By Benedict Wee
Gadget: NOKLA E81-1
Place of Origin: China
"Inspired" by: Unknown
I've never heard of Nokia giving a sub-number in their 'E' or 'N' line of mobiles before. But if they did this phone is so cool that it would deserve its own letter instead of being put in a sub-category of the E series.
The Nokla E81-1 is the first 108 degrees swivel mobile phone I've ever seen. It comes with pretty decent specs like a FM radio, multi-format video player, camera with video recording functions and an mp3 player but what makes this phone an eye turner is the its swivel design which reveals a full QWERTY keyboard similar to BlackBerry smartphones.
Also included is a mirror on the back for the ladies to check on their makeup (and for guys to check for vampires or something) and it comes with a big enough hole to easily thread a lanyard through (or to hang from a necklace).
The only flaws of the Nokla E81-1 are that it uses only GSM 900/1800 MHz networks and it doesn't have Wifi so don't expect to do anything except calling and texting on this mobile. It's retail price: 630RMB/NZ$137.90, cheaper than most dumbphones out there in the market right now.
I can't put an arbitrary score for almost-the-real-thing-ness since this phone isn't a copy of any model out in the market, but I would give it an A for sheer ingenuity and technical know-how. It's pretty amazing what these copycat makers can create sometimes.