Nokia E61


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    Besides being a firewall geek, I’m also a VoIP geek.    If you haven’t seen the Nokia E61 yet, check it out.  It’s advertised as being a BlackBerry killer, and I think they might just have accomplished that.  It will talk to a BES server, or just about anything else out there.  I’m using it with Nokia’s Intellisync server and it seems to work flawlessly.

    It’s got GSM 850/900/1800/1900 and UTMS/2100.  But, the really interesting thing is the built in 802.11g and SIP client.  I was able to join my home network and connect to my asterisk server and make/receive calls on it like it is my home phone.  It seems to support just about every codec out there, including g729, however, the only codec that gives good quality with asterisk seems to be alaw.  G.729 call quality was absolutely terrible, and so was pretty much everything else I tried.  You must set the codec on the server, as it seems impossible to choose the codec from the phone.  The phone also does not support STUN, so you might have problems if you’re connecting to an Asterisk server through NAT.  Nokia is planning on releasing a software upgrade sometime yet this year which improves the SIP functionality.

    If you’re in the US, no UTMS for you.  You are stuck on regular GPRS.  Cingular is selling a version that does UTMS on the 850Mhz band though.  I have not tried it, I despise Cingular.  As such, if do not have the Cingular version of the phone or are not on Cingular’s network, disable UTMS support as it will drain your battery trying to find a signal.

    I’ve only had the phone for a day, but I can say without a doubt this is the most functional phone I’ve ever had.  I had the Nokia 9300 before this, and while the concept was great, the implementation was poor.  It looks like they took the same concepts from the 9300 and improved upon everything.  I’m very happy with it.  If you’re wondering where to get one, I ordered mine from mobilebee.com.  I’ve ordered a ton of phones from them and never had a problem.


 

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