Lest you think this humble site has become a travel blog, I’m reporting again today on my Nokia E61i, which continues to impress, and particularly while travelling. Here’s why:
Despite its “average” 2-megapixel imager, the built-in camera on my E61i has many practical applications, like remembering your hotel room number when you stumble home to bed, or to MMS your new friends to tell them where the party’s at!
The camera also came in handy to document my dieting triumphs, like the bircher muesli and raspberry yogurt combo I had for breakfast at my Wellington Hotel, and disasters, like the marshmallow coconut & fruit pudding with a side of licorice that I succumbed to at the Koru Lounge during my layover at LAX. Twice.
The second most-used feature of my E61i was the built-in WiFi radio. Nokia thoughtfully put this little alert right on the home screen. I had it running pretty much all day, and unlike my TyTN it hardly drained the battery at all.
The bad news was that in most places I had to pay for WiFi access to the internet. The Crowne Plaza in Auckland sold these prepaid cards for $5 NZD. Much like a calling card, you scratch off the back to reveal an access code to get on the ‘net in the lobby and in the adjacent shopping mall.
The Intercontinental in Wellington wasn’t quite as cheap. When I inquired about the wireless network in the lobby the young man at the front desk came to my table in the hotel restaurant and offered to hook me up at the rate of $49.95 NZD for 24 hours, to which I immediately spat out my cup of coffee into his face.
But the wondrous Air New Zealand Koru Lounge was another story altogether. Access to their WiFi network is free, but you must obtain a username and password from the front desk. It changes every month to discourage amateur packet sniffers… Works for me!
The only stunt I couldn’t pull with my Nokia was making a VoIP call using fring and its built-in support for Skype. This had nothing to do with the Skype outage of last week and everything to do with fring. Fortunately there are other options available, which I’ll be trying out and reporting on at a future date.
And finally, flying across 16 time zones was made a little less bewildering by WorldMate (the light version is available free of charge for E-Series users) and by a feature I’ve never seen on any other GSM handset — the ability to auto-magically grab the appropriate time from the local network.
Now if only my E61i could help me with my jet lag…