back to article Nokia wins hearts, minds with breakthrough mobile

Nokia has received plenty of criticism recently for its outre designs and - this year in particular - poor battery life. However, I've been using a phone which overcomes many of these problems. In contrast to many other Nokia models, function triumphs over form. This is a no-frills business model with several important …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    What Nokia needs to do is invent a revolutionary GUI on a piece of hardware 6 months out of date with no 3G connectivity and cr@p camera, lock it into 1 network and charge through the nose for it, I rekon it'll sell, well about 25k in the UK.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Had to laugh

    All the way through I went, at last a replacement for the 6310i...bugger, no such luck !

    Best phone they ever made.

  3. Bad Beaver
    Thumb Down

    cut it

    You're just bitter you got no E51 to review.

  4. Mike Norris
    Thumb Up

    So what about the Motorola F3

    Those Nokias were good but what about the F3? It seems to do all that the Nokia did way back then but in an even more retro styleee.

    U HV 2 SHOUT 2 TXT!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I know how you feel..

    For all I love the nifty features on my 6100 I still miss the robust, bulletproof simplicity and ease of use of my old 7110 for business use.

    As a phone or as a media player, or as a camera or as a handheld games console or a mobile communications platform the 6100 is 'ok' at best but the 7110 was an awesome phone.

    All convergence means is that we can carry about a lot more mediocre tools more easily. Bugger that. Give me the best tools for the job and I won't mind carrying them because I'll only carry them when I actually NEED them. How often is a picture taken on a mobile-phone actually worth anything to anyone over the age of 14 anyway?

    Bring back awesome phones and the Unix philosophy of "one job - one tool" - just make the tools able to talk to each other (via bluetooth is fine) and I'm happy.

  6. Gordon Matson

    i was away to be sarcastic...

    but i have one of these as my on-call mobiles from work and it's outlasted the last three "high end" nokia's i've had since 2003.

    they don't make them like that anymore.

  7. Phil Cooke


    I work for one of the main mobile providers here in UK as onsite support for a corporate customer. I get less requests for repairs on these than their newer replacements - they just keep going!

  8. frank denton
    Thumb Up

    I have two, they are great phones

    Yes, I have two, one on contract and one bought from e-bay as a spare, running on payg as a backup on a different network.

    They do everything I need - mobile voice/txt, bluetooth, link to PC, calendar, alarm clock, e-mail.

    Battery lasts 10 days and I can swap over the charged spare battery in about three seconds, if I've been careless.

    Vodaphone keep telling me that I can have a free upgrade, I keep telling them 'no thanks'.

    I recently got a case kit from e-bay for £8 and now my silver one looks as good as new. If they reintroduced it I'm sure it would do well.

  9. Tim

    7110 was better

    Okay it wasn't really "The Matrix phone" (that was the 8110), but the 7110 actually had the spring loaded mechanism unlike the 8110 as used in the film (they hacked about with an 8110 for the film to add it).

    I felt the 7110 anyway was a more polished version of the 8110. Had a nice dark green shine to the cover too, and even WAP!!

    Still think the spring mechanism is cool today. My 7110 is as robust as ever though probably because it sits in a box rather than be used.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too right.

    I made the mistake of getting the Nokia E65. Yes it's a fancy slider design with nifty display but really it's a piece of junk. Minimal battery life, very slow, lack of consistency throughout the apps and of course Symbian is a pile of smelly poo.

    I occasionally catch myself thinking about getting an iPhone. The user interface seems to be pretty sorted compared with the E65 e.g. getting a text to someone is simple and quick. If it wasn't for that "keyboard" and poor battery life.

    I might just have to get myself one of those fancy old phones instead.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    nice article

    Yep, spotted this one, i like the "divergence" idea.

    I just got mine refurbished by Selectric in Germany, good as new with new display, keyboard, case. its bizarre how many engineers carry one of these, professionals of all sorts actually.

    never did understand why everyone ran away from this pinnacle... ?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    7110 robust?

    It went back to the service center more times than I care to remember for a new firmware because it was buggy and crashed all the time - Not to mention that the slider eventually fell off when it wore down - that was if the spring hadn't gone first so you had to open it yourself. Nice phone, but certainly not great.

    Wish I'd kept my 6100 running, did what it said on the tin, made calls, fantastic. I'm tempted to go in the loft and dig out my 6210 as well.

  13. Paul Clancy

    That's my kid's phone!

    I was sick of my eighteen month old son taking my modern breakable phone and doing what eighteen month old boys do so well - breaking them. So, I fished old my old 6310i, charged it up so it would have a bit of display to attract him and it has since survived being used as a club, covered in all manner of meals and even once, dropped into a dirty nappy...

    Now that I know how much it's worth though, I'll have to figure out a way of getting it off him.

  14. Steve Sutton

    Absolutely right

    Absolutely agree with you Andrew the 6310i, IMHO (and the opinion of anyone I've ever known to express an opinion on the subject), is the best mobile phone ever made.

    I don't use it nowadays of course, as I went in to 'ave a go at camera/3g phone. And, to be fair, looking back, there are a few things (and only a few) that modern phones do better (notably, the larger screen sizes), but I sometimes still think to myself that I'd like to go back to the 6310i

  15. JonRB
    Thumb Up

    Brilliant phone

    I miss my 6310i - it really is the best phone that Nokia ever made. I succumbed to a newer phone in the end. After a lot of research I went for the 6300 and have therefore been reintroduced to the annoyance of having to keep an eye on the charge and make sure I have a charger in every car and one at work.

    My 6310i would go all week without a charge sometimes.

  16. Adam Williamson
    Thumb Down


    I would agree, except for one thing - there's one area of convergence that *does* make sense, to me, and that's music playing.

    Yes, cell phones make mediocre music players. But this is outweighed, for me, by the convenience factor.

    The major problem with carrying a cellphone and a separate music player is phone calls. When I'm using my music player (a super-old school Neuros) and carrying my cell and someone calls me, I have to dig out the Neuros, hit pause, take out my earphones, get out the phone, hit the answer button, have my conversation, end the call, put the phone away, put my earphones back in, and un-pause the Neuros.


    Using my cellphone (a recently acquired Nokia 6300) as a music player, yes it carries a lot fewer songs and the interface is not as good, but when someone calls me, my music pauses, I talk, conversation ends, music resumes. Without me having to lift a finger. (Using a 2.5-3.5mm adapter with mic and my earphones plugged into that).


    Of course, if someone would actually finally *implement* a Bluetooth headset, dedicated phone, and music player that all worked together nicely so I could do the same thing with separate boxes, fine. But then you have to deal with all the finicky stuff associated with Bluetooth headsets, and the crappy audio quality they generally have (compared to my Etymotics canalphones).

    So, yeah, I'll suffer the crappy battery life of the 6300 for this convenience. To me it's definitely worth it.

  17. Andy Hards

    I'd rather have my old 6680

    than the N73 I have now. If the camera was better I'd use it instead. Waiting for the N82 to replace the 73 as I don't like sliders and the N95 wouldn't last 5 minutes in my pockets with the amount of abuse I give to my phones. The 6680 was a bit clunky but very robust. Dropped a thousand times and never had a problem with it. Dropped the 73 on day 2 and needed a new screen.

  18. Stephen B Streater

    N90 is still best

    If you want a high res portable video camera, the N90 is hard to beat.

    I know it's nice to have bullet proof phones, but bear in mind that my N90 has survived eight months of comprehensive attention from my 1-year old. She has managed to take a photo and MMS it to some random stranger, as well as turning it to some foreign language (Albanian I think) which is quite hard to get back from. And she switched the WiFi on and now goes through the podcasts.

    So all in all, these modern phones can be quite good, without having to step back a decade in features.

  19. sean

    oh hell

    i'm gutted now. i've just sold my 6310 to a mate for a fiver. yeah, really!

    if i'd shown her this article first, i probably coulda got £20 for it.

  20. piper

    Not quite

    See, to me the idea of converging phones and music players doesn't make any sense.

    I had an iPhone for a little while, and not once after my first week with it did I use it to play music on. I don't particularly mind if a phone doesn't have a two-week battery life, as I'm going to be home at least every other night and can charge it - but use them for playing music and the battery life really is appalling.

    I'd much rather it be my mp3 player that runs out of battery half way through a long journey than my phone. That's just not something I could cope with.

  21. Frank Bough
    Thumb Up

    As the proud user of an 8910...

    ...all I can say is that I heartily agree. the 8910, of course, is a 6310 in a flash titanium slidey case. I'll replace my pocket pal with an iPhone as soon as the price comes down to a reasonable level.

  22. Terje Mathisen

    I still have mine! :-)

    I promised myself (and the guy responsible for buying cell phones at my company) that I would stay with the 6310i until I could have a model which was just as good a phone, but which also included a camera good enough that I didn't need to drag my big Olympus Z8080 around everywhere.

    My current 6310i is the fourth I've had, I've had to replace them (with phones other people have traded in) as the display glass got too scratched to read easily, but they still work as backups of course. The last time (this spring), one of the phone guys called me and said that he'd found a brand-new box in the bottom of a cupboard!



  23. Paul


    I must say, what I wantis one of these, with WIFI and WAP and a colour screen, so that I can use it as a phone and to check train times when im traveling.

    Other than that, bugger the MP3 player and games etc. I am an adult and capable of going for more than five mins without any entertainment.

    I must say that the nokia E61 (my current phone) is also very good, but I have only had it for a month. I do find the Tom Tom in it very usefull, but I also know that I am in a minority with that, as I find it a pain in the car but on my bike (Where I use it most) I can put the GPS unit in my tank bag, the phone in my map case and glance down at it at traffic lights. The fact that its made to go in your pocket, unlike a normal sat nave, means that it fits in my map case properly, even with my back up map underneath.

  24. John Ehite

    Nokia 6210i

    This IS the best phone - ever for all the reasons outlined in the article. I had a 6210 bet damaged the display (line of broken pixels) and then bought the 6310i - superb for ease of use, reception etc.

    My convergence? A Psion 5MX running Phoneman to integrate contacts, adding appt to the phone memory and as a modem for the 5MX. For laptop covergence - swap for Psion netBook running the same. Now there's two long (battery) lived packages esp with a netBook Pro battery (16hrs) and a spare Pro battery as well..

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Planned obsolescence

    "...they just keep going..."

    And there is the nail, well and truly hammered on the head.

    Where is the profit in selling people a phone that will last for a lifetime? How can carriers tempt people away from their competition if they aren't supplied with a constant stream of new handsets with more bells and whistles?

    Having said that, the battery life, durability and navigation on my Sony Ericsson thing are, to my mind, comparable to the 6310i, and it adds a colour screen that I've never had any trouble using, a camera, storage slot, music player and 3G to the list of features. I shall be hanging on to this one.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nokia E51

    I have not seen the Nokia E51 in the 'flesh' but I think it will be the new 6310i. Similar size, form factor but with modern add-ons like 3G and MS Exchange email. We live in a multi-channel world and the 6310i only really works well in one channel.

  27. Clive Davison

    It Does What It Says On The Box

    ..I use one and have 2 spare sitting in the draw waiting for my current one to die (which by the way it refuses to do) I do not want a portable media centre, do not want menue's and sub menue's and sub sub menue's. Go 6310i!!!

  28. Chris Hembrow

    Nokia 6210

    My mother-in-law is still using my old 6210. I miss that phone :(

  29. Rob Davis

    Nokia 5500 Sport is a great alternative still in production I believe

    I would recommend the Nokia 5500 / Nokia 5500 Sport (same phone but with different accessories).

    This phone is robust, compact, has a good standby time but yet sports Symbian Series 60 edition 3, has micro SD card support up to 2Gb, a basic camera and a built in torch.

    Colour screen. Multi-format music player, extendable for more exotic or rarer formats using

    With sports applications to motivate.

    A great reliable practical robust reasonably compact phone.

  30. Count Ludwig

    Hey, Nokia! Are you listening?

    Wakey, wakey, Nokia! **Please understand** There'a a big market for phones that obey the KISS principle.

    Other designers of the world, listen up too! It's not just phones that should be simple: e.g. a microwave oven just needs two knobs "how hot?", "how long?" but my Dad's old one wouldn't work until he set the clock! WTF? My TV remote control had 58 buttons, and even had the fact proudly printed on it! WTF*WTF!

    There is money in simplicity. Is that so hard to understand?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Agreed, 6310i was the best phone I've owned by quite some margin. I urge everyone to pester Nokia until they reinstate it.

  32. MnM

    those were the days

    Mine eventually died, I think the mic went, and I did think it could have done with a camera, but that alone would never have made me move on. I loved it. My car died completely leaving a festival, half way along a very long single track through a forest, surely full of wolves, around 1am. My phone had juice, and I live to tell the tale. That can't be taken for granted anymore.

    My sodding K610i seeems best of the current bunch but I genuinely see it as a liability. Time away from plug sockets and so on must be the ultimate point of a mobile device - I even suffered misdirected sony drm software to get their 50 hour playback (well nearly) mp3 player for that very reason. It came on holiday for two week lately and just worked.

    But equally, thinking about reliability, I wouldn't pay 140 quid for a refurb or be happy with an ebay buy - too much of a lucky dip. A mate's new basic nokia looked quick to use again, and I think the upcoming N82 has a bigger battery in it, and it's the right shape...

  33. Kevin Payne

    Still going stromg

    You had my hopes up - a new phone that's the equivalent of my current one - but no! It is my current one - a sensible size with buttons that aren't too small and a battery that lasts. I'll just have to keep waiting.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    Quit the whining and get an E51

    I have seen the E51 "in the flesh". In fact I own one. You have to see it to believe it. Honestly, it's THE PHONE. It's slick, it's slim, it prances & dances. Has everything. Does everything. Syncs everything. It looks and feels like a true quality item, and it's a breeze to use. Everything looks and works smart & easy, and it is the fastest Symbian device I have seen to date. I was rarely this exited about a new phone, and never did I dream I could be about a Nokia.

    The E51 has the following issues:

    1. It's not an iPhone, so if flicking though a gazillion photos on a giant screen is your thing, go elsewhere.

    2. It's no substitute for your DSLR. The camera is not the best. It's there though and it works.

    3. The side- & top-buttons are pretty hard to press

    Yes, that's all. Oh, wait: I had to consult the manual in order to find out how to display the MAC address. But since that is the only thing I had to look up in the manual, I'll let that pass.

    I am a bit bewildered that El Reg did not review the E51 yet. Only time will tell whether it truly is as reliable as the 6310i, but it is clearly Nokia's best effort up to date.

  35. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

    Matthew Parris in The Times...

    Apparently agrees. There's a very nice tribute to the "Radio City" phone here:

    "Only tarts and tea-boys want phones that double up as mini-music centres, games consoles, cameras and broadcasting studios. Serious people want a phone for making phone calls. So insistent has been the demand that there is now a company offering reconditioned 6310i handsets for about £100."

    ... published the same day. By the Dept. of Spooky Coincidences!

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Piece of pointless nostalgia

    For heaven's sake man, don't waste precious internet space with this drivel!

    On a more sensible note, there is a valid point somewhere in this article, hidden behind the wall of sarcasm. But I do think that if you're going to sing the praises of a “classic” mobile, it's got to be the Sony CMD-J5: genius thumbwheel, voice recording, and polyphonic ringtones before they became a kiddie fad. As an owner, you could exchange smug looks with anyone else who had one because you knew you'd resisted the temptation to follow the herd and buy a dull, underspecced Nokia with a terrible menu system.

  37. alex dekker

    Pinnacle of mobile evolution

    You would have thought that surely after 7-odd years, this phone could have been bettered, but no. I don't know if that's because this is such a great phone, or because mobiles are now designed by 12 year olds for 12 year olds; I suspect a mixture of both.

    Any time anyone at work sees my phone, laughs and asks me why I'm not using the Motorola they gave me, all I have to say is "two weeks on standby". After that, it's me that walks away laughing. Long live the 6310i. I almost wish some Chinese manufacturer would start making counterfeits, maybe then Nokia would recognise the demand.

  38. Stephen B Streater

    Oops - N90 was a breakthrough

    But N95 is best. 640x480 pixel video at 30 frames per second. Bringing video production to the masses.

    Phones are about communication. And that means more than chatting - it means communicating your experiences. And video is the most powerful way to do this.

  39. Ash
    Thumb Up

    Testiment to the brand...

    Mine's been dropped in puddles, kicked down the street, thrown at the wall in a tantrum, and taken into nighclubs and left on tables. I still have it, it still works, and it's never been stolen.

    Bluetooth, SMS, PHENOMENAL battery life; If I ever get the option of a work mobile phone, i'm telling them to just get the sim card and a headset. I'll use this until it dies. Which it never will!

  40. Paul
    Thumb Up

    E65? E51? avoid S60, old 6310i was best

    I still have my 6310i which I bought 2nd had at 6 months old, and the battery life is still excellent - as a light user I charge it once a week - I could leave it longer but then I'd forget, so it was better to get into the habit of charging it at the weekend.

    To replace it I bought the E65 - having rejected the N95 as too big, overfeatured - which seemed to be a good idea: quad band GSM, 3G, bluetooth & wifi (for VOIP). I had to disable 3G to get the battery life up, and if I leave WiFi on for voip the battery dies within 36 hours. Suddenly I've *had* to buy a car charger and *had* to leave my spare Nokia charger at work, and even keep my 6310i around for emergencies.

    I don't think S60 is all that fantastic in itself, the suite of 3rd party apps has some use, and the camera is nice for tagging contacts with a face... but as a *phone*, the 6310i wins over the E65 and (having played extensively) the N95.

    I think if I hadn't bought the E65, I'd be happy with my Nokia Tablet and the 6310i. If Nokia did remake the 6310i++ and added 3G but kept the same simple system software, kept or improved on the battery life, it'd be a winner!

    This is what I want, a phone and data gateway, no PIM, no games, no bling. If you want a the big screen experience with GPS, get a Palm or Zaurus or Nokia Tablet or Kohjinsha/MiniVYE or Fujitsu U810/U1010...

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