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July 20, 2011

Nokia E6 Review

Since the Nokia E71 came out several years ago, I’ve been a huge fan of the Finnish company’s full qwerty handsets. They’ve continued that same legacy and after 3 years, we still see the same signature with the E6. Read our full review of the Nokia E6 below.

Very little has actually changed on the design of the Nokia E6 when you compare it to its predecessor. The hardware specs has improved a lot but a first look at the device by an untrained eye will definitely confuse them in a lineup together with the E71 and the E72.

The handset has a pretty solid body construction, built with a combination of metal back-plating and hard polymer. The power button is found at the top end, along with the 3.5mm audio port and a compartment for a microSD card slot, for easy access.

The micro-USB port is hidden on the left side while the volume control is on the right side along with a dedicated button for voice commands and a screen-lock slider.

The Nokia E6 sports a full qwerty keypad and a touch screen allowing you to navigate using the physical D-pad and the display, depending on the need. On the first few days of use, you might get confused with navigation because you switch between the buttons on the touch panel-like uni-button of sorts, the D-pad and the screen but you’ll soon get the hang of it.

The E6 is one of the very few breed of Nokia handsets that they’d often refer to as “Touch & Type” although they didn’t really put this label on the E6, much like the E7 (don’t really know what qualifies a Nokia handset to carry the Touch & Type suffix).

The shortcut buttons (Home, Contacts, Message & Calendar) are now part of the touch panel uni-button to give it a clean, clutter-free and more polished look (I still prefer the physical buttons on the E72 though).

The solid metal back-plating gives the E6 a more solid design and construction. The 8MP camera is raised a bit, along with the dual-LED flash and speakers. This also makes the E6 a bit heavy for its size, which coud be good or bad, depending on where you’re coming from.

The Nokia E6 now comes with the new Symbian Anna, a more streamlined fork of the Symbian OS line-up. You get four scrollable homescreens you can customize with icons, shortcuts and widgets. The OS is more fluid, organized and functional compared to other previous Symbian variants. The UI works well for full touchscreen, full qwerty or a combination of both, just like the E6.

The camera on the Nokia E6 has an 8-megapixel sensor. However, it’s fixed-focused and not autofocus so half of the time, your photos will be out of focus or blurred. It’s only good when your subjects are at certain distance. Close-up shots will mostly be un-usable though. It’s also a bit lacking in color saturation.


Sample photos take with the Nokia E6. Click on images to see larger version.

The E6 can record video up to 720p. It’s decent but a bit grainy at full screen. Still, for a business phone, it’s a much welcome upgrade.

As for apps, you have the Ovi store for that and there’s practically thousands of apps available there for you to download for free or for minimal cost. One of the two Nokia E6 review units I have has Joikuspot pre-installed from the Ovi store. I remember this 3G tethering software as my most favorite app way before Android and iOS were even popular.

The Nokia E6 has pretty good specs for its class. It’s not the fastest in terms of CPU clock-speed but it does the job really well. The basic phone functions like SMS and calls are pretty easy and fast to access and use (the shortcuts on the touch panel helps). Launching apps takes a bit of time (like 3-5 seconds) but that seems to be normal for most of Nokia handsets.

Nokia E6 specs:
680MHz ARM 11 processor
2.46-inch display @ 640×480 pixels
8GB internal storage
256MB RAM, 1GB ROM
up to 32GB microSD
HSDPA 10.2Mbps, HSUPA 2.0Mbps
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 3.0 w/ A2DP
USB On-the-go support
8MP fixed-focus w/ dual-LED flash
720p@25fps video recording
2D/3D Graphics HW Accelerator with OpenVG1.1 and OpenGL ES 2.0
FM Radio tuner
Li-Ion 1500 mAh
Symbian Anna OS

Battery life is very good. I am able to get between 3 to 4 days of normal use on a single full charge — that’s with light browsing over 3G and a little gaming (Fruit Ninja fro Ovi). Nokia phones of this form factor normally get really good battery life, compared to most other smartphones that normally do between 1 to 2 days only.

The Nokia E6 will definitely find it hard to squeeze itself into a more crowded space today, compared to a few years ago. It’s practically in the same category as the Samsung Galaxy Pro, HTC Chacha and the BlackBerry Bold 9700. Long-time Nokia loyalists will definitely love it but will surely have a hard time convincing new users considering the alternatives int he market vis-a-vis the price point.

The Nokia E6 still has its charm — that familiar full qwerty keyboard, elegant yet business-style design, great battery life and a very dependable handset.

The Nokia E6 has a suggested retail price of only Php17,820 but you can get it in some stores for as low as Php16,000.

Huawei Ascend Mate & Review

Nokia E6 is the new E72 on Symbian^3
Nokia E6 First Impressions
Nokia E6 lands in the Philippines at Php17,820

30 Responses to “Nokia E6 Review”

  1. AnitoKid says:

    Many thanks for the review, kabayan!
    Am looking forward to getting this phone soon. Hope battery life is good and all.

    AnitoKid

  2. Raph says:

    a few corrections Sir Yuga…
    1. The volume & voice command buttons and lock sliders are on the right.
    2. Those buttons for the home, calendar, phonebook, email, call and end are buttons not a touch pad. Just two weirdly designed keys that are one piece on top and have three sensors underneath. I also prefer the ones on the e72 but this is much neater.
    3. It has a 680mhz arm11 like the rest of the current Symbian^3 family.

    Of course I am just nitpicking. Awesome phone. It does have a few drawbacks. One of the biggest is app compatibility… due to the different screen resolution. I hope that will change as apps are updated.

  3. yuga says:

    @raph – thanks for spotting that. I actually don’t know how to describe it so I’ll just throw in touch-panel-like uni-button. haha!

    • Raph says:

      @Yuga: Oh shoot i also forgot. It can have up to 5 Homescreens. Yeah I don’t know how to explain it either… I did my best. I kinda wish with they made a weird longer device instead like the Motorola Droid Pro and kept the resolution, aspect ratio, and orientation for better app compatibility. This will make this device a bit behind in app support compared to the other Symbian^3 devices… there are great apps that I want that do not run yet. Sad.

      @JKisaragi: Okay I am butting in a bit. Yup this is a major drawback to other people. The notification light is useless. The notification light is too dim and it does not notify for emails. (bad bad bad Nokia. I kinda with they had the old style Ericsson notifications light.) Maybe they can modify the firmware to use the charging light indicator/the voice command button light (also the in call mute button if I remember correctly)/the whole weird button area for the d-pad, call & end buttons, and other one- touch keys area… I won’t hope for too much. If the notification light is important to you do not get the Nokia E6. BAD BAD Nokia.

  4. JKisaragi says:

    Another drawback (whether it be minor or major may depend on the user) is the breathing light notification; a lot of owners have been saying that it’s difficult to see because the button in the middle of the D-pad is way too big.

    Can you confirm this one Sir Abe?

  5. JayL
    Twitter: JayL_Aquino
    says:

    the black one, looks like china phone.

  6. Jonaflormicfren
    Twitter: daniojr
    says:

    The innovation of its kind surely make some changes that would fit the need of present users demand.

  7. and for that said price,, i think its best to go for c7…. even though it doesnt have a physical keys,,,, compared to e6,,, i think,, everyone will get used to it a couple of days after,, from it first usage,, and more apps are compatible it,

  8. tfcnow01 says:

    I have an e7 and didn’t like the full focus cam. The photos aren’t as sharp as my e71 shots. I did like the video capture which i believe is similar to e6. I told my friend that he can have my e7 as long as he replace it with any phone. I prefer e6 but the full focus is what turns me down. I tried htc sensation cam for photo and video and its really good. Just not a fan of big touch screen phones.

  9. 21 says:

    Guys, this or Chacha?

    • tfcnow01 says:

      you have to figure that one out by yourself, you don’t ask others what to get, best thing you can do is try a demo unit of both and decide which suits you, plus of course, others opinion of each can count as additional info in making your decision, E6 maybe the phone for others as well as Chacha, but then it depends on their preferences and considerations, guess the question is what really are you preferences and considerations, then check each phone’s specs satisfy these, then check the actual unit itself to verify, of course, if you don’t want to do this, just go get one based on what you think is good and if you can’t return it, then suck it up.

  10. tfnow01 says:

    i got an E7 and after 4 days, its auto-rotate stopped working. so my phone stuck at seeing everything on landscape even your holding the phone upright. also, the physical keyboard wasn’t working too. send it for repairs after 4 days i got it back. all the faults i saw where fixed and found the new one. the secondary camera isn’t working. wonder how this got pass the Nokia’s functional test. so now I’m sending it back for repairs. I’ve been a Nokia phone user since the birth of gsm in Phils. But this is the only unit that I’ve had such problems. Makes me think quality isn’t getting better @ Nokia. I maybe wrong but it could also be that I just got the bad unit. good thing this is a company issued phone. I did check my friend’s HTC Sensation 4G, and was amazed with it. Especially the video and photo. I’m not an android fan but i have to say its not hard to transition to it based on my testing of HTC Sensation 4G. And the better part is, should I decide to get 1, my friend can get me a 65% discount on a new HTC Sensation 4G, not bad ey…

    For now I’m thinking of getting an E6 but still undecided until I get my hands on a demo unit or somebody else’s. If E6 ain’t good for me then I’ll settle with N8 which is similar to E7 except for the physical keyboard but better camera (12MP with AF).

  11. Hotte Hü says:

    the e6 notification led light is totally useless. any blackberry user will laugh at it! people are starting to return the phone because of that issue. see:

    http://discussions.europe.nokia.com/t5/Eseries-and-Communicators/Nokia-E6-doesn-t-have-notification-light/td-p/1044367

    also the battery life is less than on an android phone and they have already a short battery life! stay away from the e6, this is not a business phone it’s a joke. it’s obvious that as nokia is now in big trouble (losing chunks of market share on a daily basis!) they launch the phones without proper quality control to have new ones out quickly and the customers pay the price!

  12. 21 says:

    i really want this one but the only drawbacks for me is the platform ~ ! most of the apps frm nokia is made frm java.

    • tfcnow says:

      i don’t see any drawback from java based apps on my e7. If you think java aint good then don’t get any nokia then.

  13. Mouse Laser Pointer says:

    My last nokia phone is Nokia 2100 and I lost it. Since then, I didn’t use nokia. But I think, this time I’ll back to nokia. E7 is worth to buy. Thanks for the review.

  14. Leganite
    Twitter: Leganite
    says:

    Just a quick tip. Wait till you see Symbian Belle. ^_^ . You’ll love any Nokia Phone that is running on Symbian^3.

  15. das@Nokia E6 says:

    I invest RS 17,000 to purchase Nokia E6, the touch screen and QWERTY keyboard is good, i am not facing any problem on typing text but problem is i am able to send file 2mp and battery showing one day back. 8-MP camera help me to shoot photo whenever i am going to visit, no need to carry my digital camera

  16. smrbuilders
    Twitter: smrcity
    says:

    Thank you for the interesting post, it has everything that makes the post most resourceful and I am sure I going to visit it again for more posts.

  17. edsa says:

    i’m planning to buy this phone, how to determine nokia e6 made in china and from finland? pls help thanks

  18. pjrock
    Twitter: vjveejayvj
    says:

    is this phone has an e-book reader?..i’m really wanted to have a phone with an e-book reader even if it costs me so much. i don’t want to use Kindle, either. can you help me about this? thanks

  19. Alfred says:

    i’ve been a Nokia Phone User before,, then i bought Samsung B7320, my First QWERTY phone, the only problem i had with this phone is that my Inbox Messages eats up my phone memory, this phone can’t save messages to it’s Memory Card, it only saves Pictures and Videos in its Memory Card. Does this Phone Nokia E6 can save messages in memory card? can this phone be set store messages in memory card instead of it’s Phone memory? which is lacking to other mobile phones especially Samsung… coz i don’t usually delete messages for safekeeping, usually business matters…

  20. adrian says:

    how much is this here in philippines?

  21. Thanks for any other wonderful article. Where else may just anyone get that kind of info in such an ideal method of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m on the search for such info.

  22. benson says:

    E6 is on my mind, no doubt- i’m getting it :)

  23. benson says:

    We all have different things on our minds. Technical devices might work fine for Mr. A, but bad for Mr. B.
    Such is life

  24. Remarkable issues here. I’m very satisfied to look your post.

    Thank you a lot and I am looking forward to touch you.
    Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

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