The Nokia E61 experience, part 2/2

Office document management, PC synchronization, basic GPS navigation, mobile entertainment, and more are all featured on the Nokia E61 without the addition of any 3rd party applications. The E61 knocked the Treo 650 from my hands and continues to impress me with features every day.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer
When I travel out to a maritime casualty to provide technical assistance, the ability to view and create Word or Excel files is very important. While this can be done on a laptop, I am often on a ship or in an airport and prefer to use my mobile device for minor edits and viewing. There are 3rd party clients available for different mobile platforms, but Nokia has included a powerful client right on the E61. The Office suite includes Document, Sheet, and Presentation applications. You can view, edit, create, and save native Word documents in Document. Document also gives you many word processing program functions such as font formatting (bold, italic, underline and strikethrough), paragraph spacing, bulleted lists, and borders. You can insert comments, hyperlinks, tables, and images into a document as well. Documents can even be printed if you have a compatible printer connected to the device. Sheet works with Excel spreadsheets and provides many of the same formatting options as Document with the ability to insert and view charts. Presentation works with PowerPoint files and while it may not be practical to create an entire slide show on your device, it can be very helpful to review and practice your presentation right on your mobile device. I need to spend more time with different types of documents and see how the E61 handles documents on a round trip (PC to device and back to PC), but so far I am very pleased with the functionality integrated into the device.

The Nokia E61 connects and syncs to Windows PCs using the Nokia PC Suite. This is a very stable and full featured desktop application that I have found to be reliable in syncing data and performing other tasks. Another feature that I particularly enjoy using on a daily basis to add files to my miniSD card on the E61 is the Data Transfer option that makes your E61 miniSD card appear as another drive on your PC or Mac system. You can setup the E61 to prompt you to select how you want to connect when the cable is attached to make the connection easy.

A basic GPS utility, called Navigator, is provided on the E61 that provides your position (Lat/Long), speed, altitude when connected to a Bluetooth GPS module. You can also enter the coordinates for a destination and Navigator will give you an estimated duration to arrive, calculate your trip distance, and give you stats like your average and maximum speeds during the trip. You will need a 3rd party application, like WayFinder, for mapping navigation, but the included utility can be handy when used in conjunction with the free Google Local Maps utility.

I listen to many podcasts on my E61 and use the data transfer option to quickly add files. The MP3 player on the E61 has been improved over the S60 2nd Edition player in that you can now skip through a song by pressing and holding the forward or back buttons. I also listen to music and podcasts over Bluetooth to my headset and car kit, but this is in mono (transferred over a Bluetooth audio gateway connection) and not over an A2DP stereo connection.

There is much more you can do with your Nokia E61, but I was able to perform all these functions without loading a single 3rd party application. Studies show that very little 3rd party applications, other than games, are even loaded on typical users' devices and I am sure many IT managers would prefer it that way to make device management less stressful and more standardized within the company.

I ended up selling my Treo 650 since the E61 does everything and more that the Treo did, but even better. IMHO, the Eseries doesn't just compete with Palm and Windows Mobile in the enterprise arena, but excels and is a force to contend with in the future. Education and exposure in the U.S. market is needed, as Nokia smartphones are still not anywhere near as popular here as they are in Europe, Asia, and other areas of the world.

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