The Nokia 6303 has standard Series 40 music and video player software under the bonnet, supporting a variety of formats including MP3, AAC, MP4, AAC+, eAAC+, H.263, and H.264.
Content can be downloaded or streamed to the phone, albeit at relatively pedestrian data rates, though you can also copy over video or music onto the phone's MicroSD card, or transfer files across using the phone's USB cable.
No Nokia PC Suite software CD is boxed, though it can be downloaded; alternatively, you can drag and drop onto the phone or memory card in mass storage mode, or use Bluetooth to transfer over suitable content.
There's only 17MB of internal storage, so the 1GB MicroSD card supplied in-box is essential if you want to listen to tunes or store video. Cards up to 4GB are supported, according to Nokia, though an 8GB card we slipped into the side slot under the casing worked fine.
The phone's media player automatically detects and manages new tracks or videos, putting them into appropriate folders. Launching the media player, tracks are conventionally arranged under category headings including all songs, playlists, artists, albums, genres and videos.
The player has a smart, understated user interface that's straightforward to operate using the D-pad in familiar mobile fashion. Cover art is supported if available, and there are a bunch of setting adjustments for equaliser, shuffle, creating playlists and so on. It can play in the background too, while the phone is in standby mode.
Playing music, the 6303 Classic puts in a commendable down-the-line performance. It comes with an mediocre in-ear headset that's functional but produces compressed-sounding audio that's a bit muddy and a touch trebly.
However, Nokia's inclusion of a standard 3.5mm headphone socket at the base of the phone makes it easy to upgrade to better quality headphones.
This is recommended if you want to listen to music on this device; our modestly-priced reference Sennheiser cans lifted the audio performance considerably, and it is capable of detailed and dynamic show, with decent tonal detail and bass level. It's a decent effort for this grade of handset, if not necessarily a top-notch music player.
Video playback on the 2.2-inch screen is pretty good, with smooth and clear presentation – though the size is not ideal if you want to make serious use of it as a video player for extended viewing.
Streamed video can be problematic on this non-3G handset though; the YouTube mobile service, for which there was a link pre-stored, was variable and often wouldn't play clips if the data rate wasn't sufficient.
Alongside the media player there's also an FM radio, which has uses a similar user interface and is easy to tune and operate. It features RDS, and although the headset has to be connected to get a radio signal, audio can be pumped through the phone's loudspeaker.
The normal playback through the earphones is perfectly acceptable and a welcome addition to the features, but the loudspeaker cased in the metal body sounds unsurprisingly tinny.