Nokia E6 review: Nokia E6

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Typical Price: £300.00
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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars 5 user reviews

The Good Fantastic design; brilliant keyboard; good battery stamina.

The Bad Slow processors; camera lacks autofocus.

The Bottom Line Despite the weak processor and lack of autofocus on its camera, the Nokia E6 betters its forerunner thanks to solid build quality, touch-screen navigation and decent battery life.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.5 Overall

The Nokia E6 is the sequel to the Finnish firm's BlackBerry killer, the Nokia E5. Nokia has gifted this successor with a new operating system, a touch-screen display and an 8-megapixel camera, making it an excellent choice for dedicated mobile typists.

SIM-free, the E6 will set you back around £300, with monthly contracts expected to start at around £15.

Practice makes perfect

Despite its poor screen and less-than-stellar camera, we quite liked the Nokia E5. It boasted fantastic build quality and a great keyboard – two things that have thankfully been carried over to the E6.

Nokia's latest Qwerty-packing phone also benefits from seriously appealing design. From the lush metal bezel to the highly-responsive direction pad, everything about the E6 reminds you that for all its faults, Nokia is a company that certainly knows how to make fantastic hardware.

Symbian Anna works well enough, allowing you to edit the layout of your multiple home screens.

Although it's not the heaviest handset in the world, the E6 feels much more significant than its 133g weight might suggest. The device is so robust we'd be willing to bet it's capable of surviving plenty of nasty drops – although we're not brave enough to actually put this theory to the test.

Tapping keys

The keyboard has changed little from the one we so lovingly caressed on the E5, although the torch shortcut – which fired up the camera's LED flash and was mapped to the 'space' key – has been removed. Instead, holding down the lock switch on the side of the phone for a few seconds achieves the same result.

Because the E6 is sporting Anna – a modified version of Symbian^3 with heavy support for touch input – it should come as no surprise to learn that Nokia has included a capacitive touch-screen. The Gorilla Glass display has an impressive resolution of 640x480 pixels (double that of the E5), but at 2.46 inches, it's uncomfortably cramped.

The lock slider on the side of the E6 doubles as the shortcut to the phone's powerful LED Flash.

Still, the OS really comes to life with the addition of finger-friendly controls. Navigating the phone's menu system is much easier, and you've got the added bonus of being able to use the D-pad to select choices.

All about Anna

Although Anna (and Symbian itself) are on borrowed time following Nokia's commitment to Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, the OS still provides a decent user experience. You have multiple home screens to play around with, and you can edit the layout of icons and live widgets. It doesn't rival the level of customisation that Android currently offers, but it's a step in the right direction.

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