Nokia E66 review
We were bowled over when we came face to face with the first of Nokia’s new smartphones, the Nokia E71 last month. Its combination of usability, battery life and business features saw it elevated to the lofty position of A-List champion, rudely elbowing aside our longstanding favourite, the HTC TyTN II.
The next Nokia in the queue is the E71’s sister phone, the E66, but we’re not quite as taken with it. It doesn’t have a QWERTY keyboard for starters, so entering text isn’t as easy as it is on the E71. And there’s no touch screen for handwriting recognition or stylus text entry, as with Windows Mobile Professional handsets.
Don’t stop reading just yet though, because the E66 is still highly capable. And for those who still prefer a phone with a numeric keypad it might be a more appropriate choice.
It has some advantages over the E71 too. Though it is a little thicker (4mm to be precise), the E66 is considerably narrower, which means it’s a little easier to slide into your pocket. It’s an easier phone to use too – its simple numeric keypad is equipped with large, easy-to-press buttons, which make it much quicker to tap out phone numbers than on the small keys of the E71.
And it looks at least as good as its compadre, the E71 too, complete with shining metal panel at the rear, chrome trim around the front panel and mirror-backed control cluster. It’s available in white or grey, and both colour schemes look very nice indeed. The extra thickness of the E66 can be attributed to its sliding mechanism, which actuates with a pleasing thunk to reveal the numeric keypad underneath.
The only weakness in the physical design we could find was the location of the delete key. This is situated, rather thoughtlessly, just below the directional pad on the shortcut key cluster, and we kept hitting it by accident as we moved from screen to screen on the phone’s OS.
Start using the E66 and the differences between it and the E71 soon begin to melt away, though. The screen is just as good – it’s bright, colourful and transflective, which means it’s just as easy to view outside in bright sunshine as it is in the office.
It’s extremely nippy to use – a world away from the wading-though-treacle experience we had with the HTC Touch Diamond, and for mobile data it boasts high-speed HSDPA connectivity, plus a Wi-Fi adapter for office and hotspot use. There’s also Bluetooth 2.0, an FM radio tuner and, of course, assisted GPS.
The latter is especially impressive: fire up Google Maps, switch on the GPS feature in the menu and the phone will pick up a satellite lock in well under a minute – impressive for a phone-based receiver. Nokia’s own mapping software comes preinstalled to take advantage of it, and even offers turn-by-turn driving instructions at a £7 per month premium, but it’s not as responsive as Google Maps for general use.
Email support is good too, with brilliantly simple POP3 and IMAP setup – we had a test Gmail account up and running in minutes, with just a username and password required – and Nokia’s Microsoft Exchange client is ready to go too, for over-the-air synchronisation of email, contacts, tasks and calendar entries.
The former offers an impressive amount of control, allowing you to specify a schedule for the push email function. You can turn it on during working hours, Monday to Friday, for instance, and have it pick up mail once an hour when you’re at home.
|Standby, quoted||12 days|
|Dimensions||50 x 14 x 108mm (WDH)|
|Camera megapixel rating||3.2MP|
|Resolution||240 x 320|
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