Is the Nokia E61 any good?


Nokia E61 Ever since Fastlink started to advertise for the E61, I’ve been seriously considering going for it. What attracts me to this mobile is the fact that it has a full keyboard. It would be great if this mobile can make my email habits a bit more efficient. Although my 6600 does receive email, the lack of keyboard makes authoring longer message a bit cumbersome.

Of course, I will still have to solve my email spam problem before seriously considering a mobile email experience. I’ve given up on 3rd party spam filters and I am just using the junk filter of Apple’s OSX Mail application. It does filter out a lot of spam but also lets amazing amounts of spam through. I just get loads of spam: 13,400 messages in the last four months were caught as spam (i.e 100 a day). That not counting the spam that ends up in my inbox!

The reason I am considering this phone, and not a Palm Treo for example, is that as a Fastlink subscriber I want to use the fact that they subsidize the E61. There is no way I will pay $400 or 500 for a phone.

A big advantage seems to be that this phone has WiFi. As more and more wireless hotspots pop up in Jordan, WiFi on a mobile starts to make a lot of sense. I wonder if Skype can be used soon. I saw a blog post that says that Skype is coming soon on the Symbian OS (also the post on GigaOm). Maybe I should wait until after the Skype for Symbian release.

BIG disadvantage: NO CAMERA! Maybe I’m asking for too much. But out of all the functions of my 6600, the camera turned out to be one of the most used by me (for all kinds of funny shots and research/observation work).

This might be a deal breaker actually.

Anyway, if any one of you phone freaks out there has had the chance to use the E61, help me out, and let me know what you think of this phone.


  1. I actually, like this phone and the E62 as well
    Now, I would recommend something to you before you actually go ahead and buy it
    These keyboards are not all that great, they don’t feel the same and and you end up using both hands to write with them. In such a case I would prefer one of the bluetooth full-size keyboards IF and only IF you really like to work with postage stamp screens at an arm’s length

    I would recommend that you grab the phone in your hand, try the touch and feel aspects and not the cool-factors. Since I know you’re not a Windows advocate I won’t even start talking about Windows Mobile phones (frankly after using them for couple of years, I still find them lacking in many aspects, but, I’m stuck, I need over-the-air features they give for email and address book, I just can’t live without those)

    Anyway, It’s an excellent phone by all means, but that keyboard might be the worst thing about all phones in that form-factor (treo, Motorola Q …etc)

  2. Oh by the way, WIFI … on these phones is EXTREMELY overrated. let me tell you why
    The minute you turn on WIFI, your battery is history, it’s just NOT efficient
    Second, Most of these phones have not done a good job in integrating infrastructure mode (Specifically using EAP authentication, and even if they do, it’s a crippled version)
    Double check their WIFI claims, make sure it supports EAP Authentication of EAPTLS and PEAP-EAP-MSCHAPv2 at least. If it doesn’t and only does WEP, then don’t consider WIFI as an advantage at all. Since you might be connected to your favorite cafe hotspot (insecurely of course) but no EAP support means, there is NO WAY you can connect to corporate networks (proper corporate networks that use EAP authentication)

  3. Basem says:

    Ahmad, The E61 is a good combo with the features you listed, its even GPS ready, providing you get a Bluetooth (preferably that is) GPS receiver, it sports a multiple of push-mail applications, including Blackberry, compared to the probably dull pull-mail apps you’ve already used for mobile email.

    Now, if it’s mobile email you want then wait for the launch of Blackberry courtesy of XPress, but since you have already mentioned you’re not willing to pay extra for an unsubsidized handset, that’s a barrier no one can over come!

    Yet Blackberry is a synonym of mobile email application, it actually led (& still) the way in that regard (it’s tough on spam too). In the US, corporate users have a separate Blackberry device (no voice) along their mobile phone… it’s that practical!

    On the other hand, Motorola are releasing the Moto Q, windows based devise (also with a full keyboard) poised to be the blackberry killer, it’s worth the wait, plus you skip the early-adaptors pitch of paying a premium & give some time for competition to burn one another.

    On a side note, you can combat spam by switching to a .jo domain, most .com’s get easily picked up by spammers.

  4. Y dont u go with Sony Ericsson? P990i? Some ppl just hate dealing with SE, but SE is good, and the phone has all the features u said u need: Full Keyboard,WiFi,Smratphone but not Symbian + a 2 MP camera. BUT the price is more than 500$ i guess.

  5. Hussein says:

    i believe if you wait till the Apple release their phone device it will be much better.. for me i’m not a Nokia oriented.. i dont recommend thier phones or thir OS even! (symbian), want a camera phone go for SonyEricsson K800, want a smart phone go for SonyEricsson W950 (without a camera) or imate, O2, eTen…..etc.

    ahmad the iPhone is coming.. just wait!

  6. Since I saw the ad as well, I was surprised, reason because it is a totally new way for smart phones by Nokia other than the large horizantal flip known in the communicator series..

    I read an article few days ago in blog about the next “Blackberry killer”. I think you might find it interesting that there are many similar mobiles now in the market..

    For me, I think I will keep waiting for my dream phone in a hope that it will be released soon (it had more than 6 months delay).

  7. Humeid says:

    Guys.. you are ALL TRULY GREAT!. Thanks for the in depth advice. I will go and have a look at this phone to test it. Kepp the comments coming though. Thanks again for all this great help.

  8. I’m sorry I don’t know much about the phone, but about Apple mail filter use SpamSieve I tried it it’s great.


  9. Irshaid says:

    ADVICE … Wait till the i-teq bond PDA comes out . A great pice 6 asome feature . a firend of mine @ virgin mega sote dubai tried it & advised me to get it he says that with any wireless service on the battery lasts for a good 6 hr.

  10. Imad says:

    The lack of camera these days is becoming a deal breaker. Does anyone know if this phone has a proper shpreedsheet application like Excel? Can it open excel files?
    Re SE, the only reason I would get an SE phone is because of the sony memory stick slot. All my cameras are sony, and now my laptop is a sony, so it’s all compatible… no need for USB connection, just stick it in anywhere you want. It’s really cool to have a tiny tiny storage device that goes into your phone, camera and PC.

  11. vistaman says:

    I suggest going for the sonyEricsson p990:

    I owned the P800, P900 and I have been very happy with it. The only problem is that its not out yet.

  12. Nidal says:

    As most point out, if you are after using your phone with other devices, or need a good camera go for a Sony.

    As for spam … hummm ..I came to the same conclusion regarding filters they are no good… I went for a simple solution for mobile email…. have a separate account which only receives email from a predefined list…. this works well for me… not sure who much of a compromise it would be for you thou…

  13. NiChiLeMei says:

    I have used the device now for over a month and really like it. I think it is the best smartphone I have ever used. I switched from a Treo 650 and a Blackberry to a Nokia E61. I posted some of my thoughts about it here:

  14. Hong Kong- Nokia today announced the grand opening of the first Nokia Flagship Store in Asia. Located on Russell Street, Causeway Bay, the Nokia Flagship Store is prominently positioned in one of the most prestigious shopping districts in Hong Kong. In addition to showcasing the complete portfolio of Nokia products and services, the Flagship Store allows customers to fully experience cutting-edge mobile technology in a comfortable, stylish and interactive environment. The first Nokia Flagship store was opened in the Moscow, Russia in December 2005. Nokia aims to open 18 Nokia Flagship Stores in the “shopping capitals” — high-traffic urban settings in major markets worldwide.

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