updated 08:35 am EDT, Thu September 20, 2007
Nokia today sought to bring Wi-Fi to a wider audience with the 6301. The bar-shaped phone incorporates the wireless standard both to provide a fast alternative for Internet access and to offer calls over Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA); as with earlier phones of its kind, the 6301 can automatically hand over calls from the cellular network to VoIP and back. This not only saves cellular minutes when calls begin on Wi-Fi but also improves reception indoors; many users could scrap a landline entirely with a supporting cell carrier, Nokia says. To reflect this, the 6301 comes bundled with a desk stand to let the phone charge without losing its connection to a home wireless network.
The handset still includes many of Nokia's stronger mid-range features and includes a 2-megapixel camera as well as AAC, MP3, and WMA music support on microSD storage up to 4GB in size; users can also turn to FM radio in a pinch, says the company. Calling time is rated at a relatively brief 3.5 hours. The 6301 should go on sale before the end of the year for 230 Euros ($321) bundled with both its stand and a 128MB microSD card. Service is expected to start with the European cellular provider Orange and should spread worldwide, though tri-band GSM will limit the device's use in North America.