Nokia E61

I have just upgraded my phone with Three to Nokias latest smartphone the E61.

The E61 is obviously a nod towards the  Blackberrys and Palm Treos, and so far is a simply fantastic phone - except for a rather nasty (and disappointing bug).

I had been hoping to pick the E61 up for a while now, after reading some great reviews on the net. Unfortunately you don't discover the known problems until you find them for yourself - then go looking.

The Good

The phone feels really, really well built and seems more responsive than my N70 - though there is still that 'Symbian OS sluggishness about it'. It is probably however the first Symbian based phone where I have not cursed the OS when ever I try and do anything.

My main reason for wanting the phone was PUSH email (or Blackberry style email) - and the ability to browse the web if needed.

The phone itself supports about 6 different types of PUSH services - including Blackberry, ActiveSync and IMAP idle.

The phone was pre-setup to use IMAP idle and once my email account details were entered worked really, really well.... for about an hour.

The Bad

Unfortunately there is a obviously a serious issue, as after about an hour of it working-oh-so-well it would lock up the email application and simply never check again. If I was lucky enough I could simply restart the email application and it was all happy again. But more often than not it requires a complete phone restart.

Neither Three or Nokia would acknowledge there was a known problem at all - even though after a quick Google search it is obvious I am not alone.

The Solution

So not to be defeated I thought I'd look at one of the other PUSH solutions the phone supports and ended up enabling the 'Mail for Exchange' (a.k.a ActiveSync) software on my phone and creating an account with Mail2Web. I chose the Personal account which costs a massive $1.99 per month (USD) but also allows me to use my own email address rather than a mail2web address. There is also a free account that fully supports ActiveSync but any mail you send has your address.

Configuring the E61 to use the mail2web ActiveSync server was extremely simple and almost immediately the PUSH emails started to arrive on my phone.

So I now just simply forward a copy of any emails to my accounts to the mail2web mailbox and they instantly are pushed to my E61.

The conclusion

Apart from IMAP idle the phone is fantastic. I am hopeful a firmware update in future will fix the problem and I can ditch the third-party mailbox - but the temporary solution works well.

I might write more about the other applications I am using (Instant Messaging, Browsing and SSH) later, as it's the first time I can be fully business ready on the road with only my mobile.


This is the personal blog of Adrian Lynch, owner of Millstream, developers of Spring CMS.

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