Yesterday we popped along to the global launch of the Nokia E66 and Nokia E71 -- no, it wasn't the-- but Nokia did confirm that a touchscreen phone will be announced before the end of the year. Anyway, back to reality, and while these handsets don't come with touchscreens they're very classy indeed.
Aimed at businessmen, the E61 and E77's promo material has all the makings of a snore-inducing lecture, but when you actually pick one up, you realise these could well be among Nokia's most attractive and feature-rich phones to date. The business focus means media and imaging take a backseat, but they're more than compensated for by connectivity, email support and sturdiness. Both handsets will be available at some point in July.
Starting with the E66, Nokia has taken a very logical step and evolved an already great phone into an even better one. Successor to the
For a slider phone, the Nokia E66 is very thin, measuring only 13mm deep, so it's easy to slip inside a pocket. Unlike other thin phones though, the solid materials ensure it won't snap or break if you drop it.
On the back of the Nokia E66 you'll find a 3.2-megapixel camera -- a little disappointing compared to the 5-megapixel camera on the, for example. Don't expect fantastic shots from this snapper, but we're sure it'll be fine for MMS pics. Notice the solid metal backing -- it provides a satisfying weight to the E66 and keeps it protected in case of drops.
Here's the keypad, which is easy to use and well laid-out. Unlike certain other sliders, the E66 doesn't have a massive lip at the bottom to get in the way of tapping out a long message.
One of the latest additions to the E-series range of Nokia phones is a tweaked front-end interface that displays a variety of information and lets you access different apps with the click of a button. We particularly like how configurable it is and how easy it is to set up email. To access your Gmail account on the E66 or E71, for example, all you need to do is enter your email address and password.
The Nokia E71 might look hefty in this photo, but it's surprisingly compact for a handset with a full Qwerty keypad. More impressive is how easy to use the keypad is. It may not be to everyone's taste, but if you need to tap out quick emails on the go, we think this is a good option. Similar to the E66, the E71 comes with HSPDA, Wi-Fi and A-GPS.
As we mentioned before, it's impressive how thin the Nokia E71 is. Most handsets with full Qwerty keypads feel tight in your pocket, but the E71 leaves room for manoeuvring. As you can see in this picture, there's a microSD slot that can come pre-installed with a 2GB card.
Similar to the E66, the back of the E71 is covered by a metal cover that again provides a quality feel and protects the phone well. We're disappointed that the E71 only comes with a 3.2-megapixel camera.
One of the E71's star features is its Qwerty keypad. Initially it seems small, but we've been playing around with it for a few hours and we can type out emails and text messages very quickly on it. It's not going to be for everyone, but compared to the majority of Qwerty keypads we've used, this is in the top three.
Both the E66 and E71 come with Nokia's mapping software. It's fairly easy to use, but we don't find it as user-friendly as Google Maps, which you can also download on to either handset. The GPS receiver itself is superb, combining data from base stations and satellites to lock your position down much faster than thedid, for example.