Mini Review of the Nokia 6185i

The following is not a full review, but rather update to an existing review.

Last Updated: 03-Sep-2001

Before reading this review, please read Some Thoughts on Phone Reviewing.

The following is not a full review, but rather update to an existing review. Since the original 6185 came out just over 2 years ago, Nokia has released a new version called the 6185i. So whatís so different about the new phone compared to the old one? Not much really. The only differences I could determine were:

- A retractable antenna to improve performance at 800 MHz.
- The ability to send SMS messages.
- T9 Predictive Text Input to go along with the SMS feature.

We canít even include the Microbrowser in this list, since that feature was added to the original 6185 through a recent firmware reflash. Anyone with an old 6185 can get the Microbrowser.

I hoped that various attributes of the phone would have improved, such as sound quality, RF performance, etc. However, after comparing the 6185i side-by-side with my original 6185 (with the most recent firmware), I had to conclude that there was no difference at all. In a blind test, I would be unable to tell one phone from the other.

However, the pull-up antenna did make a bit of difference on analog. I tested the phones by walking them through an underground hallway in Square One where the signals on analog became weak, but did not drop. My 6185 produced a fair bit of crackling and distortion while I was in that hall, but the 6185i produced only mild crackling.

The SMS Originate feature is supported on Bell Mobility, but not all CDMA providers have this feature (even if you do have a phone that supports it). It worked fairly well, as did the T9 input system. Both worked exactly the same way as on Nokia GSM phones with T9, which is to say quite well.

The model I tested came with a handsome silver-and-black faceplate, which made it look much fresher than the all-black original faceplate. I did find one flaw with the phone I had, which might indicate production troubles. The multi-function connector at the bottom of the phone was inset too far, and as such I was unable to connect any of my accessories. I had been hoping to test the phone with a headset, but I couldnít do that because of the connector flaw.

There really isnít much else I can say about the 6185i, since beyond what Iíve already discussed, it has not changed from the original model, nor does it provide any improvements (RF and audio-wise) over the upgraded 6185.