Sunday, February 18, 2007

Nokia 6061

Here it is, finally: the review of the Nokia 6061, commonly found on Cingular's GoPhone service. Just as a note, I don't have Cingular towers in my area so my very small amount of voice quality testing was done with a friend's postpaid Cingular SIM.

First off, if faux chrome made phones good, this phone would be a very good phone. Yet, personally, the plastic chrome and glossy black plastic covering most of the phone seems a little overdone. Maybe because if you look at the phone from its side, which is plain matte black plastic, the phone is remarkably thick and generally large. Generally this phone gets points for Nokia design, but it's decidedly low-end in its styling, or at least it seems that way to me.

Open up the phone and you find a fair-sized screen and what seem to be fair-sized matte-black buttons. Small problem: the buttons lack tactile feedback, or at least they lack enough to suit my tastes. It's an annoying experience to hammer out a text message on this phone's keypad, to be plain.

As I said, the phone has a fair-sized screen, but Nokia's user interface that it uses on its flip phones is less effiicient than the one used on its small-screened bar phones. Which places the 6061 at a decidedly middle-of-the-road position on ease of use. Plus, the UI isn't perfectly snappy...not to my reckoning as bad as the Nokia 2236i, but it's just not snappy.

What about call quality, speaker quality (the phone has speakerphone) and battery life?

As to call quality, there's nothing to shout about here. Reception is again middle-of-the-road, but an added foible is that the phone's earpiece speaker is quite small. Which means you have to position your ear in just the right place to hear what the person is saying on the other end. To make matters even more mediocre, the earpiece volume frankly doesn't get that loud on this phone.

Speaker and peakerphone volume, however, is fine. You will be able to hear this phone's ringtones if you set the volume to maximum, which is nice, considering that this is a basic phone (basic enough to only have an indicator light on the outside, rather than a caller ID screen).

As to battery life, I only got about three days on a charge from the phone. This is probably because the phone is refurbished (that's what they solkd online...maybe they still sell them but I didn't see any the last time I looked) and because it was searching for service some of the time, but, being a GSM phone, it should have been better.

And yes, in case anyone was wondering, there is plenty of Cingular branding on this phone. Plenty. And you can't seem to use a normal unlock code calculator to unlock this phone...I tried a time or two, then gave up (I don't want to hard-lock the phone).

But anyway, this phone, to my reckoning, is middle-of-the-road for a low-end phone. It has some things (loud speakerphone) that are good about it but some things (lack of tactile feedback on the keypad, large formfactor, mediocre battery life) that keep it from my reccommending it above other cheap phones on Cingular.

Hope this helps someone, and thanks to BabbleBug for sending out this review unit!

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