Nokia 6101 review: The Asian way

David Polesnύ, 19 June 2005. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
Pages: 1234»

Tags: Nokia

After having launched several angular clamshell models made of various materials Nokia comes to surprise us with a pretty average-level phone with rounded edges and plastic cover plates. Yet, the functional equipment of the 6101 model is so rich (i.e. two color displays, MP3 ringing tones, and a radio) it is hard to believe that such a phone will disappear in the crowd of mobile devices.

Nokia's clamshells have always been somewhat special due to their original design concepts, whose main strength is the application of non-traditional materials and generally sharp edges. The launching campaign of every Nokia clamshell model was welcomed as an infusion of fresh air on the background of the torrent of silver, rounded clamshell phones offered by Asian manufacturers. On the other hand, exactly that type of mobile phones is being currently fancied by a great amount of mass users - a lesson Nokia and its share holders seem to have learned well. As a result, the Finnish giant has created the new 6101 clamshell, which is neatly rounded, has a tiny antenna, jutting out of the phone's surface, but lacks any metal or leather-covered surfaces.

Nokia 6101. Click to zoom Nokia 6101. Click to zoom Nokia 6101. Click to zoom Nokia 6101. Click to zoom Nokia 6101. Click to zoom 
Official photos of the new Nokia 6101

Key features

  • Elegant, decent outlook
  • Brilliant keypad
  • Built-in radio
  • Two color displays, the inside of which is of exceptional quality
  • Effortless communication with PC, fast data transfers

Main disadvantages

  • External antenna
  • Low quality of the MP3 sound
  • Small memory capacity
  • Small memory capacity
  • No Bluetooth

Nokia is known for its brave experiments in the area of clamshell phones. Let us mention, for example, the 7200 model with its covers made of cloth, the 6170 metal cuboid or the flexible 2650 model, which did not even have the traditional joint structure. At present, the top one among the phones with a clamshell construction is Nokia's 6260 model equipped with Symbian operational system, a swivel joint and metal cover plates. Slightly more expensive is, however, the stylish 7270 model with removable leather-covered plates and remarkable functional equipment.

Nokia 7200 Nokia 6170 Nokia 7270 Nokia 2650 Nokia 6260

You can imagine how big our surprise was when in February this year we first saw Nokia's new rounded clamshell phone with plastic covers; it looked like any other common mobile phone on the market. No matter if we like it or not, however, this phone is surely going to have even bigger market success than its stylish competitors.

Nokia 6101. Click to zoom Nokia 6101. Click to zoom Nokia 6101. Click to zoom Nokia 6101. Click to zoom
Nokia 6101. Click to zoom Nokia 6101. Click to zoom Nokia 6101. Click to zoom Nokia 6101. Click to zoom
New and round, Nokia 6101

The unicorn devil

The phone's surface is made of three types of materials - matt silver plastics, glossy black plastics and chromium-plated extra details. Most of the front cover is black and is therefore extremely susceptible to dirt left by finger prints. On the other hand, the phone's design is jazzed up by elements like the square slot of the camera and the outer display surrounded by a chromium-plated frame. As usual, the manufacturer's logo is situated above the display. The black area of the front cover is surrounded by a chromium-plated frame. It passes the front cover's top edge and continues up to the phone's top side. Another color version of the phone with a white instead of a black touch will also be available.

Nokia 6101. Click to zoom Nokia 6101. Click to zoom Nokia 6101. Click to zoom Nokia 6101. Click to zoom
You can study your finger prints on the phone's black surface • the camera eye • the chromium-plated frame works miracles • the front cover "flows into" the phone's top side

The margins of the front cover are silver. They continue to the top part of the device, fence the joint and melt into the back cover, which is entirely carried out in silver tone. The only ginger element here is the manufacturer's logo engraved on black background. A black strip stretches along the middle line of the side parts. This effect is a result of the dominating black color, which not only creates the inside atmosphere of the device, but also reaches as far as its side parts.

Nokia 6101. Click to zoom Nokia 6101. Click to zoom Nokia 6101. Click to zoom Nokia 6101. Click to zoom
Back cover is quite boring... • ...except for the tiny logo • Phone's sideway parts

The left side is gingered by a narrow chromium-plated double button, which regulates the volume; on the phone's right side you will find an identical button, which controls the Push to talk function, complementing at the same time the dark slot of the infrared port. There is no switch-off button - just like in the 6170 and 7270 models- which means that there is practically no possibility to easily switch profiles when the phone is closed. The Pop-Port system connector, which complements the charger connector, is mounted on the bottom side of the device. The charger connector is smaller than the connectors of the present-day Nokia models. Utterly new is also the charger of Nokia 6101.

Nokia 6101. Click to zoom Nokia 6101. Click to zoom Nokia 6101. Click to zoom Nokia 6101. Click to zoom 
The rocker-type button for volume control • the PTT and the infrared port button •
connectors in the phone's bottom part • the new charger is equipped with a smaller connector

On the top side you will find the unobtrusive plate grid of the loud speaker and - of course - the jotting out antenna, which is really hard to miss. I wonder what made Nokia leave the antenna pop out of the phone's contours, since in its 2650 model it proved that eliminating such a detail is a child-play. The external antenna is not cool anymore these days.

Nokia 6101. Click to zoom Nokia 6101. Click to zoom
Fortunately the devilish corn is not all too big

A single shake closes the phone

Those users, who like carrying their phone hung on a strip, could have got scared they would not be able to connect one to Nokia 6101. No fears, the phone is equipped with a strip that is hidden behind its back cover. To take the strip out, first interlace it through the slot next to the connector. The back cover also hides a lithium-ion accumulator of a 760 mAh capacity, which is supposed to guarantee the device 240 minutes of call duration and 350 hours of a stand-by time.

Nokia 6101. Click to zoom Nokia 6101. Click to zoom 
Phone's back cover and what is hidden under it

Not only does the design make this phone look very solid. The construction of the device is of high quality, as well, so do not lose your time waiting for creaky sounds. Yet, I have certain reservations concerning the catch of the swivel portion of the device. Even though it is solid enough when the phone is closed and needs no help to bottom its final location from an angle as big as 60°, its locking hook in a closed position is quite weak, which makes the construction of the phone act somewhat unstable. In the process of every day use, however, this detail does not hamper at all. On the contrary, it gives you the advantage of closing the phone by a single shake of your hand.

 
Video: closing the phone by a single shake (AVI, 2,1MB)

As for its size, Nokia 6101 ranges somewhere in the mean: it is not easy to loose, but will not hamper your movements either. Here are the numeric details: 85 Χ 45 Χ 24 mm. The weight of 97 g is a little bit bigger compared to the competition of Asian origin. You may need some training before you master the one-hand opening move, but the accentuated groove set along the dividing line of both portions of the phone facilitates this action considerably.

Nokia 6101. Click to zoom Nokia 6101. Click to zoom Nokia 6101. Click to zoom Nokia 6101. Click to zoom
Thanks to its size the phone fits into the category of the mean-size mobiles... • ...and into one's hand

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