Two Weeks With the Nokia E6- Video Review

SDC10033

(Written Review by RichWhite & Video Review by ThunderE)

Once again the nice people at WOM World Nokia (@WOMWorldNokia) lent me a trial device for 2 weeks, this time in the form of the E6. For the uninitiated, the E6 follows on from the excellent form factor of the E71, E72, E63 etc., except that this one has the standard portrait QWERTY and a touch screen, which should suit most people. Crucially, the device tailors to those who do and do not like touch screens, because everything can be done without touch. As with the E7, you can scroll the home screens using the cursors, so no need to swipe.

The E6 was a slight departure to me because I’ve only used touchscreen devices since I had the Nokia 5800 back in 2009, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to get on with the buttons. Still, it wouldn’t be an objective review if you didn’t look at something you may not like, right?

 

 

First things first, hardware. One of my biggest gripes with phones in recent years is removing the back cover to access the battery, the covers never feel quite strong enough as you prise them open from one corner (and if anyone is wondering, the worst back cover I have seen in my entire life is on the Samsung Galaxy S 2. I’ve seen sturdier pieces of bread). Nokia really solved this problem on the E6 though, because not only is it made of strong plastic, but it also has a small switch and when you flick it the back cover simply unclips and lifts up at the bottom, in a similar way to many remote controls. You can remove that cover all day every day and never worry about it breaking. Perfect.

Specs

  • 2.46” Touch screen, Resolution 640×480
  • OS Symbian OS (Anna)
  • Candy style device
  • portait QWERTY keyboard
  • 8GB SD expandable to 32GB
  • 8MP reamer camera (720p Recording)
  • Front facing camera for  video chat
  • GSM/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
  • WCDMA 850/900/1700/1900/2100
  • Automatic switching between WCDMA and GSM bands
  • GPRS/EDGE class B, multislot class 33
  • HSDPA Cat9, maximum speed up to 10.2 Mbps, HSUPA Cat5 2.0 Mbps
  • WLAN IEEE802.11 b/g/n
  • Capability to serve as data modem
  • Capability to serve as mobile WiFi hotspot
  • Support for MS Outlook synchronisation of contacts, calendar and notes.

The rest of the phone is typical Nokia build – solid. The physical buttons feel nice and do not move around under the fingers like some BlackBerry’s are known to do, and just above them, next to the ‘call’ and ‘end call’ buttons, are shortcut keys to contacts, calendar, email and inbox. These look like capacitive buttons but they do in actual fact depress with a satisfying click and simultaneously reassuring you that you won’t accidentally open something by brushing it lightly.
The keyboard itself is very good, the buttons are slightly raised in the middle thus increasing accuracy. My one complaint is that the buttons are narrow and I always thought I would hit the wrong one – that being said, I never did hit the wrong one even when typing quite fast, so the design team clearly did something right.

 

Considering the Nokia E6 is a business phone, it does have a very good camera. The camera opens fast and takes fast pictures, the only downside being the same as the E7 – it’s EDoF (full focus) rather than auto-focus like the N8. I’m aware that this is because of it being E series not N series, and yes the 8MP shooter takes very, very good pictures, but it would still be good if Nokia made a phone that combined all their stunning features into one or two devices. That said, the E6 does come with a HDMI port, so you can either play HD presentations to your colleagues or just kick back with some popcorn after a hard day in the office and stream a film to your TV. Business meets pleasure – and that sums up the E6 to a tee.

 

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The E6 came bundled with Anna, the long-awaited update to Symbian. First impressions are the icons really do make it look more fresh, and the E6 has 4 home screens – although I’m not sure if this is an Anna feature or just because the E6 has a screen half the size of other touchscreens. Realizing it was running Anna the first thing I did was try the browser to see if it had improved. The aesthetics are slightly different, with a ‘back’ icon and a ‘minimize/maximize’ icon in the left and right corners respectively, ala MicroB on the N900, and by clicking ‘options’ the user can now open multiple windows. In my E7 review I mentioned that the browser did not render a blog properly, showing only a checkered page with blurred text on it, and I stated I hope this gets fixed in the update. Well, I’m pleased to say that it was fixed in the update, and the page renders exactly like it does on the SGS2, N900, Opera, and pretty much everywhere else I tried it. The browser is also faster than the one on the current firmware, so another welcome addition.

 

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Setting up the phone is as easy as it always is with Nokia – insert SIM, start device sync and it pulls all the data from the other Nokia. Couldn’t be easier and it works every time. What amazed me the most about this device though was the battery life. The E7 impressed me, getting a good two days out of it with usage. The E6 though arrived at my door with 20% charge on a Friday. I set it all up, did some browsing on Wi-Fi and had Bluetooth on. I left it idle until Monday to see how it fared – by the end of that day it was still on 20%. By Tuesday after making some calls and sending a decent batch of text messages it finally dropped to 10%. It took another two days to die. Even on standby, for a phone to go 6 days on 20% charge is impressive. To go that long with Bluetooth on, Wi-Fi on, some calls, texts and browsing and initial set up is almost miraculous.

The Nokia E6 is a fantastically capable device that truly deserves its place in many people’s hands. For me, I use my devices for too many varied things to go back to such a small screen, but the E6 fits so perfectly in the hand, has so much functionality, has unbeatable hardware and performs superbly on all fronts that I am considering purchasing one as a work phone. For those of you on a touch device like the N8 or E7, Anna is a great update and Belle is not far behind, so the future looks good for Symbian users.

If you don’t need a large screen, seriously consider the E6. It’s like the secretary you can take home to meet your family – a real mix of work and play.

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