboring USB sockets. I can recommend this one, but new types come to market all the time, so just try to buy the best and latest.
For both do not install the software that comes with them. Just ignore the CD, plug in the little device and let Windows XP do the automatic software installation. For older operating systems you may have to install the software, but just try without first.
Cannot play some MP3 files
2005-06-02 – David Tidd wrote: Many .mp3 files don't play on the 6230, but you can use foobar from http://www.foobar2000.org/ to "fix mp3 header" on the file, upload it to the phone again, and it will play.
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