- Low Cost
- Stable software
- Solid keyboard
- Outstanding battery life
- Lackluster camera
- Confusing user interface
- No internal GPS
When Nokia introduced the very thin and powerful Nokia E71 QWERTY smartphone, it probably had no clue that this would be such a popular model. So much so that they could keep it at a higher price point and release a sibling model, the E63, with a lower price and slightly reduced feature set.
The interesting thing is that the Nokia E63 doesn’t really feel like a cheaper device when you are using it. It’s that good.
Unlike the mostly-metal E71, the E63 is a plastic-covered device. It also has a thicker profile (13mm vs 10mm) and slightly heavier weight (126g), making it more compairable to a BlackBerry Curve or Palm Treo Pro.
Beyond that, the 320-by-240-pixel (QVGA) screen offers great visibility in indoor and outdoor conditions. The refresh rate seems a touch faster than what I’m used to with my Nokia N95.
On the downside, the E63 lacks dedicated buttons for volume and power. The volume settings are configured either via the devices settings or a sound-specific application (such as the music player). The power button is the same as the call-end button.
Despite this, the mono-speaker was good enough for listening to music, ringtones, and podcasts.
Keyboard: The QWERTY keyboard is the same that is used on the E71 — domed keys that offer great feedback and travel. Comapred though to the E71, the spacebar is smaller and there’s an extra two keys for common symbols.
I’ve recently picked up a Palm Treo 750 in order to get an idea of that keyboard versus the E63 and both are similar in terms of key feedback and size. However, the curve noted on the Treo 750 makes it easier to get to some of the buttons on the bottom without feeling like your thumbs are doings some exercises.
Compared to the BlackBerry Curve, the E63 feels the same in hand, but the keys have a longer travel to them. The dome shape on the E63’s keys do help here, but you will probably get up to speed faster on the BlackBerry.