Nokia E60 Review

One of the best business class smartphone

By on November 2nd, 2006 11:51 GMT
Nokia has again proven, with the E60 device, that they can make high quality mobile phones for the business class, but then again, they have also proven that things like eye catchy designs are not on their top list when manufacturing a business class handset.

Whatever we may say about the lack of design in the case of the E60, there's still something that we might wanna consider - this is not a phone targeted at those customers that want good looking phones, but at those that want more functionality and don't really care about how their Nokia phone looks like as long as it does its job.

Design

As said before, this is not one of those eye catching mobile phones, but instead, it was designed having in mind the businessmen's needs, and thus, the E60 has arrived on the mobile market looking as business as it can get. Having no roundness at all, the handset sports a candybar form-factor and looks very smartphone-like, with no chance of mistaking it with anything else and, at the same time, keeping a somewhat casual overall look.

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Measuring 115 x 49 x 17 mm and weighing no less than 117 grams, many people will put a ''brick'' tag on it, but after using it, you will see that it fits very well in the hand, so you will feel somewhat visually impaired and you'll get to the same conclusion as I did, that the E60 doesn't really deserve to be branded with such a nasty name.
The E60 has very nice chrome highlights on the front, the sides and around the display and the keypad, inserts that fit in very naturally because of the feeling that the handset will give you as a whole. The user will have the impression that this is not a device made of numerous parts assembled together, but one that has been cut down to this form, having no kind of spaces between the parts, thus giving you a very strong sensation of power and control (a very good thing if you are the kind of person that Nokia has thought of when creating this phone). Unfortunately, the case itself is made out of plastic, a material that will put its unmistakable mark on the final impression that this phone is easy on scratches.
On its front, you will get a traditional phone keypad with easy to use buttons and translucent back-lit vertical bars between the columns, the main display and two soft keys plus the call and end call buttons that surround a 5-way joystick. Also, here is where you will find a light sensor placed on top of the ear piece that will auto-adjust the brightness of the display and the back-lighting of the keypad according to the environment lighting. On the back, there aren't many surprises besides the unusual side way that the battery cover slides open.

Processor and Memory

This is a smartphone powered by a Symbian 9.1 Series S60 3rd edition operating system, helped by 64 MB of internal shared memory and a hot-swap RS-DV-MMC 64 MB memory card that will come with the standard kit. The Symbian operating system is running on a Ti OMAP 1710 ARM-926 processor functioning at a 220 MHz frequency, not a very good choice from my point of view but somewhat understandable when thinking about the time the E60 has been developed. Anyway, the device runs pretty smoothly without any major delays while working with different types of applications, even if you use the memory card. Also, because the phonebook uses the above mentioned internal shared memory, you can add as much contacts with as much entries for everyone of them as you want.

Multimedia

The best multimedia feature of the phone has to be its incredibly looking display that offers a generous 352 x 416 pixels resolution, a screen capable of displaying 16 million colors, features that make it one of the best possible choices you could make if you want display quality before everything else. The display can be rotated and paned with ease thus offering the phone's users the possibility to use it in landscape mode giving a laptop-like feel. Also, the front screen offers very good viewing angles with no color inverting or bad shaped images whatsoever and, the most important thing in my opinion, it passes the direct sun light test still displaying very easily readable information and I have to accentuate the fact that the way it passes it puts the device in front of the smartphone class.

The Nokia handset is also offering a music player that supports most of the audio files common these days, a player that can use a number of equalizer presets. The final result doesn't sound very impressive, the sound quality could be considered mediocre and that is understandable if you watch the phone from a businessman's point of view who doesn't buy this phone for entertainment, but rather for its communication capabilities.

The Real Player and the Flash Player that are pre-installed on the E60 give the user the possibility to watch videos on the high resolution screen of the phone, offering a great multimedia experience.
The missing digital camera is the most important multimedia drawback when watched by the common phone users, but could be a plus of appeal for the users that already have a digital camera and don't want to carry another one with them and for the businessman that can't use a camera phone within the company building because its usage is often forbidden in most company headquarters these days.

Communication

The time has come to show the things that the E60 is recognized for, its connectivity features, features that can satisfy even the pickiest user on the planet.
So, we're talking about a tri-band GSM handset, working on 900,1800 and 1900 MHz networks, that also comes with 3G UMTS connectivity. Further more, you have at your disposal the possibility to use class 10 GPRS and EDGE for wireless data transfer, Wi-Fi 802.11 coming with i/e/g standards to get online and use broadband internet access while near a Wi-Fi hot-spot, support for internet calls over WLAN using SIP, Infrared and Bluetooth 1.2 connectivity (the Bluetooth supports PC Suite, Headset and Handsfree, OBEX access and Dial-Up Networking), USB 2.0 using a Pop Port connector to quickly synchronize data, Push-to-Talk, WAP 2.0, SMTP, POP3 and IMAP4 e-mail protocols and instant messaging.
To cut it short, this is the phone every guy that considers itself an ''online'' freak has ever dreamed of. You get every type of connectivity you can think of, you can get online whatever the situation or the location and even more. This is a device that can be connected with virtually anything that crosses your mind.

The Good

As you already guessed after reading the connectivity part of this review, the good parts can be mostly found in that sector of the feature package. Besides this, the phone offers what it promises, therefore being a very good choice for anybody that wants a business class cell phone that doesn't make any kind of concessions along the way of achieving this purpose. The design doesn't offer anything flashy but instead, it shows a chromed suit designed specifically for business usage, a feature that comes together with the outstanding high quality display that gives the phone an even classier look and the wide range of software offer that comes along with the Symbian OS.

The Bad

Some would consider the missing QWERTY keyboard a drawback for this smartphone because it gives the user less control over the data entry or the document editing, but I consider this opinion a mistake because most of the E60 users will transfer these tasks to their laptop and will dedicate their new mobile Nokia acquisition only to the main uses it has been created for: communications and connectivity, two areas where the E60 offers only excellence (I don't really get the reason, but even in ''the bad'' part of this review I feel that I have to say nice things about this phone).Unfortunately, as I've noticed a long time ago, there will always be some bad part when talking about a phone and, in our case, this role has been taken by the lack of a digital camera, a fact that seriously cripples the multimedia list of features. If you happen to be a Nokia hater, don't take it very seriously because as I already stated above, there are some categories of people that consider this a plus and also think about the fact that a little constructive criticism didn't hurt anybody until now.

Conclusions

I consider the E60 smartphone a highly recommended acquisition for the business type user. Customers will find in this medium sized package all they need to stay in touch and online wherever they go. Also, the Symbian operating system offers easy access to a lot of useful applications besides the ones that come pre-installed on the phone, therefore, this smartphone is a mobile tool that can be used by anybody that puts usability ahead of eye-candy design and high-tech features that no one uses.

Standard kit:

- Smartphone
- USB cable
- Mono-headset
- User manual
- CD with Software

Here are some snapshots of the device:

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Photo: Tudor Raiciu

Photo Gallery (4 Images)

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