Primarily a business handset, the rather boxy Nokia E60 may not be the most striking phone on the market, but it is packed full of features, including the ability to make VoIP calls over a SIP protocol, native Wi-Fi, 3G capabilities and push email. Nokia's latest smart phone lacks a camera and full QWERTY keyboard, but if you are after a smaller alternative to a BlackBerry then this should suit you well.
- Superb display, General performance, Features list, Connectivity options, VoIP enabled
- No camera (no 3G video calling), Keypad, Joystick and controls, No flash memory card included
An excellent choice for corporate and business users, the E60 combines a superb display with a good features list for its asking price.
Price$ 749.00 (AUD)
Our first impressions of the E60 were quite simple - a solid brick-like unit with conservative design. This isn't to say it detracts from the overall look of the phone, but it is clear Nokia really intended the E60 to look strictly business-like. The phone is silver in colour with black and chrome sides and a relatively small keypad. It has quite a straight and rigid design and with dimensions of 115mm x 49mm x 16.9mm and a weight of 117 grams, the E60 is quite chunky by regular phone standards, although it is on the smaller side for a fully fledged smart phone.
The E60's controls are fairly standard, with two selection buttons, answer and end call keys, and dedicated buttons for edit, menu and clear. Nokia has also included a five-way joystick, but it is fairly stiff and requires a firm press to activate in all directions. Like the phone's aesthetics, the E60's joystick is square, so it is uncomfortable to use for long periods due to the blocky edges. The E60 also has dedicated volume and voice record controls on its left hand side, but these chrome keys are difficult to press and not very responsive - the same applies to the power key on the top of the unit.
The keypad on the E60 is equally as awkward. The buttons are raised but still require a firmer press than usual to activate, so we felt uncomfortable punching out long SMS messages or emails. Furthermore, the first and third rows of the keypad are unusually narrower than the middle row - not ideal for those with large fingers.
Fortunately while we weren't impressed with the E60's controls, we were blown away by its display. One of the best screens we've seen on a smart phone, the E60's display is bright and crystal clear and its viewing angle is very good. With a resolution of 352 x 416 pixels and the ability to display 16 million colours, the screen is one of the best features of the E60 and is a delight to use for all applications.
The E60 includes a SIP client, so it is able to handle VoIP through SIP servers. This is strictly for corporate users though, as regular VoIP applications such as Skype are not compatible with SIP. We particularly liked the fact that Internet calls appear in the call log menu (marked with a distinctive Internet graphic) along with regular mobile calls. The E60 can also hook up to compatible Wi-Fi based PBX systems and act as a normal office extension. It supports the same features as your regular office phone when doing so, such as call transfer and four digit dialing.
The E60 has push email capabilities with support for POP3, IMAP4 and SMTP protocols and even includes some third party applications such as Blackberry Connect. This means the E60 can connect to an existing BlackBerry enterprise setup. We tested the unit's email application with a standard POP3 Yahoo! account and it worked fairly well. If you are using this device specifically for email though, you'll quickly get tired of the unresponsive keypad, so a Bluetooth wireless keyboard would be a wise accessory to purchase. When located near a wireless network, the E60 can use native Wi-Fi to retrieve your email, but when you're on the road it uses GPRS. It allows you to retrieve new emails or your entire inbox and you can also view, save and even edit your attachments using the phone's memory; either the 75MB of internal memory or the SD card. Nokia does not include a mini SD card in the sales package. The E60 supports a range of attachment file formats including JPEG, 3GP, MP3, PPT, DOC, XLS, and PDF files.
Connectivity is a strong point of the E60 as it offers Bluetooth, infrared, USB, WAP 2.0, Wi-Fi and GPRS. Nokia includes a USB cable in the sales package for connection to a PC, although the PC Suite software is not compatible with a Mac. PC users are able to synchronise emails with Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes.
We had no problems connecting to a wireless network and were up and running in a matter of minutes. The E60 can search for wireless access points every one, five or 10 minutes and you simply select the network with which you wish to make a connection. Nokia also includes an excellent Web browser that has the ability to scroll through each page with a feature called 'page overview'. This view shows a full Web page shrunk to fit the screen and a selection box is used to navigate to the part of the page you want to view in more detail.
The E60 runs on the Symbian v9.1 OS and is equipped with a full array of smart phone applications, including QuickOffice Word, PowerPoint and Excel document viewers, a host of PIM features (calendar, contacts, to-do list, task list, alarm clock, notes, converter, calculator) and both voice recording and dialling. The handset is also fully compatible with Zip Manager and Adobe Reader and there is support for standard SMS and MMS messaging with T9 predictive text input. Overall, we were pleased with the speed of the E60's interface, although it is a little slow to start up and switching between applications results in a slight delay. For most uses though, it performs very well.
The E60 has 3G capabilities, but being a business orientated handset, it doesn't include a camera or any other such multimedia features. This means you can receive a 3G video call and see the person you are calling, but they won't be able to see you. We were impressed with the call quality of the E60 on the whole - volume levels are more than adequate, even in noisy environments. The hands-free speakerphone also worked quite well, although if you are in a car with an open window, wind noise can create some unwelcome distortion. The E60 supports conference calling, as well as push to talk.
Battery life is average according to the quoted Nokia figures of 3.2 - 6.4 hours of talk time and 6.4 - 8.3 days of standby time. We found ourselves charging the unit every two days on average, but if you are constantly using email and surfing the web, you'll probably need to charge the E60 every night.
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