I’m mostly happy with my new Nokia E61, but there are 2 or 3 things about it that have been annoying the heck out of me. The most serious one is power-related: it’s been a royal pain in the neck to charge the phone. When I plug the phone into the charger, it’ll charge for a little while–30 seconds to 10 minutes–and then beep and say “Not charging.” If I unplug and replug the charger, then it’ll charge for a little while longer, but I have to keep doing it over and over again to get a full charge. This isn’t exactly an enjoyable and productive way to spend my days.

Obviously, it isn’t supposed to work this way. From doing a bit of digging online, it looks like I’m not alone with this problem. The general issue seems to be the charger–some third-party chargers (or even older Nokia chargers) don’t put out enough voltage to charge the phone. The phone sees the voltage as too low, so it aborts with the “not charging” message. I can see why this happens with the cheap third-party car charger that came with my phone, but it’s not at all clear why Nokia’s own wall charger does it. Admittedly, the one that came in the box with the phone is a UK model, but it’s supposed to take 100-240V. I just doesn’t quite manage to work right. There’s a slim chance that the vendor that sold me the E61 swapped out an older charger, but that’s kind of weird.

In an effort to avoid having to return the phone, I picked up a Nokia AC-3U charger from CompUSA on the way home today. The AC-3U is the travel charger that Nokia lists on their website for the E61. It uses the right connector for the phone (unlike the charger that came with the phone–it needs an adapter), and it’s quite a bit smaller then the original charger, too.

I plugged it in and the phone charged for about a half hour before “not charging” showed up. That’s a new record, but more importantly, it claimed to be fully charged at that point. So, most likely, the AC-3U does the trick. I’ll give it another shot tomorrow once it’s drained down a bit, but I think it’ll be okay.