Hands-on With the Nokia E6 Smartphone

Like its predecessors, the E71 and E72, Nokia’s new E6 business smartphone has some big shoes to fill and our first impressions of it say that it’s on the right track. This is Nokia’s first QWERTY Touch-and type handset and it comes with the latest version of Symbian Anna. While it hasn't deviated too much from the original design, it does pack in some nifty improvements. At Nokia's event, I managed to grab some private time with the device and here's what I thought.

 

Design

The form factor is what made the E71 and E72 very popular and the same is carried forward in the E6. This makes it fit snugly in your hand without being too small or too big, therefore it's comfortable to hold. It’s not too heavy, either at 133g and the stainless steel panels gives the appearance of a premium handset, a big tick mark for any business handset. The edges are curved, more so at the bottom which breaks the slightly blockier shape of the E72.

Two very professional looking colors

Two very professional looking colors

 

 

The keyboard is like the Holy Grail for any business phone, screw this up and you might as well wave the white flag. That’s not the case here, though, the keyboard is very comfortable to use (dare I say slightly better than the E72) and even though we didn’t use it for very long, it shouldn’t be a problem even for those lengthy mails. Nokia have increased the size of the Spacebar so it’s easier to type. The feedback of the keys was good just like its elder siblings.

E-Series style comfortable looking keypad

E-Series style comfortable looking keypad

 

 

The power button is located on the top along with the 3.5mm headphone jack and the micro-SD card slot. The three circles you see upfront are the ambient light sensor, proximity sensor and the front facing VGA camera. The volume rocker and lock screen slider is placed on the right which makes it easy to operate with your thumb if you're a righty. The other side hosts the micro-USB port which we've seen on all their recent phones.

MicroSD card slot on top

MicroSD card slot on top

 

 

Overll, the E6 makes a very good first impression when it comes to build and finish and is quite visually appealing in the two color options it comes in.

Features

The touch screen is Nokia’s latest addition to this form factor and it’s not too bad, actually. There’s not much room to work with obviously on the 2.46-inch screen, but it’s fairly responsive. Even with fat fingers like mine, I was easily able to navigate through the menus without accidently hitting something else. Also, since this screen has a higher than usual resolution of 640x480, everything looks really crisp and sharp. No more pixelated icons and wallpapers, everything looks modern and fresh. While opening folders or the menu, there is a very minor lag, but it’s a lot less pronounced compared to, say, the X7. I think this is because it’s easier for Symbian to render a 2.46-inch screen instead of a 4-inch where the lag is more pronounced.

Anna's menu on the Touch and Type

Anna's menu on the Touch and Type

 

 

Nokia has packed in plenty of productivity applications, like for instance you get the full version of Quick Office, which lets you create documents, as well. We’ll get into the full details once we get the unit for review.

All metal, all business

All metal, all business

 

 

The 8MP camera is a bit of a step backwards, though. Although the mega-pixel count has been bumped up from 5MP on the E72, it's now a fixed-focus camera instead of an auto-focus. This means capturing proper, in-focus shots will be a challenge. Nokia have added another LED for the flash and the new E6 can record 720p videos with Geo-tagging. This is made possible thanks to the 680MHz ARM 11 CPU in side with a graphics hardware accellerator. The phone also support more video formats out-of-the-box like H.264 and H.263. Storing all this HD content is not a problem either as the E6 has 8GB in-built memory that's expandable to 32GB via micro-SD card.

 

Verdict

Like the previous two phones, the E6 also launched at Rs.22,000 (approx), but unlike the E72, the E6 has already seen a price drop in this short span of time. You can find it on Flipkart for as little as Rs.17,499.

Slim looks with easy access buttons on the side

Slim looks with easy access buttons on the side

 

 

 

 

Nokia has stuck with their winning formula with E6, and if you loved the E71 and E72, then you'll no doubt love this one. After my brief stint with the device, I liked the overall build and feel of the device. The keyboard is very comfortable to use and the high resolution screen is simply gorgeous. The only downsides that I can see for now is the fixed focus camera and perhaps the Symbian Anna, which is still not as fluid as you'd want it to be. Also, Nokia will face some stiff competition from the Samsung Galaxy Pro and the upcoming BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900 and even though they fall under different price brackets, they still fall under the new touch-and-type QWERTY family. Stay tuned for our full review on the E6.


Published Date: Jul 09, 2011 04:13 pm | Updated Date: Jul 09, 2011 04:13 pm