Nokia N91 review: Real celebrity

Michal Sedlák, 09 May 2006. Read the original review at
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Battery low

Nokia 91 derives its energy from a Lithium-Ion battery, which has the extremely insufficient capacity of 900 mAh supporting a mere 190 hours of stand-by time and 240 minutes of talk time.

Nokia N91

What's worse, those are the numbers Nokia announces in the official information. If you mean to frequently listen to music or write plenty of SMS, be prepared for even shorter battery cycles as both mentioned activities are highly energy-consuming. For example, I am currently using N91 as a work mobile phone, but whenever I have a chance, I switch to the MP3 player and listen to music. Under such workload Nokia N91 makes it through no more than one entire day and one entire night. Then it begs again for another energy injection.

Inside the phone's retail package I found a cute active desk stand. Active means that a charger can be plugged into it and you can charge the phone in this stand. When Nokia N91 is in the desk stand, the display is perfectly legible. The stand is steel-coated, just like the phone itself. It sits on a rubber platform, which improves the overall stability.

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Active stand

Was Symbian 9.1 OS really necessary?

Call functions have undergone very few modifications. All properties seem identical to those known from older Nokia mobiles with Symbian OS. Changes are minor. Sound quality is brilliant. The receiver speaker produces full, deep sound. The loud speaker is slightly less powerful than I expected. Calls can be recorded, but the record itself is limited to a mere minute, which is a big disappointment in respect to the huge capacity of the hard disk. The opposite side is alerted about the recording process by a short beep every three seconds or so.

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Calling process • options available during call execution • activating the voice recorder • a mere one minute

Received, missed, and dialed calls are saved into independent tabs, which are opened by a press on the green receiver key. Call records' date and time are always available, but if dialed numbers repeat or calls come from one and the same number, they appear only once, accompanied by the date and the time of the last made call attempt plus the entire number of events corresponding to the respective item. Numbers can be dialed or saved into the phonebook. SMS can be sent directly from the call records lists.

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Call log and data transfers

The log stores detail on both call duration and transferred data. If you need more info, go to the properties section, where each call and data connection is described in detail. Unfortunately, export function that would get the above mentioned information out of the phone is not available. The call lists store data from the last 30 days.

Extensive phonebook

Nokia N91 phonebook uses shared memory, which means that it puts no limits as to the number of contacts or amount of phone numbers. Apart from first and last name (each of which constitutes a separate field), each contact in the phonebook can also be assigned the following fields: company, job, nickname, mobile numbers, land-line numbers, video call numbers, fax numbers, pager numbers, email addresses, web addresses, notes, street addresses, birth date. As you can see, there is a lot of it (I counted a total of 38 fields). The phone seems to be able to even store a hundred of phone numbers for one single contact.

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Phonebook • contact detail • filling in new fields

How you are going to open Nokia N91 phonebook is only up to you. The phonebook icon usually appears on first position in the active stand-by mode, but it can also be assigned to one of the context keys. Once you enter the phonebook, you only need to start to write the initials of the first or the last name of the person you are looking for and the phone starts to browse on its own.

All names stored in the phonebook can be voice dialed. Nokia N91 does not require recording of one's own name labels as it recognizes all voice types. Voice dialing functions fabulously. Once the respective key has been pressed and the searched name has been pronounced, the phone displays an image of the corresponding person, reads their name with a mechanic voice, and dials their default number. Search becomes even faster if you assign a shortcut numeric key to each of the numbers you dial frequently.

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Assignation of shortcut key • automatic voice orders in the menu

Callers can be assigned a picture, while contact groups are assigned only a special ringtone. Assigning ringtones to individual callers and distinguishing groups with pictures is impossible. Groups can be used as call filters inside ringing profiles. Nokia N91 has 6 ringing profiles plus an additional one to use in offline mode. Key lock option is available as well. More profiles can be user-created.

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Profiles and their settings

Within the profiles you can set up a particular ringing tone for calls, messages, emails, and chat. From here you can also regulate volume, vibration, keypad tones, and filters. Nokia N91 is even able to pronounce the name of the person who is calling you, if it's stored in the phonebook. You do not even need to look at the display to find out the caller's name. In fact, this function explains quite well why Nokia N91 does not offer an option for assigning particular ringtones to the contacts.

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