Sunday, December 11, 2005

Nokia 6101 Review (missing photos)

After 3 years using a black and white Nokia 3590, my dad had finally decided to upgrade his phone to a Rogers Nokia 6101. The firmware on it is V 03.38 25-07-05 RM-77. The box contains the phone, charger, and power adapter for use on Nokia's old style chargers.

Quick facts:
Name: Nokia 6101
Network: GSM 850/1800/1900
Weight: 97 g
Dimensions: 85 x 45 x 24 mm
Battery life (stand by): 350 hours
Battery life (talk): 240 minutes

My phone was manufactured in: (your phone's country of manufacture could vary) Mexico

The 6101 is a bit wider than a 6230 but quite a bit thicker since it's a flip. The 6101 feels very solid as it doesn't have removable faceplates.



It's a classic design that is very smooth and simple. From a design standpoint, it has everything a typical flip phone should have these days like side volume control, dedicated camera button, external screen, large inner screen, and large buttons. The phone looks small but is actually pretty wide compared to a phone like the SGH-307. The black battery cover is thin but the battery is right up to the back cover so it doesn't creak when closed. The flip hinge doesn't have a snappy spring feel as most other phones do like the RAZR so it feels a bit cheap. The black on this phone smudges but isn't immediately noticeable.

The keypad lighting is adequate

The SIM hinge is tricky to open as you might get your nail stuck in the small gap immediately below it.

There was a time when you mentioned Nokia Series 40 the first thing you can think of is small 128 by 128 pixel screen. The 6101 is not the old S40 we're use to. It has 128 x 160 pixel TFT screen that is bright white. It is a LOT better than the yellowy Nokia 6230 screens made by Seiko. I love how Nokia has used this extra pixel space to keep the battery and reception level present at most, if not all, times as you navigate the phone's menus. The screen is highly reflective so you may have difficulties seeing at angles under bright light.

The external screen is adequate but resembles older Nokias like the 3120. Slow refresh rate and small. It shows all information you may need like missing calls/messages, battery status, date, time, and reception. It even supports picture ID and using the camera from this screen.

The soft keys are merged with the call and end call buttons so you may have difficulties hitting the correct key without looking. The D-pad features a dedicated center button so you won't have the difficulties selecting things in the menu. But with a dedicated center button, it has made the directional keys small. This problem is compounded by the soft keys and call/end call buttons closely hugging the D-pad - likely forcing you to use your nails to hit left or right. It takes some getting use to. The columns of number keys are flush with each other so it's difficult to figure out if you're pressing the 5 key or the 8 key.

Now how is the 6682 keypad for gaming? There is quite a strong feedback in the D-pad so games requiring smooth transitions such as from left to up will be difficult on this phone. From a phone perspective, you can easily use the 6101 with one hand both flipping it open and using it.

Menu setup

Phonebook & scrolling speed
It is a good speed not as fast as the 6230. It takes a split second to pull up the Contacts. Unlike the S710a, it will always scroll at a normal rate. The search function is very quick pulling up matching names instantaneously.

Also worth noting, you can set up different default numbers for each contact.

The standard S60 profiles included: Normal, Silent, Meeting, Outdoor, My profile 1, My profile 2.
For each profile you can set Incoming call alert, Ringing tone, Vibrating alert, Message alert tone, Instant message alert tone, Keypad tones, Warning tones, Alert for.

call listings
You have the option of looking at Dialed Numbers, Received Calls, and Missing Calls. Data and call counters are also available from the same menu. You can't access a log of all calls in one window.

File manager
You can browse both the phone contents with the gallery. Same as the 6230 here, just no memory card. Interestingly, when you receive files, such as through infrared, they are automatically stored in a folder called Receiv. files unlike the 6230 which prompts you to save it somewhere.

The 6101 offers S40 theme support. The theme support is pretty primitive as only the wallpaper and colour scheme are changed.

Included Office tools
Standard S40 tools are included.

Alarm clock - you can set a one time alarm or have it repeat.
Calendar - calendar to find out today's date and important bdays
To-Do - remind yourself to do something (like remember to buy the bday present for important bday to noted in the calendar)
Notes - write down some information. It's dated too!
Sync - Allows server or PC synchronization. I didn't figure out how to use either. The server sync asks you to contact your service provider
Calculator - just a basic calculator
Stop Watch - split and lap timing
Countdown timer
Wallet - allows you to save passwords and such on the 6682 behind a protected area requiring a password
Converter - currency converter so you can see how much that thing on EBay will really cost you in CDN.

You can connect the 6101 to your computer using infrared or data cable. I wasn't able to get my computer to detect the 6101 with my DKU-2 USB data cable. No Bluetooth here. You can install Nokia PC Suite to synchronize the 6101 with your computer. You can also use PC Suite to download pictures, ringtones and games/programs to the 6101. I'm not sure where the e-mail client is on the 6101. I don't see it in the Applications folder as the 6230 has it.

No issues sending files to and from the 6101 and 6230.


The 6101 picks up signal pretty well.

Sound Quality
The phone sounds good. It sounds a tad too trebly. It sounds similar to the 6230b but not as deep. I did not observe any hissing. The volume is not loud even at the highest setting. I did not test the auto volume adjusting feature found in Nokias where they getting louder in noisy environments.

The Speakerphone works well but is a bit weak compared to the 6682 and 6230. It is too trebly. The speakers are near the hinge. The ringtones are played from the same speakers.

Headset use
I haven't tested this.

Multimedia Features

The 6101 VGA CMOS camera is decent but not as good as the 6230. Daytime shots are good, night shot doesn't pick up a lot. Night mode requires you to have a fairly still hand to make the shots effective. There are no white balance, contrast, brightness, or color tone controls.

Like the S40 cameras phones before this, the UI is the same so you can refer to a 6230 review.

Shoot mode
Allows normal, sequence mode and self-timer.
A normal shot dependant on other settings of the phone. The sequence mode will take 3 quick shots and the self-timer allows a shot to be taken 10 seconds after setting it.

there are 2 pic sizes
640 x 480
80 x 96

there are 3 quality settings for each pic size

Normal mode
There is a shutter lag will annoy some people looking for a quick shooting camera phone. What you see on the display will not be what you're taking a picture of.



The 6230 has keeps more faithful to the actual colours. The 6101 is blurry and pretty yellowy.

night mode
There's a night mode as well, but the picture in the screen is a lot brighter than the resulting picture.



The 6230 night mode puts the 6101 to shame.

Something I like about flip phones is that you can take self portraits by closing the phone in camera mode. It'll use the external display to show you what the camera sees.

The phone also does Video at Sub-QCIF 128 x 96 pixel sizing. Nothing special here. You won't be doing much video shooting with 3.5MB of onboard memory.

Your classic S40 Java apps will not be resized to fit the larger screen so you'll probably want to download new versions. The 6101 does come with two games: Canal Control and Golf Tour.

The 6101 uses a slim BL-4C. I get three to four days with medium to light usage.

Build quality...........10
Connectivity.............4 no BT
Features for $...........7
Camera...................5 a Nokia mid-range quality VGA CMOS
Battery life.............8


*Excellent build quality
*updated S40 UI
*Beautiful screen
*class 6 EDGE
*Great sound/clarity
*classic Nokia phonebook
*traditional phone design
*large keys
*Price. $30 CDN with 3 year contract

*the Motorola V551 is the same price but offers Bluetooth and quadband support
*lack of memory card support
*3 second delay on pictures captured
*flush keys
*lacks Bluetooth
*need new Java apps to take advantage of the larger screen
*weak night mode

Thanks to Treatz for lending me his stylz for this review

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