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Nokia E61 Firmware Upgrade Released: Blech

New firmware has been released for my Nokia E61 smartphone. Symbian Freak has a good list of what's new and changed. And, the best part is that you can upgrade the firmware yourself using their PC Suite and your USB cable. Great instructions located at the E-Series Blog.

My upgrade went smooth. Unfortunately, you have to find a Windows PC in order to do the upgrade. Once that hurdle was complete, I found the upgrade process to be excellent. I backed up my Phone memory to my SD card before the upgrade and restored after the upgrade. You will get most things back, but many applications will still need to be reinstalled.

Unfortunately, the upgrade was not completely satisfying:

  • I still have problems with IMAP email from Dreamhost. When I contacted Dreamhost about the issue, they said that IMAP IDLE works great to Dreamhost from their Treo, so it must be my device. Is anyone else having problems getting push email onto their Nokia E61 from Dreamhost?

  • I have 1828 Contacts on my phone. It now takes 30 seconds to open up a contact to find out their phone number or address. This is really unacceptable.

  • Unfortunately, I now have to press the Blue button to get numbers in applications. While this does make sense at some level, it means that I can't do single-handed number entry into applications. This used to work great for the Web Browser and Google Maps for Mobile. Now, the usability is very poor. Who wants to use two hands just to access the Web Browser shortcuts? Any way to lock the number pad on a per-application basis?

Note that if you use iSync with Mac OS X and follow my backup/restore instructions above, iSync will attempt to re-sync all of your Contacts and Calendar entries again. This didn't cause any serious problems, but you may be presented with conflicts to resolve.

So, it's a mixed blessing.

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  1. Brian,

    Any luck a few weeks later on the firmware upgrade... sounds like you and i have the same set up (just got the e61 last week), mac powerbook, isync, 2000 contacts...

    I am hesistant due to your delay around contact look up (that would drive me insane... it is a frustratingly slow at 2-3 seconds).

    Benjamin Heywood
    co-Founder, PatientsLikeMe

  2. Benjamin,

    OK, I'm a couple of weeks on the new firmware. Overall, I would say that it is worth the upgrade. It has fixed the seemingly random reboots that used to happen on the 1.x firmware.

    I still haven't heard of a work-around for the need to now press the Blue buttonn and the number buttons to get numbers to be sent to some applications (like Google Maps for Mobile).

    And, on the contacts front, I just tried opening up about 12 different contacts and timing how long each one took. The time varies between 8 and 30 seconds for me. Most of them take over 20 seconds to open. "Contacts info" tells me that I have:

    1853 contacts (now)
    1 Group
    1042 kB Used
    58270 kB Free

    I'm pretty sure that this is a scalability issue with contacts. If I only had 100, I'll bet things would be much faster. I may try to change the amount of contacts that I sync someday...


  3. i think i am going back to the palm... maybe buy the treo 680 to tide me over until the 750 comes out. I miss the threaded chat, the quick look up, and the speed (for both contacts and calendar)

    what are your thoughts these days...

  4. Hi nebber,

    I, personally, would avoid a Windows Mobile device - too many quality issues out there. Symbian is a better choice, but Nokia needs to get the quality higher in order for it to win.

    I am happy with my Nokia E61 and do not plan a switch away from it for a while, but if I were to change, I'd probably go with a Blackberry. Not the best or most open operating system, but the folks at RIM know how to build a quality product.

    The Nokia E61 continues to annoy me. In particular, it's handling of the Contacts database (slow to open an entry and no way to search for a business, for example). I'm currently testing Zimbra as my email server and will have some posts up soon with some results and thoughts.

    Stay tuned!


  5. [...] Previously, I’ve talked about how my Nokia E61 smartphone does not seem to work correctly with the IMAP IDLE support offered by my Dreamhost email server. I contacted Dreamhost support about this, and they tell me that it’s not their fault. It must be a bug in the Nokia E61 IMAP client. [...]

  6. [...] sure how I missed this one… But, I had been looking for a good, FREE, application for my Nokia E61 to do Instant Messaging on Yahoo! Messenger. And, I found one, and much more, in [...]


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