Nokia’s E-series has a proud tradition going back to 2005 when Nokia E60, E61 and E70 were released. I’ve owned several E-series phones myself including E70, E61i and E71. The most recent one, the E71, came out in 2008 and is still one of my all-time favorite smartphones, but E6 may just have the edge over it.
In terms of form factor, design and materials, the E6 continues in the footsteps of its predecessors with a very business-like look and solid build quality. The front is dominated by a 2.46-inch display with a resolution of 640480 pixels. There’s also a QWERTY keyboard, which, although a bit too soft for my taste, still delivers a very good typing experience. The big news is that you now have a multitouch screen on the E6, which compliments the D-pad which sits in the centre of the device. I welcome the touch display but unfortunately it’s not as sensitive and responsive at it really needs to be to stand up in the tough competition. This is probably also due to the 680MHz processor and 256MB of RAM, both very modest in today’s smartphone world.
Nokia has included an 8-megapixel camera with flash in the E6. That’s a lot of pixels but you can’t really make good use of them because the lens is fixed focus so any good closeup shots are out of the question. For well-lit scenes from a few meters away, it does well but anyone looking for a great camera phone should not look at the E6. It does also record 720p HD video but it too also looks just okay.
Nokia E6 runs the latest version of the Symbian 3 operating system called Anna. Anna brings an updated interface with lots of squircles (not quite a circle, not quite a square). The biggest improvement in Anna is the web browser, which is now faster, displays Web pages better and overall gives a better experience. One interesting addition is JoikuSpot, a mobile hotspot software, with which you can turn the E6 into a portable access point to Internet. Be careful with this though if you’re on a limited 3G data plan as it can quickly eat up your allowance.
With E6, Nokia doesn’t deliver anything that is ground breaking and new but it is a worthy successor to the previous smartphones in the proud E-series. If you like a QWERTY keyboard and a phone with business looks and functionality, the Nokia E6 is a good choice. For Dh1,699 you get a high-quality smartphone with a lot of business-oriented functionality and a great keyboard. If it is Anna you want to lay your hands on, Nokia has said it will roll it out to other handsets, like the N8 and E7, in September this year.
Magnus Nystedt talks and writes about technology as much as he can. Follow him on Twitter as @mnystedt for the latest on consumer technology in the Middle East.
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