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Nokia 6151 review: Nokia 6151

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The Good Long battery life. Good call quality. Cheap 3G handset.

The Bad Small display. Cramped navigational pad.

The Bottom Line It’s certainly not the thinnest or flashiest phone around, but if you value long talks, the odd happy snap and occasional Web browsing, the price is certainly right.

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8.0 Overall

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Mobile phones have changed a lot in the last five years. Colour screens used to be a novelty afforded only on the premium models which featured all the bells and whistles. The usual tech commoditisation kicked in and next thing we knew everyone had Bluetooth, colour screens, and MP3 players.

Nokia has long been the most dominant player in the mobile space, and as a result has taken a few more risks -- (What were they thinking?) -- than the other brands, but without compromising the sensible side of their mobile handset range.

While they continue to pump out the latest in style and innovation as is the case with their new Nokia 6300, they've also embraced the grassroots users who really just want a phone to make and receive phone calls. Not a huge ask right?

Features
In typical Nokia style, they've managed to combine the most basic phone functions, but have also crammed in 3G connectivity, Bluetooth, a 1.3 megapixel camera, expandable memory and a generous amount of battery life to keep you on the go between power point hops.

At only 1.3 megapixels the camera seems a bit dated compared to the Nokia 6300's 2-megapixel offering, although it's still ample for happy snaps at family events. Don't expect digital SLR quality photos, with images up to a maximum resolution of 1,280 x 960, but they are enough for a desktop wallpaper or the odd print out.

The 6151 features Nokia's S40 interface, a little different from your traditional single page menu system. The icons scroll vertically rather than horizontally, and while it's not a bad system, we did find ourselves doing laps of the menu to check all the options because you can't see all the sub menus in one go. Our other big gripe is with the navigation button, sitting perilously close to the number two key and on more than one occasion was accidentally bumped when attempting to scroll down lists. Users with fat fingers have been warned.

That said, the number keys are comfortable to use and fairly evenly spaced, making entering phone numbers or SMSing nice and easy.

Design
The handset has a reasonable 30MB of shared internal memory for your photos, messages, video files and music, although shutterbugs may want to look at purchasing either a 1 or 2GB MicroSD card lest you forever be uploading your favourites to your PC. This may not be a bad idea either; as the phone's display isn't the most vibrant we've seen. At 128 x 160 pixels it's also quite small for a 3G handset, and should you wish to use it for high-speed Web browsing via the WCDMA support, you may find it simply can't display as much as the 240 x 330 pixel display found on even the Nokia 6300 slimline handset.

Although the 6151 is primarily designed for phone calls with features like MP3 and camera tacked on for goodwill, the handset does support Flight Mode, turning off the radio and letting you use it as an mp3 player on plane trips. It also supports a wide range of file formats. In addition to MP3 it includes M4A, AAC, eAAC+ and WMA audio, meaning you should be able to use it with protected WMA content from online music stores. When you get sick of your MP3s there's always the option to switch to radio, using the integrated FM tuner.

The phone also supports Push to Talk (PTT) technology via your carrier's network, allowing you to use the phone as a glorified walky-talky or for broadcasting messages to a fleet of users. You'll need to pay a monthly charge on top of your regular fee to use it, but if you speak with friends or clients with PTT capable handsets, you could save yourself a bit of money by PTTing them for a quick chat or organising a conference call.

The 6151 is a tri-band GSM/EDGE 900/1800/1900MHz handset meaning you're able to use it in multiple countries provided you have global roaming enabled by your service provider.

Performance
If battery life is your biggest concern, it's tough to go past the 6151, and while Nokia is quoting 10 days of standby, we found the battery status bar unmoved  even after three days of the odd phone call, SMSing and menu browsing. If that's not enough, there's also the option to purchase an additional 970mAh (BP-6M) battery for AU$90 if you like the flexibility of travelling without carrying your charger.

Call clarity was spot on with only minor interference, and as you'd expect for a phone designed to make and receive calls, this handset will do the trick very well.

It's certainly not the thinnest or flashiest phone around, but if you value long talks, the odd happy snap and occasional Web browsing, the price is certainly right.

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