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Nokia E61i

Nokia E61When I went to Finland last year, I saw three phones that were, at the time, prototypes: the Nokia E90, the Nokia E65, and the Nokia E61i. They didn’t have those names at the time, but the basic device forms were there. I was most impressed by the E90, of course, but let’s face it: they’re not cheap.

The Nokia E61i arrived at my doorstep today. An “upgrade” from my management, as it were. It is essentially a “slimmer” version of the Nokia E61, which has been one of my workhorses for a while now. It has got a few differences from the E61:

2 Megapixel Camera:  I’ve been awfully spoiled by the Nokia N95′s camera, which rocks the house both in terms of image quality and features. A 2 megapixel camera without all the image controls and flash is kind of a step backward, but it does have decent shutter speed. It’s about like my Nokia E70 in this regard.

Thinner: The Nokia E61 is a bit slimmer than the E61. The keys protrude less and the body itself is noticeably slender in comparison.

Different Keyboard Layout:  The basic QWERTY keys are the same, but some of the special keys are different than on the E61. Some punctuation that didn’t require a shift key before now do, and some other ones that used to, don’t. You can type a typical email address without needing a shift key, which is nice. In addition to that, there is a dedicated key for contacts, email, and the “own” key, which you can assign to anything. And the directional pad is better on this device as well.

Faster: I can’t say for certain, but email seems a bit faster on this new device. Mail for Exchange works nicely here.

Battery: This is a different sized battery from the E61, which shares the same battery as the N800 and the Nokia 9500 Communicator. The good news: the E61i battery is also 1500mAh, which means I should be getting awesome battery life.

MicroSD: Instead of a MiniSD slot, the Nokia E61i has a MicroSD slot. That’s a good thing because MiniSD cards are getting harder and harder to find on store shelves. In fact, the Office Depot in Silverdale was closing out their supply of MiniSD cards.

Software-wise, the Nokia E61i isn’t a whole lot different than the E61. Items are reorganized a little more logically in the UI (which I know infuriates some people) . There is some new stuff in there like a message reader, which reads your text messages. It pronounces my name wrong–humans do that–as well as Jaiku, which is pronounces Jay-ku. Teams is also there, which I haven’t found a good use for.

The Media Player, which I have been using more and more since my Nokia N95 has had issues, isn’t any different than in the E61. What I’m finding useful about the Eseries Media Player is that it remembers what playlist I was using so I can sort of pick up where I left off. I miss the multimedia keys–especially when the device is locked and I want to stop listening to something.

That’s it in a nutshell. Honestly, it’s about what I expected, which is good. It’s taking the place of my E61, which will now be relegated to  the phone drawer.


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