Nokia E6 review

The new phone benefits from touchscreen and Symbian Anna, but is it the business?

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Nokia e6

The Nokia E6 is the second E-Series mobile phone to support both the True-Type-esque keyboard and a touchscreen – a combination initially debuted on the Nokia E5.

But the Nokia E6 has a lot more to offer, with the Symbian^3 firmware providing four independent home screens, which is one more than the remainder of the Symbian^3 family, with the ability to add a fifth.

The numerous home screens enable the user to separate work and home life, with separate home screens for each and the ability to add up to three Favourites widget bars on each home screen, with four application shortcuts per widget. This makes the Nokia E6 screen interface more iPhone-like in appearance, with the ability to lateral swipe between screens.

Once you enter the main menu, you're welcomed with the standard Nokia application and folder structure provided on Nokia S60 and Symbian^3 devices, as finally incorporated into the iPhone 4.

A continuing frustration is that some folders have dedicated folder icons but others don't, making it harder to differentiate between folders at a glance. With the length of time Nokia has provided folder-based menus for, it would be nice if it provided user selectable folder icons like those on Windows PCs.

Nokia e6

It takes a while to adjust if you're either a QWERTY or full touch user, but once used to the mixed interface the phone is a dream to use, providing the best of both worlds with easy touchscreen navigation and the advantages of a physical QWERTY keyboard for text entry.

One area where the Nokia E6 disappoints compared with the rest of the Symbian^3 family is in its small 2.46-inch screen when using applications such as Ovi Maps This being said, the Nokia E6 screen has by far the highest pixel count on a Nokia device for its size, at 640 x 480 pixels.

Nokia e6

That's much higher than other E-Series phones with similar screen sizes, and far better than the Nokia E7, which has a disappointing 360 x 640 pixels on its 4-inch screen. In comparison, the BlackBerry Bold 9780 has a 360 x 480 pixel 2.44-inch screen and BlackBerry Bold 9900 has a 640 x 480 pixel 2.8-inch display.

Additional to the touchscreen and QWERTY keyboard, the Nokia E6 sports four dedicated hard keys, three of which can be user modified.

The fourth is the home screen/main menu button, which also opens the task manager on long press. The three user modifiable buttons are defaulted to Calendar, Messaging and Contacts, with icons to match.

Nokia e6

The two modes of operation – long and short-pressing – of the buttons can be reassigned to any item in the shortcuts list used by the Shortcut home screen widget. Calendar, Messaging and Contacts each have two modes – open application and create new - which is excellent for users wanting to make the experience their own.

As well as these, there are the standard Options, Home screen switcher and Main menu buttons along the bottom of the home screen.

Nokia e6

The home screens have two sections with three small, fixed widgets to the left: Clock for the date, Profile and Notifications for received calls, messages and emails.

To the right is the user configurable space, with a maximum of three widgets per home screen allowed here. Preinstalled options include News, Mail and Media offerings, or app links that users select themselves.

Transition between screens is fast, and the user interface is familiar for any existing Nokia owners, but may of course take some getting used to for others.

The new Symbian Anna icons are fresh and clean, but are also available on non-Anna Symbian^3 handsets by buying any of the Symbian Next+ themes by NovaG from the Ovi Store.

Nokia e6

One of our favourite minor yet very welcome improvements introduced by Symbian Anna is that Main menu organisation can now be accessed by long pressing any application icon, instead of having to select Options and organise.

The Home screen and Main menu are easily modifiable through the above widgets and the user-configurable folder functionality provided on all Nokia handsets.

However, this is still clunky - you have to move icons up and down through the menu levels using the options list, and app icons can only be arranged in groups of four in a certain widget. Nokia has shown it can do much better on the N9, so we can't wait for it to use the same thing on Symbian devices as the current method feels very outdated.

Another issue is the opening of applications - the E6 sometimes decided to leave us staring at the spinning icon for loading on a few occasions, which doesn't give the impression of a high-end speedy smartphone - especially when you compare it to the hyper-quick dual-core brigade.

Tags

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodQWERTY, Touchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory8 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, GPRS, HSDPA, HSUPA
SAR Value1.14 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyE
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1700, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemSymbian
Brand NameNokia
Battery Talk Time14.80 Hour
Product ModelE6
Screen Size6.2 cm (2.5")
Screen Resolution640 x 480
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)133 g
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, REACH, China RoHS
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerARM
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Operating System VersionSymbian Anna
Messaging TypeEmail, SMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height115.5 mm
Width59 mm
Depth10.5 mm
Radio TunerYes
Product SeriesE
Battery Standby Time744 Hour
ManufacturerNokia
Product NameE6 Smartphone
Processor Speed680 MHz
Processor TypeARM11
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, G-sensor, Digital Compass, Proximity Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Magnetometer
Manufacturer Part Numbernoke6-00
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.nokia.co.uk
Marketing Information

An ultra compact smartphone

Everything looks incredibly sharp on the full touch screen - plus you get a real QWERTY and a battery offering unbeatable power.

Millions of places to discover

Instantly find the best of everything in your city and start exploring with free lifetime walk and drive navigation worldwide.

Integrated email & social networks

Emails straight from your personal and work accounts and live Facebook and Twitter feeds 24/7.

Package Contents
  • E6 Smartphone
  • Nokia Battery
  • Nokia High Efficiency Charger
  • Nokia Stereo Headset
  • Quick Start Guide
Limited Warranty2 Year