I recently had lunch with Nikka Abes of Nokia Philippines and she let me play with one of the most anticipated Nokia handsets this year.
TP Friends, check out Nokia E6 in the flesh --
Nokia E6, which effectively supersedes the ultra-popular Nokia E72, is a svelte business smartphone with a full QWERTY thumb-type keypad and a high resolution capacitive touchscreen display.
The handset also comes with powerful multimedia features like an 8 MegaPixel camera with dual LED flash, 720p HD video recorder, 8 GB of mass memory for storing music and documents, a microSD card slot and FM radio. As for connectivity, the phone supports Wifi, Bluetooth and 3G.
Nokia E6 runs the complete update of the Symbian operating system called Symbian Anna. This update offers a number of usability enhancements, including new icons called 'Squarecles' (half-square, half-circle), improved on-screen QWERTY keyboard, faster internet browser and an updated Ovi Maps app with public transport routes and improved search. The new software also offers new features aimed at business users, including full meeting request support and true enterprise grade security.
Here's a short clip of me holding the phone and showing the panels -- just to give you an idea of how the phone fits in the hand;
Since an hour is not enough to fully experience Nokia E6, I can only comment on three aspects of this phone right now; the Hardware, Buttons and Keypad, and (just a bit about) the User Interface.
Like both Nokia E71 and Nokia E72, Nokia E6 feels extremely solid in the hand. Clad and metal and glass, this handset exudes an aura of durability and sophistication. The subtle accents, on the other hand, gives E6 an air of understated elegance. This is a phone you won't be shy to put on the table with your laptop and moleskin during business meetings.
As you can see in the photos, the phone fits well in the hand. Not too big, not too small. Also, I don't think anyone will have problem carrying Nokia E6 in the pocket. It's not bulky at all.
Buttons and Keypad
I think it's nice that Nokia bothered to put dedicated buttons on Nokia E6 for Home, Calendar, Mail and Contacts. Since these sections are what business users usually visit on their smartphones, these buttons help users become more productive.
As for the physical keyboard, the layout is similar to that of Nokia E72. The keys, however, are different -- They feel just a tad more isolated from each other while still having that effective thumb-type travel distance between them, which is a good thing. The feedback is great, springy with just the right 'click-feel'.
Compared to Symbian^3, Symbian Anna really feels a lot smoother -- specially on the home screen. The display follows your finger when you swipe on it and everything just feels less clunky.
I recorded a video of Nikka showing me Symbian Anna on Nokia E6. I will post that in the next installment. So please stay tuned.