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Gadgets & Tech Misc. Mobile

Nokia E61 Support or Lack Thereof

I’ve been having many problems with my Nokia E61, after the firmware upgrade. I’ve posted some of the issues on this blog as well as commented on some of the E61 or Symbian S60 specific blogs like NokMe and the E Series Blog. Apparently, there are many people having similar issues, though not exactly the same.

Though the E61 wasn’t designed or marketed to the US market, dealers are getting it and selling it in the US. Nokia, however, refuses to acknowledge that the device is used outside of its “home” country. I contacted Nokia UK today hoping to at least file a bug report, at best, get some help on my connectivity and rebooting problems. However, Nokia UK refused to support the phone because it was in the US. They suggested I contact Nokia US for support.

Ok, seems logical. I filled out a form on the Nokia US page, indicating the problems and received a response indicating that I’m basically SOL unless the dealer who I bought the phone from takes it back, or I take the phone to the UK, get a UK number and have Nokia UK look at it at that point.

This is the email I sent to Nokia UK, in response to their and Nokia US disavowing any knowledge of my E61.


Nokia USA has refused to support my E61.

The problems I am having are after the latest firmware upgrade (provided
by Nokia) has been applied. The location where I bought the phone is
not going to support this upgrade provided by Nokia.

This is not a great way to earn customer loyalty. I would appreciate it
if someone at Nokia (I don't really care which country) would at the
very least log bug reports related to the newest firmware upgrade for
the E61 and take into account that many other Nokia customers around the
world are dealing with a very buggy firmware release.
NokiaHelpLine@nokia.com wrote:
> > Dear Pankaj
> >
> > Thank you for contacting Nokia Helpline.
> >
> > You have addressed your email to the Nokia United Kingdom and Ireland team. Unfortunately we are unable to respond to queries from out with this region. If available, please direct your enquiry to Nokia's support team within your local region, details of which can be found at www.nokia.com.
> >
> > Nokia Service Professional
> > UK & Ireland Team
> > Nokia Helpline
> >
> > [THREAD ID:1-1KVU9D] Help Nokia improve the service we offer you! To take part in our short confidential survey, please click on the link below.
> > www.surveys.com/nokiasupport/ukandireland
> >
> >
> >
> > This response has been given based on the information you have provided us. The response is provided for general information purposes only. It is intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be accurate or complete, and it does not constitute any binding commitment.
> >
> >
> >
> > To ensure proper handling, please continue to use the current subject line.
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> >
> > From:
> > Sent: 28/09/2006 16:06:41
> > To: NokiaHelpline@nokia.com
> > Subject: Subject Nokia Phones or accessories
> >
> > [Country: United Kingdom] [Language: English]
> > [Permission to Email: yes] [Permission to SMS: no] [Permission to Letter: no] [Permission to Phone: no]
> > [First name: Pankaj] [Last name:]
> > [Street address: ]
> > [ZIP: ] [City: ]
> > [Email address: ]
> > [Landline: ] [Mobile: [number removed]]
> > [Phone model: Nokia E61] [IMEI: ]
> > [CID: ]
> > [Contact topic: Nokia Phones or accessories]
> > [Message: I am having severe problems with my 3 week old E61. The phone is constantly rebooting itself. It cannot properly connect to WiFi Access Points. Email settings are constantly "changing" or getting lost. The ability to retrieve email or connect with a browser is intermittent at best. I am in the US but can't seem to pull my E61 on the US support site. Any and all help is greatly appreciated. My US service provider is Cingular.]
> > [Operator: Other/I don't know]
> > [Operating system: ]
> >

This is the response sent to Nokia US:

The problems I am having are after the latest firmware upgrade (provided
by Nokia) has been applied. The location where I bought the phone is
not going to support this upgrade provided by Nokia.

This is not a great way to earn customer loyalty.

nokiausa.customercare@nokia.com wrote:
> > Dear Pankaj,
> >
> > Thank you for e-mailing the Nokia Care Contact Center.
> >
> > We appreciate your inquiry in regards to your Nokia E61 phone rebooting itself, email settings and the ability to connect to a browser.
> >
> > Pankaj, you have reached the United States Customer Care Division at www.nokiausa.com. The information you provided suggests that your phone is not available in the United States (US). The Nokia E61 phone has not been released in United States and the information we have available allows us to support products available and manufactured for use in the US. The phone model you provided us seems to be from another country. If this is the case, we recommend contacting your point of purchase for support and repair options.
> >
> > Nokia warranties are valid only in the country of origin. To determine the customer care options for your area, please visit our global customer care contact page at www.nokia.com/contacts.
> >
> > If you have any additional questions, please contact us. To ensure proper handling, please continue to use the current subject line.
> >
> > Thank you for choosing Nokia for your mobile needs.
> >
> > [name removed]
> > E-mail Specialist
> > Nokia Inc.
> >
> > P.S. In an effort to continuously improve Nokia's service to you, please complete our short 8 question E-mail Care Survey. Please copy and paste the following link into the address field of your web browser:
> >
> > https://digiumenterprise.com/query.asp?id=HPCC126H711I531
> >
> >
> > [THREAD ID:1-302XS]
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> >
> > From:
> > Sent: 9/28/2006 02:07:55 PM
> > To: nokiausa.customercare@nokia.com
> > Subject: Technical Support
> >
> >
> >
> > [Email:]
> > [First:Pankaj]
> > [Last:]
> > [Zip:]
> > [Model:E62]
> > [Order#:]
> > [ESN:]
> > [Mobile#: [number removed]]
> > [Provider:Cingular]
> > [Subject:Technical Support]
> > [OS:]
> > [WebBrowser:]
> > [ConnectType:]
> > [NewsletterOptIn:no]
> > [Message:I am having severe problems with my 3 week old Nokia E61 (NOT E62). The phone is constantly rebooting itself. It cannot properly connect to WiFi Access Points. Email settings are constantly "changing" or getting lost. The ability to retrieve email or connect with a browser is intermittent at best. I am in the US but can't seem to pull my E61 on the US support site. Any and all help is greatly appreciated. My US service provider is Cingular.I have tried to get support from Nokia UK but they have suggested that I contact Nokia US with my problems.]
> >
> > [Server:daenusap18]
> >

This is a perfect example of absolutely inspiring customer service. I will post the email trails, sent to and received from Nokia for all the other Nokia E61 users that aren’t using the phone in the “home” country. What exactly is the point of getting a world phone if you can’t get any support for it by the manufacturer outside of its “home” country? I find it pretty silly that they won’t even acknowledge the problems that users are having.

Once I receive responses, I will post them as well.

Related Posts:

Categories
Misc.

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:

Categories
India

Internet Access in India and the Nokia E61

A little background on how I was led to the Nokia E61. Back in April, I had picked up a Motorola SLVR L7 and have been pretty happy listening to my favorite podcasts on it.

A few weeks ago, I decided that I was going to be taking a trip to India and needed Internet connectivity consistently. I tried finding out from people in India, websites, and well known blogs like GigaOM on the best method of WiFi connectivity in multiple cities like Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, and Delhi. Most places I didn’t even get a reply from but a few people in India told me that WiFi hotsopts aren’t as prevalent as the ubiquitious T-Mobile hotspots at Starbucks in the US. For example, Tata Indicom (in collaboration with VSNL) has a Wifi service but from their website, I can only find one or two hotspots in most major cities ( Mumbai and Bangalore are exceptions – both have many access points ).

I soon realized that my best chance of having some kind of consistent Internet access was using mobile phone technology. Many people recommended Reliance Infocomm.

Reliance is a CDMA based mobile phone service offered through most of India. Reliance has been a very cost effective alternative to the GSM based technology that has been most prevalent in India ( Read some reviews on Reliance Infocomm ). My problem was that I would have to buy a CDMA phone ( or rent ) that I would use whil I was there. I couldn’t use the phone back in the states or really any other part of the world that I would travel to. As you can imagine, I wasn’t thrilled at wasting the money on a phone that I would use for a very short time.

I dug around on the web a bit and took a look at some more of the mobile carriers in India. Hutch, Bharti Airtel, are two of the larger national carriers that I came across. If you think mobile plans and prepaid plans in the US require a PhD to understand, well, you haven’t looked at the possibilities from Indian mobile carriers. To understand the most cost effective postpaid or prepaid plan you will need a team of Internatioanl PhDs. Here are the prepaid plans available on Hutch ( you’ll need to look at all the possible offers as well to really understand what is best for you ) and Bharti Airtel.

For voice, I think that Bharti Airtel has a better offering. However, BA has no EDGE access. They are using straight GPRS from what I can see on their website. They have a nicely laid out map of all their value added services.

Bharti Airtel Value Added Services

Hutch on the other hand, has slightly higher calling rates but offers EDGE access either using an EDGE PCMCIA card in your laptop, or via your phone. This sounds like it could suit my needs pretty well, at least until I figure out a high speed alternative for using my MacBook while traveling. Hutch EDGE Screenshot

I continued looking at other services like MTNL’s Dolphin, SPICE and IDEA but it appeared that SPICE and IDEA were very limited in network coverage and MTNL’s Dolphin service and charge description was so difficult to follow, I just gave up.

Now, I’m back to Hutch and Bharti as my two primary phone and Internet carriers during my travel. I have a sleek, sexy Motorola SLVR L7 that has Bluetooth, synchs up very nicely with my MacBook, though I still haven’t figured out exactly how to use it as a bluetooth modem. The SLVR, unfortunately, doesn’t have EDGE support so my speeds in India are going to be miserably slow. Not to mention, I will have to carry around my MacBook everywhere I go. I decided to look into a smart phone that has bluetooth and EDGE support. It would be nice to have WiFi along with UMTS and HSDPA but my options are very limited. I was, therefore, looking for a phone with the following functions:

  • Quad Band (850/900/1800/1900) GSM for global connectivity
  • Uncrippled Bluetooth
  • QWERTY Keyboard
  • EDGE/GPRS Support
  • 802.11b/g WiFi
  • Replaceable Storage – Secure Digital/MiniSD/MicroSD
  • Expandable through thirdparty applications
  • IMAP/POP3 Support

Things that would be nice to have:

  • 1MP or better camera
  • Video Camera
  • MP3 Player
  • MP3 Player that synchs up with iTunes
  • Lightweight and Slim form factor

I tried using the Treo 650 over a year ago and hated the phone. It’s bluetooth was horrible and they keyboard was so small, it was impossible to really type effectively on it. The Treo 700/750 hasn’t been widely available for GSM yet so I kept looking to the most obvious choice, Blackberry. I wasn’t thrilled about spending the monthly Blackberry connection fee that most carriers charge. The fee to use your Blackberry is typically much higher than just having unlimited GPRS/EDGE access. I kept looking around and came across the Nokia E61. The phone had most of what I wanted but it wasn’t yet released in the US. I looked around on eBay and found a store near by that had the phone for $350 all in. I picked up a Nokia E61 a few days before Labor Day and have been playing with it for the last three weeks.

I will provide an overview of my experience with the Nokia E61 in a separate post.

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