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Nokia E61

Now that Gustaf also got a Nokia E61 I figured it’s about time I write about my impressions. I got mine a few weeks ago and have been fiddling with it since.

Why did I get one in the first place? Well, it’s got everything a smartphone afficionado can expect: Connectivity (3G, Bluetooth, USB, WiFi, IrDA), great battery life, big screen, Symbian S60 3rd edition operating system, full QWERTY (well, QWERTZ in my case) keyboard, and lots more.

I could also use it as a GPS device, but I only recently bought a Garmin c510 Deluxe which does all that in an unbeatable package.

The main features that attracted me were

  • The battery – I had a Nokia 6230 before which couldn’t even last a single work day. The E61 excels in that respect.
  • Keyboard. I could never be bothered to enter anything on a normal numbers keypad (don’t even mention email or IM/IRC), so I thought this was a plus.
  • WiFi in conjunction with the podcasting app. I’m a daily podcast listener, and the idea was that the E61 could help me get rid of one device (my trusty iPod) for podcasts. I travel a lot, so every device that I can leave at home (+ cables) is good.

So, how does it work out? Not too bad, so far.

The functionality as a phone is very good. I like the battery life and the universal call list (calls made/received/missed without having to go back and forth through the menu), although the way SonyEricsson handles it still is a bit better. Contacts and appointments work fine, although I don’t use the appointments part too often (although Papyrusrocks).

Browsing works fine with Opera Mini, and email reading is excellent through Google’s GMail app. But to be honest – I’m not using that too often, as I either have access to a real PC, or I’m in the car most of the time.

The podcasting app is a kludge so far. It kinda works, but it’s clumsy, the MP3 player it calls can’t resume, there’s no management of podcasts (read: deleteing old or listened to episodes) – this is not quite the iPod replacement I was looking for. That, and the E61 doesn’t support A2DP (stereo via bluetooth).

There’s a bunch of other apps that I have installed (most of which can be found here, but I’m not really using any of them on a day to day basis. VoIP works fine as well, but hasn’t been too useful so far. To be able to use it on the go, Access Point setup would have to be less of a mess.

Gustaf has joined forces with Jim to maintain a wiki for E61 gripes and E61 setup related issues, which is also a good start.

Apps I would like to recommend: the Nokia N80 WiFi assistant works nicely on the E61, and Autolock is useful as well.

Reading podcasts and music capabilities: I just wish MP3 management wouldn’t be re-invented with every new device. I welcome the creation of the podcasting app, which will surely get better over time, but I’d rather have handset manufacturers create plugins for either iTues and/or Windows Media Player, so that I can do my MP3 management in ONE place.

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  1. Although I agree podcast managment could be easier It’s quite simple to delete episodes using the Nokia Podcasting application, move cursor to the episode you want to delete, push the left button and pick “delete enclosure” and it’s gone.

  2. Although I agree podcast managment could be easier It’s quite simple to delete episodes using the Nokia Podcasting application, move cursor to the episode you want to delete, push the left button and pick “delete enclosure” and it’s gone.

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