With the 6310i, Nokia's popular 6100 series takes another step forward in its evolution, and it's mostly an impressive one. While its design is unglamorous, this GSM/GPRS mobile is packed with all the latest technology that a globe-trotting, business-savvy user could want or need. The only feature it lacks is a color screen. In the next few months, Nokia will release more variations of this phone, all of which will be compatible with all the other carrier's networks, not just the GSM providers'.
The 6310i is one of Nokia's more full-figured (5.0 by 1.8 by 0.9 inches; 3.9 ounces) phones, sharing the same long body and keypad layout as its TDMA counterpart, the 6360. Like its sibling, it fits fairly easy in a pocket and is comfortable to speak on for long periods of time. In fact, the only visible difference between the two models is the 6310i's shiny champagne color.
The phone has a fairly large, backlit display (up to six lines of text) with easy-to-read fonts. Since the screen is inset slightly, it fortunately doesn't pick up the oils from your face as quickly. In addition to the working IR port on the top of the phone, there's also a Bluetooth slot. However, it doesn't have the Sony Ericsson T68i's flashing blue light to indicate that the Bluetooth connection is active. As noted, the 6310i lacks a color display, but it otherwise shines in the features department. All the standards are here, including voice-activated dialing and commands, wireless Web access, e-mail support, text and picture messaging, a 500-name phone book, a to-do list, a calendar, a calculator, a currency converter, a stopwatch, and an alarm clock. On the fun side, the phone ships with three games installed, and you can add up to 10 downloadable ring tones and five images in addition to the 35 tones and 10 picture messages already onboard.
But that's not all this workhorse has up its sleeve. Business users will appreciate the ability to record two minutes of memos and conversations, while stock-market watchers will love the included J2ME Portfolio Manager application that allows you to track your holdings. Users can download more Java apps via the high-speed data (GPRS) wireless Web access.
As noted, the 6310i has both IR and Bluetooth capabilities. We were able to seamlessly and easily pair the phone with Jabra's FreeSpeak Bluetooth headset. When Nokia's PC Suite software becomes available for this model, you'll be able to wirelessly sync your phone book, your calendar, and your to-do list via IR or Bluetooth. In terms of performance, the 6310i (GSM 900/1800/1900) world phone did well in our tests using AT&T Wireless service in the San Francisco Bay Area. We could hear callers just fine, and they said they couldn't tell we were speaking on a cell phone. Even more impressive, however, is the phone's battery life. We managed 13 days of standby time (Nokia says you can get up to 14 days) and four of the five hours of rated talk time.