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Are you sick of dropping your phone and having it fall to pieces in public? If so this phone is ideal for you. Not only is the outer caes made of rubber so it'll only really break if you put some force behind it, but the case somes in half across the middle, so instead of having a front and back cover, you have a top and bottom, good or what! Then if you ever get lost, as I do oon the streets of Essex all the time ( joke) then this phone will be your lifeling, with a discreet compass on the top. The temperature is displayed on the top right hand corner of the screen and is accurate of course. It's brilliant and I love mine, I've had it for over a year, the longest I've ever had a phone through dropping it or breaking it. This phone can withstand my little brother chucking it in a cup of tea! Does someone you know have a volume control problem? If so then buy this and prove to them that they are loud!This phone really is the swiss army knife of phones. The only thing I could say against it is the buttons, they're rubbery and springy, it's difficult to get the button to *tap* if you know what I mean. It's more of a push than a tap.
Please note, this is not a technical review. Rather, it is my experiences with what I consider to be the most practical phone on the market. Take a look at the Nokia site for tech spec.
April 16th., was, as far as I was concerned the best day of the year so far. Why, you ask. Well, this was the earliest day that I could upgrade my phone from the Ericsson T630 that I swear was made by Satan Enterprises Ltd.! I hated it with a passion and seriously thought of committing insurance fraud just to get rid of the damned thing.
Now, I don't exactly look after my phone, so the replacement needed to be totally bomb proof. The only unit I could find that came anywhere close to my needs was the Nokia 5140 with its 'durable, rubber slip-on cover'. Yeah, right, I thought! Anyway, being faced with little alternative, I ordered one. It arrived next day and I fell in love immediately.
As far as I am concerned, all a phone has to do is make and receive calls, send the occasional text thing and work abroad. All phones do the first two and most the third, so I won't waffle on about these aspects. Suffice to say that the 5140 does all of them superbly. Apparently it also will send and receive emails and browse the web, neither of which I'm interested in. I imagine it'll do an awful lot more as well. (see the Nokia site)
The point of this review is to emphasise the ruggedness and durability of the the unit. So far, it's fallen off a 25 foot high roof and bounced, been through the washing machine/spin drier in my jeans pocket and actually received a text while in mid-cycle! It's been left outside overnight on several occasions, including during a serious downpour when just 2 days old. Oh, yes, and I've trodden on it a couple of times. The end result of the above is a couple of minor scratches on the screen.
Naturally, the 5140 comes with the usual phone gubbins like a charger and a manual. It also has a basic hands free thing which seems to work quite well. Stand by time is over a week with light use. Reception on O2 is excellent everywhere I've taken it so far, including high in the Sierra Nevada in Spain.
Exciting features (for me, anyway) are the built in torch (great for searching for your car keys that you've dropped at 2am!), the spirit level (makes an interesting talking point after 6 pints of Guinness) and the compass to help you home when the 6 pints have reached 10.
Ah, yes. Nearly forgot. It's also got a camera which seems to work quite well compared with my old T630. Apparently, it also takes a short video - that sounds useful!!
Nothing's perfect, including this phone. The only things I really don't like about the 5140 are the rather difficult to read screen and the fact that, unless the phone is switched on, there doesn't seem to be any confirmation when you've got the charger plugged in.
OK, so this review has been written rather light heartedly. In all seriousness, I rate this phone as essential for the likes of builders, sports men (and sports women, of course) etc. In fact, if you don't care too much about street-cred and believe that a mobile phone is a tool to be used, take a look at the Nokia 5140. I'm glad I did.
OK. Go ahead and slag this review off if you must. Just remember, this is a real-life experience, and not a technical tour de force.
Lost count of the number of phones Ive broken in the past, but this phone stands the test. Sturdy and strong, it also has the walkie talkie feature that looks set to really take off in future. If you like the outdoor life then this really is the phone for you. Theres even a digital compass so youll know youre always heading in the right direction. Bought this from FoneShop.com and they gave me (free) the Xpress-on GPS housing (a satellite positioning gizmo) so you can never have the excuse that you dont know where you are. Love it.
WHY I BOUGHT IT
My 6310i is no longer made. A phone I bought for its ease of use, GPRS, Bluetooth , Infrared, calendar and the ability to connect it to a computer and back it up, change things, write texts etc. .oh, and make calls of course :o)
I am no fashion victim and just like phones you do not notice so I found a black replacement case from eBay. Good news, it fitted. Bad news, it was loose and can fall of easily and (less importantly) its missing the spot bubble (used for levelling the phone for the compass).
COMPARED WITH 6310i
It does pretty much everything except Bluetooth (www.blueunplugged.com do an adaptor though). The rubberised keypad is a good idea, but a real pain to text with even after you have got the hang of it. Continuing with the rubber theme (oh err) the base flap is for inserting the charger and headset (latter is quite good BTW). Keeps out the water but makes it less convenient to access. The rubber hinge looks like it wont last, but even with a cheap replacement jobbie (6months later) its still working OK.
WHAT ELSE DOES IT DO
A handy feature is a torch. The amount of times I have been fiddling with my bikes and needed one .but the batteries are always dead not any more! (kind of)
The compass is an excellent idea, but is easily effected my electromagnetism and metal objects so does not work in the car
Temperature gauge .errr nice. Works. My pocket is 33 degrees dont you know.
OK, so who decided we needed a sound meter? Great for the first 5 minutes to see who has the loudest bike then you NEVER use it again.
Taking notes is handy, but you cannot set the font/text size, so get your magnifying glass at the ready
A camera of reasonable quality (640 x 480) and movie function is supplied as standard phone garnish. A pity as I would prefer mono colour and 7 days without charging! However, good photos can be taken in bright sun light while standing motionless. The motionless bit is no problem provided you pour quick drying cement over yourself.
PTT For those who do not know, go the bottom it is interesting (in my opinion).
AFTER MOANING WHAT ELSE IS GOOD
I might be behind the times but I do like the programmable GO TO feature
Calendar is more effective in navigating days
It does have a few other features that are handy, but not life changing. Usual calculator, etc.
The CASE is made for clumsy/outdoor people and I am sure you could drop it from a 1st floor window and it would carry on working. Saying that the 6310i fell out my pocket at 140mph and carried on working for 2 weeks.
THE ULTIMATE CONTRADICTION
So Nokia designed a phone for the rugged outdoors with a torch and compass .never will you get lost again until the batteries run out. Yes indeed you will be able to go into the woods, just not for very long and you must not use the camera otherwise you will have to eat your friend to stay alive.
HANDY TIP I FOUND THE OTHER DAY
When texting if you press the bottom left button twice you get smileys. If using predictive text, press and hold that same button for punctuations and press again for smileys.
AND IF YOU ARE WONDERING:
PTT (Push To Talk) This is a function that will hopefully be or already is available to the UK. Using the new GPRS (Mobile internet) data transfer system they have devised a way of using it for voice. This means possibly cheaper calls to other PTT phones. So far they have tested it from the East to West coast of the USA (thickest part I expect) and there is a half second voice delay. Not bad at all. Downside is that like the old walkie talkies you used briefly and broke as a kid, only one person can talk at a time.
I'm not normally one to join in the frantic scramble to upgrade my mobile to the latest/greates/slightly different coloured model. In fact until last weekend, I obtained a smug satisfaction from knowing that I'd had the same phone for over 2 years!!! Which is not to say that I am a particularly smug individual. Far from it, in fact. It's just that the number of phones I had managed to break before upgrading to my trusty, rubber-clad Nokia 5210 was reaching epic proportions and so my smugness was more related to the fact that I'd finally found a phone that was effectively unbreakable. The majority of phone-deaths I had experienced were usually related to some outdoors-type activity or other. Either they were dropped, squashed, soaked of frozen but one way or another, it seemed that they were destined to certain doom. So when Nokia introduced the ruggedised 5210 it seemed as though they had been carefully logging every reason I porvided along with my insurance claims with every returned phone... "it got damp on a particularly wet and windy ascent of Snowdon", "it must have got squashed at the bottom of my rucksack", "my thermos leaked", "came out of my backpack while I was riding my bike". The 5210 was the answer to my mobile prayers. It was small, light, relatively waterproof and tough as old boots. So I had no need to upgrade. Indeed, until the arrival of the new 5140, there wasn't really an alternative. So why did I upgrade if I was so well-suited to my trusty old 5210? Being a self-confessed gadget freak, it had been a real test of willpower for me to go without a latest gadget. But the poor performance (and lack of availability on my network) of the 5140s predecessor(s) had effectively left me out in the cold. I didn't want to upgrade to another phone that would break on it's first trip to the outdoors, so I sat tight. It was only a chance visit to the Nokia shop at a local shop
ping mall, that resulted in the discovery of the 5140, the replacement for the doomed 5110. A brief chat with the salesperson indicated that this could well be the phone for me... it had the same ruggedised, rubberised shell that would take the knocks. It had improved protection against moisture (the phone itself is now inside s sealed unit, inside the rubber shell. Best of all it had HUGE gadget potential. On top of the physical features that first attracted me (I've always been shallow), the 5140 also boasts a huge array of features including, but not limited to, tri-band support, an integrated camera, FM radio, Digital Compass, Thermometer and "Push-to-Talk" capability (dependant on network provider support). These add up to make it a fairly compelling package for an outdoor enthusiast anyway, but when the salesperson informed me that Nokia were releasing a GPS-enabled shell, I was sold. Imagine a phone that could tell you exactly how to get somewhere, how fast you were travelling, how far you had to go etc. It would certainly be one less piece of kit to carry about on the hills and cuold come in dead handy for everyday use as well (should you be prone to getting lost at the best of times). There are a whole load of applications that could be opened up, from relaying exact coordinates to mountain rescue teams, to finding the neares chinese restaurant AND getting turn-by-turn directions to it. But enough of the gadget-fuelled waffling... what's the phone actually like to use? In terms of it's overall appearance, it looks vaguely familiar to most other "standard" Nokia handsets and the heritage to the 5210 is obvious, with the only major change being the inclusion of a 4-way joypad type thingumabob. This new way of driving the menus confused me at first, being used to just an up/down/OK/Cancel way of working, it was odd to have to use the up/down/left/right/select/ok/cancel series of cli
cks. But I'll get used to it. While we're on the subject of the keypad, it's slightly different from the 5210 in that the keypad is a separate part of the shell, and a lot more rubbery with it. While this may be better for replacements, enhancements etc I do find it makes writing text messages a bit trickier as it's not always guaranteed that a key-press will register. Aside from that, it's the usual Nokia User interface, with standard menus for ringtones, phone settings, messages etc, etc. The screen is reasonably large although I do find it hard to read in bright sunlight and maybe not as colourful as it could be. The supplied selection of ringtones and pictures is enough to be getting on with (I only want my phone to ring anyway!) but gone are the endless hours wasted on the train playing Snake or Bantumi. Only 1 game is supplied (adventure race) and it's pretty lame but I am lead to believe that downloads are available if you so desire. In terms of applications the usual suspects are present, calculator, stopwatch, countdown timer and thermometer. There is also a soundmeter which, while interesting, I have yet to find a use for. There is a personal fitness trainer included, but I've not used it yet and so will refrain from comment aside from saying that if you are really into fitness training, you will probably already own countless heart-rate monitors and the like, which will do a much better job than this. The trusty old calendar of yore has been dragged into the 21st century and is much more functional and FINALLY supports synchronisation with Outlook etc. a feature that was sorely missed on the 5210. Calendar, Alarms, Notes and To-Do lists and a wallet are all provided to assist in organising your everyday life. In terms of other software, Nokia seem to have thought it through pretty well. The Compass claims a 1-degree accuracy which is better than a lot of other electronic compasses, and there is even a
bubble-level on the case to ensure that you're holding the phone level for an accurate reading. The software allows for the setting of a direction, allowing you to follow a bearing and it even supports automated correction for declination (you need to enter the amount, but from then on it will read true). And then there's the LED flashlight to help you find the way should you end up using it in the dark. Most of the uther features are pretty standard. The Camera supports three resolutions, high, normal and basic, with the output from high-quality mode being most acceotable! It also has three modes to enhance the way the camera operates, Standard, Portrait and Night modes as well as the abilityy to take a rapid sequence of pictures. These have, so far, produced some of the best photos I have seen from a camera phone. A 10-second timer is also available, but requires careful propping up of the phone. As well as still images the phone can also capture video (in H.263 format) at a respectable frame rate and including sound! Video compression means that storage is about 10k per second of video. The voice record function also works well and can be trigered by a handy little button on the top tight hand-side of the phone, with space for up to 10 messages, each of up to 3 minutes in length. The supplied hands-free kit is excellent, it comes as a stereo "over-the ear" type thing, with a rubberised contorl pad that incldes Push-To-Talk (PTT) controls. It's extremely comfortable and gives excelent performance when listening to the radio or on a phonecall. Not that you need the hands-free kit all the time as the phone includes a speakerphone option which also works extremely well. There is also a rather nifty "handle" for the phone that effectively straps it to the palm of your hand, meaning you don't actually have to hold on to it. I'm not convinced of the value that ths adds, but it is a novelty nothe the less. The ch
arger is one that supports voltages between 100 - 240V which is good to see, I've been caught out abroad before now when I've found that my charger only works on 240V... not that you may need the charger that often. Nokia boast a respectable 300hours standby time but this will be eaten into the more you make use of the various features (the digital compass and camera being the two biggest culprits). And that's pretty much all the main features in a nutshell... full details can be found on Nokia's website at http://www.nokia.co.uk/nokia/0,,53413,00.html I've only had it for two weeks but have come to rems with it fairly quickly and haven't had any problems with it <touch wood>. If I were asked for one gripe, it's that the snap-on cases are a lot more fiddly to take off than they used to be, but this is hardly a problem and will hopefully add to the durability of the phone. It will be taken to the Lake District in a couple of weeks for a week in the hills, after which I will know if it really is a worthy successor to the trusty old 5210. Look out for updates if you are interested and thanks for reading.