Hi, Nokia. Hi, Symbian. It’s been a while since I’ve left you – the E72. I embraced Android and all its large-screen touchscreen glory. And now you have returned, as Anna. Will you win my heart again?

At one look, the Nokia E6 looks no different from the earlier QWERTY-laden E-series, which could be a good thing for users who do not like to attract attention. The build material of the back cover follows the E71 while the front is detailed after E72. In short: rock-solid.

Uncanny resemblance to the E72, no?

In its heart, though, a major revamp. Now running Symbian Anna, the E6 is a major (albeit late) improvement from E72. You get a higher-res screen of 640×480, an 8-megapixel free-focus camera, multi-touch capabilities. The E-series just got much better.

    You must love the compact size, and the ability to combine QWERTY key entries with touchscreen navigation. Yet, the standard 5-way navipad still works for the traditionalists.

    The back is in entire black – just like E71.

    Alas, the E6 came too late in this era of touchscreen devices.

    • Screen size is just too small, ironically worsened by the 640×480 resolution, making all the fonts and images even smaller. Most apps are not optimised for the high resolution in 2.4″ screen, which necessitates larger image thumbnails, font size and buttons
    • Insufficient screen space to view large content and to navigate. On Gravity app, I can only see 3 tweets per page, whereas I can view twice as much on Galaxy S.
    • Although Symbian is capable of multi-tasking, if you push the OS, the interface would get laggy.
    • Widgets does not allow resize and does not refresh as frequent as I would like to.
    • If you run too many background services like push mail, the phone heats up very fast and also drains battery fast. This is an existing behaviour for almost all smartphones with multi-tasking capabilities
    Apps (like Dropbox) not optimised for the high-res E6. Fonts appear too small
    Images appear sharp and with good contrast

    E6 is an excellent upgrade to the current E-series users. The form factor has not changed yet you can now navigate the screen more intuitively via touch. It is an extremely compact device that lets you manage telephony and texting functions efficiently, and is well suited for brief review of push content. The phone is capable of handling multiple email accounts and social networking feeds if you are not particular about screen size. If the above usage pattern suits you, then the E6 should be a favourite.

    Comparing screen size with Dell Streak, which is 800×600.

    But if you, like me, have already ventured into the large-screen touchscreen realm, there is no turning back to the previous-generation form factor. What Nokia should have done is to increase the size of the E6 to an “acceptable level” so that the screen size and keypads are bigger. The E6 screen is simply too small to handle the social media content navigated by big fat pointers.

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