Just slightly more than a year after Nokia unleashed its E61 smartphone, a sexier and more drool-worthy sibling is born. Enter the E61i – a quadband handset that’s power packed with a myriad of intriguing business functions in a slim and gorgeous looking 150g body.
No longer just a mundane communication equipment, the new E61i trumps the nondescript appearance of its predecessor with a much welcomed metallic faceplate and slimmer profile. The infusion of metal is most apparent now that the E61i has a metal faceplate and a steel battery cover, giving it a sharp, polished charm. Beneath its cool (literally) exterior however, is a multitude of business functions and hardware improvements that is all a button away to put you on the mobility highway.
For all you office residents, the new E61i boasts Quickword, Quicksheet and Quickpoint applications. These arm business users to view, edit and send Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents on its high-resolution display. Users can also synchronise information from sources previously used to transfer data to the Nokia E61i, thereby ensuring data in both devices will always be kept up to date. The main difference between the new and the old is the recently introduced Nokia Team Suit, which is fast becoming the signature function of Nokia's E-series. As its name implies, the application lets users create teams and through these teams, users can then send out messages to team members swiftly and in a highly managed fashion. It also permits viewing of team’s web pages, communication history, and conference calls. In other words, the Team Suite system is great for corporate types who have to keep several colleagues in the loop of things frequently while on the move. It certainly is a good function for supervisors, managers and the likes.
Adding flavour to the enthralling appeal of the phone is its whole catalogue of executive friendly applications, ranging from currency converters and GPS navigation system to Reuters news updates that provides up-to-the-minute news bulletins, business developments, stock market activities and even entertainment news.
Looking to please on-the-move corporate types, the N61i boasts a wide array of connectivity options for fast and efficient connection to the World Wide Web.
This 3G beauty offers not only the customary Bluetooth, infrared and USB, but it also provides Nokia's Pop-Port to connect via cable for PC-to-phone synchronisation with the PC Suite. One addition to the Nokia E61i that's sure to lend peace of mind is the option to install the F-Secure Mobile Anti-virus software into the phone. This nifty leading edge solution helps to protect the E61i from harmful content by providing real-time protection with automatic antivirus updates.
The E61i does not just have the qualities to be a helpful personal secretary but also a decent portable multimedia machine as well. Through the built-in media player that supports formats such as MP4, WMA, AAC and MIDI with audio through surprisingly bassy speakers, the E61i is capable of keeping boredom at bay for you. Users also have the option to download Nokia's Podcasting application, which allows users to easily subscribe to and download podcasts for even more variety to keep you entertained.
Beefing up the entire package is a 2.0-megapixel camera that, while not the 5.0-megapixel monster as the flagship N95, is more than able to help you capture victorious moments. It even offers Night mode and adjustments to set colour tone and white balance. There's no onboard flash however.
Although the QWERTY keypad of the E61i is now laid out with better considerations for space as compared to its predecessor, the two additional buttons on the main menu bar do make the keypad appear somewhat cramped. We also prefer if Nokia didn't swap the joystick with a five-way pad, which we found to be less efficient as a pointing device – though this is highly subjective to each individual's preference.
It is not often you find a phone that boasts both business functions and an attractive design, but that is what the Nokia E61i offers. Certain minor kinks such as the absence of a camera flash and the fairly cramped keypad do drizzle on its parade but they do not discount the overall appeal of the phone. Lastly, at US$399.54 (~$614.00), the phone is a real steal for the features it packs.