The E6 is the latest in the line of Nokia’s ‘business’ smartphones. Appearance wise, it looks like a snazzier version of the hugely popular E71 and E72. On paper, there is nothing even close to spectacular about this phone. There is no dual core processor with 1Gb of ram and 64Gb of internal storage with a battery that needs charging every 2 seconds.
The company has been making some tough decisions in recent months and it remains to be seen how things will pan out. The question also arises if it’s a good idea to buy a Nokia smartphone at this time which is a transitional period for the company with respect to all aspects of its business including management, hardware, operating systems and services.
Design and build quality
Long story short, this phone looks awesome and feels even more awesome in the hand. It’s built like the interior of an Audi. The metal back also feels good. The keyboard layout is a usual Nokia hardware qwerty piece with keys of decent size and perfect travel. There is no hardware back button which I found very irritating. Of course, iPhone users won’t care about that. The D pad works very well and complements the OS perfectly. The screen is a 2.46” capacitive touchscreen item with Gorilla glass and supposedly more PPI than the iPhone 4 screen. The E6 has a hot swappable micro sd card slot up top. The other keys are typical Nokia.
When you first put in your sim card and turn on the phone, there is an option to set up push email for your email ID’s. The usual options of Gmail, Yahoo mail etc are displayed. I did not previously have a Nokia push mail service account, so I decided to configure 4 email ids (2 Yahoo mail and 2 Gmail) on the E6. The interface is quite simple but doesn’t seem to work right. After first setting up my WiFi router, it took me a total of 3 reboots to get all email ids recognised. Even after setting up the email ids, it never worked right. Over the same Wi-Fi network the entire time, it showed sporadic enthusiasm with some emails arriving instantly and others taking a maximum of 1 hour when being compared to my Samsung Galaxy S2 which was also on the same Wi-Fi network. Other than this problem, the mail app works perfectly in conjunction with the awesome keyboard, making the E6 a very good phone for emails. Each email ID gets its own widget on the home screen which is quite nice.
One can have 5 homescreens. The number of shortcuts/widgets you can have on every screen are limited because every home-screen has a clock, an icon showing your current profile and a notifications icon. The addition of a shortcut to the home screen is also unnecessarily complicated. Also, once you’ve added the shortcut, you can’t move it to a different home screen. One can only change the position of a group of 5 shortcuts on that particular home screen.
Contacts can be synced to the phone using Nokia Ovi Suite which works but there are no options in contact sync. For example, like in Blackberry desktop software, one can’t select to sync only one way, to or from the device, which could be problematic.
The overall interface is quite snappy and I didn’t find any point where I had to wait really long. The relatively slow processor isn’t really a problem although I really missed the hardware back button which was a standard feature on most previous E series Nokia phones, Blackberry’s and Android phones.
The telephony on this phone is typical Nokia bulletproof stuff. The call clarity and signal strength were exemplary. The phone book works really well and has smart dial for people who have a lot of contacts. The in-call volume and speaker are also very good. Everything related to the telephony aspect of this phone is faultless.
The screen has VGA resolution and supposedly around 328 ppi which is super sharp although too small in my books. In most apps, the fonts are barely visible. Even if one increases the font in the main settings menu, the apps are unaffected. People with bad vision might have a difficult time. The responsiveness of the capacitive display is good but again one needs to be precise owing to the small size of the screen.
The camera is an 8Mp item with EDoF (extended depth of focus). It sounds really good but somehow all the photos I took came out dull and lifeless. But the flash is really good for night shots. One small problem is the camera is on the protruded back of the phone hence is prone to scratches as there is no lens cover.
The battery life of the E6 is good but not as remarkable as Nokia say it is. I got around 36 hours with very little usage.
The Nokia Ovi store, which is the app store for Nokia is quite limited for choice. Half the time, whenever I tried to download/install an app, all I got was an error message and from what I have heard, this problem doesn’t seem to be isolated to the phone I tested.
The main audience for the E6 would be E71/E72 users wanting to upgrade or Blackberry users looking for something new. E71/E72 users would be happy with this phone but there are much better phones out there for the same amount of money. I’m sad to say this phone is no Blackberry killer. I would have been happy to find out that this phone is better than a blackberry but it was not so. Blackberry also has their BBM for added strength.
- Build quality
- Qwerty keyboard
- Value for money
- Signal strength, call clarity and volume
- Camera with flash
- Battery life
- Archaic operating system
- Nokia Ovi store’s very limited range of apps and with slew of error messages during every install
- Nokia push email service only works when it wants to and now has been bought by a British company so nobody knows what’s going to happen to it
- Screen too small both in terms of legibility and touchscreen ability
- Apps not optimised for this phone
- Touchscreen nowhere near as responsive as the iPhone’s and high end android phones but better than the Blackberry torch
- Home screens are painful to use
- Lack of back button
- No blackberry killer