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Whilst not the nicest looking of phones the Nokia 5140i does its job. If like me you tend to give your phone a hard time then this may be the model for you. It has rubber coating on the side of the phone and at the top. Strangely it doesn't have any on the back which makes it a bit weaker. Regardless of this mine still stood up to the challenge. I dropped this from all different places at all different heights and the phone lasted me 6 years before I went out and bought a nicer phone.
The phone has internet which is handy for checking simple web pages but don't ever expect the performance of an iPod or Blackberry. Then again if you did expect that type of performance from this phone you would be an idiot and should just buy an iPhone instead. The battery life is really good probably because the phone is rather low tech. However it does have lots of little features like a fitness coach workout app, compass, noise reader and light.
Not only is it very durable but if someone were to try and mug you they probably wouldn't bother nicking your phone as its not a sleek new model. One other thing whilst travelling that was really useful is having the compass on the phone. Not only did this help me find my way back to my hostel on numerous occasions but also win a few bets with people about which way was North :)
I found the phone was put to its best use when I went travelling. It is a Tri-Band phone meaning I could take it most places and pop in a sim card wherever I was and call home easily.
Though a bit of an aged model now this is still a good phone particularly for those going travelling who don't want to lose an expensive model.
The Nokia 5140i was part of the Nokia 5000 active range and was introduced in 2005. The phone was a minor upgrade from the Nokia 5140 and the 5140i features a VGA camera. The 5140i was designed to be hard wearing, waterproof, dirtproof and reliable.
My nokia 5140i was a solid black colour, with a nokia logo to the top of the front cover and a nokia logo indented into the back cover. The phone cover essentially consists of 3 parts, a top half, a bottom half and a rubber waterproof keypad. All three sections fitted together to produce a relatively waterproof phone. The phone although now dated in appearance looks solid and quite professional and does not look bad considering it's about 6 years old now. Phone covers were available in a number of colours including orange, blue and green as well as the standard full black colour. In case you may wonder, there is a circle with a bubble in the top left hand corner of the phone, this is a spirit level to determine if something is flat or angled and was put there to appeal to builders. The phone weighs about 100 grams, is about 10 cm in length and has a thickness of about 2.5cm. The phone is not small by any means, but it certainly isn't too big and is a good size for the builder or athletic individual. The actual phone casing under the cover is grey, with a tight waterproof attachment that seals the battery in place should it be exposed to water. The screen is full colour but is quite small and has a pretty poor backing light in bright sun, so much so that the screen is hard to read. The phone has rubbery sides at the bottom whilst the top half is made from plastic. I believe the rubbery sides at the bottom was put there to increase grip and reduce the likelihood of it falling from your hand.
Here is where the phone really shines, it was one of the most durable and tough phones I have ever owned. I have dropped the phone numerous times and sometimes quite hard and it always worked perfectly after it. I can not vouch for the waterproofing of the phone, but it certainly got wet in the rain and fell in a small puddle once, but worked great even after all of that. I would be interested to see how it would fare in a river, but it looks solidly built and waterproof if ever a mobile phone was. The phone is quite light but the casing is very hard and is made from good quality plastic. I never noticed any software glitches in the phone either and all of my calls were made crystal clear in after years of usage. It is an interesting fact, but I believe this phone was featured on the UK channel 4 program, the gadget show. Here it was put through tests to check its reliability, I heard it was frozen in a block of ice, then defrosted again. It was then checked to see if it would work and it did so perfectly I think. I would certainly agree with this, as the phone seemed indestructible provided the casing was tight and not damaged, probably one of Nokia's most durable phones ever designed in my opinion.
The Nokia 5140i certainly could not compete with today's modern phones and all there features and apps but the 5140i certainly had a good deal of basic features considering it was made in 2005. The phone has a rather poor VGA camera, but a camera nonetheless which its predecessor the Nokia 5140 did not have. The phone has a number of interesting features such as a torch/flashlight, a compass and a thermometer. I never found the thermometer to work very well but the torch and the compass came in handy and were worthy features. As the 5140i was designed for sports people, like myself, it had some good features like stopwatch, countdown timer, sports fitness application where you can record your weight lifting numbers, jogging times, weekly workout schedule. The phone does not have Bluetooth, but it does have a primitive WAP internet feature which I never really used. The phone has speed dialling, predictive text, a modest size phone book for a phone of 2005, conference calling, some pretty poor games and a feature which let you "push to talk" and accept multiple calls at the same time from this. This idea never really caught on despite their efforts. Overall the phone has a good set of basic features and some interesting ones like the compass and torch but a lack of Bluetooth, a good easy to use MP3 player, and modern internet browsing really let the phone down compared to its modern competitors of today like the Blackberry.
The battery was a Nokia BL-5B, which lasted about 3 days with moderate usage, this fares quite well with today's phones, such as the LG touch screen which has a battery life of about a day!. However, for a 2005 phone, the battery life was quite low compared to the Nokia 3310 and 3510i. I now use a Nokia 6303i and its battery lasts about twice as long. So overall, a standard battery life but nothing to brag about it, it certainly could be better.
The signal quality was quite good on the phone, similar to an 8310. That said, if you put your fingers near to the top of the phone, the signal decreases almost entirely. I think this must have been the area where Nokia put the aerial, which was a bit silly in my opinion since most people hold a phone near to the top. If you held it to not block of the aerial reception, you get good signal though and the clarity of my calls were always pretty good.
I paid over £100 for the phone, which was with a network contract package and upgrade too. The phone was quite expensive especially as today you can get good phones really cheaply as the price of electronics and telecommunications has decreased from late 90's to early 2000's. For the durability the price was quite good value for money and lasted years, but for over a £100 a good few years ago I did expect more features and Bluetooth. The phone is not produced by Nokia now, but you can buy refurbished and used Nokia 5140i's for around £30 to £60 on Amazon and eBay.
The phone did not have many drawbacks if you were after a reliable, solidly made mobile phone. If you were after a phone with variety and features then it would disappoint. That said, the keypad was hard to press since it was rubbery and waterproof, this is good for waterproofing needs but for texting it was pretty hard as the keys were sometimes unresponsive. Another problem could be the screen, it had good colour and clarity but was really small. In bright sunlight outside, the phone was difficult to read and see and I think a better backlight could be implemented. The camera is VGA quality, which was ok for 2005 but was very poor by today's standards. I often found the camera fuzzy and of really poor clarity and sharpness. A lack of Bluetooth is a major concern for the phone too, coupled with a primitive WAP internet system, the usability of the phone was pretty low.
To conclude, this was a good durable phone which was virtually indestructible. The phone looked quite good for a 2005 Nokia active series product but looks large, cumbersome and dated now. The phone had great basic functions if you were into sports or hiking or construction and had no need for quality cameras, Bluetooth, good internet Apps and games etcetera. My phone lasted years and with its appearance on the gadget show program, I would certainly say it's one of the most durable phones ever created. However, a lack of a good camera, poor signal reception at times, lack of a good quality easy to use MP3 player, no Bluetooth and poor games, as well as a satisfactory at best battery life, this phone certainly has its downsides too, if your after something packed with features. You can still pick these phones up today in refurbished condition, if you're after just a basic durable phone for work or to take running, then this could definitely be the phone for you if your after a modern phone then look elsewhere.
© Revo9 (2011)
*Note, I am both a member of Ciao and Dooyoo.co.uk under the same username of Revo9*
DO NOT DROP THIS PHONE ON ITS BACK!!! It will likely break when dropped from modest heights (1-2ft). It has no rubberised protection on its back. I broke my screen this way, and another 5140i owner told me he similarly broke his speakerphone. It is not as durable as you might expect, and from my experience, has poor warranty support by Nokia.
The buttons are fiddly and small, particularly the on/off button. The screen is too dark to read when it is not backlit. The operating system is horrible to use. The thermometer is so slow to react, it will measure the temperature in you pocket for 15 minutes after you take it out. The earpieces aren't well designed to fit human ears.
Leaving in your pocket without first locking the keypad will likely send the last picture you took to someone in your address book - which can lead to possible embarrassment.