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21 July 2011

Pros and Cons of the Nokia E6

For the past two weeks I have replaced my Nokia E72 with the E6 to see how it would fare as an upgrade option for those currently using a Nokia E series phone such as the E72, E71 or E63. The biggest change in the E6 is obviously the addition of the touch screen to what is pretty much the E72 in an upgraded case and a downgraded camera.

The Long and Short of it
The E6 is slightly faster than previous E series phones but the phone's display is distinctly more vibrant compared to the Nokia E72. Holding the two phones in my hands, the E6 is slightly thicker and heavier than the E72 but the length and height of each device are pretty similar. The batteries are identical and the CPU is only marginally quicker in the E6. 

The Touch Revolution hits E Series
I found that having the E6 touch screen made navigation of websites and filling in forms much easier as it was easier to tap the fields that I needed to edit and use my finger to scroll through a website. However, the touch screen does take some getting used to as it is easy to accidentally launch things or call people by holding on to your phone. 

I think that the Nokia experiment to mix the QWERTY with a touch screen was largely a success however I think with some parts of the phone requiring touching and others pressing (for example the Home, Message, Calendar and Address Book buttons) had me a little confused at times but nothing one could not get used to. I wouldn't give away the buttons as the two-step shortcuts that they provide are a lifehacker's dream of quick multitasking. 

Tapping and holding reveals various context menus when running the E6. For example, in the browser, you can tap and hold down a link and the options will appear for you to COPY or OPEN IN NEW WINDOW. 

Proximity sensors  
The proximity sensor for the phone helps the touch screen to disable when you put the phone next to your ear but I have found in various instances that I accidentally muted the call or put someone on hold by putting the phone to my ear. The hardware is quite similar to the E72 but the lock slider definitely helps quick locking of the phone.

Noise cancellation
When you are using the phone without a headset or loudspeaker, the phone utilizes a noise cancelling feature that helps the person on the other end hear you even when you are in a noisy environment. Also, although I find it not that much of a practical feature, the phone has a forward facing camera which allows you to make video calls. 

What about Anna?
I think the E6 hasn't yet been polished up enough to show the true possibilities that Symbian Anna is capable of unleashing so I will reserve judgment about the operating system suffice to say that there is still much to be done to differentiate from earlier Symbian versions. 

Pinch and Zoom
The thrill of pinching and zooming was quickly shortlived when I discovered that the in built browser does not allow you to pinch and zoom but other software like Nokia Maps had no problems with this feature.  

The Software Package
It was great to see Joikuspot making it into the E6 to accompany the office lifesaver QuickOffice and Microsoft Communicator as stock standard offerings with the E6. 

E6 - what its missing 
HDMI - Ever since the E7 and the Nokia N8 teased us with the HDMI connectivity, it's been hard to look at new devices that do not have this feature. One may think it is gimmicky but it sure is an impressive functionality missing in the E6 which could stop the laughter in the boardroom when you run a powerpoint from your phone. 
USB ON THE GO - Again, blame the N8 for showing us that it is possible to connect your USB full of goodies to your phone before you get home. Whilst the E6 CAN support USB on the go, the required cable to do so is not included with the phone. Why save a few bucks, Nokia? Just include it!
CAMERA - We want to hammer this one home because in such a crucial time as this, Nokia ought to be throwing all their hardware muscle into every device that they release and so the E6 is not forgiven for downgrading from the autofocus camera that the E72 had. 
MULTISCANNER - By implication the phone is also missing the scanner feature that the E72 boasted against all other competitors. 

Well there is another look at the E6 from our perspective. Hope you found this useful. Comments and complaints below.

08 July 2011

Google Docs kills off Nokia Smartphone Access

A recent update by Google to Google Docs seems to have left Nokia disconnected. Nokia phones are unable to use Google Docs which means millions of users around the world are unable to edit and view documents on their Nokia phone that have been uploaded to Google Docs.

Google Docs not working on the E6, just hangs on this screen

I have been wondering whether this is a problem with Google or with Nokia. Surely, you would think that Nokia would have a group of developers who are in charge of responding to changes in the market that can ultimately leave Nokia phones ineffective or redundant. This latest change by Google seems to be consistent with changes to Google Maps which has been further developed with features only accessible by Android and iOS systems.
Same problem on the E72

Another device, another language, Google docs not working on E72

What amazes me is the lack of reaction that these changes generate within the Nokia camp. With the recent talk of Nokia needing to stay relevant to the market and the change in direction and CEO, I personally hope that Nokia keeps more abreast of changes than it has in the past. The market has moved on but will it be time for even Nokia supporters to do the same?

07 July 2011

What would an E72 user think of E6?

We finally have the chance to play with the Nokia E6 and after a day with it, let's have a look at some first thoughts from a Nokia E72 user. I vaguely recall a time when I started playing with the Nokia N8 wondering what a Nokia E72 would be like with a touch screen and that is exactly what we have in the Nokia E6. Looking very similar to the E72, apart from its E5 face, the E6 brings Symbian Anna to the only E series. I have to say it really didn't make that much of a difference apart from bringing in a new web browser.
The E6 does not make too many innovative steps in the hardware apart from the touch screen, with the camera taking one step back from the E72 which has an auto-focus camera. There is a slider lock on the right hand side of the device which enables you to lock and unlock the phone and also hold down to activate the torch (but the torch doesn't work when you are in an application).
I haven't discovered too many new hidden features in the E6 that were not in the E72. Joikuspot Premium comes standard and so does the ever essential business tool QuickOffice and F-secure.
How does touch make life better? The web browser for whatever reason does not have pinch and zoom enabled, probably something that we should see in the future versions. Having a touch screen makes it easier to input information into web forms for example and to scroll through a website quickly. The battery type is the same as other earlier E series phones such as the E63, E71 and E72. Volume of both the E72 and E6 are very similar as well for speakerphone and ringtones. The keyboard is the same as well. More on the E72 and E6 later.