Nokia E61 Review

I did a firmware upgrade based on some of the issues I was having. The firmware upgrade process is well documented here and ran flawlessly. I just had to get a Windows PC to do it ( I can’t wait for OTA firmware upgrades ). People have talked about backing up their settings and reimporting them after the firmware upgrade but I decided to take a safer approach. I recreated all my settings manually to avoid importing some funky settings that could potentially clash with the new firmware.

I’ve had some issues with the phone such as the limitation of not being able to auto retrieve email for more than 2 mail boxes. I can’t imagine why Nokia placed this limitation.

I can’t say that upgrading the firmware was a good idea. It appears to have fixed some old bugs but created new bugs. I never had to reboot the phone by pulling out the battery but I’ve had to do that today for the first time. I came out of the subway and when I tried to connect to the mail server, it hung up the phone. The E61 has issues with switching connections from Wifi to GPRS. Going from WiFi to GPRS and back to WiFi is probably asking for too much. People on the E-Series Blog have complained about many things such as coming out of the Subway in NYC and having to restart the phone, sometimes with a hard boot by pulling out the battery. This could be a Cingular related problem.

Another major quirk that Nokia needs to fix is that when you enter an area where there is no WiFi or GPRS service, all automatic email retrieval settings automatically get disabled. You have to manually go and enable them.
I’ve also noticed that the Nokia E61 has considerable problems remembering which “Access Point” or “Access Point Group” has been specified in the “Connection Settings” for the various email accounts I have setup. I would expect that a Smartphone should automatically put all packet data and WiFi data retrieval to sleep when there is no network coverage at all and it would remember settigns that have been specified, rather than picking the last “successful” method of connecting to the Internet. An “Airplane” mode, if you will.

The signal strength is not as good as my Motorola SLVR either. The Nokia E61 will get three or four bars in places where my SLVR would get 5. In the basement of some buildings, my SLVR would get one or two bars but the E61 doesn’t get a signal at all.

Having bashed the phone, let me tell you what I like. The phone is light and thin. It’s really not much thicker than the SLVR, though it is much wider.

The screen is beautiful. It’s bright and crisp. The keyboard is better than the Treo 650 but it’s still not great. There are enough keyboard shortcuts available to get things done quickly but it would be nice to be able to customize those shortcuts even more.

Though Nokia doesn’t provide support for synching the E61 with Apple OS X, there is a iSynch plugin available that will allow you to flawlessly synch your Nokia E61 with Apple OS X. Check out the post and discussion here for more information. I am using the plugin available here which I found out about here.

I’ve gotten a few applications running, including an SSH client and a RSS reader, Widsets.

The music player and video player is pretty good and I’ve upgraded the 64MB MiniSD to a 2GB Sandisk Ultra II MiniSD from Newegg. I still miss synching my SLVR with iTunes to get all my podcasts on the go but this really isn’t the phone for that. I might look around for some decent headphones to use with the E61 and put my podcasts on here to listen to.

Nokia E61 Back

Nokia E61 Back Side

Nokia E61 Keypad

Nokia E61 Keyboard View

Motorola SLVR L7 Compare to Nokia E61 - 1

Nokia E61 behind Motorola SLVR L7 – 1

Motorola SLVR L7 Compare to Nokia E61 - 2

Nokia E61 behind Motorola SLVR L7 – 2

Motorola SLVR L7 Compare to Nokia E61 - 3

Nokia E61 behind Motorola SLVR L7 – 3

Update: The WiFi is for all intents and purposes, DEAD and useless to me. I wish there was some sort of logging mechanism to see exactly how much data is being transferred through a specific WiFi AP. Also, it would be great if Nokia would add a default Access Point or Access Point Group option for ALL applications. Individual applications could override this if necessary but at least users wouldn’t have to set up an AP or APG for each application. Thirdly, can someone at Nokia please fix the craziness with the mail application? The mail application intermittently “forgets” the APG settings when it can’t connect to any APs in a group and I have to reset them at least once a day.

Related Posts:

One reply on “Nokia E61 Review”

Comments are closed.