Nokia E61

What do you call something that looks like a BlackBerry, acts like a BlackBerry and yet offers a lot more than most BlackBerry devices? Nokia calls it the E61.


9.0
CNET Rating
8.7
User Rating

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Design
The E61 is branded by Nokia under the tagline of "Nokia For Business", and the business in this case appears to be mimicking the BlackBerry model, adding a few interesting features along the way.

From a design standpoint, that means that the E61 looks and more or less feels like any other BlackBerry-styled handset that you've seen before. Weighing in at 144g with the battery installed and measuring 117mm x 69.7mm x 14mm, this is hardly a tiny unit by mobile standards, although it's lithe by BlackBerry standards. A business-like silver finish gives the E61 a nice professional look and avoids the scuffed/grubby look that some black phones pick up all too easily. The keyboard on the E61 is backlit with a function key to switch between dialling and alphabet entries, although for the most part that's handled quite well in a context-sensitive way. A five-way joystick sits at the top of the reasonably-sized (for a phone) keyboard, flanked by the E61's dedicated menu and email buttons. Volume and voice recorder buttons sit on the left hand side, although the right hand side is left clear of buttons. If you're a BlackBerry afficionado used to a scroll wheel and back buttons, you may find the E61 takes some getting used to. The E61's 320 x 240 TFT display screen is bright and clear for pretty much every application you could think of to use on the phone -- both business and non-business related.

Features
It's pretty clear which route Nokia's designers chose to take when deciding which technologies to implement on the E61. It basically chucked them all in. The end result is a phone with (deep breath) support for GSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, Infrared, VoIP, Push To Talk, and Mini SD storage cards. On the software side, you can add to that list support for Symbian OS 9.1 compatible applications, Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents, as well as Zip files and PDF files via Adobe reader. The E61's screen can be sent out to compatible projectors via the E61's screen export package, making it a potential replacement for some ultraportable notebooks, depending on your usage patterns. Naturally as a competitor in the BlackBerry space, the E61 has full support for POP3, IMAP, SMTP and Microsoft Exchange Server email. In an odd, and decidedly non-corporate way, it also supports instant messaging clients from Yahoo and AOL, MP3 and AAC music playback and RealPlayer video support. Just don't let the IT department know about those features and you should be fine.

One feature that's normally de rigeur with 3G phones that the E61 omits is any kind of camera, so if your business life also includes the odd video call, this isn't the phone for you. The flipside of this is presumably that it'll be easier to convince your IT department to buy one if it doesn't look like a consumer phone in any way whatsoever.

Performance
Where the E61 impressed us the most was in the breadth of its scope, especially given the inbuilt support for WiFi. The inclusion of WiFi makes it a true option for work within the office and outside of it, as it's capable of using whatever data connection is to hand for incoming messages and other data transmissions. The mobile carriers may not be happy with this -- data rates over 3G and GPRS are typically very high -- but it's a good argument in the E61's favour that you'll be able to use wireless services for data transmission when you're in a compatible hotspot or in the office. The same also holds true for voice calls, where you can use VoIP clients for calling purposes. Naturally, it's a good idea to make sure you are connected properly to your WiFi connection before initiating a VoIP call, otherwise you'll find your VoIP savings evaporate when your carrier charges you data rates for your call.

The one caveat we'd attach to the E61 is that a lot of its menu choices aren't as clear as they could otherwise be, and you'll sometimes find yourself trekking through multiple screens to achieve a desired result. As an example, you can scan for nearby wireless access points in the phone's connection manager, but only connect to insecure points that way -- if you need to classify wireless security settings for an access point, that's in an entirely different menu and sub-menu structure.

Like most BlackBerry-style devices, the E61 is technically capable of making phone calls, although it's arguably a somewhat secondary consideration; like most phones in this form factor it feels a little daft holding up a small brick to your ear, and the phone dialling buttons are on the small side. Presumably Nokia figures that the business market the E61 is pitched towards will all go down the Bluetooth headset/voice dialling route. While we're on the physical problems page, we also found that the navigation joystick on our review sample was a little twitchy when it came to differentiating between a downwards push and a selection click, which made some online navigating and menu selections a touch trickier than they needed to be.

Nokia rates the E61 as being capable of up to 9.5 hours talk time and up to 17 days standby time. Given the wide range of battery-sapping applications that you can have enabled -- Bluetooth and WiFi alone can bring even the biggest and meanest battery to its sobbing knees -- we expected to hit the lower sides of those estimations, and were pleasantly suprised to hit them almost exactly with moderate use of the phone in 3G and WiFi modes.

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mathanrae
10
Rating
 

mathanrae posted a review   

The Good:everything!

The Bad:camera. but it's for business. unless your business involves taking photos on mobile or doing video calls. stay away from this phone. also no GPS built in. but hey, there's google maps

i have over 60 applications running on this phone. the only thing my phone can't do is take pictures. and believe me, it can do virtually anything a laptop can do save the webcam. i do my projects on it while on the road. i also use it for remotly controlling the TV and all other home appliances with infrared. i also use it for my presentations by using it as my mobile wireless mouse. i have a dictionary, i can view avi, mov and mpeg movies, i can edit pictures, this phone packs a lot. not really a big fan of nokia as i had nokia duds in the past but this phone has amazed me and will continue to remain in my pocket.

reddy_2709
9
Rating
 

reddy_2709 posted a review   

The Good:Mp3 player, Video player, everything i love because it has everything

The Bad:Camera

Hi reading to all the above User reviews I do can understand there is some problems, I’m using this phone for last one month but I didn't find any difficulty to use for one who said he can't close all windows until he shut down the phone you can try this long press the menu key for 3 seconds you will get all the application or programs which all running on the phone just press the back key on your phone than you can close that particular program or application, I worked on GPRS it's unbelievable it access fast than other devise being using mobile phones for more than 10 years, I used all the phones in the market but this I don’t want to lose it because it's worth coming to music volume, voice clarity, I cant put any name because I am loving it, if you put any name I will give you the correct word for that much I am loving, It’s the only one thing that disappoints me is camera I can go with E61i but I don’t want to lose this

Thanx

Matt Kevin
8
Rating
 

Matt Kevin posted a review   

The Good:Built like a tank, this is something different than the usual Nokia toy-type plastic products, but it's still lighter than much of smartphones. No camera. Spectacular screen- very clear and bright, don't tire your eyes. Easy to navigate, handy menu. Fast connectivity. Despite its size, nicely sits in hand and your pocket. It has just about every way to connect to the interwebs you can imagine. Very handy qwerty keyboard.

The Bad:A bit sluggish but if you don't open too many applications at one time, it's okay. There should be more media applications. The memory should be expandable to something more than 2GB. Gladly, it's not my problem but people with huge hands and fingers would most probably find this phone pretty hard to type with.

This is the way to go if connectivity, push-mail and working with documents is your goal or if you want something a little different than Blackberry but still wanna manage to have the account and do all the things that Blackberry can provide. As well as if you hate the children toy which is called the phone camera. Overall- this is the right tool for the job if you're in and out of office all the time or like me- just wanna keep your days organized. A serious device.

innocent boy
10
Rating
 

innocent boy posted a review   

The Good:qwert keyboard, powerfull wifi, battery life, uniqueness

The Bad:looks like calculator, no cam

I love it. I used almost all imate, nokia and all etc famous models but the power, connectivity and performance of e61 is matchless without compromising on design.

shima
10
Rating
 

shima posted a review   

The Good:Strong, dependable phone.

The Bad:Only able to use Real Player sucks.
No Camera
Not able to close all applications at once without turning the phone off.
Frequently locks up the bluetooth connection with the headset.

My company gave me a Blackberry Pearl, but later replaced it with the E61 because of a new rule that only Managers could have blackberry's. At first I was upset because I really liked the Pearl, But when i realized that the E61 did everything that the BB did and more, I was shocked and amazed.

Forbiddon
3
Rating
 

Forbiddon posted a review   

The Good:It fits the inside of my coat pocket lovely. Its hard to loose.

The Bad:1) The phone will power down and up again of its own accord.
2) It takes about 60 seconds from switching it on to it bringing up the pin....way too long.
3)Try to do two things at the same time and the phone lags terribly.
4)locating files I transfer onto this phone is like finding a needle in a haystack..it seems to be a labrynth at times.
5) text messages take forever to go
6) multimedia messages struggle to get through
7)Reception is awful even though I have had 2 nokia's previously on same network with no real (reception)problems.
8) I have to do a factory restore on average every 3 weeks because of different problems that randomly occur.
9)Joystick is now struggling and becoming harder to use.
10)It is neither a good phone or a good PDA...its a half breed of the two and fails miserably.

If I went into all the error messages I received in the first few months it would be too long of my life gone so here's the top 5.

1) Failed to connect, too many applications open try closing some applications first and retry (how many items is too many...1 and it could be just my recent call list)
2) Insufficient memory, close applications try again....open, 1 item same as above....a nightmare if you like me have mobile mail (a constant connection needed) and the phone feels this is too much.
3)unable to download multimedia item, please try again later.
4) unable to install application, please go to settings and try again (do so and it still wont install or even uninstall the same app and it auto tries every single time I turn on the phone (and fails) and demands another 30 seconds of time to fail...then the phone is ok to use)..so it takes 2 minuts from power on to phone being accessible (but then another 1 minute for the contacts to be accessible)
5) random sim message pops up (not so often now since it was sent back from factory) sim registration failed, please remove sim and try again...etc...I never touch the sim, it

I have had mine for 6 months now and every day this phone costs me money due to the business I am losing. It is lacking in processor power and has had so many glitches and issues I think the only real use it has for me now is a door stop.

I count the days until I get an upgrade 117 to go.


WORSE BIT OF TECHNOLOGY (i use that word loosely) I HAVE EVER OWNED

kkay
7
Rating
 

kkay posted a review   

The Good:sleek design,

The Bad:reset frequently, navigation key no good

i have e61 for a week now. it cannot connect to a public network WLAN.

bruce Hack
4
Rating
 

bruce Hack posted a review   

can the nokia E61 work on Verizon

Bidouz
9
Rating
 

Bidouz posted a review   

The Good:Connectivity is fabulous
Quick office is handy
Voice recognition is very good

The Bad:Stereo headphones woud've been nice.
A bit Slow, Faster Processor and maybe more RAM needed.
Integrated GPS missing
Power button and led in akward position

The Best Phone I've had so far !!!

Jet
10
Rating
 

Jet posted a review   

The Good:Connectivity, Speed and Display Quality.

The Bad:No Camera..but if you have a phone like this you wont miss your camera phone.

This Phone Rocks..It basically provides me with all the connectivity that i need..though I had a problem with the joystick recently but nokia center replaced the joystick right away..


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User Reviews / Comments  Nokia E61

  • mathanrae

    mathanrae

    Rating10

    "i have over 60 applications running on this phone. the only thing my phone can't do is take pictures. and believe me, it can do virtually anything a laptop can do save the webcam. i do my projects ..."

  • reddy_2709

    reddy_2709

    Rating9

    "Hi reading to all the above User reviews I do can understand there is some problems, I’m using this phone for last one month but I didn't find any difficulty to use for one who said he can't close ..."

  • Matt Kevin

    Matt Kevin

    Rating8

    "This is the way to go if connectivity, push-mail and working with documents is your goal or if you want something a little different than Blackberry but still wanna manage to have the account and d..."

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