All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

  #1  
Old 24-07-2011, 10:22 AM
ch424 ch424 is offline
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Thinking of getting an E6 - what can Symbian^3 do?

Hi people

I used to have a Nokia N82, and am considering a Nokia E6 for its battery life and camera. However, I've had Android phones for the past couple of years, so I'm out of touch with what the new Nokias can do.

I've had a bit of a search and I think I'm right in saying the E6 can do all this:
- Email sync with Gmail
- Contact and calendar sync with Google through the MS Exchange interface
- Use the camera flash as a torch
- Google Latitude
- TV out over composite
- VoIP over WiFi using SIP

Are any of those incorrect? Any caveats?

Then, some things I can't find definite answers for
- Does Opera Mini work well on the E6? Reviews say the E6's built-in browser isn't as good as the Android/iOS browser.
- Can it act as a WiFi hotspot to share the HSDPA connection? Wikipedia says it has JoikuSpot, but is that true if I buy an E6 in the UK?
- Nokia's specification page says "HD 720p Video playback on HD TV" - how does it do that? Component video? DLNA?

And finally, are there any similar handsets I should consider instead?

Thanks for any help!
Alex

  #2  
Old 24-07-2011, 12:57 PM
midinotes midinotes is offline
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Thumbs up

I recently moved to the Nokia E6 from an iPhone 4. I much prefer the E6 as a phone over the iPhone, great call quality, reliable signal strength, fantastic battery life and the keyboard is so much nicer than hitting a piece of glass. I do sometimes find the choice of font sizes used in some apps rather too small for the VGA screen, although they are readable. The built in font resizing app does help a lot though and once you settle down in using the phone on a regular basis, its not a problem. Of course the iPhone is an amazing pocket computer, but for day to day activities such as making calls, reading and writing SMS or emails, checking my calendar and listening to music then I have to say the Nokia has the edge. The keyboard on the E6 despite being very small is natural and very nice to use. Much easier than a touch keyboard and best of all you can write and control the phone single handed. The camera despite being slated as not having macro or autofocus produces amazingly sharp and crisp images. For what I take snapshots of with a phone its perfect, and the low light performance and control you have over it outweighs the lack of close up focusing. Actually it focuses fine at about 50cm and with 8MP to play with, you can easily crop out a close up! Video quality at 720p doesn't seem to quite a fluid as the iPhone 4, I think the CPU might drop a few frames from time to time when action is busy but overall its more than adequate. For me it wins in having the combination of buttons and a touch screen. Most of the time I prefer using the D pad and the keyboard, but its nice to be able to reach out and touch options on the screen.
Network speeds are great, better than many other phones that only reach up to 3G (the Nokia has 3.5G which does seem better, at least on O2). Email is great but I chose to bypass Nokia push servers by declining the T&C when setting up a POP3 account. I did find though that it stops receiving emails without notifying you if you hit the limit on your inbox. By default its set to 50 so I increased mine to 999. Also you need to be careful as when you delete pop3 emails from the phone, they also get deleted from the server! This annoys me and I can't find any work around. Exchange emails worked fine as did the calendar sync, I had one moment when it stopped fetching emails but a restart of the phone solved it.
Being able to reassign the short cut buttons on the phone to apps is really nice and does make using the phone for regular tasks a breeze. I was surprised though that you can't assign any of the hard keys to the camera app.
I find the Ovi store experience rather disappointing though, if you set your choice of phone as the E6 it doesn't seem to show that many apps. Im sure many others on the store would work fine, its often a case of suck it and see.
Overall its a great phone and I didn't think I would enjoy it as much as I do, coming from an iPhone 4. Granted the app experience is not in the same league as other smart phones on the Android or Apple platforms, but for me it boils down to what I need a mobile phone to do on a regular basis. Great value too (half the price of an iPhone 4) and it has everything I want, great battery life and a replaceable battery at that, decent music player, great camera and video, a physical keyboard, crisp and bright display, profiles!, memory card support, lots and lots of configuration, GPS, Novi maps is amazing, a radio!, decent ringtones and it looks awesome. Also it offers a wifi hotspot feature although haven't tried it as I already have a MiFi plan with 3.
A few negatives :- the notification light surrounding the D pad is totally useless, you can't really notice it unless you are in a completely dark room and a few feet from the phone. The Nokia suite software on the Mac is rather buggy and tends to freeze up quite often when transferring a lot of music. There is no immediate battery percentage display on the main screen, you need to tap into the battery option to see it. Font resizing isn't consistent across the device. Not all menu options support the keyboard and you need to use the screen. Camera no good for close ups. 720p video as mentioned isn't always very fluid (640x480 is fine though). Headphones supplied aren't doing justice to the device and theres no free case included! :-)

Ok before I drift away from your original questions, I'll try with my short experience of the device to answer some of these....

- Email sync with Gmail
- Contact and calendar sync with Google through the MS Exchange interface
- Use the camera flash as a torch
- Google Latitude
- TV out over composite
- VoIP over WiFi using SIP

Are any of those incorrect? Any caveats?

You can set up a gmail account, I haven't tried syncing the calendar but I would expect it to be ok given exchange works a dream. Getting my phone back in a few days so can test it for you. (p.s. sent my e6 back for a replacement as I wasn't 100% happy with the image quality of the camera, I noticed the bottom right corner of photos appeared to be somewhat blurry and less detailed than other images I have taken on this phone. )

You can hold the power slide switch for a couple of seconds and activate the dual camera LEDs for torch use. Hold the slider again to turn off.

Not sure about Google Latitude, will need to try out.

You can purchase an optional cable that allows composite video and sound out of the phone to any TV that supports it.

I am pretty sure you can do VOIP over wifi/3G, there is a Skype app in the OVI store and the phone supports internet phone calls out of the box.


Then, some things I can't find definite answers for
- Does Opera Mini work well on the E6? Reviews say the E6's built-in browser isn't as good as the Android/iOS browser.
- Can it act as a WiFi hotspot to share the HSDPA connection? Wikipedia says it has JoikuSpot, but is that true if I buy an E6 in the UK?
- Nokia's specification page says "HD 720p Video playback on HD TV" - how does it do that? Component video? DLNA?


I am using Opera Mobile and its great, even better in my opinion that the new Anna browser built in. So yes Opera Mini should also work fine. I prefer Opera for its text flow, icon bookmarks and easier to read menu.
Yes it can act as a WiFi hotspot using the built in Joiku Spot app. Haven't tried it but I can once it comes back to confirm.
You can only connect the phone to a TV with the composite cable so I would expect to enjoy 720p playback you would need to play the videos from another device. On the other hand I don't have the cable to test what max resolution is possible with it via composite.



Bought mine unlocked SIM free from a very reputable website, prefer the black model and using it on O2 PAYG (web and text).

Last edited by midinotes; 24-07-2011 at 01:28 PM. Reason: added extra feedback to original post questions
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  #3  
Old 28-07-2011, 03:12 PM
ch424 ch424 is offline
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Hi midinotes, thanks for the amazingly thorough response! Sounds great, I think I'll get one once I've sorted my contract out!

  #4  
Old 28-07-2011, 10:22 PM
midinotes midinotes is offline
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You will enjoy it. I didn't expect to be 'playing' with this phone as much as I do. Remember I had an iPhone 4, a great pocket computer but not such a good phone. At first I was doing everything to get a megalong battery life, and if you turn off 3G when not required, use power saving, manually check emails and avoid push then yes, the battery seems to go on for ages... But heh the battery is user replaceable, they cost just a few quid and so I have decided to enjoy the phone and charge it when necessary. Even so with nokia situations running, power saving disabled, brightness 50%, bluetooth on all the time, push email disabled though I am still getting a good few days of use before recharging.
I have resisted filling the phone with countless symbian apps, instead I have a few essentials which run perfect on this phone (Gravity, Nokia situations, camera plus, wikipedia, opera mobile, nokia internet radio and Kayak). Still trying to find a decent weather app though as AccuWeather is too small to read and doesnt work as a widget (as it should!). The biggest thing you need to adapt to is the tiny fonts sometimes used on the E6. The screen is crystal sharp though at VGA resolution, but some of the small fonts can be just a mm or so high! Well my eye sight is fine, but might be worth checking if you aren't used to tiny text.

Actually I've got my 2nd E6 now, the first went back for a replacement a few days after I received it. I wasn't happy with the camera quality, one of the corners of the image appeared rather blurry. Anyway glad to say the new replacement is great!

Really loving the keyboard which is the big selling point on the E6. I tend to avoid the touchscreen when possible (it is very small), but no problems even with tiny icons such as on Camera Plus.

Simon

  #5  
Old 29-07-2011, 05:09 AM
hummrubb hummrubb is offline
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It's the spiritual successor to the great E71 then That phone was built like a tank, the battery lasted for days and the keyboard was better than any Blackberry I've used.

I heard about the notification light being a bit too close to the D-pad so it's obscured. Maybe running Nokia Sleeping Screen from betalabs.nokia.com can help? It replaces the default screen saver with one that has customizable themes and also shows any messages or missed calls you have, without having to unlock the phone.

EDIT: on second thoughts, maybe no... the E6 doesn't have an AMOLED screen so the screen saver would use up tons of power.

Last edited by hummrubb; 29-07-2011 at 05:10 AM. Reason: wrong screen!

  #6  
Old 05-08-2011, 02:54 PM
Richard L Richard L is offline
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Hi - I've just moved from a Nexus S to an E6 (partly for reliability, call quality and build and partly because I, sentimentally, wanted one of the last Symbian phones). I can't answer all your questions but:

- Email sync with Gmail

Straight sync with gmail works very well. You can also sync Google Contacts and Calendars using Mail for Exchange (but do look up a guide to setting up properly and it can, even then, be quirky).

- Contact and calendar sync with Google through the MS Exchange interface

See above - works but roaming seems to confuse the hell out of it (I had to delete the account and re-set up twice during a recent trip as was trapped in a loop where it refused to accept my password. Quick to do but awkward).

- Use the camera flash as a torch

Yes. It's blindingly bright.

- Google Latitude
- TV out over composite
- VoIP over WiFi using SIP

Don't know about these. Skype works, though.


Then, some things I can't find definite answers for
- Does Opera Mini work well on the E6? Reviews say the E6's built-in browser isn't as good as the Android/iOS browser.

No browser for Symbian is as good as the Android browser. Opera works well and the in-built browser is actually quite good. Bear in mind that, due to screen size, you won't use the browser in the same way that you do on an iOS or Android device - this is very much a "mobile phone" experience rather than a "compromised desktop" experience. Depends what you want to do - for info/news, it's fine. For filling in forms and complex sites, it's horrible.

- Can it act as a WiFi hotspot to share the HSDPA connection? Wikipedia says it has JoikuSpot, but is that true if I buy an E6 in the UK?

JoikuSpot is there but haven't tried it. Would depend on your operator/plan so worth calling them.

- Nokia's specification page says "HD 720p Video playback on HD TV" - how does it do that? Component video? DLNA?

No idea as I just drag my videos onto my laptop.

  #7  
Old 04-02-2012, 12:14 PM
ch424 ch424 is offline
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Hi everyone

Thanks for all your help! In the end I did get one, and now i've used it for a couple of months I'm pretty happy!

Battery life, call quality and the camera are all excellent. To answer the questions nobody was sure of:
Yes, google maps with latitude works
Yes, SIP VoIP works.
No, it can't actually do HD TV stuff.

I miss the android version of google maps, and the UI is often clunky, but the keyboard, reliability and sound quality make it worthwhile.

ch424
 

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