The New Nokia E6: A MensXP Review

altNokia's E-series phones have done two things to BlackBerry: first, they've given the latter a run for its money and second, they've proved to it that business phones need not be ugly.

Nokia E71 had takers from not only the corporate areas but even the college-goers started loving it. Its successor E72 also enjoyed considerable success. And then came the E5 which is often touted as the “BlackBerry Killer”.

Nokia's latest offering, almost after a year of E5's launch, is the E6. The phone arrives in the time of iPhones and Android devices which are unmistakably loosening the Finnish giant's grip on the upper segment market. Nokia understands that Symbian is now a thing of “medieval ages” and it needs to offer a revamped OS and a revved-up interface and may be some extra goodies as well. The E6 doesn't disappoint. It is all spiced-up, the user interface is more appealing and there also some treats you would normally not find in a business phone. But the biggest surprise is the new, hotly-awaited Symbian Anna OS on which the phone runs.

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Appearance, Build and Display

The handset is quite sleek, a trademark of the E-series. Ruggedly built, the phone is composed of stainless steel, matte plastic and Gorilla Glass, thereby confirming that it has been built to withstand a lot of wear and tear (and even a few nasty drops!). Measuring 115.5 x 59 x 10.5 mm and weighing about 133 gm, which is quiet okay for a phone like this, the handset can be comfortably held in the hand. The QWERTY keypad is sturdy, even though the keys are a bit softer as compared to the E71.

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The 2.46-inch capacitive touch-screen takes up almost half the space, and yes, the phone does feel a bit cramped. Pegged at 640 x 480 pixels (almost twice of what E5 offered), the screen resolution is fairly good. And here's a wee bit of surprise, the phone boasts of a pixel density of 328 ppi, which is 2 ppi more than the iPhone's Retina display.

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Camera and Other Media

The new Nokia E6 comes with an 8 MP fixed-focus camera with dual-LED flash. The quality of still images, to be honest, is average - decently detailed and moderately sharpened. Some images might appear under-contrasted. You can record up to 720p HD videos running at 25 fps (frames per second). But again, the video quality, too, is average.

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The music application hasn't changed much in Symbian Anna. Supported audio formats include MP3, AAC, WMA, and WAVE. The video player on the device can support DivX, XviD, MP4, WMV, and most MKV videos. Under the garb of a YouTube app, all you get is a web shortcut, a disappointment, indeed. The phone has 350 MB of internal memory and an external card slot which can support memory cards up to 32 GB.

Interface and Applications

The phone offers a great deal of customization. It lets you add and rearrange widgets and shortcuts easily. There's also a small notification area but not as good as the ones found in Android devices. Pressing and holding the home key opens Task Manager which allows you to view the open tabs, switch between them, and close them. In spite of just 256 MB of RAM, E6 can easily handle about 12 apps simultaneously. The new Symbian Anna is a welcome addition by Nokia. But iOS or Android can easily dwarf it in terms of appearance and appeal. That apart, the new OS runs smoothly and promises that we can finally bid goodbye to the sluggish ancient version of Symbian.

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There's a bettered, touch-optimised version of Ovi maps. The E6 gets locked with the satellites faster than Samsung Galaxy S2! The Lonely Planet city guide is a great addition. But the flash games are disappointing. The new 7.3 version of the browser is fast but does not stand a chance when compared to Androids. Word, Excel and Powerpoint files can be easily edited and there's Adobe Reader as well. The Ovi Store's UI looks overhauled. It doesn't crash anymore and offers a good number of apps. But again, this remains a petty achievement in front of Andriod and iOS.

Performance

Thought the new Symbian Anna aids tremendously in improving the phone's overall performance, Nokia could have definitely done something better than a 680MHz CPU and 256MB of RAM memory. Still, the overall performance of the phone doesn't disappoint, especially when you compare it with E71 and E5.

Call quality is extremely satisfying and so is the signal reception. Running on Symbian Anna, the phone comes with the fastest, most powerful web browser for a Nokia phone. It loads websites faster than the N8. The phone is fitted with 3.7V 1500 mAh battery which offers 14.8 hours of talktime, more than double of what BlackBerry offers. The E6 promises 28 days of standby time and three days music playback time.

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The Last Word

The new E6 from Nokia promises to heal the Finnish company's injuries to an extent. It presents a robust built, an innovative touch-and-type UI and good multimedia offerings. As CNET says, “The E6 is most definitely an improvement over the E5, offering a touch-screen interface, improved Symbian^3 'Anna' OS and a more robust and aesthetically-pleasing design”. Overall, a capable business phone with plenty of apps to suit business users (and can also appeal to other users). Those who have used either (or more) of E71, E72 and E5 will love this one.

The phone is let down a bit by the lack of an auto-focus camera and a not-so-powerful processor but its reasonable price of Rs 17,500 more than makes up for all this. Its closest rival, the ageing BlackBerry Bold 9780, costs around Rs 22k.

The device may not be a next-generation smartphone but it certainly promises to be a wonderful purchase at Rs 17.5 k, provided you have nothing against the “old man called Symbian”.

Price in India: To acquire this, you need to spend Rs 17,500.

: Touch and keypad combo, the new Symbian Anna, sturdy and pleasing built, superb battery life, revamped Ovi store

: Camera doesn't have autofocus, not-so-powerful processor, can be easily dwarfed by Android devices on many aspects

MensXP Rating: 3.5/5

Key Specifications

GENERAL

2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100

SIZE

Dimensions 115.5 x 59 x 10.5 mm, 66 cc
Weight 133 g

DISPLAY

Type TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 640 x 480 pixels, 2.46 inches
- Gorilla glass display
- QWERTY keyboard
- Multi-touch input method
- Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate
- Proximity sensor for auto turn-off

SOUND

Alert types Vibration, MP3, WAV ringtones

Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes

MEMORY

Phonebook Practically unlimited entries and fields, Photocall
Call records Detailed, max 30 days
Internal 8 GB storage, 256 MB RAM, 1 GB ROM
Card slot microSD, up to 32GB, buy memory

DATA

GPRS Class 33
EDGE Class 33
3G HSDPA 10.2Mbps, HSUPA 2.0Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth Yes, v3.0 with A2DP
Infrared port No
USB Yes, v2.0 microUSB, USB On-the-go support

CAMERA

Primary 8 MP, 3264x2448 pixels, fixed focus, dual-LED flash,check quality
Features Geo-tagging, face detection
Video Yes, 720p@25fps, check quality
Secondary Yes, VGA

FEATURES

OS Symbian Anna OS
CPU 680 MHz ARM 11 processor, 2D/3D Graphics HW Accelerator with OpenVG1.1 and OpenGL ES 2.0
Messaging SMS, MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
Browser WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML
Radio Stereo FM radio with RDS
Games Yes + downloadable
Colors Black, White, Silver
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support
Java Yes, MIDP 2.1
- Stainless steel panels
- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
- Digital compass
- TV-out
- MP4/H.264/H.263/RV player
- MP3/WMA/WAV/RA/eAAC+ player
- QuickOffice document editor (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF)
- Organizer
- Flash Lite 4.0
- Voice command/dial/commands
- Predictive text input

BATTERY

Standard battery, Li-Ion 1500 mAh (BP-4L)
Stand-by Up to 681 h (2G) / Up to 744 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 14 h 48 min (2G) / Up to 7 h 30 min (3G) (MensXP.com)

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Also read: Nokia Sneaks the C5 into Indian Marketplace and LG Optimus Black Android Phone Launched in India

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