The Bottom Line
A well-balanced phone with an above average design quality.
Sturdy flip phone, looks like it could last years
Above average battery life
Very Good speakerphone, though only half duplex
The 4-way navigation key is not the best, but quite acceptable
Speakerphone and earset volume a bit low
Technology support: GSM
Built-in VGA camera
Small at only 3.42 ounces and 3.35 inches high
Guide Review - Nokia 6101 Review
My job should be to find the bad sides of the Nokia 6101 so you don't have to live with them if you elect to buy this phone but my job is difficult today. The Nokia 6101 is a surprisingly good phone with few failures in the design. The camera gives, in my opinion, above average quality pictures, the design is luxurious and sturdy, the keypad works well, the main display is crisp and neat.
Well... Ok, there are some details that caught my attention. For instance, I've seen better 4-way navigation keys: this one is a bit small and a big finger can mess with the surrounding keys. The speakerphone volume isn't among the loudest either so in a noisy car or work area, that may just not be enough. But, other than that, frankly, I see the Nokia 6101 as a pretty good product. Sound quality is not perfect but it didn't sound to me as bad as what other reviewers report.
6101 sports a more pleasant style, with smoother angles and a more standard flip-phone look. The black and silver color scheme looks attractive, and the compact and lightweight size--3.35 by 1.77 by 0.95 inches and 3.4 ounces--makes the 6101 easily portable. Overall, the phone is solidly constructed, with a stubby external antenna.
Dominating the front face of the Nokia 6101 is a large, 1.2-inch-diagonal external display that shows the date, the time, battery life, signal strength, and photo caller ID (where available). With support for 4,096 colors, the screen is sufficiently bright, and you can choose different wallpaper or screensavers. Although the display goes almost dark when the backlighting is off, you can change the backlighting time to your choosing. Above the display is a lens for the VGA camera. There's no flash, but the external display acts as a convenient viewfinder for self-portraits. Completing the outside of the handset are volume rockers on the left spine and the right spine.
The inside of the Nokia 6101 isn't quite as elegant. The 2-inch-diagonal internal display is large enough but has a decidedly low-res and washed-out appearance. Despite supporting 65,536 colors, the picture was neither sharp nor vivid in our tests. In fact, the screen made playing games and viewing photos somewhat tedious. Still, it's fine for viewing the simple menus, which are available in two styles. You can change the backlighting time and the font color, but you can't alter the font size or adjust the brightness or contrast. We also aren't fans of the navigation controls. The buttons are a good size, but they're slick, causing us incorrect key presses on a couple of occasions. You'll find a five-way toggle that acts as a shortcut to four user-defined functions, two soft keys, and the Talk and End buttons. In a departure from most Nokia cell phones, where the power button is located on the phone's exterior, the Nokia 6101's End button turns the phone on and off instead. Also, we were glad to see that the OK key opens the menu in standby mode as opposed to the Web browser, as is the case with many T-Mobile phones.
We had better luck with the backlit keypad buttons. Although they're quite slippery, they're easy to use due to their large size. They're also raised just above the surface of the phone for dialing by feel.
The Nokia 6101 has a respectable range of features that offer a broad range of functionality without getting too complicated. You get a 500-name phone book with room in each entry for five phone numbers, three addresses (e-mail, Web, and street), and miscellaneous notes; the SIM card holds an additional 250 names. The 6101 lets you organize contacts into groups and pair them with a photo for caller ID. The phone supports MP3 ring tones, but it comes with just eight polyphonic tones that can be matched only with caller groups and not individual callers. Other options include a vibrate mode, text and multimedia messaging, voice dialing, an alarm clock, notes, a calculator, a calendar, a to-do list, a stopwatch, a countdown timer, and PC syncing for your calendar and contacts. A great feature included is the ability to send voicemails in a multimedia message; you can simply record a message and zap it to a friend in a few seconds. We're also pleased to see a speakerphone and an infrared port, and although there's no Bluetooth, we wouldn't normally expect it on a midrange phone.
Enjoy the moment with the Nokia 6101 phone. Record a voice message - the new intuitive Nokia Xpress audio messaging system makes it easy - and send it straight to all your friends. Instant contact. The external display also acts as a viewfinder so you can take self-portraits - alone or with your friends - while the internal display lets you take "normal" shots. Instant memories. Push to talk lets you talk one-on-one or to a group with the touch of a button. Press the button once and everyone can hear you talk - release the button and hear others talking back to you.