Nokia E63 - QWERTY and Eseries go mid-tier

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Nokia today announced a new addition to its Eseries range. The Nokia E63 is a QWERTY-equipped S60 phone and is effectively a mid-tier version of the Nokia E71, on whose success it will be looking to build. It has a 2.0 megapixel camera, WiFi and 3G connectivity, and runs S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 1. The Nokia E63, which is expected to start shipping in the next few weeks, will be available in ruby red or ultramarine blue and will cost €199 before taxes and subsidies. Read on for more.

E63 Blue

Perhaps the most impressive point about the E63 is its price. At 199 Euros before subsidies and taxes it is the lowest priced S60 handset from Nokia to date at launch (the previous holder was the 5320 and 220 Euro). It is 40% cheaper than the E71 (350 Euro) at launch.

This should give it a SIM free price of just under £200 on the UK high street, which means it should be available on some of the operators lower tier contract for free.

Key points about the phone

  • Slab / slate form factor, with landscape QVGA screen and QWERTY keyboard.
  • The same 'Switch Mode' feature as the E71 and E66, which allows users to swap between a 'office profile' and a 'personal profile', each of which can have different home screens and different email accounts.
  • 3G and WiFi connectivity. However specifications show a maximum speed 384 kbps suggest this is vanilla 3G (UTMS), with no HSDPA support.
  • Enhanced Eseries version of Calendar and Contacts, as first seen on the E66 and E71.
  • Support for Microsoft Exchange out of the box via Mail for Exchange, also for Microsoft Office via Quickoffice.
  • Has a 3.5mm audio jack, the first Eseries device to have this feature.
  • Includes a subscription to Files on Ovi with 1GB of file space.

  • 1500 mAh battery for long usage, stand-by and talk times.

Key differences with the E71

The E63 looks to broaden the addressable markets of Nokia's Eseries range. With the introduction of bright colours and cheaper price point it also, arguably, has a much greater consumer appeal. You might compare this to differentiation between Palm's Treo and Centro range (though, incidentally, the Centro costs about the same it has a lower specification than the E63).

While it has a similar shape and form factor to the E71, it is, as reflected in its price point, a cut down version of the E71. The key differences between the E71 and E63 are:

  • The E63 is thicker than the E71 and uses plastic materials in its construction rather than metals.
  • The E63 does not have a GPS. Its camera is 2.0 megapixels and is fix focus which compared to the E71's 3.2 megapixel auto focus camera.
  • The E63 does not have an InfraRed port and does not support HSDPA (see above).
  • The E63 has a standard 3.5 mm audio jack on the top of the device, the E71 has a 2.5 mm audio jack on the side of the device. The E63 does not have the voice control and volume control buttons on the right hand side of the device.
  • Redesigned keyboard - two extra keys on the bottom row and smaller space bar. Extra keys mean Ctrl and Chr are on separate keys as are / and @.
  • The E63 has a 'torch' - the camera LED can be used as a torch, it is activated by pressing the function key and the space bar.

E63 vs E71

E63 compared to the E71. Images above and below courtesy of Rob's Digital Life (see the Flickr feeds for more).

Thickness E71 v E63

Extract from the Nokia press release:

"Our research shows that people want a device that deals with both their personal and professional lives, but helps them to separate the two. When someone sits down at lunch, they want to update their social network or browse their personal email account and they don't want work getting in the way of that. It's another great case of technology adapting to the people that use it," says Soren Petersen, Senior Vice President, Nokia. "The Nokia E63 is a new proposition for Eseries - a messaging device where people will be just as involved in their social network as they are in their business network."

Whilst appealing to a new group of consumers with a design that feels great in the hand and has two new colors, the Nokia E63 is still very much a member of the Eseries family. Petersen continues, "People use Eseries to access their corporate mail, review their calendar and work in their business network, so the Nokia E63 still includes Wi-Fi connectivity, easy access to Mail for Exchange and dedicated key access to contacts, calendar and email."

See also

Coverage from  Rob's Digital Life, World of Nokia and Mobile Industry Review who have early access to the device. The Nokia E63 product page on the Nokia site has more information.

We'll bring you the usual preview / review once we get our hands on one.