Nokia 2115i Shorty review: Nokia 2115i Shorty

One of the more fascinating functions included in the Nokia 2115i Shorty is SongID. Dial *43, then when prompted, simply hold the phone next to a speaker so that it can "hear" a song for 15 seconds. The connection automatically ends when the system has heard enough. For $1 each, Virgin text-messages you back the song title and artist. Virgin correctly identified not only "Love Is the Tender Trap" by Frank Sinatra but also "(Who Discovered) America?" by Ozomatli (although it misspelled the band's name), each within about 10 seconds.

Like its Virgin Mobile compatriot, the Kyocera K10 Royale , the Nokia 2115i Shorty includes a built-in flashlight. However, you must press and hold the star key (*) to activate and turn it off. The Shorty's light is dimmer and more diffused than the Royale's, although it's still quite handy at finding buried objects in purses or keyholes in the dark. Three games--Snake II, Kart Racing, and Space Impact II--are included in the 2115i Shorty, but with only up/down keys and a monochrome screen, they have limited entertainment value. You can personalize the mobile with a variety of wallpaper, and you can download more options if you wish.

We tested the triband (CDMA 800/1900; AMPS 800) Nokia 2115i Shorty--which, like all Virgin Mobile phones, uses Sprint's PCS network--while wandering about Manhattan. Voice quality was generally good with plenty of volume, as long as you keep the finicky earpiece in position; if the earpiece is slightly off your canal's center, you'll barely hear a thing. Because the phone's mic doesn't extend down as close to the mouth as a clamshell phone's, our callers complained of hollow or ambient noise on their end of the call. On our end, voices sounded thick but clear with occasional quavering. The sound quality for the two-way speakerphone also was warbled at best and not very loud, making it fairly useless in anything but a tomblike environment.

Even at its loudest, ringer volume is low to medium, which made it difficult to hear from a pants pocket and, depending on which ringer you pick, nearly impossible from a bag. When in a pocket, the violent vibrate alert let us know a call was coming in without hearing a ring.

Thanks to the limited juice needed by the small, monochrome screen, we got 4.5 hours of talk time compared with the rated 4.6 hours. That's perfectly acceptable, but it's still less that what we're used to from most Nokias; the 9300 smart phone lasted for 8 hours. The promised standby time is 8.8 days, but we got only 6 days in our tests. According to FCC radiation tests, the Nokia 2115i Shorty has a digital SAR rating of 0.75 watts per kilogram.

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