Nokia E63 review
No head-turner, but a more than capable, low-budget addition to Nokia's range of business-friendly smartphones.
Review Date: 9 Apr 2009
Reviewed By: Barry Collins
Price when reviewed: (£210 inc VAT) SIM-free; from free on contract
That snap judgement may have been a little harsh. The E63 is a perfectly respectable addition to Nokia's business-oriented E Series, slipping in at the bottom of the range as a low-cost, full Qwerty alternative to the E71 and the recently-launched E75.
The E63 will certainly attract fewer admiring glances than the E71. The rubberised plastic casing is clearly built for durability rather than desirability.
It's noticeably bulkier too, even though it's only 3mm thicker than its sibling at 59 x 113 x 13mm (WDH). There's no protective leather wallet in the box, either, leaving the 2.36in, 320 x 240 resolution display susceptible to scratches in trouser pockets.
However, the E63 does share most of its bigger brother's best features. The sizeable 1,500 mAh battery kept the phone going for an impressive four days in our real world rundown tests.
The well-spaced keys on the keyboard are superb for tapping out short emails or text messages, although the space bar has been shrunk to accommodate a couple of extra symbol keys on either side ??" not a worthwhile compromise in our opinion. There's support for Exchange, POP3 and IMAP email, and access to the vast repertoire of S60 apps.
Alas, it might take a little longer to download those apps as there's none of the E71's support for HSDPA, and the GPS radio has also been removed. Nevertheless, we barely noticed the difference in speed when synchronising our work email account and surfing the web.
The E63 even has a couple of advantages over its posher sibling, not least the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack instead of the awkward 2.5mm connector that normally appears on Nokia's business smartphones.
This means you don't have to use an adapter or fish out Nokia's awful headphones to listen to the built-in FM radio or music stored on the device.
The phone supports up to 8GB of memory on microSD, providing ample storage for those who want it to double as a media player. There's also a built-in torchlight, which could come in handy when stumbling round strange hotel rooms in the dark.
All told, the E63 lacks the panache and all-encompassing feature set that made the E71 stand out from the pack, but considering that it's offered free on even modest contracts, that's a compromise many will be willing to make for such a dependable, usable smartphone.
Author: Barry Collins
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