Nokia E6 review: The E spirit
Connectivity well geared
Nokia spared no expense when it comes to the connectivity of the Nokia E6.
For starters, all kinds of network connectivity options are at your disposal - GPRS, EDGE and 3G with HSPA (10.2 Mbps HSDPA and 2.0 Mbps HSUPA). The GSM/EDGE networking comes in quad-band flavor and the 3G covers all the five bands available worldwide – 850/900/1700/1900/2100 MHz.
Bluetooth connectivity is version 3.0 with stereo support and there's a WirelessN-enabled Wi-Fi radio.
USB is version 2.0, with the standard microUSB port capable of charging the phones besides transferring data. We already covered the USB On-The-Go functionality, but just for the record, we had very little trouble connecting to USB mass storage devices - phones (including Andoids), card readers and thumb drives. Unpopular card formats were a problem though but how often would you need to connect a CF card anyway.
A 3.5mm port rounds off the wired connectivity where you can connect a standard Nokia 3.5mm A/V cable for both audio and video output. There is no high-definition TV output though.
Updated web browser
Unfortunately, Symbian^3 didn’t deliver the browser overhaul that the platform needs desperately despite the added multi-touch and FlashLite 4.0 support. Symbian Anna is here to make up for this and Nokia E6 is granted with a better web browser.
The new browser (v7.3) promises faster loading times, better responsiveness, search-integrated address field, always visible back button and more. The reality is quite close to what Nokia has promised - the new browser is indeed both faster and more responsive, with improved history and address field.
There is better tab management now similar to the iOS's Safari - you choose the dedicated Windows key from the menu and then you can add or close tabs or just scroll between them.
The browser has better page rendering and offers some nice features such as different font sizes (5 options), auto fill-in of web forms and a password manager. Double tap and pinch zooming work good, but the smaller screen makes the double tap gesture feels more natural here. There is also support for kinetic scrolling, which also seems to work quite well.
The address field auto hides when you scroll the page down and supports search. When you type something you need to choose explicitly the search option below, otherwise you'll probably get an error.
The Find-on-page feature enables keyword search. The visual history is a nice bonus that can help you find a page you've visited more easily. There's also a popup blocker.
The Flash Lite 4.0 support is enough for playing flash videos, but YouTube plays only up to 360p videos so you might as well be using the mobile site. Also, Flash games don’t work so it seems like a good idea to use the option to switch Flash off to cut down on loading times and save some yourself some data traffic.
Nokia E6 offers generally good experience. Its performance is still nowhere near most of its competitors today, but is a huge step into the right direction. And the best part is this browser will surely satisfy most of the E6 targeted users.
Office document editor onboard
The Nokia E6 comes with an Office document editor out of the box (Quickoffice). It has plenty of features and it even doubles as a file manager. The Recent files option is the fastest way to go back to some of the documents you’ve worked on lately.
Quickoffice can view and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. All the Office docs open directly in editing mode, there is no viewing-only. Pinch zooming is supported everywhere and works like a charm.
Editors have plenty of features – advanced formatting, editing tables, full list of Excel functions and so on, but their menu/submenu based interface is less than user friendly and while it’s not a deal-breaker, it certainly detracts from the ease of use.
The PowerPoint editor was the worst offender here – it can’t edit when you zoom in and once you do start editing, you need several clicks just to change the text in a label.
Editing documents is generally fast enough even when you are working with the Office 2007 docx format.
As for the file managing functions of Quickoffice, it’s not better than the standard File browser and we did notice slight (but annoying) lag when scrolling.
For viewing PDF files, there’s the standard Adobe app - it's quite sluggish, but supports pinch-zooming which works reasonably fast.