On the left side of the smartphone, there's a micro-USB port and a microSD expansion slot. Curiously and disappointingly, Nokia got rid of the dedicated volume controls and user-programmable shortcut key found present on the E71. You can adjust the volume using the E63's navigation toggle, which is fine when you're using the media player, but not so easy when you're on a call since you have to pull the phone away from your ear to do so.
There's a power connector on the bottom, and a 3.5mm headphone jack on top. The latter is protected by a cover, but it's tiny and not attached to the phone so chances are pretty high that it'll get lost at some point. That said, we're absolutely thrilled that Nokia made the switch from a 2.5mm jack to 3.5mm so you can use the smartphone with your favorite pair of headphones.
The Nokia E63 is a little shabby in the accessories department. The smartphone comes packaged with an AC adapter, a wired headset, and reference material, but there's no USB cable included in the box. For more add-ons, please check our cell phones accessories, ringtones, and help page.
The Nokia E63's feature set is largely like the Nokia E71, except it lacks GPS and is equipped with a 2-megapixel camera instead of a 3.2-megapixel camera. We point out some of the highlights and differences in the Performance section below, but for more information about the Nokia E63's feature set, please check out our full review of the Nokia E71.
We tested the quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900; WCDMA 850/1900) Nokia E63, and call quality was mixed. To us, calls sounded great with good volume and clear sound. There was minimal background noise or distortion, but this wasn't the case on the other end. One friend said that the audio kept cutting in and out, so he couldn't fully understand what we were saying. I called him back two more times to see if it was a connection problem, and the call was dropped during the second attempt and sound quality only improved marginally on the third try. Another friend also reported lots of static and choppiness, while a third person said the call quality was fine. Surprisingly, the speakerphone offered better sound quality as callers could hear the full conversation without any type of disruption.
We successfully paired the E63 with the Logitech Mobile Traveller Bluetooth headset and the Motorola S9 Bluetooth Active Headphones. Though there's no integrated GPS, you can pair the smartphone with a Bluetooth GPS receiver to get turn-by-turn directions. It's another accessory you will have to carry, but at least, it's an option. The E63 also support stereo Bluetooth, dial-up networking, file transfer, object push, and more.
The E63 supports AT&T's 850/1900 3G bands but not 3.5G HSDPA. Note that the smartphone also isn't compatible with T-Mobile's 3G network, as it runs on the 1700/2100MHz bands. Using AT&T's 3G network, it took the smartphone about a minute to fully load CNET's page, while it took about 35 seconds for ESPN's and CNN's mobiles sites to come up. The Nokia Web browser is quite good. It allows you to toggle between multiple windows, navigate to a point on a site by the using page overview, and best of all, offers Flash Lite 3.0 support, so you're able to view and use such sites as YouTube. We checked out a couple of clips and were quite impressed by the good quality and uninterrupted stream. There's even a full-screen option.
The Nokia E63 is a fast little machine. We used multiple applications, including QuickOffice for document editing, e-mail, and multimedia, and rarely encountered delays of more than a few seconds. The smartphone also provided smooth playback of songs and video.
The picture quality of the E63's 2-megapixel camera wasn't the best. Images were clear, and coloring was good as long as there was plenty of natural light. In all other situations, the photos looked gray and washed out, even with the use of a flash. The results were about the same with recorded video clips, though overall, we were impressed by the clarity of the picture. The E63 includes 110MB of internal memory, which can be expanded by the microSD expansion slot (accepts up to 8GB cards).
The Nokia E63 comes with a 1500mAh lithium ion battery with a rated talk time of 11 hours (GSM) and 4 hours and 40 minutes (HSDPA) and up to 18 days (GSM)/20 days (HSDPA) of standby time. In our battery drain tests we were able to get 9 hours of continuous talk time on a single charge. According to FCC radiation tests, the E63 has a digital SAR rating of 1.24 watts per kilogram.