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printed April 18, 2014
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3GSM 2006

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Nokia 6136 Nokia 6131 FasTap HTC Monet Qix and Decuma  

Nokia's big news for the show was the 6136, the company's first UMA phone. If you not familiar with UMA, check out our existing coverage here, here, and here.

The 6136 is exactly like the 6125 announced last month:

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

...except with Wi-Fi (for UMA) instead of Bluetooth.

The 6125 and 6136 are comparable in size to the 6101, 6102, and 6103. They look similar, too, although the 6125 and 6136 add notable features like quad-band, a megapixel camera, and microSD card slot.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

Above you can also see the thinner profile of the 6131 (more info on that on the next page).

The 6136 seems like a pretty solid phone. The keypad has the same big, easy-to-use keys as a few other recent Nokias. The design is similar to the popular 6101, which has been selling like hotcakes in the U.S.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

The screen is bright and colorful, but very low-resolution at only 128 x 160 pixels. A phone of this class from any other manufacturer would normally have a 176 x 220 display these days, but Nokia does not support that screen size. The reason is software. By standardizing on just a handful of specific screen sizes with their Series 40 platform, Nokia makes it possible for developers to create just 2 or 3 versions of their Java applications, and have those run on dozens of different Nokia models. Because of that, much more Java software is available for Nokia phones than for most other brands. So that's the tradeoff - a lower-res display, but more third-party software available.

Fortunately, Nokia has started moving to QVGA displays with Series 40 phones, as evidenced by the 6131 and the 62XX series sliders. A Nokia spokesperson told us to expect QVGA to replace 128 x 160 on most of the company's lineup sooner than rather than later.

The big draw of the 6136 is UMA, which allows seamless roaming between the cellular network (GSM) and a local network (Wi-Fi). Other phones coming soon with UMA are the Motorola A910 and Samsung T709.

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

The UMA menus on the 6136 look exactly like the UMA menus on the T709 that we tried out at CES. The 6136 is being launched first by Orange here in Europe, but we suspect T-Mobile USA will get this model as well.

Another very basic Nokia phone announced here is the 6070:

 

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

It's just a basic bar-style phone with a 128 x 160 display. Since it's low-end, the display is STN, and a poor-quality one at that. It's fairly washed-out with dull colors. The side keys are nice and big, but surprisingly hard to press on the one we tried.

The 6070 will have a version with GSM 850, but no U.S. carriers have picked it up yet; it may only see distribution in Latin America.

Next Page: Nokia 6131  >

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