capsule review

Nokia 6133

At a Glance
  • Nokia 6133 Cell Phone

    PCWorld Rating

    Though this phone has a plain design, it offers a good set of features at a very fair price.

With its minimalist black exterior and no-frills look, this clamshell-style phone eschews the busy design of many of today's handsets. And like the design, the $100 price tag (with a two-year contract from T-Mobile) is pretty basic; you get a decent set of features for that price.

The exterior display, which measures 1.5 inches diagonally, is spacious and easy to read. Volume controls sit on the left side of the handset, while a power button and a button for accessing the built-in camera sit on the right. The camera's lens sits above the external display.

The Nokia 6133's practical look continues on the phone's interior, though accessing that interior is more difficult than it should be. The phone's hinge seems to stick when you open or close the handset. (The phone comes with an auto-open button on the right side of the handset, and the motor that powers this feature may be responsible for the stickiness I noticed.) The keypad is so plain that it gives the phone something of a retro look. Because the number keys are set flat into the phone, they're hard to dial by touch. Also, the silver casing around the keypad looks disappointingly plasticky. The spacious internal screen measures 2.2 inches diagonally and offers an impressive resolution of 240 by 320 pixels. Bright and easy to read, it's one of the phone's best features.

The Nokia 6133 supports T-Mobile's MyFaves service, which permits unlimited calls to five people you select, regardless of the network they use (including landline phones). Adding contacts to your MyFaves list is a snap, and the interface--which features icons or photos that you choose for your five contacts--makes connecting to them a breeze.

Overall, the 6133 works very well for voice calls. The phone has a comfortable, soft-touch black exterior; and despite being slightly heavy (at 4 ounces) for a standard cell phone, it's quite comfortable to hold during long calls. Voice quality and volume were very good, though talk-time battery life in our lab tests was merely average at 6 hours, 34 minutes. That's better than the vendor-stated talk time of 3.5 hours, but worse than that of many standard cell phones we've tested recently.

On the right side of the handset, a dedicated key lets you access the 1.3-megapixel camera, which lacks a flash. The quality of my snapshots ranged from serviceable to very good. Still-life pictures and moving subjects were easy to capture, though colors sometimes looked washed out. The 6133 also lets you record brief video clips; like the video captured on most camera phones, it looked pixelated and blocky.

The 6133 comes with a basic music player and a video player, both of which are simple to operate. The music player supports MP3, WMA, and ACC file formats; and earbuds ship with the phone. Sound quality was adequate but unexceptional. You can use the Nokia Audio Manager software (part of the Nokia PC Suite) to transfer songs to the phone, but you'll have to purchase the application separately. Also absent are a USB cable for connecting it to your PC and a microSD Card for storage. The phone does have a built-in FM radio; but to listen to it, you must use the included headset--the radio doesn't connect to the external speaker.

Though the 6133 lacks e-mail support, it provides several options for instant messaging, including mobile versions of AIM, ICQ, MSN Messenger, and Yahoo Messenger. It lets you send and receive text and multimedia messages, too. The phone supports the 850/900/1800/1900 GSM networks for voice, the GPRS and speedier EDGE networks for data, and Bluetooth wireless.

While the Nokia 6133 can't compete with a dedicated music phone or a great messaging device, it nonetheless includes a good amount of functionality at a pretty low price.

Liane Cassavoy

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Though this phone has a plain design, it offers a good set of features at a very fair price.

    Pros

    • Includes FM radio
    • Very comfortable to use as a phone

    Cons

    • No MicroSD card or USB cable
    • Lacks e-mail support
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