Last year, Nokia announced the E71, a superb phone that provides tonnes of features in a great-looking, compact package. This year, Nokia is launching the E63, a less expensive version of the E71, with a few tweaks here and there. But is it as good? We took the E71 look-alike on the road to see if it delivers as good an experience.
You'll soon be able to get the E63 for free on a monthly contract with several major networks, or for around £200 SIM-free.
From the front, the E63 looks similar to the E71. There's a wide screen and a full Qwerty keypad. Unlike the E71, however, the E63 comes in a red or blue plastic casing, instead of a metal one. The E63 is also chunkier, but not so large that it doesn't fit into a pocket comfortably.
One of our favourite E71 design features is its easy-to-press Qwerty keypad, and we're glad to report that the E63's keypad is also a winner, delivering a satisfying typing experience. Each key on the keypad is raised, making them easy to press, and there's enough space between each key so that you don't feel too cramped when tapping out long messages. The keypad feels a little less slippery than the E71's and the thicker design means there's more phone to hold on to -- something you may or may not like.
While it doesn't have the finesse of the E71, the E63 looks good overall, and it certainly delivers when it comes to messaging. With a more colourful casing, the E63 looks less serious than the E71, and will most probably appeal to you if you want a phone that stands out from the crowd.
You might think that a thicker casing would mean additional space to cram in more features, but the E63 actually has fewer features than its predecessor. There's no HSDPA (3.5G), no GPS and no infrared. If the lack of those features doesn't bother you too much, the rest of the E63 delivers an almost identical experience to the E71.
You can browse the Web relatively quickly thanks to the phone's 3G capability and, if you want a faster experience, the E63 comes with Wi-Fi.