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About

This is an attempt at creating a personal blog, feeding the new blogging fad. It started tonight as a silly idea. No idea where it'll go. Nowhere, probably.

Have U.S. Nokia E61 owners just gotten screwed?


It's no secret that the Nokia E61 is already one of the most popular phones Nokia has ever released. (Goes to show you how many geeks are out there.) When I first started looking at this phone, it could be had for about $385 unlocked from different vendors. Due to its popularity, prices have risen and right now $419 is the cheapest I have found. Incredible how even after 1 year of its release and the ulterior release of the E62 variant by Cingular not only has the price not dropped, but, in fact, it has climbed even higher than it was. (Not to say this phone wasn't a mobile bargain from the very beginning.)

And it is the release of the E62 that brings me to my point.

First, it was the rumor of an E61 variant for Cingular, many months ago. Then, specs started appearing all over the Internet. Back then, it was clear that the E61 was the real deal and that the E62 would be extra crippled, as it would be dual-band (as opposed to quad-band like the E61), lack UMTS, Wi-Fi, VoIP, have a 256K color screen (as opposed to the E61's 16M color screen) and other omissions typical of a U.S. carrier, Cingular in particular.

Upon the release of the final specs and eventually the actual device in Cingular stores, we have all realized these initial specs were wrong. Although the E62 does lack UMTS (which you don't get to use in the U.S., since it uses the 2100 MHz band and no U.S. carrier supports that band... yet), it does lack VoIP (which you can't use unless you're using Wi-Fi) and it does lack Wi-Fi (which is really the biggest drawback for us U.S. users, although we only get to use it in our home and/or office wireless networks and not when out and about), the phone is still quad-band and still has a 16M color screen. It also adds MiniUSB support for standardization (which replaces the usual and awkward Nokia pop-port and can be used quite often), a standard stereo headphone jack (which can be used as often as you use your phone to listen to music), vanity dialing (to make a 1-800-PROGRESSIVE type call), a better IM client (one that works as expected) and even a faster processor (which you use every day, every minute, every second)!

I don't know about the rest of the users, but I must say I feel like I was just screwed.

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  • Anonymous syntron says so:
    October 12, 2006 4:58 PM  

    I bought my Nokia E61 because of the WIFI and the VOIP support, for me these were the most important features, the rest is all gravy. I think the E62 is overpriced without WIFI. The USB charge port and the headphone port is nice, but not a deal breaker. Vanity dialing is something that can be fixed in the firmware and I don't think it's too big a deal, I can count the times I'd use this in a year on my left hand.

    Just my 2cents worth!

    Cheers! top

  • Blogger Razor1973 says so:
    October 12, 2006 6:33 PM  

    I agree that Wi-Fi is very useful, as is VoIP for some users, but most people would trade these for the ability to plug in their cool headphones, use their standard MiniUSB cable, dial 1-800-COMCAST without having to look up what the letters translate to, and connect to AIM/AOL, MSN or Yahoo! instant messengers with just a couple of clicks, all done at faster speeds than our E61.

    I feel that E62 owners lost something useful, but got something just as useful for a lot less money.

    How can the E62 be overpriced at $150 when the BlackBerry 8700, which does a lot less, is $300 from Cingular? I'd say the E61 was a bargain and the E62 is a bigger one.

    Thanks for your input. You're the second person to comment on my blog. :) top

  • Anonymous Anonymous says so:
    October 12, 2006 8:15 PM  

    You are absolutely right. I feel the same way, but I would have never been able to put it as clearly as you did. Nive blog, I have just subscribed to it!
    Please port frequently! top

  • Anonymous Anonymous says so:
    October 13, 2006 12:25 AM  

    One thing you guys must haven't mentioned is the fact that this 149$ price tag is only available after a mail-in rebate and a 2 year service agreement.

    Yes we did pay a much higher price for the E61, but its unbranded. Has wi-fi, and we aren't tied to Cingular or its branding all over our phones. That makes it worth it to me. top

  • Anonymous Anonymous says so:
    October 13, 2006 11:59 AM  

    I agree with your post. I bit the bullet and paid more for the E61, expecting it to be the end all phone and infinitely better than the E62. I don't really consider the E62 a stripped down version of the E61 at all actually. The lack of a headphone jack and mini USB port makes the E61 much less attractive to me.

    As for the messenger on the E62, does it use EDGE data to work, or SMS? And if we were to really want it that bad for the E61, I'm sure there's a way to get it from E62 and onto the E61. top

  • Blogger Razor1973 says so:
    October 13, 2006 1:28 PM  

    The IM client on the E62 uses GRPS, not SMS's. And I've already seen many posts of people asking whether it's possible to get the application so that it can be installed on the E61, but still no replies. I don't think it's as easy as it seems.

    The one drawback of this client is that you cannot be logged in on two protocols at the same time. top

  • Anonymous Anonymous says so:
    October 15, 2006 8:55 PM  

    razor1973: try this chat client:
    http://www.agilemobile.com/agile_messenger.html
    With it you can use use more than one chat protocol at the same time.

    It uses MEdia Net data services rather than SMS to send and receive messages, so it's potentially cheaper to use. top

  • Blogger Razor1973 says so:
    October 15, 2006 11:03 PM  

    I used AgileMessenger on my 7610 and my 6682, but when I tried version 3.78 on my E61, the application crashed the minute I hit the Connect button. Even after a hard reset and reinstalling the application, the behavior did not change.

    Also, AgileMessenger used to be free for a long time. Now, they charge and not a flat fee, but by usage. Ouch! top

  • Anonymous vishwash says so:
    October 16, 2006 4:35 PM  

    "have we been screwed by the e61"...Nope. The e61 without wifi and VOIP is just another blackberry type fone with additional features. If it wasnt for the wifi this phone is not worth the 350 i paid. Also again today if i had the choice E61 and E62, i would get the E61 cause i dont want cingular, second even if i got it, its a 2 YEAR CONTRACT...am i nuts to even sign that? plus they make u pay 150 !!!!!

    Heres how cellphone companies work ...for every new contract they give a 250$ discount to the enduser and thats 1 year. Every 2 yr they give a 320$. Now think of taking that money instead and buying yourself a E61????

    WHY NOT!!!!
    Also so all ppl who think E61 is not supported in the US, hence insured. I called nokia today, after the complete release of the E61 in the US, the nokia will also support E61 for repair. SO WE nolonger have to ship it to Soudi arabia(in my case) to have it repaired.....if it breaks ofcourse. And we all know that E61 really deserves the tittle, built strong...

    E61 will screw the E62.....**** cingulars E62. top

  • Blogger Phigan says so:
    October 22, 2006 11:00 AM  

    When I bought the E61, I had no idea it even had WiFi OR VoIP. I just got it for the big screen, keyboard, and Symbian OS. Needless to say, I was quite excited when I found out. If I hadn't purchased the E61, I would probably get an E62. There's probably going to be a 3rd party SIP client you can install on it, if there isn't already, which would probably work ok over bluetooth. top

  • Anonymous Anonymous says so:
    October 24, 2006 6:19 PM  

    I just purchased an E61 over E62, at mobilebee, and with a T-mobile agreement, it came out to be $208 shipped. Wi-fi and having an unlocked phone were worth the extra $58 dollars without having to deal with mail in rebates. I needed to switch from Cingular anyway, since Tmobile offers unlimited medianet for just $6/month. top

  • Anonymous Anonymous says so:
    October 26, 2006 7:47 PM  

    The US will not see UMTS on 2100 in the forseeble future. It is currently available from Cingular on 1900 and is expected to be offered next year on 1700 by T-Mobile. In the last round of spectrum auctions T-Mobile bought a significant portion of the 2100 band. Unfortunately the specific range offered was not the full range expected by the rest of the world's UMTS standard. (T-Mo just bought 1950~2150, UMTS 2110~2200) top