Well, we must admit that the E61i keyboard left us full of nothing but nice experience. It’s well designed and spacey, keys have a positive feedback and all in all – it is a great instrument to help you do all your emails. As we already said, a number of changes have been introduced over E61 - the navigation joystick is replaced with a D-pad, there are two new shortcut keys – the Phonebook and My Own key, and the keys have gotten just a notch smaller, but the space between them has increased. The backlighting is strong and even.
The Nokia E61i has an extremely large 16M color TFT display with a QVGA (320x240 pixels) resolution – it measures a good 2.8 inches in diagonal which is close to PocketPC displays. Just as those, it looks pretty vulnerable in the beginning due to the large exposed surface. When it comes to performance under bright sunlight… Let’s just say that in this respect Nokia have been doing some really great work lately – their displays are among the best ones we’ve seen – both on feature phones and on smartphones.
Nokia E61i signal reception is just what you would expect from a high-end smartphone - flawless. The loudspeaker of the phone is also good, and as we already mentioned – due to its position it is hard to muffle it in your pocket or when you put it on a table. Ringtone volume is sufficient enough and is audible even in crowded places. The vibration of the phone is also strong enough. The phone has brilliant speaker quality and the sound during calls is very clear and without any interferences.
Nokia E61i runs on the third edition of the Series 60 UI. The Symbian operating system works very well on the phone and is quite fast. We are quite pleased with the response of the operating system and would recommend it sincerely when it comes to smartphones. As regards the response of E61i over previous E-series devices (with the latest firmware installed) we found it to be exactly the same in terms of its speed.
The display contains information about the network coverage, the battery status, date, time, operator name. There is also the Active stand-by screen which shows a bar with 7 shortcuts plus several plug-ins and the inbox.
The new My Own key that seems to appear on Nokia’s new smartphones is a customizable shortcut key that you can use for starting an application of your choice. It really comes in handy.
The phone has an Offline mode which works as an Airplane mode, switching off the phone functionality of Nokia E61i but allowing the user to use the other capabilities of the device. The Offline mode can also be used if you don’t insert a SIM card in the phone. While in offline mode the phone can still provide WLAN and Bluetooth connectivity.
As with any smartphone, there is a Task Manager, of course. It gets opened by a longer press on the Menu key on the keyboard. This pop-up allows you to switch between applications or you can end them. Generally, the red receiver key closes applications for real, so if you need to leave one running, you can always return to Standby using this Task manager.
The phone’s main menu can be viewed either as a matrix grid of 4 x 3 icons or in list view. Most of the submenus also allow changing the type of view.
Nokia E61i has 60 MB internal memory and a microSD memory card slot. Unfortunately, as it seems the retail package of the E61i won’t be including a memory card. You will have to buy one of your own.
|The Nokia E61i has an extremely large 16M color TFT display with a QVGA (320x240 pixels) resolution – it measures a good 2.8 inches in diagonal which is close to PocketPC displays. Just as those, it looks pretty vulnerable in the beginning due to the large exposed surface.|
As with all recent Symbian smartphones, a great feature of Nokia E61i is the voice recognition system which can be used both for dialing contacts and starting applications. It doesn’t need to have your commands pre-recorded, in fact it handles most of the voice commands you give it.
The manufacturer uses the Dots theme as default in most of its latest smartphones. If you wish you can use the standard blue Nokia theme. The themes don’t seem to make significant changes to the user interface. They only change the wallpaper and the color scheme.
Nokia E61i has six default ringing profiles (including the Offline mode). The user can create custom profiles as easily as can modify the existing ones.
The phonebook of Nokia E61i looks just like a normal Nokia Symbian phonebook. It has no limit of the contacts as it uses the phone’s free memory and thus can hold an enormous amount of entries. They can be ordered either by first or last name and can be searched by letter-by-letter typing of the desired name. The phonebook can be accessed by the dedicated shortcut key on the keyboard as well as from the main menu.
New contacts can be assigned more than 30 different fields and numbers. Naturally, you can assign ringtones and pictures to contacts of your choice, but we couldn't find an option to assign a personal video clip. Synchronization with PC works seamlessly, too. You can actually rename the predefined fields of the phonebook and thus customize them to your needs.
The Calls log of Nokia E61i contains three tabs for Dialed, Received and Missed calls. Every tab can hold up to 10 call records with their date and time. However, if you enter the Log application, you will find yourself in a list of all call records and data transfers and sessions which have taken place in the last 30 days. This includes even the WLAN connections.