I “upgraded” my Nokia 9500 and chose the E61 to replace it. The E61’s nice and light in comparison to the brick that is the 9500, and does have some good improvements, but other features are lacking. The 9500 runs Symbian 7 on the Series 80 platform, whereas the E61 runs Symbian 9.1 on Series 60 3rd edition. I guess these were developed by different groups without a common spec, so they had different interpretations of the important features.
Anyway, here’s what I like more about the E61:
- 3G – much faster mobile data.
- A one-hand keyboard – although two thumbs are faster than one, it is possible to operate in one hand.
- Vibrate for rings and alerts – finally!
- Standby mode which shows upcoming appointments and todo items on one screen with the clock and shortcuts to common apps. (SMS Inbox can be added to this view too.)
- Series 60 means I can run Python!
Features lacking in the E61:
- Multiple alarms in the clock application – especially setting a Daily/Weekly/Week Day recurring alarm. Now I have to set my alarm clock manually every day!
- Timed profile changes – the 9500 allows you to “switch to silent” or whatever until a specific time when it switches back to the previous profile. Handy so you don’t forget your phone on silent the whole day…
- Multiple todo lists – it’s difficult to manage todo list of more than around 10 items without a way to separate the items into separate lists. The 9500 had this feature, although it wasn’t necessarily easy to use.
- Untimed appointments (although the Memo option seems to do this). When scheduling something in the organiser, the 9500 allows you to just set Timed to No instead of putting in a start time. Now you have to delete the meeting you just accidently started (no cancel?) and add a memo.
- I still can’t figure out how to open a new window on demand in the web browser. Did they want to save memory by not allowing you to open lots of windows? I guess I’m really spoilt by years of use of Firefox’s tabs – I rarely have fewer than 5 tabs open in my (non-phone) browser so I find linear use of a web browser to be so last-millenium…
- The WiFi connection’s definitely not as strong as in the 9500 – I can’t get a decent signal in some places in my house where I could everywhere with the 9500.
- IMAP email’s great, but I need access to more than just my Inbox folder… Perhaps I need add-on software…
For the verdict, this is definitely a step forward and I can more easily carry the smaller, lighter device everywhere without it being intrusive.
PS Here are some really useful blogs on the E series and Series 60: