Two Days With The Nokia 6131 (6126)

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This week I’ve been using the Nokia 6131 that I purchased last summer. This is a quad band GSM phone that I believe was originally available in Europe and then was released here in the US as the 6126 (I’m pretty sure these two phones are the same model, please correct me if I am wrong).

This model is a small flip phone that has a nice rubberized Black case with shiny and matte Silver accents. This is not a smartphone, it’s just a nice feature phone. Some of the main features are Bluetooth, 1.3mp camera, dual display, Bluetooth, MicroSD slot` and one-hand push-to-open feature.

The outside display is capable of 262,144 colors. It will display the wallpaper of your choice until it becomes idle, and then it will display the time on a mono background. The interior display is capable of 16 million colors. It’s a bright vivid display, but I found it to be hard to view in direct sunlight.

On the right side of the phone you’ll see two small buttons. One is the power button, and one is the camera launch/shutter button. If you look at the top right corner in the picture above, you’ll see the button that you can press to flip open the phone. Think Star Trek and you’ll understand how it works. Just be careful not to pinch the flesh of your hand in the hinge when it flips open. Ouchy…

The opposite side of the phone has a volume up/down rocker button.

Open the cover and you find a nice flat keyboard that has Black buttons with really good backlight. There is a 5 way nav-pad button at the top that makes it really easy to scroll through various menus.

In hand, this phone is comfortable and solid. It had not issues passing The Gadgeteer squeeze test :o) I’m not typically a fan of flip phones, but I do like the fact that I can easily shove one into my jeans pocket.

In use, I found this phone to be only a fair performer. Call volume and clarity were no issue at all, but reception was another matter. While I didn’t have any problem making calls, during my testing, I missed a couple calls and voicemails. One day my friend called me on my work phone and asked why I hadn’t call her back. I questioned her and she said she had left me a voice mail. When I checked the phone, it didn’t show either a missed call or a voice mail. I suppose that could be a carrier issue, but I’ve not had this happen with before that I recall. Then another time, I heard the voice mail beep and retrieved a message that had been sent over 30 minutes prior, but I didn’t have a missed call notice on the phone… Just one of those things that make you go hmmmmmmmm I guess.

Surfing with this phone is a little tedious given the small display and lack of a QWERTY keyboard for URL input. It will work in a pinch though, and the browser does a good job rendering (resizing) pictures.

Click on thumbnail to see full size image

The camera is average for a mobile phone. It doesn’t do all that well with close ups, so don’t expect to use it to capture info in a magazine while browsing at a newstand (am I the only one that uses my phone to snap magazine info?).

The Nokia 6131 is a nice phone as far as size. I’ll be keeping it around for those days when I need to keep a phone in my pocket. I’ll just have to keep an eye on some of the reception problems to see if it’s my carrier or the phone…

14 thoughts on “Two Days With The Nokia 6131 (6126)”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. Julie,

    Just curious – when you switch to a phone like this that doesn’t have much in the way of PDA functions – what are you doing for your “main brain”? I would think that switching from a Treo (where for me all my appointments, contacts, and other info is stored) to a “basic” phone without that information would be very difficult.

    Just wondering how you manage that aspect.

  3. Mike:

    You’ve hit the nail on the head as to why I let all these phones accumulate without doing full reviews on them. I feel lost without a smartphone, so I would goof around with a new feature phone for a few hours and then quickly go back to my everyday smartphone.

    These past few weeks, that I’ve been trying to do a ‘2 days with’ review, I’ve been carrying my Treo 650 and Treo 750 with me too. :o)

  4. Mary Beth Figgins

    My personal feeling is that I prefer a pda and a phone separately. Yes, it would be nice to carry one item however I haven’t seen a smartphone that has a screen as large as my T3 and isn’t too bulky to hold to my ear as a phone. Most smartphones/flat phones just don’t fit comfortably in my hand. Also I sometimes need to refer to things in the pda while I am on the phone.

    The not having calls show up is something I have a problem with now so I think it might be a carrier thing. My husband just called to see if I had tried to get him because he had 2 missed calls and I was listed as the most recent received calls (I hadn’t called him).

  5. Beth:

    Who is your carrier? Mine is Cingular. Maybe they have a problem this week…

    I can see your point about having both a phone and PDA. At times I also feel that way. But I seem to migrate more often to just wanting 1 device over 2 devices. So far the Treo series (650 or 750) work the best for me as far as size and features.

  6. Oh this is actually my first comment on the site though I have been a reader for a while.

    Anyways it seems like a really great phone. I personally am a big feature phone person and stopped using my Sony Ericsson K750 only because I moved back to Houston and it wasn’t quad-band…
    Would you be giving this one away any time soon?

  7. Shahyan:

    I actually may change my mind and give it up for adoption. It is almost a year old, I need to get a few new feature phones to look at. Out with the old and in with the new as they say. :o)

  8. Oh thats nice to know. I still have a chance in that case.

    But if you need some suggestions for some nice feature phones, I may be only 16 but I have some good ideas. Sony Ericsson K790a and the Samsung D900 are two that I’ve used before and are really nice. If you’re looking for a slim one, the Samsung does a great job and has a good macro mode for magazine snapshots. They both have nice 3.2 mp cameras as well.

    Well I’ll be looking out for any giveaways

  9. You are carrying your 650 AND 750?

    So what happened w/ the 680? I read your review and seem to remember you said it wasn’t worth upgrading from a 650 to get the ’80 – but guess I thought you were keeping it. Did it go back to Cingy?

  10. Mike:

    Oops! I’ve been so used to typing 650 that it’s embedded into my sub conscience ;o) I meant 680. Sorry for the confusion…

  11. Hi Julie,
    I think you’re issues with calls and vmail are related to your carrier, I bought the same phone for my girlfriend and she loves it and has had no issues.. I bought another one as my backup too!

    Having fun in Ozzz!


  12. Yes, that seems to be true as today I’m using another phone and am having similar issues. :o[ It’s making me grumpy…

  13. Hi Julie,

    Have you run out of phones for your “2 days with” series?

    If you’re looking for suggestions you should take a look at the Nokia E90, available in retaili in a few weeks but already in the hands of a fair few uber-reviewers like yourself.


  14. Xerxes:

    No, I haven’t quite run out yet. I have a few more to write about, but just haven’t had the time lately. I’ll get back into it soon.

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