We’ve got with us a Nokia E6, the latest offering from Nokia, which runs on the new Symbian Anna. They launched this phone sometime back along with the Nokia X7, both of them having some new features and design. Well, the E6 doesn’t really have anything that different from, say, a Nokia E72, E71 or the E63. You’ll only see the difference when you hold it in your hand and turn it around. Behold, the 8 megapixel camera. There’s more, if you’re wondering.
Anyways, I got to play around with this phone, like literally, and here’s what I think of the Nokia E6. I solemnly swear that I’m up to an honest review. And speaking honestly, I’m no fan of QWERTY phones, but this one’s different.
Looks, Design and Feel
Like I said before, there isn’t much dissimilarity between this and other E series models, but there are some differences when it comes to features. But, lets talk about the design and feel of this device for now. It definitely has that business feel, sturdiness and the metal battery cover like few other E series phones.
Don’t be disappointed if people don’t ask you what phone you’re sporting, as the E6 is not much of a looker unless you have it in silver. Well, even then, it’s not that attractive, but certainly more attractive than the previous E series models.
A perfect fit in your pocket and palm, so you don’t have to worry about losing it when involved in a cop chase. There’s a slight bulge on the back thanks to the camera, which is also made up of metal. If you’re a fan of the Nokia E series family, then you’re certainly going to dig this and probably replace your old one with this.
Display, Keyboard and Camera
The E6 has a 2.46-inch VGA Capacitive Touchscreen display with 328ppi, more than that of the iPhone 4. Now, that’s something right, but on a small display, it’s really of not that great an importance. I’m not saying the display is bad, it’s certainly better than all the other Nokia phones I’ve ever used, it’s bright, can be seen in bright daylight and the touch is great as well.
Video playback works really well too, although I haven’t really tested any gaming, but it shouldn’t be any problem on this display.
If you notice in the picture to the left, there are no Option and Menu keys that were usually present in all E series phones. Instead, you’ll have to use the touchscreen to open or go back, which is annoying at times. The keypad is just like any other E series phone, laid over in 4 rows and are quite soft.
Like I said before, I don’t fancy Qwerty keyboards, hence I did not like it much. But, if you’re not like me, then you’d love it, perhaps. The response is good, and I did manage to type a complete sentence rather quickly.
The Camera, in simple terms, is awesome if you have a steady grip. Beefed up with 8 megapixels of picture and video taking power, the Nokia E6 does a very good job at taking 720p HD videos. The video recording quality is really amazing, plus it looks extra amazing on that small screen. However, the camera doesn’t have any auto-focus or a dedicated camera button, which is a slight problem.
See, a normal human being does shake his hand a bit while taking photos and since there’s no auto-focus, you know where I’m getting at. Otherwise, the camera takes really well still images too and the flash is great as well, dual-LED’s act as though you just created a Patronus to scare away the dementors.
Camera has a lot of modes, so you can basically just select a setting and use the touchscreen or the D-pad to take photos. You can also use the front camera, yes there is one!!
The Hardware, Features and Software
Having given a 680Mhz ARM 11 processor, the E6 makes pretty good use of it. It’s faster than the previous E-series phones and packs in a lot of new features. It’s only normal to expect a lot of features from a phone that’s priced among higher end smartphones. And yes it does, specially for a business person, this is one awesome piece of technology. It has everything that you’d look for in a high-end smartphone. Below are the most important features of this phone;
- Symbian Anna OS
- 8GB internal storage, 1GB ROM, microSD card slot
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
- GPS receiver with A-GPS support and free lifetime voice-guided navigation
- Built-in accelerometer and proximity sensor
- 3.5 mm audio jack, microUSB port, USB-on-the-go, Flash and Java support for the web browser, Stereo Bluetooth 3.0 and Social network integration
So, now you know that the phone does have almost all the features that you’d require.
Coming, to the software department, I believe Nokia did not do such a great job. I mean, sure the Symbian Anna is prettier and has newer icon sets and customizable homescreens, but it’s still Symbian under the skin.
I’m not saying Symbian is bad, but they should worked more on making Symbian Anna faster and have lots of new features. One of the only interesting things that I found on the software was the VPN feature, which lets you connect to a VPN server and enjoy free internet services. Apart from that, there wasn’t much changes done to the software other than the new UI.
However, Anna is certainly smoother and faster than Symbian S60 software and on par with Symbian^3.
Applications, Internet Browsing and Performance
I’m sure you may have used the Ovi Store before, hence I don’t have to say that it’s growing slowly, but you won’t find lot of applications for the E6. Since this runs on Symbian Anna, there aren’t a lot of applications available, but that doesn’t stop it from being functional.
The phone comes filled with lots and lots of important and necessary applications that will come handy every day. There aren’t pages of them, but there are enough. Ovi maps did not disappoint as well, the in-built GPS does a great job of tracking you down.
The stock browser that comes along is really nice to use. Thanks to the touch interface, you can do a lot of things while browsing the internet, and yes it has Adobe Flash pre-installed to watch YouTube videos without any problems. Browsing is really smooth, it has tabbed browsing and the web pages do load fast, if you have a fast internet connection. Rest assured, all the applications that come in the phone will work well.
If you’re a first time Symbian Anna user, you may be irritated with the Ovi Startup, which you have to sign-up with to actually be able to use the phone.
Performance of the phone is good as well, like I mentioned before. You may however be greeted with some sluggish performance, but that’s something you can neglect. I did not experience any freezing of the device during it’s stay in my pocket, even though it was thoroughly exploited.
Price and Availability
The Nokia E6 is currently available in the market for a price of INR 17,999, which is well below the 20K mark. For that price you get all of the above mentioned features, a great looking QWERTY phone, an 8 megapixel camera and a sealed box with all the necessary accessories.
I’ve never used a Symbian Anna device, well how could I? This was the first. Anyways, because of the new UI, the phone actually felt like an Android phone, until I entered the Menu. It’s a really good and worthy buy for the price, since it has all the features that you’d ever require on a phone, specially if you own a business. As it’s a Symbian device, you should be fairly used to how the phone works, if you don’t you’ll learn it in an hour or so. If you were planning on buying a fairly expensive Blackberry with similar features, I’d suggest you forget that and go for the Nokia E6. After all, it’s Nokia!!