Nokia 6680 and HP portable photo printer


11 Aug 2005

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Products: smart phone and photo printer
Price: €508
It is rare that we get to review a bundle of products as a ‘solution’ so when the opportunity presented itself to review the Nokia 6680 working in tandem with the Hewlett-Packard (HP) Photosmart 335 portable photo printer (pictured) a veritable adventure of sorts was on the cards.

Let’s start with the Nokia 6680. In my view this is a more solid, more feature-rich and much more attractive successor to its original consumer 3G phone, the 6630. Although slightly larger, the smart phone was designed with the digital media enthusiast in mind, featuring personal organiser, video streaming and internet browser complemented by 3G-enabled features such as two-way video calls, video sharing and always-on email.

Nokia terms this beauty the ‘imaging smart phone’ and it’s easy to see why. It boasts a 1.3 megapixel camera with a lens on the front and back of the phone. The device kicks into camera mode by simply sliding down a shutter at the back and shooting. As well as this it can read all kinds of attachments with the always-on email.

If Nokia is targeting market segments then this is for the camera phone enthusiast who until now didn’t have an outlet for printing off his or her shots. It boasts a 6x digital zoom, integrated LED-based Flash and high-quality lenses for capturing sharp images. With Nokia Xpress Print, users can print directly from the phone using a range of compatible home or office printers or photo kiosks found in retail stores. This solution also allows for wireless printing via Bluetooth wireless technology. As well as this, the multimedia card stored in the side of the device can conveniently be removed and inserted into a compatible printer for easy mobile printing.

Which brings us to the HP Photosmart 335 photo printer. While photo printers are nothing new, this particular market segment has been heating up in recent months with players such as Dell getting especially active in the scene. The 335 photo printer allows digital camera and camera phone enthusiasts to print 4 x 6 borderless colour photos within 60 seconds. The printer automatically removes red-eye and enhances detail in dark photo areas using HP Real Life technologies.

The device, which resembles a toaster, comes in a sleek bag that is most likely to grace the shoulders of a skilled professional photographer. One of the first things I noticed about the printer was that it is geared up to handle a variety of means of accessing images, ranging from multimedia cards to USB keys. You can also print directly from your phone, PDA, or laptop using an optional HP Bluetooth Wireless Printer Adapter that comes with the device. Keeping with the mobile nature of the printer, it has a rechargeable battery that enables it to print at least 75 images per charge.

Using the HP Photosmart 335 in tandem with Nokia’s 6680 imaging smart phone I was taken aback by the easy and seamless process. I simply clicked into the photo gallery on my phone and hit ‘send’ and was given the option of sending the image via Bluetooth. When I had done this the photoprinter, which was a few feet away, immediately kicked into action and started printing my picture. What Nokia and HP appear to appreciate is that consumers would need things to be kept simple and more often than not want to engage in using devices without resorting to the manual.

After printing the photos that were stored on my phone, I snapped a USB key into my computer and loaded more photos on to that. As soon as I had plugged the device into the Photosmart the uploaded shots were immediately queued up and ready to print.

All in all, as a solution the Nokia 6680 and the HP Photosmart 335 are a marriage made in heaven. A user can opt to go for the two devices together or solo, each product having its own virtues. The Nokia 6680 is available from Vodafone for €279 and the Photosmart printer is available in most computer stores for €229.

By John Kennedy