Nokia 5140

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Nokia 5140
The 'Swiss-army' 5140 sports a compass, torch, thermometer and is shock/water-resistant. Squeeze in a fitness coach and Nokia has a great phone for those with active lifestyles.

Nokia's 5140 is designed for active and sporty lifestyles with a rubber, shock-proof case that makes the handset water-resistant. We weren't quite game to try dropping it in a glass of water during our test period but we found that the 5140 is well equipped to survive occasional falls and splashes.

Taking the phone apart to insert the battery and SIM card is different to most handsets and a bit tricky. The case actually pulls apart to split in two to reveal the 5140's metallic innards in a similar fashion to how you'd unsheathe a samurai sword. There is an extra layer of rubber which you pull down to access the battery and SIM area.

We first had a glimpse of Nokia's 5140 last year when the company demonstrated push-to-talk (walkie talkie like) functionality at its development facility in Sydney. Almost a year has passed and we still haven't seen the technology take off, partly because not many phones support PTT and also because we haven't seen much marketing from carriers advertising the service.

Another feature the 5140 supports is presence-enhanced contacts. Presence, which is increasingly being made available on handsets, hasn't really taken off with the consumer market. It allows you to see give yourself a mobile status (such as available, meeting, occupied, etc) and view the status of others that also subscribe to the service.

It seems Nokia has shoved all the bells and whistles an active person could want into the 5140 -- the Swiss Army knife of mobile phones.

First up is an integrated digital compass for those that need to know their orientation which can easily be calibrated initially by rotating the handset 360o on a flat surface. For those weather-watchers out there, the 5140 has a thermometer that displays the current temperature next to the time on the idle screen. While we found the compass worked quite well, the thermometer gave varied results -- often out by up to 5oC.

For those a bit out of shape, a java app called Fitness Coach (that has the disclaimer "Does not guarantee results") is basically a training planner and journal to record your workout sessions (i.e. what exercise you've done, weights used, repetitions, etc). It seems a bit gimmicky to us; we can't see many gym junkies consulting their mobile phone in between sets.

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The handiest addition we can find is the flashlight on the top on the handset. It is quite bright in a dark room and is switched on and off by holding down the hash key.

In addition to the active lifestyle features, the 5140 also has a VGA (640 x 480 pixels) camera that takes decent photos and supports portrait, night, and multi-shot mode (up to 5 photos). It also acts as a video camera that can shoot up to 15 seconds of footage.

Nokia bundles clip-on ear headphones with an inline microphone for making hands free calls and listening to FM radio.

Battery life is above average with the 5140 lasting around four days before needing a charge. Volume of the earpiece during calls is adequate and adjustable via buttons on the side of the handset. The 5140 also has a loud speaker allowing you to make hands-free calls without the headset as well.

One downside is the 5140's display, which looks a little dull as it only supports 4,096 colours. On the plus side however, it is a tri-band phone that supports GPRS for sending MMS messages and xHTML browsing.

All up, the Nokia 5140 should satisfy the needs of most active types and labourers who require a sturdy phone that can survive a bit of rough handling.

Nokia 5140
Company: Nokia
Price: AU$639
Phone: 1300 366 733

Topics: Microsoft, Mobility

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