Even as Nokia transitions from Symbian to Windows Phone operating system, the handset vendor is still busy tweaking the soon-to-be-defunct platform. Nokia calls this new version of Symbian ‘Anna’ and will soon launch the E6, which will be one of the first smartphones running this operating system. We spent some time with this ‘Touch and Type’ smartphone today and we feel that this could be one of the better offerings from Nokia in a long while. The phone feels sturdy to hold and the new user interface comes as a whiff of fresh air. Having said that, Symbian Anna is no where close to Android or iOS, which justifies Nokia’s decision to go for Windows Phone. Hit the break for our first impressions and a mega hands-on gallery of the Nokia E6. Also Read - Nokia to release Belle update download on February 8
[nggallery id=113] Also Read - RIP Symbian, it's Nokia Belle now
In true Nokia tradition, the E6’s build quality is above par and the device feels comfortable to hold and use. The chrome bezel constantly reminded us of the BlackBerry Bold 9000 but that’s not a bad thing. For the hour we used it, we felt at home with the touch and type interface. the touchscreen, surprisingly, is supremely responsive and transition from one screen to another does not show any lag. Okay, it was a virgin unit and typically Symbian smartphones tend to slow down over time as more data gets piled on to the device. The 2.46-inch VGA touchscreen is a bit tiny compared to most smartphones available on other platforms but it does the job when combined with the full QWERTY keyboard. One thing to note, the display is crisp, thanks to the high pixel density, but we doubt anyone would watch movies on such a tiny display. Also Read - Nokia 500 goes up for pre-order for Rs 10,200
On the user interface front, icons have been rounded and users get five homescreens to populate with shortcuts. Symbian Anna will also bring 3D Maps to the table, but we are told that those won’t be available for Indian cities at the time of E6’s launch in India. The native e-mail app has also been revamped but we could not test it in the short while we played with it.
The biggest (and in our books, most important) update has been the Internet browser. Pinch-to-zoom finally works fluently. It also renders Flash sites properly and one can play videos directly on the browser. You can even share the link of the web page via a message or over Bluetooth. On the flip side, the browser does not realign text when you zoom into a page, which you will eventually thanks to the tiny display. So you will end up doing a lot of panning and scrolling of pages – a major irritant.
The E6 has an 8.0 MP camera with, wait for it, fixed focus. Yes, the camera has zillions of settings to play around with (check our gallery) but we do not subscribe to Nokia’s philosophy of not giving auto-focus on ‘business’ phones. It can also shoot videos at 720p HD resolution, albeit, at 25 frames per second.
We will reserve our judgment on the E6 till we get a review unit in our hands and spend a week with it. But, one thing is for sure, it is a smartphone that has the potential to bring a smile to Nokia loyalists.