Despite the inclusion of a QWERTY keyboard, Nokia has managed to keep the E6 to a reasonable width. It looks and feels fantastic. We're even fans of the glossy white finish
While the QWERTY keyboard feels great under the thumbs, the touch-screen is a tad juddery and too small to enjoy big feather-like swipes
An eight-megapixel camera with all the trimmings, A-GPS, HSDPA, Wi-Fi and a few pre-embedded widgets including Ovi Social for Facebook and Twitter fans
Both the camera and A-GPS were particularly impressive, and while the internet experience was fine in terms of speed, we did lament the small display
An exceptionally good battery life of around 450 minutes talktime on a 3G network and 744 hours standby
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,6/24/2011 4:04:02 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
A great looking phone with a QWERTY keyboard that?s well raised and positioned, ensuring a painless typing experience
The smaller display means a lot of scrolling is needed when surfing the web, while you won?t be wanting to watch a feature length movie either
With its compact QWERTY keyboard, the Nokia E6 bears an uncanny resemblance to a BlackBerry. Yet there’s far more to this slick-looking device than simply being With a beautiful form factor and a responsive touch-screen, there’s far more than meets the eye with the Nokia E6With its compact QWERTY keyboard, the Nokia E6 bears an uncanny resemblance to a BlackBerry. Yet there’s far more to this slick-looking device than simply being a clone. While many have questioned the software used by Nokia of late, its hardware has (generally) remained top draw and the E6 is no exception. The front fascia is coated in a glossy white (a black version is also available) that manages to avoid that garish look and feel we’ve seen with other handsets of this shade. The metallic trim and silver back help give the phone a real high-class appearance. The QWERTY keyboard is compact, with Nokia pushing the keys right to the edges of the device. It helps keep the phone at a reasonable width, but there’s enough separation between the keys to ensure a stress-free typing experience. The number keys are all grouped together in the middle of the keyboard, though they each share with a letter. We also liked how the keyboard glowed each time we used it, while the lock switch on the right of the phone proved handy.
Immediately above the keyboard is a D-Pad, which, though nicely raised, did feel a little loose. It only allows four-way movement, so no diagonal pushes will be recognised. Either side of the D-Pad you’ll find two flat panels that each perform three different functions. On the left hand side is a Call button, a Home key and a Calendar, while on the right is the Call end, Contacts and Email button. There’s not a great deal of space between them and with no physical borders, a degree of care is needed.
However, that’s not the bit that really threw us. The E6 also has a touch-screen.
Nokia has employed the bottom corners of the display for commands such as Options and Menu. But it took some getting used to before our thumbs were automatically drawn to the touch-screen rather than towards the Call and Call end keys directly below. Teething issues aside, the touch-screen is both responsive and vibrant, with excellent graphics. But the tiny 2.46-inch display means you are somewhat limited in terms of how you can use the screen – we wouldn’t recommend watching a two-hour blockbuster, for example.
The size of the display also means that a degree of scrolling will be required when browsing the web. Surprisingly, this process was not the smoothest, especially when using the D-Pad to control the virtual cursor. Opening webpages was a breezy affair, but though the pinch and pull method of zooming in worked well enough, when we double-tapped the display to realign the page some of the text went out of eyeshot. We also felt Nokia could have used the keyboard as a shortcut for specific actions. It would have been neat if we could’ve pressed the ‘F’ key to ‘find’ a word, for example, rather than having to go through the menu settings.
Though you can customise any of the three home screens, the Symbian Anna OS is not as personable as the rival Android platform. Some of the icons can’t be removed and you’re limited in terms of positioning the icons to a tab system. One of these preset tabs is Ovi Social, which is Nokia’s take on the social networking integration feed. For the most part it works pretty well, with a collaboration of feeds from your Facebook and Twitter accounts appearing on your home screen. Alternatively, once inside the app you can view your feeds separately. Our only gripe came when we tried to upload photos over a data link, which it struggled to do until we reverted to a Wi-Fi connection.
Talking of the camera, we were thoroughly impressed, despite the small display. Great balance, an impressive dual-LED flash and a fixed focus that helped our snaps remain steady despite our deliberate attempts to be juddery.The sat nav experience was also mightily impressive thanks to an accurate A-GPS and the brilliant Ovi Maps. Despite the fact the screen is limited in terms of what it can display at any one time, with clear voice instructions and lightning fast re-routing speeds, your navigational needs are well catered for.
Even with this latest version we still have misgivings about the Symbian OS – we can’t wait for Nokia’s first Windows Phone 7 handset. However, with the Nokia E6 the Finnish giant has once again proved that it still knows how to deliver a handset with mass appeal.