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Nokia 6315i (Verizon Wireless) review: Nokia 6315i (Verizon Wireless)

The 1.3-megapixel camera takes pictures in five resolutions (1,280x960; 640x480; 320x240; 176x144; and 160x120) and comes with a 3-, 5-, or 10-second self-timer; brightness and white-balance controls; landscape and portrait modes; three color effects; and three shutter sounds, plus a silent option. There's also a flash and a 2X digital zoom, though it's unusable at the highest resolution. And if you're ever lost in the dark, the flash provides a meager amount of light. The video camera records clips in one resolution (176x144) with sound and at 15 frames per second. The flash and the zoom are usable here too, and you can adjust the brightness and white balance. Clips are limited to a short 15 seconds. Once you're done with your work, you can save it to the 6315i's internal memory--it comes with 21.5MB of shared space--but you're better off using a Micro SD card. Despite being somewhat blurry, photo quality was average for a 1.3-megapixel camera. Colors were fine, but objects were a bit fuzzy.

The 6315i had average photo quality.

As an EV-DO phone, the 6315i supports the full range of Verizon's 3G services including the V Cast video service and the V Cast music store. The music player's interface is standard for all phones from the carrier that support the music store. You also have the option to purchase a variety of Verizon applications including VZ Navigator and Backup Assistance and a host of alternative services such as Vindigo MovieGoer and Accuweather. And of course Verizon's Get it Now Internet service has even more programming choices. There are no included games, but you can always buy titles via the WAP 2 wireless Web browser; just remember that Verizon uses BREW instead of Java. You can personalize the 6315i with a variety of wallpapers, screensavers, and sounds, or you can buy more options if you want them.

We tested the dual-band (CDMA 800/1900; EV-DO) 6315i in San Francisco using Verizon Wireless service. Call quality was decent overall. We could hear callers plainly, and though they knew we were using a cell phone, they didn't report any problems. Volume was fine as well, but we did hear some static at the highest sound levels. It's not enough to be bothersome, but it was noticeable nonetheless. On the other hand, we didn't get any interference from other electronic devices. Speakerphone quality was good on our end, and though it was loud enough, it's best if you keep the speaker pointed toward you. Callers had more trouble hearing us, though, unless we were in a quiet setting. Calls with a Bluetooth headset were satisfactory as well.

Verizon's coverage remained strong throughout our test area, and we received strong EV-DO reception even in a subway station. The 3G network made Web browsing sufficiently zippy, and games downloaded in less than 30 seconds.

Multimedia performance didn't quite measure up on the 6315i. Music quality in particular was unimpressive. Not only did it sound too brassy, but the lack of stereo speakers doesn't help the situation. A stereo wired headset (not included) helped a bit, but still we weren't wowed. Keep in mind that you will need Verizon's Music Essentials pack ($29) to use the player fully, and that the 6315i does not have a stereo Bluetooth profile. Music download time was excruciatingly slow--it took 3 minutes, 15 seconds to download a 3.7MB song. Streaming videos were a bit better, but still quite pixilated and jerky. On the upside the 6315i paused to rebuffer just once in a few videos.

The Nokia 6315i has a promised talk time of 3.8 hours and a promised standby time of 10 days. Our tests showed a talk time of 4 hours and 3 minutes. We also managed to get an MP3 playback time of 11 hours and 37 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the 6315i has a digital SAR rating of 1.37 watts per kilogram.

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