Nokia 6131 review: Highly addictive

David Polesný, 29 June 2006. Read the original review at MobilMania.cz
Pages: 123456»

Tags: Nokia, S40, MobilMania

Nokia has prepared an excellent new phone, which is not only attractive, but also well equipped with modern capabilities. At a pretty competitive price you get a black-silver clamshell with two top-class color displays, automatic opening system, a megapixel camera, radio, a MP3 player, a memory card slot, Bluetooth, EDGE, and a detailed menu.

Key features

  • brilliant external and main displays
  • attractive design
  • memory card (hot swap)
  • nicely elaborated functions, intuitive control
  • plenty of user-configurable options

Main disadvantages

  • weak battery
  • bad font in active stand-by mode
  • camera key is too sensitive
  • MP3 player is too simple
  • lower-quality camera

It was with Nokia 6101 when Nokia stopped to experiment with clamshell phones, having stuck to the path of the proven success ever since, that is, less extravagance, good equipment, and reasonable price. The new Nokia 6131 is another step within the trend described above. Its features, however, are a class higher than usual. The phone features a brilliant display, original and purely elegant design, detailed functions, and intuitive control. Nokia 6131's qualities are so extensive that they can easily make any Nokia 6230 owner consider a possible replacement.

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Nokia 6131

The black Nokia 6131 will probably become popular among men, while ladies are expected to be fond of the white version of the phone. Design is universal and non-obtrusive. Many users will surely like it, no matter how boring it may seem to "cool" teenagers, for example. Nokia 6131 features great capabilities at a very reasonable price, which is a combination guaranteeing sure market success.

Design: it only seems flat

We have been delivered a black version of the new Nokia 6131. It is made of matt and soft plastics. It is pleasant to touch. Fingerprints remain invisible. Phone's only decoration is the glossy area surrounded by an expressed silver frame on the front, encompassing the external display, the camera and the manufacturer logo.

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Front cover is decorated with a pronounced glossy frame

The top half of the phone gets thinner from the joint towards the edge, which is an interesting design solution as it makes the whole device look thinner too. Hardly anyone would ever say that the joint level of Nokia 6131 is 20 mm thick. At first sight the phone looks like yet another razor thin phone, no pun intended. Its length and width are average, 92 and 48 mm. Weight is a bit higher than usual (112 g), but in no case can it be considered a downside.

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The top part's edge does not reach the bottom part's one...

The top part of Nokia 6131 is shorter than bottom one, creating an interesting optical effect when the phone is closed. The visible part of the bottom part is chromium-plated and thus goes well with the front cover decorative frame.

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...so the chromium-plated edge of the keypad is visible from the front

The rear side of the phone is purely black. The removable back cover is elaborated of rough plastic material and resembles leather. It is softer than usual, does not catch fingerprints, and provides for a great grip. What's more, it does not creak.

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Feels perfectly into one's palm • comparison to a CD

Somewhat unusually, the Pop-port connector is located on the top edge of the device. It is protected by a plastic cap caught to the phone. Next to the Pop-port connector you will see the connector slot for the new charger, which is smaller than the one used in previous Nokia models. The strip eye-let is mounted in the left top corner of the phone.

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Rear cover surface resembles leather • Pop-port and the memory card slot are located under the rear cover • Pop-port hidden under the protecting cap and the charger connector right next to it • Strip eye-let

Construction: push the button

On the left side of the phone there is a pair of volume control buttons, while on the right side you will find the On/Off button and the camera activation key. Lateral elements are quite small and thus somewhat difficult to recognize by touch, which is particularly inconvenient when earphones volume levels need to be adjusted. Getting used to it takes some time.

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Nokia 6131's lateral sides

The camera activation key is rather sensitive. It reacts to every slight press instead of a long press. I often run into it when I open or close the phone starting at the same time the camera application by mistake. If I get mistaken when the device is closed I have no other choice but to open it and close the camera application. The On/Off button, which also modifies profiles, is useless in such cases as it doesn;t have any function when the camera is on. The external display can be used for taking self-portraits. If you prefer to avoid the difficulties mentioned above, you could optionally lock the keypad, which however leads to the loss of one of the advantages of clamshell construction.

Nokia 6131 opens in a standard way, that is, by inserting a thumb between both halves. However, on the right side of the phone joint you will see a tiny special opening key, which stands out above the surrounding surface. When you press it on (which requires a certain amount of force), you will hear a click sound and the top part flies out open until it reaches its stop position. To close the phone, simply clap together both halves.

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Opening key on the right

Nokia has managed to design and manufacture a solid phone with good technical qualities. The joint shows an insignificant gap, but is generally solid enough.

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