Symbian gets an update and the Nokia E6 showcases it.
There are a few things that separate the Nokia E6 from the rest of its sibling with the Symbian Anna update being one of them. But before getting into that, lets talk a bit about the 2.46” touchscreen on the E6 which has a resolution of 640×480 pixels giving it a pixel density higher than the iPhone 4’s retina display. This makes the screen incredibly crisp and amongst the best I’ve seen in Smartphones.
The next thing I wanted to talk about is the keyboard on the E6. The BlackBerry style keyboard is good but not great and I found myself hitting neighbouring keys more frequently than I would have liked. Also, the backlighting on the keyboard works well in dark situations but the keys can be a bit hard to read when it’s not totally dark.
Above the keyboard, you have a navigation pad along with shortcuts and the send/end keys on the sides. The d-pad sits right below the screen and I found myself accidentally selecting something on the touchscreen quite often when all I wanted was to press up on the d-pad. This resulted in a lot of frustration especially since there are many areas in the OS that have three soft buttons onscreen and I continuously kept hitting the middle one.
Coming to Anna, the latest release of Symbian from Nokia, the E6 has the privilege of being the first device to sport the update. Nokia has redone the icons with this update giving the aging Symbian OS a nicer look. What has changed considerably is the new Web browser than supports HTML5 and gets a shot in the arm as far as speed is concerned. Nokia has also removed the bottom row of buttons giving more estate to the web page. I loaded a few pages such as tbreak.com and although the scrolling was a little jerky at times, everything else except for flash content worked reasonably ok. The SunSpider test completed in 8870ms which is actually faster than an IPhone 4 running iOs 4.2
Where you still see issues on the E6 are with general usability- it just feels a bit slow and sluggish switching between tasks and recognizing gestures. For example, when you try to zoom into a picture, it takes a while for it to register. Similarly, swiping between the four home screens or pressing on a button sometimes just doesn’t register.
Coming to the camera, the E6 is more of a business device so don’t expect something as good as the N8. The 8MP camera has a fixed focus so, like the Nokia E7, expect better results for items that are not close to the camera. Also, the camera is not very fast and moving object generally result in a distorted image.
What does work great is the battery life. I was consistently getting almost two days out of the E6 and this is with push email enabled- that is certainly something that will appeal to the business user for which this phone is designed for. Add Exchange support and a price tag of AED 1699, and the Nokia E6 come out as a decent phone at a decent price. Sadly, the overall sluggishness and the aging Symbian doesn’t make it exciting enough for anyone who is not a die-hard Symbian fan.