Note: We may earn commissions (at no cost to you) if you buy through links on our site. Learn more.
NOTE: This model is discontinued and may no longer be available to purchase new. See the latest cell phones or compare used prices.

Nokia 6790 Surge review

4.9/10 AVG.

Informr score
The Nokia 6790 Surge currently has an Informr score of 4.9 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 16 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The prolific cell phone manufacturer Nokia produces such a high volume of models that surely one will fit your needs. The Nokia 6790 Surge, however, while a competent phone, may not be the best choice.

The reason I say it may not be your best choice is because nothing about this model jumps out as being unique, or uniquely useful. On the other hand, it does fall squarely into a cluttered tier of phones that get the job done, but doesn’t move the ball up the field where it concerns breakthrough technology, simplicity of use or some other attribute that sets it clearly apart from the myriad of devices now available. That doesn’t make it a bad phone; it makes it a forgettable phone.

Let’s take a closer look:

The Nokia 6790 Surge is a side-sliding GSM phone capable of global roaming. It runs on a S60 Symbian OS, with 128 MB of onboard RAM, has a 2.4” 240 x 320 pixel resolution display, QWERTY keypad, and a full complement of mid-tier features including a 2 megapixel camera, 2.0 Stereo Bluetooth, microSD/microSDHC expandable memory, 2.5mm jack, speakerphone, voice commands and a solid phonebook with plenty of capacity.

If you are in the market for a new phone, in this price point, you can, frankly, find a strong OS, a better screen and more current features. When studying this phone I get the sense that leftovers where smashed together to produce a phone we’ve already seen.

Competent and capable, sure. But that is the barest of baselines nowadays. If you are looking for a phone that is fun and functional, new and clever, minimizes keystrokes, etc., you may want to look at other Nokia’s or the field in general.

It’s a definite 7 on a scale of 1-10. You won’t get ripped off, but you won’t be overwhelmed either.

Operating system
Screen Size
2+ MP

What the Critics Are Saying...

Mobile Syrup

Rogers recently launched the Nokia Surge 6790 last week, a unique messaging device that’s part of their Smartphone lineup.We know that Nokia takes great pride in creating and testing their products. The Nokia Surge 6790 is so far stretched from all the other Nokia devices we’ve seen, it...

- Ian Hardy , Mobile Syrup

The Nokia 6790 Surge from AT&T is a small smartphone that sports a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and is advertised as the phone for social networking fanatics. While the build materials feel slightly flimsy, the overall device is actually built well, with an awesome slide mechanism that definitely f...

- Ricky Cadden, MobileBurn
Phone Scoop

The Nokia Surge is a messaging phone. The full QWERTY keyboard gives it away as such. As with many lower-cost messaging phones, the Surge makes a few concessions in order to remain affordable. Some of them may be enough to give potential buyers cause. Still, there are plenty of positives to consider...

- Eric M. Zeman, Phone Scoop

Some might say that the phone you're peering at above is the most un-Nokia-like Nokia device produced in quite some time (if not ever), but remember, this one was custom made for US consumers and AT&T's audience -- something that's not true for too many Espoo-sourced handsets. Once known as the...

- Darren Murph, Engadget

The Nokia Surge definitely fills a gap in AT&T's lineup for its younger customers who are looking for something a little more full-featured than a basic messaging cell phone for a more affordable price.

- Bonnie Cha, CNET

Prices (Where to Buy)

Common Questions

Nokia released the 6790 Surge on July 13, 2009.

We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Nokia 6790 Surge user manual here.

Nokia backs up the 6790 Surge with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.

If your 6790 Surge has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Nokia support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Nokia's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.

Ask the Community


Manuals / User Guides Helpful Links Share / Embed

Maybe one of your friends will find this review helpful? Please help us spread the word.

Quick view

Screen Size

The Nokia 6790 Surge's screen size is 2.4 inches with x pixels resolution.


There is a processor (CPU).


The phone runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

2+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 2+ megapixel camera.

There's no secondary front camera.

120 MB

Internal memory is 120 MB. An external, MicroSD (up to 8 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.


The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1500 mAh battery. Nokia's performance ratings are 16.5 days standby time.

6790 Surge Specs

Release date July 13, 2009
Regions available USA, Canada
Mobile / Cellular Data
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
850/1900 MHz
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
Operating System No

Compare Symbian Smartphones

Internal Storage 120 MB
Hearing Aid Compatible No
Noise Cancellation No
SAR Head: 1.31 W/kg
Body: 0.57 W/kg
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 1500 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to: 16.5 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Slider
Colors Black, Gray, Red
Dimensions [H x W x D] 9.8 x 5.8 x 1.5 cm (3.9 x 2.3 x 0.6 in)
Weight 124 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution x pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size 2.4 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Motion / Accelerometer
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification No
Screen Orientation Lock No
Multi-Touch No
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features -
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type QWERTY
Navigation Type D-pad
Predictive Text Entry T9
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key Yes
Any Key Answer Yes
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Unknown
Contact Groups No
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features -
Messaging SMS, EMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth Yes
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, BPP, DUN, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi No
WiFi Encryption -
Mobile Hotspot No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD (up to 8 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications Yes
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Main Camera
2+ megapixels
4x digital
Additional Rear Camera Info
Effects, Multi-shot, White balance
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, RealVideo
Video Recording Parameters
QVGA (320 x 240 pixels), 15 fps
Front Camera
Additional Front Camera Info
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MP3, eAAC+, AAC+, AAC, Real Audio, WMA, WAV
Radio Yes
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, RealVideo
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers No
Headset Jack 2.5mm
Custom Ringtones No
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration No
Speakerphone Yes
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch No
Timer No
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter Yes
Viewable document types No
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps No
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps No ()
Included Software / Apps -
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Nokia Mako

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Nokia 6790 Surge Reviews
Where to buy Nokia 6790 Surge
Suggest a correction