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Nokia E6 and Nokia X7 info-explosion: gallery, video walkthrough and hands-on impressions!

| April 13, 2011 | 45 Replies

As Jay already hinted out, there was a lunch/meeting yesterday at WOMWorld/Nokia HQ in London , where bloggers could familiarize themselves with the freshly announced Nokia X7 and E6 smartphones, and even more – ask questions to the respective product managers of these devices. I was extremely happy to be there as well, as seeing the devices in question so close up and personal has proven to make a noticeable difference in the perception. I even shot a couple of walk-through videos for you to enjoy, so let’s get right to it!

I’ll start first with the newcomer in Finnish company’s  business range of smartphones, the E6. I think virtually everyone at the meetup was very pleased with the E6, especially the previous owners of Nokia E71 and E72.  While this is not the case with me (I’m more of a N900, E7 kind of user), I could most certainly see where the excitement is coming from. The E6 has a compact design that comes with a comfortable and thought-out qwerty keyboard that is perfect for single-hand usage.

My only gripes with the control elements of the device are related to the so called one-touch keys for accessing calendar, messaging and contacts. Unfortunately, these keys are located under a single piece of plastic so there’s a risk of accidental miss-presses. I’d definitely prefer them raised separately as in the case of the E71. Following user complaints, Nokia has removed the optical navi key function  from the d-pad, but I also think there’s simply no sense in having it along with the touchscreen.

The biggest step  forward is, of course, the high resolution, touch-sensitive TFT LCD screen. Packed into just 2.46 inch area, the VGA (640 x 480 pixels) resolution makes the screen look impressively sharp and clean, and that should definitely help improve the web browsing and document viewing experience.

There has been a few interesting changes in the OS to keep the Symbian^3 user experience enjoyable even on such a small touchscreen. For example, the homescreen now incorporates altogether 5 different screens, and each can be populated with up to 3 widgets similar to the ones we have on other Symbian touch devices. This, however, means a lot of scrolling work for the user. Having a preview pane or even keyboard shorcuts to immediately jump  to the necessary screen would be a very useful feature I’d like to see introduced before the device ships in Q2 this year. All in all, I had no difficulties navigating between the menus either using the touchscreen, or via the physical controls.

Like many of you, I was also quite curios to learn how the difference in screen resolution will impact Nokia E6 compatibility with S^3 apps. I was told that Nokia will be looking for Ovi Store’s most popular and widely used apps to make sure they are working on the Nokia E6, while some other apps doesn’t require any optimization work at all. This, naturally, intrigued me even more so I ran my own experiment at the scene by transferring a game called ‘Blockfest Deluxe’ via bluetooth from my E7. To my surprise, aside from differences in the aspect ratio of the screen, the game worked without any noticeable problems:

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The Nokia E6 also supports the TV-out feature, although not in true HD quality like with the Nokia N8 or E7. However, watching videos on the crisp screen of the E6 is nothing but a pleasure. I can only wish for similar display quality on the E7 – the nHD (360 x 640 pixel) resolution is certainly not suitable for the 4 inch screens…

I won’t go into further detail about the other new additions to the Symbian^3 OS that were introduced via the ‘Anna’ update, but rather let you experience everything first-hand with my video, featuring Chris Probert, the product manager of the Nokia E6:

Also running the Symbian^3 ‘Anna’ update was the new Nokia X7. I actually enjoyed the distinctive, semi-futuristic look of the X7.  It’s unibody design means the stainless steel battery cover flows together very naturally with the front of  the phone. The 4 speaker grills at each corner of the device is part of the appeal, but sadly the second pair of speakers around the earpiece are purely cosmetic.

The curved back also makes the device appear slimmer, and thus handling the rather large phone seems somewhat easier in comparison the Nokia E7, that also comes with a 4-inch touchscreen. While I was told the X7 doesn’t have Nokia’s ClearBlack display, the viewing angles and colours of the X7 were on par with my Nokia E7, or at least indoors it was:

Traditionally, the Nokia X series included multi-media focused devices, and I’m sure gaming is another major aspect of the entertainment on the go. Now coming from this, things are a little less clear with the X7. The hardware platform, like the CPU and GPU, is identical to the rest of Symbian^3 phones. Aside from the size of the screen, there’s nothing else that helps X7 truly stand out from the rest of his Symbian^3 brethren.

For instance, the Nokia  N8 offers superior 12 Mpix auto-focus camera (against the full-focus aka EDoF 8 Mpix camera), unique and eye catching aluminium construction, 16 Gb of built-in memory (against a pre-installed, 8GB MicroSD card) and a mini HDMI port.  So ultimately I think a crucial role in the success of the X7 will be the price. Given that the Nokia N8 will most likely see further price drops in the coming months, X7 competing with company’s own multi-media powerhouse is just not a viable strategy in my view. As with the Nokia E6, the Nokia X7 is said to come out in Q2 later this year.

Below you can find another walkthrough video I took during the meetup, this time with Nokia X7 product manager, Sami Koskela:

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Tags:

Category: Eseries, Nokia, Symbian

About the Author ()

I'm Journalism and English student with a passion for mobile phones and the industry.
  • walli

    I have an N8 and i am loving it but damn i want the E6.

    • Zak

      same here! I have an N8 but I’m soooo drooling over E6 =( I might get it once price drops considerably after its release maybe in 6months? Idk Maybe I won’t wait that long lol

    • Mark

      Yup. So very, very tempting!

    • Antonio

      Me too! I always thought these keyboard phones wouldn’t work well for me but the combination of a high res screen, touch and type is just so tempting! I love my N8 and I wouldn’t want to get rid of it, but I also want the E6 so badly! It looks so AWESOME, gorgeous and inviting!

      By the way, even though it already comes with the Anna update, the X7 looks very dull and boring. No HDMI, no af, no usb otg, there’s not a single thing in that phone that would make me want it instead of the N8 or the E7…

      Actually, to be honest, I wish my N8 had a 3.7 or 4″ screen. It is widescreen so it must be bigger, otherwise it will look like a 3,5″ screen that has been cropped to be widescreen.
      I also wish it had qHD resolution and 1560mAh battery…. oh, well.

      • Mazze

        I love the n8 but in contrast to you guys i want the x7 with the n8 camera.

    • j.gray

      THIS!

  • Newtype

    X6 = autofocus camera, 1.5 years old, released in 2009

    X7 = no autofocus, brand new, released in 2011

    What’s wrong with this picture?

    Did anyone ask Nokia why they have chosen to go in this direction!?

    • Rant

      A while back they said it was because of the thickness (or lack of it) that an EDoF lens has. This allows slimmer designs that AF units didn’t allow.

      Nice to say but I don’t belive it. Look at an iPhone 4. Mid-range 5MP AF unit in a chassis not even 10mm thick. It is possible.

      • Jay Montano

        We have EDoF cos someone mixed up the order form and put B’s instead of M’s and now all these EDoF shit has to go somewhere.

        If EDoF ever goes into any Nseries I will make sure I stamp on every one I see.

        • http://www.phonespot.net Sergejs Cuhrajs

          Exactly Jay – there’s no good explanation why they keep pushing the EDoF cameras.It’s less about the users, and more about the production costs. That, or Nokia simply put too much faith in EDoF, ordering an enormous batch of these cameras… now what?

          Not everyone needs to shoot 720p quality videos on their phone, but I believe almost everyone (not just the tech geeks) wants at least consistent (if not best) performance from their phone cameras.

          You should have seen me go on a rant about this with the product managers yesterday, it wasn’t pretty xD

          • Jay Montano

            haha I love your rants to Nokia folk. I used to do that a lot and then realised they may not be the ones really in charge and may not actually be able to do anything at all. They might even be aware themselves show utterly shite this EDoF thing is.

        • Rant

          Lol, appears so. And that 8.0Mpix printed on the E6 and X7 doesn’t appeal to me at all, AT ALL.

          That was normal back in the day when they went to 1Mpix and on to 2 and 3.2 but now?
          I’d rather see 720p HD or something printed on it. But then again, they only thing boast worthy is the 8MP the other performance of EDoF is just a ‘bag of hurt’ :P

        • Al Reynolds

          I’ve said it before. I *want* the EDOF camera on the E7 rather than an AF module. My main use is needing to take pictures in a hurry and I have always found AF a complete PITA. I have a Nikon DSLR for when I have the inclination and time to compose and take photos – the E7 will be my ‘snapper’ that I always have with me. I get the whole thing about document capture, and it’s a shame they didn’t optimise the front-facing camera for this application, but it’s not a deal breaker for me.

          • alotofbacardi

            I don’t need super-quality picture from a phone camera, but what I definitely need – is to have text captured clear and readable. EDOF can’t give it. It’s just unacceptable for business phone. EDOF would be the one and only reason I won’t buy E6. And I won’t buy N8 because it lacks hardware answer/reject call buttons. I want to change my E72 for something new, but I just don’t see any possible candidates. I was hoping E6 will have autofocus (any autofocus, 5MP, or even 3.2MP doesn’t matter – I was happy with the quality of E66 3.2MPIX cam), but EDoF once again.

            • Mavrick

              Maybe Nokia should sell two versions:

              - E6 with EDoF
              - E6A with Autofocus

              It would be awesome if future phones have both EDoF and Autofocus.

    • VV

      Maybe Nokia thinks RETRO is the way to go forwards :)

  • Jay Montano

    Nice screen comparisons. Shame it’s difficult to really tell what with that overzealous light sensor so you never see how good the screen really is.

    • http://www.phonespot.net Sergejs Cuhrajs

      We’ve put all devices on max brightness, well, except maybe I did forget to do that on my E7 xD

      • Jay Montano

        I can put all S^3 on max brightness, but due to overzealous light sensor, it becomes severely dimmed. Thus in comparison pics with other devices, (unless you hack the brightness) colours look more dull on the Nokias.

        • Marc

          to see the true potential of nokias screens download the app qtorch, open it and turn it on, the screen will go white and then press menu and there you have it, full brightness. or you can install sbp mobile shell and increase the brightess from there. why cant anyone give me an changelog of the 50 new features cause it looks to me its nowhere near 20 new features. nokia fucked us all

        • http://ideasproject.com/ideas/3668 MJT

          I have never found a way to hack S^3 brightness to the level that is achievable through SPB Mobile Shell. Not even with light sensor disabled!

          • VV

            The light sensor was a major annoyance for me too but thanks to some folks on here at mynokiablog and allaboutsymbian I found that there is an app that will take care of it.Its name is LightCtrl.Google it and you will find it.

  • vPuik

    I don’t see dedicated music keys on the outside of X7. That is what I miss on my N8. I listen to a lot of music on it and I have to unlock the phone and look at the screen to skip songs.

    • Zhi

      Well, you can use the part of the handset of the previous Nseries that has the play/pause, forward, back buttons; or just use Nokia Bubbles :)

    • stylinred

      u could use bubbles ;) although it’ll take the same amount of effort to change songs :/

  • Paulo Oliveira

    A mistake:

    - “For instance, the Nokia N8 offers superior 12 Mpix auto-focus camera… 32 Gb built-in memory…”

    32GB built-in memory???

    My N8 does have only 16GB!!! :P

    • http://www.phonespot.net Sergejs Cuhrajs

      Thanks for noticing this Paulo… Guess I come from the future or smth xD

  • Murs

    Nice review.But i really want to know what was the improvement in touch sensitiveness?

    As a N8 user i know very well my N8 is far behind then Samsung Galaxy S(Android OS)and off course Iphone4(iOS).

    As OS is a very much responsible for the quality for touch sensitiveness.I wanted top know how Symbian ANNA was performing.

    • http://www.phonespot.net Sergejs Cuhrajs

      Since ‘Anna’ update is still work in progress, it’s hard to say for sure, but I felt no difference while browsing through the menus (otherwise I’d remember about it). Scrolling btw homescreens felt more natural thought (think Nokia called it ‘real time’ or smth), and more Android or iOS like…

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  • Nrde

    is X7 screen really _not_ CBD?

    • Sergejs

      Yes. You can even hear that in the video with the X7 product manager. He also said the screen is closer to the surface, so there’s going to be less reflection from the sun. Dunno if it’s really true in practice.

  • stylinred

    Something I would like to know about the camera, with it being edof.. will it be able to Picture->Text a feature i love with the E72

    • graham

      I don’t think so, the multiscanner app which is so useful on the E72 doesn’t appear to exist for Symbian^3. I don’t see that it would work well with an edof camera even if it did exist, though.

  • santander

    X7 only have 2 speakers?
    not 4?

    • stylinred

      yep just 2 the other screens are for show

  • santander

    If had 4 speakers would be nice.

    CBD not
    AF not
    4 speakers not
    bass boost not
    TV out not
    battery 1200 mah

    why we will buy this device ???

    • Sergejs

      Exactly! There’s absolutely nothing except the screen size that helps this device stand out from the rest of S^3 lineup. The price of the X7 will be crucial.

  • Pingback: E6 and X7 first impressions | WOMWorld/Nokia

  • http://www.yahoo.com AR

    Hey guys just selling my beloved n82 and posting here if anyone is interested.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=300548458610&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT

    thanks for looking

  • mivica

    X7 – no FM transmitter (music phone)? WTF?

  • vidar

    Omg on x7 he fails so much! Nokia should get their heads straight and put in some more RAM and stuff like WP7 needs to perform good! this way the f***ing game wont lag! and load faster! and they should get ubisoft and unreal engine or something to make MORE better games! and they should have more people working on the new ui so it won’t be delayed! or to make me shut up, just make me another MAemo 5 device that has 1-2 gb ram and ghz prosessor or whatever! and make it a thin one! I like Symbian and Nokia I just get so angry seing how low they have sunk! when they have all the money in the world! higher res screen too thanks.

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  • Bhasuru Sri Harsha

    Hi friends I am using E6 but I cannot find Fm Transmitter in it from where can I download Fm Transmitter plz post the link here Thanks in advance

  • ela

    m just hapy with my E7 . . . . . N beside , it beter then E6

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