3GSM 2006: hands on with the Nokia 6136

Mobile phones

Nokia’s first phone to feature UMA support, which means it can seamlessly move between 3G and Wi-Fi connections without dropping a call, is a bit of a curious one. You would have thought that Nokia would have pulled out all the stops and offered a high-end Series 60 phone for us techies. But nope the 6136 is a lower-end Series 40 model aimed at more causal users.

The underlying technology is great, especially given the announcement by Rabbit yesterday that it is to offer a two cents call via Wi-Fi to anywhere in the world.

There are also whispers of Nokia deal with Skype which will probably go down like a lead balloon with the networks. The phone itself is a bit of an oddity though. It is a ok clamshell with a quality OLED screen on its facia. Flip it open and there are huge buttons which should make texting and sending emails at a brisk pace fairly simple. Everything else is fairly basic stuff with the handset offering the usual mid-range phone niceties, but nothing to excite the techies. I really can’t see why Nokia’s first UMA phone wasn’t a top-end model. After all a decent smartphone that can easily toggle between 3G and Wi-Fi would be s superb addition to its product range, Maybe Nokia is protecting its own interests and ensuring its keeps space free for its 770 web tablet and Communicators. But then maybe it is saving a UMA big gun for the upcoming CeBIT exhibition.

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