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Nokia 6133

The Nokia 6133b (T-Mobile branded) phone is probably Nokia’s best series 40 “flip style” phone to date (Disclaimer: I hate flip phones and well likely never own one myself). It essentially has every feature of the Nokia 6230 except most features have been improved in some manner (which makes sense since this is a much newer phone).

But first the story of why we got it … In the middle of the night, while my girlfriend’s Nokia 6101 was charging on the counter with her Japanese charms dangling off the edge of the counter, her cat decided the phone was a play toy. She managed to knock the phone off the counter right into their water dish. By the time we noticed, the phone was completely dead and soaking wet. So, we took the SIM card and battery out of it. Since Corrie was “conveniently” looking at the 6133 literally one day before, we went to the T-Mobile store and bought it.

Anyway, this phone has one feature that makes a flip-phone more tolerable to use:  One handed opening.  Simply press a button on the right side of the phone, and it pops open!

However, it has other “features” that counter-act one of the reasons most people claim they want a flip phone: 

  1. “No way to press keys while in your pocket.”
    Well, this phone has a dedicated camera button and volume buttons on the side.  Holding the volume button will activate voice dial.  Now, for people who don’t use voice dial, it wouldn’t normally be a problem except this phone doesn’t need any voice training to use — it automatically recognizes all the names in your Contacts.  Just press and hold the button, say the name, it speaks it back to you to confirm, then dials.  To prevent this, keypad lock must still be used.
  2. “The flip-style protects my screen and buttons.”
    Uh, it still has buttons on the outside; buttons mainly get worn by usage and are generally well protected in a cloth pocket.  Also, this phone still has a (nice) screen on the outside.  Additionally, my screen on my non-flip phone has never been scratched in my pocket — only when I dropped it on cement.  Plus I can easily replace the screen (well, the plastic the covers the screen which was the only scratched part) by buying a new face plate.

The only other pet-peeve of mine about this phone (which is not Nokia’s fault) is that T-Mobile branded versions have disabled setting mp3 and aac files as ringtones.  This is a feature that has been available on their lower end Nokia phones for a long time (like the 6101) that they decided to disable for this phone.  That made my girlfriend mad since all the ringtones I created for her will no longer work, and ringtones included with downloadable themes will not activate.  The phone reports the error “Activation Key Required”.  I take this to mean, “You h7ck0rz!  You didn’t buy this from T-Zones!  Bad!”.

This is an example of poorly implemented DRM — I can understand not letting you transfer (COPY) ringtones you purchased to other phones (w/o removing the source)… but an mp3 file clearly marked as “Copyright: None” in the phone’s own file info display?  An mp3 file that I created on my own and own the copyright to?  I don’t think so.

Luckily:

  1. iUnlock.com, who I highly recommend to anybody who wants their phone flashed or unlocked, supports debranding and upgrading the firmware ont his phone to remove the T-Mobile customizations and re-enable these features.
  2. .WAV files can be set as ringtones still…. so until we get prepared to be w/o her phone for a few days, she can at least have uncompressed files as her ringtones.

The cost of buying the phone from T-Mobile (with a contract renewal) plus the price of iUnlock.com’s services are still less than buying the “non-branded” version of the phone directly, so at least its acceptable.

So, in summary, I’d recommend this phone (unbranded) to anybody who wants a Series-40 flip phone with adequate media playing capabilities.  Its nice and thin, smaller than the RAZR (excluding thickness), much more intuitive to use than the RAZR, and actually makes you look sexy (if you’re female) (the RAZR just makes you look like a marketing department’s wet dream).

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