Nokia 6101 review: Nokia 6101

The Nokia's 6101's VGA camera took subpar shots compared with other low-end camera phones. Colors looked washed out and fuzzy, and editing options are slim. You can take photos in only two resolutions (640x480 and 80x96) and from three quality settings, with additional features limited to a night mode and a self-timer; there's no zoom, flash, or color effects. The video recorder takes clips with sound at either 15 seconds in length or whatever will fit on the available 4.4MB of memory.

The 6101 has average photo quality for a camera phone.

An additional multimedia feature on the Nokia 6101 is its FM radio. You need a headset to act as an antenna, but the phone doesn't include one. You can personalize that handset with a variety of screensavers, wallpaper, color themes, alert sounds, and ringer profiles. If you want more options and ring tones, you can download them through the WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser and T-Mobile's T-zones Internet service. The 6101 comes with a demo version of three games--Canal Control, Solitaire Deluxe, and Tetris--but you can always get more titles if you want them. In comparison, T-Mobile usually gives you at least one full game.

We tested the triband (GSM 850/1800/1900) Nokia 6101 in San Francisco using T-Mobile's service. Call quality was up to usual Nokia standards with admirable clarity and volume, and we encountered little static from other electronic equipment. Callers could tell we were using a cell phone, but they didn't report any serious problems. Although speakerphone calls suffered from diminished quality, they still were loud enough to hear clearly. Be advised, however, that you can activate the speaker only after you've made a call.

The Nokia 6101's batteries lasted a long time; we coaxed 7.5 hours of talk time on a single charge, almost double the rated time of 4 hours. Standby time was also excellent: We fell short of the promised 14 days but still got a respectable 8. According to FCC radiation tests, the Nokia 6101 has a digital SAR rating of 0.68 watts per kilogram.

What you'll pay

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