Nokia 5100 review: Nokia 5100

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A small flashlight at the top is a unique feature.

The built-in speakerphone provides acceptable audio quality on both ends. The 5100 supports Java (J2ME) for application and game downloads over a GPRS network. The 300-entry contact list lets you add such details as e-mail, Web, and street addresses. Along with such standard fare as a calendar and a to-do list, the Nokia 5100 provides some interesting offerings. A vibrate feature and 31 ring tones are included, with more available for download.

You can listen to the built-in FM radio through the headset or the speakerphone. However, you'll still need to attach the headset because it acts as an antenna for the radio. The 5100 also includes a stopwatch, a sound meter, and--most cruelly--a calorie calculator.

A thermometer displays the temperature of your surroundings (you can select either Fahrenheit or Celsius). Holding the Up scroll key activates a flashlight at the top of the unit when in standby mode, and pressing the key twice will run the flashlight continuously. Though it's no replacement for a full-size flashlight, this model will do in a pinch.

We tested the triband (GSM 900/1800/1900) world phone in the Chicago area and found inconsistent call quality on the AT&T Wireless network. Though we experienced few dropouts, we frequently noticed static, and callers often didn't sound loud enough, even with the volume at its maximum level. Callers said we sounded reasonably clear, though most could tell we were using a cell phone.

As for battery life, we coaxed 3.5 hours of talk time, short of Nokia's rating of 5 hours but still pretty good. We beat the company's standby rating of 10 days by 2 days.

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