Nokia E61i Review

Mon 18 Feb 2008

Filed Under: Mobile Phone, Mobile Phone Reviews, Nokia 

Welcome to the Nokia E61i mobile phone review. As the name suggests it is targeted at business and smartphone users. We actually got the phone 6 months ago and its become the main phone that one of us now use as a regular phone. We’ve just been a little slack in posting the official review.

The main selling features of this phone is a lovely wide screen and mini qwerty keyboard. It runs the S60 operating system so you know what you’re getting. That aside the hardware on the phone is state of the art – at least for 2007. That said, it is missing one key feature, namely a FM Radio so if you can live without one this review is worth a read!

Battery Life

The battery life of this phone is excellent. With normal use and roaming on GSM networks you can get at least 12 days of stand time. On 3G networks its about 7 days. Left on purely on stand by your looking at 2 weeks for GSM which we think is fabulous just like the old days.

Naturally with ultra-heavy usage it will go for at least a day. With Bluetooth, Wi-FI turned on and calls etc. Try that with a TREO or Windows Mobile and you’ll need a charger in about 4-5 hours.

Speed

The phone is reasonably fast. It activates all functions except JAVA based programs with minimal delay. That said, the screen re-draws occasionally lag but its no different to other smart phones. Overall it could be made faster.

Construction.

The E61i is partly made of real metal which is brilliant. It is also put together really well with no creaking or movable panels. It’s like a block of hard wood. Of course it means a weight penalty but in comparison to other smartphones its design stands out like a super model at a Biggest loser audition. Being thin but wide allows you to put in almost all types of shirt pockets without a huge budge.

The full keypad is very good, the buttons have a rudder like surface which makes usage less error prone than others. However the buttons are on the small side for those with larger fingers – but then what modern phone isn’t. The buttons are also harder to press than normal phones which is not a criticism since it seems to work better for it.

The design is quality and is the class leader compared to ALL other mobile phones in the category. After using the e61i we found using the other qwerty based phones feel cheap.

Functionality

Overall the E61i does everything you could want in a mobile. The navigation aspect and functional improvements can still be made as a few of the applications like Quickoffice editors could be easier to use. The Alarm clock is missing the daily and week day auto repeats – which is unfortunate.

It comes with a stack of utilities and business type applications. Eg. Word/Excel/Powerpoint editors, PDF reader, Flash player, zip file creator, wireless printing, and projector software, full Wi-Fi control, different web browsers, Blackberry software, comprehensive contacts management and of course JAVA.

It also comes with one game Golf Pro 2 which is a great looking 3D um… golf game.

Gmail and Google Maps Java applications work perfectly. Hotmail and Yahoo webmail also work either full Internet or WAP versions.

The phone easily syncs with MS Outlook once the Nokia PC Suite is installed.

Connectivity

The E61i has all the options available, USB, Bluetooth, infrared, Wi-Fi. We love it. This demonstrates why Nokia is the leading mobile phone manufacturer. Sony Ericsson doesn’t have the Wi-Fi yet on even it’s range topper.

MP3 and video/sound

The sound quality and volume coming from this phone is very good but no where near the 6233 bench mark. However video and MP3 play back is much better with not lags or skipping. Videos are recorded in MP4 which a great move.

Web Browser

There are 2 browsers on the E61i one for WAP sites and one for normal internet pages. Both work well with CSS and BLOG sites. However like all mobile web browsers Flash based content or Youtube videos are not capable of being displayed with in the browser. If a website has streaming content the RealPlayer is activated to view the content.

The camera/video/voice recorder

It takes OK pictures for a mobile phone and has all the usual features for a camera phone. Features like brightness, various scenes modes light daylight, indoor outdoors, night mode, a timer, various effects like sepia m multiple picture size and quality etc.. Overall picture quality is a bit better than most average for a mobile. It doesn’t produce sharp pictures and the colours OK it still won’t rival a normal digital camera. Video recorder is likewise very average.

Voice recorder is a on the unresponsive side because we had to talk close tot he phone for decent play back volume.

The screen

The E61i’s screen is one of the best, nice and clear, sharp and the backlight bright. It has a light sensor too which automatically adjusts the backlight according to the environment. You can turn it off if you don’t like this feature. It’s one of the biggest screens for this class of phone.

Call quality and network reception

Very good voice quality on both GSM and 3G networks. The quality of the loud speaker really helps. It can also do video calls but you have to turn the phone around which defeats the purpose of video calls. Mind you very few people make video calls so its not exactly something to complain about.

The Wi-Fi feature of the phone works very, well quick to start up and even has scanning capability. Only Apple’s iPod touch is faster.

Network reception is excellent. It can pull in all bars in areas where other phones can only manage two.

Issues

Some of the buttons are just too small, especially the main menu and voice recognition button are not easy to press. Activation of the loud speaker for incoming calls is not a simple process, a problem with all S60 phones. It doesn’t have a FM radio – which is odd for a Nokia.

Network

Not all networks sell the phone so look for a network free version if you can.

Summary

So far most reviews on the Net tends to compare it with it’s predecessor the E61 and assume that existing owners would consider the upgrade and simply conclude by saying it not worth it.

Thankfully we have come up with a proper recommendation. Yes it is worth the upgrade to the E61i . Why? It’s looks great, much better looking and constructed than the original. You don’t have to worry about taking it out in public or at meetings. Nokia should be encouraged to make their phones better looking and use METAL in their designs.

If you haven’t already got one but want a smart phone that doesn’t look or weigh like a brick then this is the phone to get. The battery life is great and it’s comes with a ton of software that makes your working or private life easier. Even better is that it is relatively rare!

The E61i really shines if you have access to Wi-Fi network or 3G. If you’re only on a GSM network then you’re missing out on it’s internet capability. New SMS or texters will love the keypad and game players will enjoy the extra space and screen.

The look of your phone says as much about you as any other fashion accessory. So get one!

Price history

$600-750 AUS 2007

Manufacturer : Nokia
Model : E61i
Network : Tri-band GSM (900/1800/1900 MHz)
3G UTMS 2100 MHz
Design : Widescreen smart phone
L117 x W70 x D14 mm
Weight 150 grams
Silver/Mocha
Display/s : 16Million 24-bit colour TFT – 320 x 240 pixels
W5.8cm x L4.8cm
Camera : Single 2MP Camera
Video capable MP4, WMV, 3GGP, RealMedia, Flash
Connectivity : Bluetooth, Infrared, USB, Wi-Fi
Memory : 64 MB internal memory
MicroSD memory Hot Swap Up to 2 GB
Ring tones : Video, ACC, ACC+, eACC+, MP4, MP3, MIDI (64), WAV, XMF, Vibration, True Tones, AMR
Features : SMS, MMS, IM, EMAIL, Blackberry
Animated wllpaper and screensavers via theme
JAVA MIDP 2.0
Modem for PC
Web browser (WAP 2.0 – xHTML)
Mono Speaker Phone/Hands free
Media player
Text to speech convertor
Voice command
Word/Excel/Powerpoint editing
PDF, Realmedia formats, Flash 7
GPS connectivity via Bluetooth
Speed : Vs Nokia 6230
Navigation 8/10
Battery Life : BP-4L 1500mAh Li Ion
Claimed operating times:
Standby 400 hours
Voice 9 hours
Sample camera :

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