The Nokia 2610's feature set is as simple as its design. You won't find a lot of fancy extras here, but that's perfectly fine for many users. The 300-contact phone book has room in each entry for five phone numbers, an e-mail address, a Web address, a company name and job title, a formal name, a nickname, a street address, a birthdate, and notes. Social butterflies won't be satisfied with just 300 contacts, but the SIM card holds an additional 250 names. You can pair contacts with a photo for caller ID purposes, but only callers groups can be assigned one of the 10 polyphonic ringtones.
Other features include a vibrate mode, text and multimedia messaging, an alarm clock, a stopwatch, a timer, a calculator, a notepad, a to-do list, and a calendar. More advanced offerings include a voice recorder, a speakerphone, a unit converter, and an expense manager (a simple budgeting tool).
You can personalize with a variety of screen savers and color themes, as well as tones. You can get more options and more ringtones with the WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser. Gamers get a decent selection of Java (J2ME) titles including Tetris, Glamour Pinball, Pac-Man and Platinum Sudoku. There's also an application called Coin Flipper that will do a mock coin toss for the perpetually undecided.
We tested the dual-band (GSM 850/1900) 2610 in San Francisco using Cingular service. Call quality was decent for the most part. Voices sounded natural, and there was quite enough volume. Callers reported similar conditions, though they could tell we were using a cell phone. At times we experienced a fair amount of static, but it didn't happen so frequently that it became overwhelming. Speakerphone calls were mostly satisfactory, though callers could hear us only when we were speaking next to the phone. Normally we're not a big fan of dual-mode GSM phones, as they are useless for getting service outside the United States.
The Nokia 2610 has a promised battery life of four hours talk time and 12.5 days standby time. That's a bit less then we're used to from a basic GSM phone, but we did manage to get around 8 hours of talk time in our tests. According to FCC radiation tests, the 2610 has a digital SAR rating of 0.56 watt per kilogram.