Nokia 6131

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Nokia 6131
  • Nokia 6131
  • Nokia 6131
  • Nokia 6131

Pros

  • Flip button, Internal and External Displays, Interface and Controls, microSD slot

Cons

  • Camera

Bottom Line

The 6131 is an outstanding mobile phone with a high quality display and excellent keypad. Its camera is the only letdown of a handset that has a long features list considering its asking price.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 5 stores)

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A solid performer wrapped up in an attractive flip package, the Nokia 6131 is an excellent mid-range handset with a great internal and external display, one megapixel camera capabilities as well as Bluetooth and infrared connectivity.

The 6131 is a flip design and its best feature is the automatic button on the left hand side of the handset. Pressing this button immediately flips open the phone, so it is comfortable for one-handed messaging, dialing and answering calls. Be warned though - if you aren't careful the phone can easily flip out of your hand.

The 6131 opens to reveal a gorgeous 16.7 million colour screen. Graphics are bright and clear and colours are crisp and vibrant. This is definitely one of the best displays of a mobile phone in this price range that we've reviewed. The 2.2-inch screen also has a good horizontal and vertical viewing angle and isn't restricted in sunlight so it's an excellent all round performer.

The external display on the 6131 is also admirable and basically mimics what is shown on the internal screen. There's the battery life indicator and reception meter in the top left corner with the time in the middle and network provider just above. Best of all, the 6131's external display allows you to apply animated screensavers and wallpapers and adjust a number of settings including power saver and fold animations.

Despite its relatively slim profile, Nokia has still managed to include a dedicated camera button and power key on the right hand side and volume controls on the left. Furthermore, the camera application starts as soon as the button is pressed and there is no lag or waiting time. The charging and USB connector (both proprietary) are located in an unusual position at the top of the handset, rather than the bottom.

Nokia has kept it simple with the 6131 controls and this means an easy and effective user experience. There's a 5-way navigational pad, two selection buttons and answer and end call keys. The buttons are firm yet easy to press and this makes both navigation and messaging a breeze. The keypad design is also impressive, with the buttons well spaced out and slightly raised to ensure tactility. Our only complaint is with the chrome finish surrounding the controls and keypad - it's difficult to keep free of fingerprints and it is easily scratched and marked.

The 6131 includes a 1.3 megapixel camera that will do the job for happy snappers, but it isn't of a good enough quality to take serious photos. The camera doesn't include a flash and suffers from average colour reproduction. It also struggles with poor image noise levels and lacks detail and sharpness. The camera has a few settings including grayscale, sepia, negative and solarise effects, a 10 second self-timer and night mode. There's also a video recorder, but its quality is similarly poor.

The 6131 only has 11MB of internal memory, but this can be expanded with a microSD card. You'll have to remove the battery cover to access it but thankfully not the battery itself - it slots into the left side of the handset. A 128MB card is included in the sales package and this is quite generous considering many phones only ship with 32 or 64MB cards.

Other features of the 6131 include standard SMS, MMS and email messaging with T9 support, Bluetooth and infrared connectivity, WAP, Push to Talk capabilities, an FM radio and a media player supporting MP3, MP4 and AAC files. The media player isn't outstanding but it does have a number of useful features including the ability to play videos in full screen mode, adjust the contrast and mute audio. When playing audio files you can select random or repeat play options and adjust sound settings with seven preset equalizers. Unfortunately the 6131 doesn't include a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, so you'll have to use the included earbuds. Their sound quality is average, but they become uncomfortable after long periods of use.

Java support, a standard array of PIM functions (alarm, calendar, to-do list, notes, calculator, countdown timer and stopwatch), voice dialing and a loud and clear hands free speakerphone round out a notable features list. For its asking price, the 6131 has a fair list of features.

Battery life is rated by Nokia at up to 240 hours of standby time and 3 hours and 20 minutes of talk time. These figures are reasonable and we found ourselves charging the handset every two days or so.

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