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Nokia E61 - "Nokiaberry"

 Nokia E61 Available now
12th October 2005
Discuss this handset in our forum 

The Nokia E61 is just crying out to be called the "Nokiaberry" - and the reasons for that are obvious. The large screen with the QWERTY keyboard arranged underneath bears a striking resemblance to the classic Blackberry format, but unlike Motorola's Moto Q device, Nokia have styled the E61 so that you can instantly tell that it's really a Nokia (OK, perhaps it reminds us of a Stretch Limo a little too.)

This is certainly a sophisticated device - the Nokia E61 is a 3G handset with quad-band GSM support, WiFi and Bluetooth. There's a large 320x240 pixel display in 16 million colours, combined with the Symbian Series 60 OS (version 9.1). Navigation is through a Nokia-style mini joystick and softkeys, so this should be pretty familiar territory for Nokia users.

There's no camera on the Nokia E61 - this is useful because many businesses have serious issues with digital camera proliferation, especially in sensitive commercial environments. It does come with expandable memory using miniSD cards (and there's a decent 75Mb of internal memory too). The Nokia E61 is quite a capable multimedia device, with support for MP3, AAC and Real Video and Audio. As the E61 is a 3G device, it can also download a variety of streaming multimedia.

 Nokia E61 in hand You can tell by the E61's look though that this device is designed for email, and the E61 supports standard Internet protocols (POP3/IMAP/SMTP) and also Blackberry Email Connect, Visto and Seven Always On push email systems. There's also an instant messaging client compatible with Yahoo! and AOL. There's an XHTML web browser too, which takes advantage of the E61's 320 pixel wide display (but it's not as wide as the fantastic display on the Nokia 9300 and 9500 devices).

WiFi is included on the E61, and the handset can even support VOIP telephone calls over its TCP/IP connection. There's Bluetooth too on the E61, and of course you can also connect it to a PC using a USB cable.

The camera on the E61.. well, it doesn't exist. Perhaps Nokia have learned a little from the launch of the Nokia 9500, where the camera actually put some corporate customers off. This means that there's no 3G calling either, but then the Nokia E61 isn't that kind of device.

Software support on the E61 is good - you can view and edit Microsoft Office documents, view Adobe PDFs and even work with ZIP files. The Symbian Series 60 OS is also expandable, so you can add more applications. The E61 also has a comprehensive set of PIM applications preloaded, and it comes with just about everything you would expect from a device of this type.

Nokia E61 vs Blackberry 7290

One question then.. how does the Nokia E61 stack up against the Blackberry 7290? The E61 has twice the number of pixels on the display, plus 3G, WiFi and expandable memory. The Blackberry probably has better keyboard ergonomics, and RIM's transflective display is very impressive. The "footprint" of both devices is very similar, although the Nokia is significantly slimmer. Talktime and battery life on GSM are roughly similar. The Nokia seems to lack the neat holster that the Blackberry comes with though.

Whether or not the E61 is better than a Blackberry is hard to say - Blackberry devices are very focussed on messaging, where the E61 seems to have a little too much going on. Certainly the Nokia E61 is a better phone from looking at the specifications, but Nokia can't expect an easy ride as they're up against some tough competition.

Nokia E61: Our Verdict

This is a fine handset, with a very impressive technical specification. If you're interested in messaging, and are committed to the Nokia/Symbian platform, then this is an excellent device.. compared to a Blackberry. But in many ways the E61 competes with the Communicator platform, represented by the Nokia 9300 and 9500. We prefer the wide screen and large keyboard on the Communicators, and in terms of size and design the 9300 is brilliant. If Nokia could fit all of the E61's features into a device like the Nokia 9300 then that would be even more desirable than the E61.

The Nokia E61 is expected to be available from Q1 2006.

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Nokia E61 at a glance

Available:

Q1 2006

Network:

UMTS (3G) + Quad-band GSM

Data:

UMTS (3G) + GPRS + WiFi

Screen:

320x240 pixels, 16 million colours

Camera:

No

Size:

PDA-style device
117x70x14mm / 144 grams

Bluetooth:

Yes

Infra-red:

No

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Yes

Battery life:

4-7 hours talk / 9-11 days standby (GSM)

 

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