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Old favourite returns anew

Harking back to the good old days of the E7x series, Nokia’s E6 offers the best of both worlds along with splendid battery life.

india Updated: Jul 28, 2011 18:51 IST
Roydon Cerejo

Nokia’s E71 and E72 mobile phones have been big landmarks for the Finish mobile giant as they helped cement the company’s stand in the business phone segment and gave rivals like BlackBerry a run for their money. The E6 is Nokia’s foray into the touchscreen market, consisting of a touchscreen and a full QWERTY keypad. Additionally, this smart phone runs Symbian’s latest operating system codenamed Anna.

Nokia gets full marks on design and build quality. The E6 looks and feels sophisticated, with the combination of high quality plastic, stainless steel and chrome trim blending well. The 640x480 resolution display at 2.46 inches features a Gorilla glass screen capable of replicating 16 million colours. This puts the pixel count at 326ppi — the same as the Retina Display on the iPhone 4. However, there’s no olio phobic coating so fingerprints remain a problem.

The keypad is similar to the previous models with some slight alterations like a larger space bar. The feedback of the keys is good and each one is distinguishable from the others. All ports and connectors are concealed behind plastic flaps. There’s also a little light near the USB port to let you know that the phone is connected to the PC. However there’s no notification light for missed calls, unread messages or if you’re charging through the adapter. Overall, we’re quite impressed with the looks.

The E6 comes loaded with Symbian Anna, which brings improvements on Nokia’s existing Symbian^3 platform. The first difference is the snappier response and a new set of icons. On the home screen, there’s a new notification system on the upper right-hand corner. This system works well and is similar to Android's notification bar. Unfortunately, animations aren’t as fluid as Apple’s iOS or Google’s Gingerbread — it seems Anna needs a bit more work.

This might be a business phone but the E6 packs in good multimedia features as well. The music player offers a CoverFlow like view for albums. Sadly, there’s no way to control the player without unlocking the device. Audio quality through the bundled headset is average and there are no music controls on it.

The default video player handles all major video codecs like DivX, VC-1 and H.264 except for MOV and FLV. The player easily handles 720p files without breaking a sweat. 1080p videos don’t play though. The E6 complies with the current standards and supports 3G in addition to Bluetooth 3.0 and Wi-Fi 402.11n. The USB 2.0 port supports USB On-the-go just like the N8 but you’ll have to buy the adapter separately.

The camera is of the 8MP fixed focus variety, so macro shots aren’t possible. The dual LED flash, though powerful, ends up ruining the picture if the object is close. The E6 can also record video in 720p (H.264) format at 25fps. The captured video is quite smooth and image stabilization helps. The video editing app lets you string together multiple videos and add transitions too. Battery The E6 will last for two full days under heavy usage. This includes phone calls, music playback, social networking and email apps running in the background and surfing over EDGE as well. Nokia continues to deliver very well on this front.

What we like
Design
Battery life
Mutimedia features like music, video and camera

What we don’t
Symbian Anna animations
8MP fixed focus camera that doesn’t allow macro shots

Verdict
For a street price of R 17,999, Nokia’s E6 offers tremendous value that makes it an excellent buy for those looking for a trendy touchscreen/QWERTY phone. It could have been a lot better if Nokia hadn’t meddled with the camera though. Also, in our humble opinion, they could have shifted the keypad a little lower, gotten rid of the D-pad and put in a larger screen. The phone also feels a little heavy if you have the habit of keeping it in your shirt pocket. And although Symbian Anna is a welcome improvement over Symbian^3, it still needs some refinement.