Nokia E63 review: E for Economy

GSMArena team, 07 January 2009.
Pages: 1234567

2 megapixel snapper: shouldn't have bothered

The Nokia E63 - is equipped with a 2 megapixel camera with fixed focus, LED flash and self-portrait mirror. You can't really expect much from a 2 megapixel snapper especially given the Nokia E71 3-megapixel unit was quite disappointing.

Much like the Nokia E71, the E63 camera lens lacks any lens protection. This means that the glass above the camera lens will get scratched in no time unless you use a carrying case at all times. The lack of a dedicated camera key is also a downer.

The camera user interface is very simple and strange in the same time mainly because the viewfinder window does not fit fullscreen. The camera interface is the basic Nokia one (as seen on Nokia 6210 Navigator or Nokia 5320 XpressMusic) and even has fewer options than the one on the Navigator. For example - there's no Panorama mode and the options toolbar hosts fewer shortcuts.

The scarce additional options allow for setting the white balance or adding four different color tones to your images. Also there are a self timer, night and sequence mode, but we hardly believe you will use them more than once.

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The interface is the best part of the camera

The Nokia E63 image quality is below average. Pictures lack detail and noise levels are high. The colors are also far from being precise and as a whole there is hardly anything good we can say.

It seems ditching the camera altogether could've been an option to consider, granted especially that the E71 still lacks a camless version along the lines of E50 and E51. Anyway, you can check out the sample photos made with the E63 camera.

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Nokia E63 sample photos

Video recording is another let down with the E63 camera. The business-minded handset only manages QVGA videos at 15 fps, which has MMS written all over. As a whole, the camera is the one feature of E63 yelling business-comes-first. It's understandable though, given the price tag.

E-series: connecting people like no other

With the shameful camera performance behind us, it's time to check out the connectivity options. This is a great chance for the messenger to repair its damaged reputation.

Nokia E63 almost has it all: from Bluetooth v2.0 and USB v2.0 to quad-band GSM, Wi-Fi and dual-band UMTS. HSDPA support however is lacking and there's no Infrared port as on Nokia E71 (not a big loss anyway).

A hot-swappable microSD card slot is also on board. It might just be the quickest way of transferring data and quite convenient too. According to the manufacturer, it should support capacities up to 8GB, and it does. Unfortunately, we didn't have a 16GB card handy to test it beyond that.

Nokia E63 is also currently the only Nokia smartphone to come with a free one-year subscription to the new Files on Ovi service. The service seamlessly syncs chosen folders on your desktop PC to the Ovi web cloud using a small desktop utility and then you can access those files straight from the phone hassle-free no matter whether your PC is on or off.

Nokia E63 has no built-in GPS receiver. If you need one, your only option is to connect external one via Bluetooth.

Web browser

Browsing the internet on a Symbian smartphone is always a pleasure. With the E63 and its landscape screen it's all the better. Reading is much more convenient and, thanks to the great page rendering, content fits perfectly on screen and looks exactly like on a PC.

The virtual mouse cursor takes browsing another level up. It is easy to control and generally works great. A mini-map can be activated to help navigating your way around large sites where lots of scrolling is required. The zoom level is also easily adjustable at the expense of only a few key presses. The web browser also offers fullscreen view mode.

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The web browser is really good

The large amount of RAM is another thing that improves the browser performance. The web browser is one of the most RAM-hungry applications. With the E63 you are extremely unlikely to run out of RAM even if you load very heavy web pages and have a few applications running in the background. The ample 2.36" display is another welcome boost to browsing.

The final touches to the Nokia E63 browser are the built-in full Java and Flash support. Having surfed quite frequently for the past week, we didn't manage to stumble upon any flash content the E63 was unable to handle.

Flash video is also not a problem for the E63 web browser - you can watch video on the full-featured versions of YouTube and the likes.

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