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NOKIA 5140 Review - 8/4/2004 9:49:32 AM   

Posts: 12103
Joined: 7/4/2003
From: Melbourne, Victoria, AUS
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Nokia's latest in the rugged rubber-bodied series, the 5140 has a lot of innovations up its sleeve, enough to give the series yet another fresh look. With some added functionalities that were long overdue the 5140 seems to have what it takes to be a perfect outdoor phone.

Out of the box
The phone once again sports a durable rubber exterior that keeps if safe from water as well as physical damage. Sized at 106.5 x 46.8 x 23.8 mm and weighing about 100.8g, it may not be the lightest (or the smallest) Series 40 phone to carry around, but for the excellent hard-grip rubber body, that's a very small price to pay. The body will protect your phone from dust and water, which makes it the ideal phone to have during monsoons. Though Nokia would never recommend it, the phone is water-resistant to an extent that the inner parts will be well protected from water even if the phone gets submerged in a puddle for a while.

The keypad has tremendously improved over the previous models. While the Nokia 5100 was downright painful for typing SMS messages, this one has a soft jelly-like keypad that greatly improves the typing speed and response of the phone. The display size remains the same though; the 27.3 x 27.3 mm screen is capable of supporting only 4096 colors in 128 x 128 pixels.

The Nokia 5140 is the first in its series to have an inbuilt VGA (640 x 480 pixels) camera, located at the back of the phone and protected by a scratch resistant lens.

Overall the phone looks sporty, which kind of shows that the owner is a very 'outdoors' kind of a person.

The VGA camera is as easy as ever in this model. You can take pictures in standard, portrait and night modes. You can also set it up for taking up to 5 sequential shots. It also has video recording capabilities along with a built-in video player.
Among the new features is a digital compass that works extremely well. You can calibrate the compass using the bubble level on the top and from then on you'll get accurate digital as well as analog readings.

Another great feature is the 'Push to Talk' function that makes your 5140 a Walkie-Talkie. You can broadcast your voice to multiple recipients with this facility turned on without them needing to answer the phone. Your voice will be played on the phone's loudspeaker. This is an excellent feature, but sadly not all network operators support it and it's not a free facility from those who do.

The decibel meter feature makes for a weird, but interesting one. You can set an alarm to go on if the decibel meter exceeds a certain level of noise. This cannot only be a fun feature to use, it can also help protect your equipment from thieves and possible animal attacks during treks or camps.

Of course a good outdoor phone would be incomplete without some music playback capabilities and for that the Nokia 5140 features a stereo FM radio.

There's not much difference in the navigation system or the menu options in this phone, except that the navigation was a bit slow and tardy. You can customize the way your phone wallpaper and the menu looks by using one of the 5140's built-in themes. You'll find the generic applications that are present in any self-respecting phone, which include - alarm clock, calculator, calendar, notes, to-do list and wallet.

For connectivity the phone supports Infrared (but not Bluetooth) and is capable of data transfer via Class 10 GPRS, EDGE (Class 6) and HSCSD. The phone battery lasts for 3-4 days of regular usage and the network reception and voice clarity is as clear as it gets.

With a street price of around Rs. 24,000 (some 540$) this phone will obviously appeal to users who are heavily into the great outdoors. City slickers may not exactly need to utilize the extra features and there are a lot of better options available for them. But if you're looking for a phone that can take some serious damage and be a great tool for you the next time you go on that mountain trek, this one may just be worth it.
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