Nokia 6131

An extensive feature set including a 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, microSD storage, and a screen that supports 16 million colours, is implemented on Nokia's elegant 6131 flip phone.


8.0
CNET Rating
8.7
User Rating

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Design
It's fair to say Nokia has missed the boat in many respects with the emergence of clamshell phones over the last few years. While Motorola and Samsung streaked ahead with their fashion models, Nokia was generally more geared towards its highly successful candy-bar range. But the winds of change are in the air, and with its 6131 model, Nokia provides evidence it is making up ground.

While design-wise, compared to Motorola's RAZR V3, it is hard to call the 6131 "slim" with any real conviction, it's certainly on the better side of good for its size. Weighing in at just 102g, it feels comfortable to hold, and doesn't weigh down your pockets unnecessarily.

The real winner here, though, is the internal keypad. Put simply, it's big. In fact, the entire design rationale with the 6131 is to keep things simple, refined, even elegant. To that end, Nokia has created a keypad layout and accompanying navigational interface which looks great, feels familiar, and is easy to understand. The keypad itself is very well lit, and the volume and camera shortcut buttons are exactly where you'd expect them to be on a Nokia phone. Once again though, Nokia toys with its placement of the on/off button, this time opting for the side of the phone, which may again cause some initial confusion for its loyal customers.

Aesthetically, the 6131 features a soft-paint finish in black, and is lined with gleaming silver mirrors, which though a little plastic-like in appearance, seem to work okay contextually. A lip at the base of the phone adds that little bit of mystique, while a one-touch push-to-open button on the right-hand side of the flip joint causes the clamshell to spring right open. While you can see the potential benefit of the push-to-open functionality, we found it a little unreliable with repeated use, and those we handed it to remarked that they were worried it might accidentally open in their pocket or bag. Closing the flip was sporadically unreliable too, in that generally you had to push and hold the flip completely down or else it would spring back open again.

Features
The 6131 includes a broad range of both multimedia and business-related features. The leading light in this lengthy specification list, though, is its impressive true-colour display. With up to a massive 16.7 million colours present, the screen seemed brighter than any other Nokia we've seen. Unfortunately, this brilliant screen goes to waste somewhat though with a lack of 3G functionality.

The Nokia 6131 boasts a 1.3-megapixel camera with an 8x digital zoom -- no flash, we're afraid. The viewfinder can be flexibly accessed from both the main and the outer displays. The model we tested came packaged with a 128MB microSD card -- plenty of storage space for photos, though perhaps not quite enough the musically inclined. Nokia has yet again omitted a USB data cable, but lists the CA-53 Connectivity Cable needed for data transfer on its Web site for AU$65.

As for music, the 6131's media player supports formats including MP3, MP4, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+ and WMA. Audio quality, while much improved from previous models, is good at best via the genuine stereo headset provided in the box. FM radio is also supported.

In addition to the usual Nokia fare such as a calendar, Bluetooth, push-to-talk, synchronisation, alarm clock, and so on, an interesting feature which stood out was the simplified e-mail interface on the 6131. E-mail was surprisingly easy to set up, even giving us the option to select from a range of Australian ISP's (which were preprogrammed into the phone), as well as Google's Gmail and Yahoo Mail. Support for the SMTP, POP3, and IMAP4 protocols was present, and the 6131's setup screen guided us through the configuration process. All in all, certainly one of the easiest e-mail setup processes around.

Performance
We found the 6131 was a solid performer for a mid-range handset. Call quality was adequate and the speakerphone worked well in an office environment, although we struggled with louder outside noise. Battery life on the 6131 was good, though not outstanding. On average, users should expect about four to five days standby from the phone, but this is substantially lessened through use of the phone for calls and even navigation, which instantly lights up the brilliant 2.2-inch QVGA display.

As far as menu navigation goes, the Nokia performed extremely well, although the Series 40 user interface, particularly the 'active standby' icons, will be a little bit unfamiliar to traditional Nokia users at first.

Ultimately, with a lustrous black design, a fair set of multimedia features, and good support (including quad-band connectivity) for more business-related activities, the Nokia 6131 performed well. While its looks are bound to be somewhat subjectively interpreted, it has a handy features set, and most importantly it's highly intuitive and easy to use. As a mid-range handset with a pleasant price tag, Nokia users shouldn't be disappointed.

Editor's note: Andy White is a university student working part-time in an Optus World shop.

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Babsey22 posted a comment   

I was given my nokkia 6131, it ia excellent phone for me as i have a disability i have poliomyelititis and cerebral palsy i like the button on the keyboard they are easy for me, however i have just one problem it said this model was discontinued and is there a new model and does it have like a $29 caps. i am sorry about all this i hope you or your viewers can answer for me it is a very excellent mobile phone i would give it a nine out of ten. Barbara Mackay

 

Ducky posted a comment   

The Good:Eas of use and durability

The Bad:Screen visibility in sunlight

Love this phone and am disapponted that they have been discontinued. Have had no problems at all and love it. Its been dropped had stuff spilled on it and it still survives.

 

Lynny1981 posted a comment   

Good phone for someone who wants a phone and nothing else. Camera is good enough. Reception is crappy but that could just be my provider.
This phone is extremely durable - I have thrown it at my hubby during numerous arguments and the damn thing just wont die! :P

 

awoke getachow posted a comment   

it is so bad then the other phone b/c attce by vireses.

jason
10
Rating
 

jason posted a review   

The Good:long lasting, cheap, easy to use (simple)

The Bad:very very very bad camera

i own a nokia 6131 now and it works fine its just the battery that makes me worried

NoNokiaThisTime
3
Rating
 

NoNokiaThisTime posted a review   

The Good:Camera

The Bad:How long it has lasted before problems.

After 14 months screen is keeps flicking on and off. Earlier in the week couldn't see anything on the screen at all for about 3 days so couldn't read texts etc.
All the black on the inside has peeled off. Battery won't stay charged for long at all. Nokia Nokia service centre very frustrating to deal with.

 

boxhead posted a comment   

I got my 6131 new.Iam a welder phones don,t last me very long this phone is unreal i have dropped 4.2mrt 3 times speaker now weak cover very tatty screen scrated. But I have new 6120c but iam looking for 6131 it was just the best.

 

wolf3188 posted a comment   

I am only 13 but over about 2 years i have had many phones, all beginning with the humble motorola SLVR l6. this was given to me by a mate but it didnt have enough memory so i bought a Nokia 6085. had this for 2 months but i didnt like telstra so i bought a samsung E250 on virgin mobile. had this for 6 months as i liked virgin but i didnt like the phone. i was then given a ZTE F850 by a friends parent who was upgrading her contract with a new phone. i didnt like the F850 either, knowing that it was time for a new phone i went out, remembering my SLVR, bought a KRZR K1 by motorola. this phone worked lovely for about 3 months and then went to S**t and virgin nor motorola would replace it. so i used my ZTE for around another month, and then, just a couple of days ago my cousins grandmother up-graded her contract from a 6131 to an LG cookie. This happened while i was staying with her and my cousin, so naturally (he has an N95) i asked if i could have the 6131. it is the best phone i have ever had. i love the screen, the features actually work and it is very easy to use. i give this phone a 10 even though it is quite beaten up.

Fritz
2
Rating
 

Fritz posted a review   

The Good:Photos OK, The screen size and lighting is super. The keyboard is large and easy to use. Calender feature is super. I store appointments and notes for sometimes a year ahead of time. Can have many notes for the same day, can extend them to show for an indifinite or limited number of days, months, etc.
Great texting ability.

The Bad:The flex band is constantly breaking. Seldom lasts for over 2 weeks.

Great phone. Has all the features I was looking for. Bought 2 of them. Unfortunatly both have had problems with the flexband breaking.

nokia cool
4
Rating
 

nokia cool posted a review   

The Good: i have loved the nokia 6131 because of its keys and functions.

The Bad:long battery dies fast. no flash on the camera. the phone dosen`t let you know when its dieing while in a conversation.it just dies.

a god phone good volume functions.


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User Reviews / Comments  Nokia 6131

  • Babsey22

    Babsey22

    "I was given my nokkia 6131, it ia excellent phone for me as i have a disability i have poliomyelititis and cerebral palsy i like the button on the keyboard they are easy for me, however i have just..."

  • Ducky

    Ducky

    "Love this phone and am disapponted that they have been discontinued. Have had no problems at all and love it. Its been dropped had stuff spilled on it and it still survives."

  • Lynny1981

    Lynny1981

    "Good phone for someone who wants a phone and nothing else. Camera is good enough. Reception is crappy but that could just be my provider.
    This phone is extremely durable - I have thrown it..."

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