Layman’s take on Nokia E6-How Symbian^3 fits into portrait?
I think many of the friends who aren’t following me on twitter (@nkumar_), might have missed my quick review and un-boxing on Nokia E6-00 that I posted on June 22, 2011 at OnlyGizmos.com in usual Layman style.
So thought to put a pointer here for the post to let you all know about the package etc and for visual introduction of the device. Go read the same.
While I have tried making a video to illustrate a few of points related to the feel of software, but like some of readers pointed to me, many wanted to go through the minute details of the changes in the software on Nokia E6. So, here we go.
Nokia E6-00 : Signing into account
I already mentioned earlier that Nokia stores your number associated with the Ovi Account and once you put the same SIM into any new Nokia handset, it automatically detects your account and asks the password for the same to set it up. Though still for the customization part, they have left auto configuration of things like Mails or Contacts. I think that would have been an option for easy start.
Anyway, with the right SIM in and after passing the above screens, you may be assured that your account reached to all services like Store, Music and Maps.
I hope you know that with Ovi Sync you can get your old contacts saved on web back on your new device without even using a PC. Also Phone Switch option can enable you to transfer yours settings, SMS etc transferred from any other Nokia Handset via Bluetooth.
Nokia E6-00 : Home Screen
First thing to notice here is the five total number of home screens and uneven size of widgets.
Its looks like we got six widgets here, three small and three normal size, but later on, it seems that its not the case. The three small widgets are the fixed one and will be at same place on all the home screens means not customizable.
Two of the small widgets are for clock and profile setting while the third widget is for missed call/SMS notifications etc. Will show up on every home screen once you switch like check in above screenshots.
Means you are left with actually only three widgets on the screen to play with. As you can see, all of them works in the same way as they been on rest of Symbian devices but with this much amazing pixel density its super fun.
Also the screen transition is possible via keyboard or by swiping and yes, as you seen in Anna videos, it is smooth transition now. The third way of transitioning is tapping on the middle bottom at circles showing up which screen you are on. The transition is circular on Symbian^3 means you will come back on first screen after the last one.
Nokia E6-00 : Lock and Standby Screen
While the lock screen is still the same like old age, we have got some real improvements about the standby screen now.
Along with the LED notifications, we now receive notifications on standby screens as well (don’t need to install sleep screen etc). After pressing the navigation button, we will be back on the second standby screen as given below with some more details
By the way, though Nokia Bubbles are not officially supported here but they work.
Nokia E6-00 : The task manager
Well! you will think that what’s new in this card like Task manager as we already seen this on other Symbian^3 devices? There is a little difference in implementation this time. Check out the close button in the bottom right. In other devices, touching outside the cards was enough to go back but on E6-00, there was hardly any place outside, so a Close Button came in.
Nothing new in this for Symbian^3 users but for users coming from Nokia E72/E71 likes, its one of those signs that they are a bigger ground this time.
Nokia E6-00 : New Anna Icons
While it might be a personal choice that which kind of icons you wanna see on your device, but somehow it was a nice move from Nokia to standardize their icons. Check my screenshot from a early software on Nokia N8.
You can see there been uneven icons earlier. Some square icons and some like just transparent ones. When placed on home screens then it wasn’t a pleasant setup all the time. Standardization of icons helps. Also they are more colorful now.
While the iconography goes deeper into menus as well, you will find that many of notification like above have animated images in them.
Yeah though the basic two menu approach still there.
Nokia E6-00 : The Calendar
The Calendar on Nokia E6-00 is one of those important improvement that #SymbianAnna brings to Symbian^3 devices. And its just not the looks. For example: You have new style for time interval and much more.
You can add Map places into your calendar events from Ovi Maps.
Media can be attached with the events (images, videos, sound clips, notes or anything else) and recurrences can be set for daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly or yearly. Very useful for business people.
Same with alarms, many possibilities now.
You can have multiple calendars (created, imported) and set them up with different colors.
Many different views like Monthly, weekly, day wise or To-Do like and the event info goes to standby screen as well.
I am sure the geeks who play much with their calendars will find many more things than I am not yet able to find.
Nokia E6-00 : The Browser
The browser is the other major upgrade from the firmware the other Symbian^3 devices are running as of now. While at first glance, it looks like a little bit simplifications here and there, under the hood many things got changed (and many actually doesn’t).
Performance wise and score wise there are visible improvements though the smoothness still not jumped upon steps. People will still prefer Opera over this one.
UI wise, you can have more than one windows.
You can have feeds, you can search within web pages, you can customize the back button, customize the search engine option.. pretty much usual stuff.
Being a touch device, it was fun to fool opera to give us an on screen keyboard that was no where else visible in rest of UI. Neither in Gravity nor anywhere else.
Nokia E6-00 : The Messaging
Presence of portrait QWERTY with such a nice build quality easily makes the Nokia E6-00 one of the most handsome messenger phone out there. The keyboard itself is a piece of art with a bigger space this time (in comparison of E72), though I still miss &, $ like sign from the keyboard and think that why can keys like A,S,D,Z,X,V be utilized for secondary keys? May be they are meant to be used as directional keys in some games, but was that necessary with a touch device?
But that’s my opinion and I was used to ask for more. None other current implementation does better
You have conversation view here and also this one got the smiley support. While Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, Ctrl+X works as expected, you can make use of on screen touch for the same. For selecting the text, either use the finger or make use of shift+navigation button. Choice is always more with unique touch screen in place.
Similar UI for mails as been on Symbian^3 devices with minor changes here and there like the new marking system as shown in screenshot given below:
May be some small changes for Symbian^3 users, but Nokia E72 users will love it more and more as much they dig into it.
Though I will still complaint if the delivery part of the mails would have been any better with this, which is sure not the case as of now. Its not working like a push mails, that’s my word.
The Nokia Chat that wasn’t taking off for me due to lack of split portrait qwerty, is rocking on Nokia E6.
Once input issue is sorted, one can live with Nokia Social, specially because of the contact integration thing. While support of video upload and Ovi Checkin in Facebook section, it makes it worth checking out. For the rest, our good old Gravity already rocking on Nokia E6.
Nokia E6-00 : Integrated contacts
While contacts integration takes a little exercise in start, but once setup with Nokia Social and Nokia Chat (From Ovi Store), then it might be fun as you can see form above screenshot.
Nokia E6-00 also comes with Microsoft Communicator client built inside contacts. Though I don’t use it but I seen people using it a lot on their Nokia E72 likes. Touch will add more into fun.
Nokia E6-00 : The Multimedia
Don’t tell me that you ever seen any cooler UI on such a tiny screen before. While I actually didn’t counted Nokia E7-00 in that portrait QWERTY based E-Series league ever, so this makes E-Series officially alive and rocking about Multimedia this time.
Smaller but full resolution screen aided with such a UI makes you confused that what you wanna do more, texting or surfing music.
While FM Radio is in and FM transmitter is out, the video capabilities of Nokia E6-00 are the other charmer out there. Check out the above screenshot. Its playing HD video smoothly and that too on a bit rate of 8000+kbit/s. Support of many formats means put any popular video format like divx or xvid inside it without converting into anything and it will play it. Moreover, it is one of only video players out there to support subtitles too.
Also don’t miss the fact that we are talking about a phone with 8MP camera capable of taking great pics and 720p videos. Though its capability is still limited by EDoF and will suffer from its inability for close-up shots but still it will be a small sacrifice for rest of good things (I didn’t said the same for Nokia E7 likes).
Tapping on Photos app takes you direct into all photos rather than taking you into some album link. Also notice the three menu of the side and so the options. Gallery got some changes with SymbianAnna.
Isn’t business phone looking like more of an entertainment?
Nokia E6-00 : The Gaming
Well! though it got the similar hardware like other Symbian^3 devices, but as of now, Nokia E6-00 lacks on Gaming part. Not due to its own caliber but due to the fact that games for not optimized yet with its landscape like resolution on portrait UI. I don’t think that developers will be needed to change their codes much for making big titles like Angry Bird etc playable on the screen of Nokia E6.
So, in short, while Nokia E6-00 has the same caliber as other Symbian^3 devices (same GPU etc), as of now, its lacking in front of gaming due to less availability of compatible gaming apps. Thanks to its unconventional, never before portrait resolution. A situation that is not likely to stay long like this. Devs will respond soon.
Till then you can enjoy some of the racing title. Just that.
Nokia E6-00 : The new Camera UI for Symbian Anna?
Though we are supposed to get a camera specific firmware/ software update once Symbian Anna reaches to camera centric devices like Nokia N8, but see if any minor changes the camera software on Nokia E6-00 got to show off.
So this is the camera with a touch button to take snaps (preparations to launch only touch centric device as Nokia N9 on Symbian? Too early to say).
A tap to three dots icon show more of the usual options that we been already aware of with rest of Symbian^3 devices.
In case of video recording, we get the option of video light as well though I am still trying to find the key combination for activating the LED Flash as torch outside camera.
As about image and video quality when taken from the Nokia E6 camera then being the same unit as on Nokia E7 or Nokia C7, you can expect the same level of performance with Nokia E6-00 as well. Take a look over my E7-00 review for a reference over the sample images and videos (compared with Nokia N8).
Nokia E6-00 : Bundled goodies like Office Premium and Joikuspot Premium
While Office Premium been always shipping with Nokia E-Series devices, Nokia E6-00 doesn’t make an exception here. Though surprising is to see the version of Adobe reader here.
Yes! what we watching here is Adobe Reader 10 on board. Though same is supposed to reach all the symbian^3 devices once SymbianAnna get rolled out in August end.
Seeing JoikuSpot pre-installed on the device was a pleasant surprise. For the people, who don’t know about this application, let me tell that this application can turn your Nokia E6-00 into a wifi hotspot means your mobile data connection can be tethered to other devices like Laptops, iPod, iPad or other Nokia Wifi enabled phones easily.
Cool! isn’t it?
Nokia E6-00 : Photo Editor and Video Editor on board
Like other Symbian^3 devices, Nokia E6-00 also shipping with fully functional photo editor and video editor on board.
How awesome and capable these two applications are, you can only know by checking out my detailed coverage on them in my Nokia N8 Review-Multimedia part. Having such application on a business device are kind of huge value.
Nokia E6-00 : Extra Goodies like USB OTG and Bluetooth capabilities
This is something new for Business users and I bet each of them will value these capabilities.
The first is USB OTG, means you just need to buy a USB OTG cable from any Nokia shop in around Rs. 450/- or less and then via the same, you can connect a pen drive (I tested up to 8 GB FAT file system, but supposed to work with higher too) to your phone like you do with PC or you can connect a USB Fan, USB Mouse, USB Keyboard like USB devices… yeah not printers as of now
The second is Bluetooth connectivity to provide support for input devices. This is something that arrived to Nokia device with Symbian^3 only. You can connect any bluetooth mouse or keyboard with your device, then connect the device with any LCD/TV etc over TV-Out and enjoy a mini computer like browsing experience with your small phone. Isn’t this cool? Don’t believe it, watch the mouse in action (as I didn’t have rest of the elements to show off as of now).
I am not sure if any other company is offering the same in other price segments, leave the business device segment a side though I am sure that Business users know that how important these two features might be for them.
So, this was a pretty much a comprehensive overview for Symbian Anna on Nokia E6-00. More interesting is the price point at which this model is launched in India. Rs. 17,999/- for a pre-order price which is supposed to go low once this handset hits the streets.
Business users should have their share of fun and Nokia E6-00 is just there. Do you really find any other model competing this one on such price level in features, physical built etc? If you find one then do tell me.