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Nokia 5140 review: Nokia 5140

The most memorable goodies on the 5140 go hand in hand with the mobile's sturdy form factor. There's a thermometer (in both Celsius and Fahrenheit), a stopwatch, a countdown timer, a decibel meter, and a tiny flashlight that will do in a pinch. There's also a compass, and the miniscule leveler bubble on the front face will help in calibration. Though fun, the compass and the flashlight aren't necessarily useful, so we doubt they will appeal to many people. Also, the thermometer's accuracy depended on how close you hold the phone to your body.

The VGA camera wasn't the most user-friendly we've seen. You can take pictures in 640x480 or 176x144 resolution and select from three quality settings. There's also a night mode, a self-timer, and a multishot option. There is no zoom or adjustable brightness setting, however, and the only shutter-sound choices are on and off. The Nokia records video with or without sound, but you can't edit the clips in any way. When finished, you can send your work via a data cable, the infrared port, or a multimedia message. You can also save shots and footage to the 5140's 4MB of shared memory.

The low-resolution camera on the 5140 produced poor quality shots.

Like the Nokia 5100, the 5140 has an FM radio with 12 station presets. Remember, though, that you'll need a headset to act as the antenna. Another oddity was the handset's fitness coach, which gives you a personalized exercise program after you plug in your height, weight, and so on. True to form, the handset has one Java (J2ME) fitness-themed game called Adventure Race, though more are available for download. The 5140 can be customized with a variety of wallpaper, sounds, colors, and menu styles. Alternatively, you can get more options from Nokia's Web site.

We tested the triband (GSM 850/1800/1900; GPRS/EDGE) Nokia 5140 in San Francisco on T-Mobile's network. Call quality was good, with callers only occasionally being able to tell we were on a cell phone. We also made calls through the included stereo headset and encountered few problems. We especially liked the comfort of the headset--it fits over both ears--and the controls, which allow you to toggle between the radio and normal and PTT calls. On the speakerphone, audio quality was somewhat patchy, but that's to be expected. We wanted to test the push-to-talk capability, but at present, T-Mobile does not support that feature.

Battery life was admirable. We managed six hours of talk time on a single charge, beating the rated time of five hours. For standby time, we met the promised time of 10 days. According to the FCC, the Nokia 5140 has a digital SAR rating of 1.26 watts per kilogram.

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