Nokia introduced this year the second wave of the Nokia Eseries portfolio with a trio of feature packed devices – the Nokia E90 Communicator, the slider Nokia E65 device, and the slim email-optimized Nokia E61i device. Nokia says that the E61i is designed for extensive mobile email usage and offers advanced attachment handling and document editing capabilities. The Nokia E61i is an upgrade to the well accepted Nokia E61. We reviewed the E61 back in July 2006 when we said it had everything but a camera. Well, now the E61i does have a camera. Lets find out more. The E61i works on quadband GSM and 3G ( UMTS ) network frequencies with broadband connectivity via WCDMA and WLAN. It should be noted that the handset does support HSDPA but does support the most popular e-mail and mobile business applications. The first thing to notice is that the E61 has a refreshed, sleeker design than the old E61. This is borne out by the fact that the volume of the E61i is 9cc less than the E61 and that the depth of the E65i is tapered from top to bottom so the actual depth is max. 13.9Â min 11.5 mm. This is by no means a small handset yet when you consider all the features it offers then a compromise on size can easily be made. Its fairly slim but wide. The colours available are mocha, mocha or mocha. Mocha has been used before by Nokia as an exclusive colour option ( it was offered on the N73 ) and is a very dark brown colour, like that of mocha coffee. So it looks that you will need to like the colour mocha for your purchase of the E61i. The mocha finish, does however, make the phone look really business orientated. The joystick on the Nokia E61 has been replaced with a 5 way navigation key which has a centre Enter key.Â You can see the full extent of the keyboard setup and controls in the diagram shown in photo 3 and 4. Two additional buttons have been included for the E61i â€“ these are the contacts list and a programmable short cut button which will launch the applications you have pre selected.
The E61i is sleeker and has an improved business look to it and has been upgraded with the addition of a 2 megapixel camera.Â However, there is only one camera. When a phone is hailed as an emailing wizard maybe we should not expect the bees knees of a camera. The camera is pretty middle of the range with reasonable quality pictures but there’s no flash included. Image resolution is a maximum of 1600×1200 pixels 15fps. When Nokia design a business phone they must surely place a strong emphasis on battery life. Looking at the specs Nokia says :
So the good news is that the battery does indeed have reasonable staying power. The battery is 1500 mAh, Nokia BL-L4. Nokiaâ€™s E61i is built on latest edition of the Series 60 Platform, an easy-to-use smartphone software platform. Series 60 third-edition 9.1a together, with Symbian OS 9.1, provides an identical application environment. This is powered by ARM9-based processor running at 222 MHz. The E61i is 3G UMTS only so HSDPA speeds will not be achieved. The E61 has Wi-Fi built in, so if you are in the vicinity of a network you can use for free you donâ€™t even have to pay connection charges for email retrieval. Bluetooth is here too, and so is infra red, which means you have the full monty of wireless communications options. Hopping onto a wireless LAN for email pickup or using the E61iâ€™s Web browser is a simple matter of getting the device to search for WLANs and then choosing the one you want from the list proffered. The E61i has a number of on-board business solutions such as Nokia Team Suite ( for team participation in conference calls, push to talk calls etc ), Quickoffice, Microsoft outlook, ZIP Manager, Adobe Acrobat Reader and more. The Nokia E61i is designed specifically for extensive mobile email usage and provides advanced attachment handling with document editing included. The new full keyboard design with Navi and One Touch keys offers a mobile user experience in the palm of a hand. The E61i supports corporate mobile email solutions such as Nokia Intellisync Wireless Email, Good Mobile Messaging, Mail for Exchange, Seven Mobile Mail, and BlackBerry Connect and most popular consumer email solutions.Â Itâ€™s a surprise to see some applications e.g. Instant Messaging included as businesses generally don’t like the idea of staff messaging their friends all day. The upgraded keyboard is a full keyboard with Navi and One Touch keys . This means the keyboard makes the whole email experience and messaging so much easier and allows for much more accurate results too. I feel any E61 user will cheer that the old 5 way joystick has been removed and replaced with the 5 way pad with a centre button. The location and effectiveness of the quick keys adds to the whole user-friendly experience that the E61i now brings. This is now a great keyboard. Everyone who looks at the E61i will soon see that the screen is large ( 2.8 inches 320×240 pixels ) and that the TFT screen produces bright, clear results. There is also a XHTML browser for viewing web and intranet pages. Voice calls made with the E61i sounded OK with no issues noticeable. Thereâ€™s 60MB of internal user memory with hot swappable microSD memory card support of up to 2 GB. That’s fine.
3G’s verdict on the Nokia E61i
Business users want something that looks the business and does the business. I feel that there will be few business people out there who wonâ€™t be impressed with Nokiaâ€™s E61i â€“ your emailing â€œbuddyâ€. Nokia has come up trumps with the keyboard which likely could be one of the best around. The camera can be a big plus or a big minus to Nokia’s E61i sales. The burning question is. Now that Nokia have included a camera, will business decision makers bar it from their companies as it could fuel company security problems associated with camera phones ? The Nokia E61i certainly looks the business with its mocha colour co-ordinated finish and slender looks. It definitely does the business in the area of its slick, Symbian operating system and stylish and responsive keyboard. It can be summed up in 2 words as your â€œemailing buddyâ€.