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Friday, May 25, 2007

Review of Nokia E62

The Nokia E62 is a quad band GSM world phone with EDGE for data. It's a smartphone running Symbian OS 9.1 with Nokia's S60 3rd Edition software. You can sync it to Outlook, browse the web in full HTML glory, add 3rd party software, listen to music using the included stereo headset and watch videos. It has a brilliant 320 x 240 pixel color display, QWERTY thumb keyboard and Bluetooth. It competes with the Treo, Motorola Q, Cingular 8125 and BlackBerry devices. It's much slimmer than the 8125 (though wider), slimmer than the Treo and more fun and sexy than the BlackBerry 8700c and g. It's metal body and quality construction put the BlackBerry 8700c to shame. Since the Nokia E62 targets corporate users who are often forbidden to have camera phones, the E62 has no camera.

With the E62 you'll find a 1500 mAh battery, world charger with US prongs, USB sync cable, software CD with PC Suite, getting started guide, 2.5mm stereo headset and NO miniSD card.

Though very slim, the E62 is wide to accommodate the thumb keyboard and tall to fit the large display above that keyboard. It dwarfs the Cingular 3125, but fits in nicely with the Palm Treo 700p / 700w, T-Mobile MDA (Cingular 8125), BlackBerry 8700g and other keyboarded smartphones and PDA phones. The phone is finished in silver and the casing is made of metal which makes for a sturdy device. Score one for the E62: none of its direct competitors feature a metal casing. It's thinnest at the keyboard end and gets a bit wider in the display area, with a gentle slope marking the transition.

Below the display you'll find the usual Nokia selection keys which do different things, depending on context. You can change their home screen assignment in Standby under phone settings. The S60 programs launcher is located just to the left of the 5-way joystick and the email key is to the right. Call send and end buttons live just below the shoulder keys and the thumb keyboard takes up the remaining front face.

The Cingular version adds an "Own" (short for My Own) button on the keypad to the right of the spacebar. This functions as a quick launch application for four applications of your choosing. You must press the Fn button and the Own key to bring up the launcher. The QWERTY thumb keyboard's keys have good spacing and are domed so you can tell when you've homed in correctly on a key. The keys have very little travel which reduces tactile feedback and can lead to finger fatigue. That said, the keyboard is still very usable and we found ourselves adapting quickly, though it's not as good as the BlackBerry 8700. The number keys are located in the keyboard's center and are masked in blue so they're easy to pick out. Should you need to dial a number with letters (e.g.: 800-CALL-ME), hold the chr key while pressing the letter and the phone will translate that to the correct number.

There are two shift keys (one to the right and one to the left of the spacebar), Nokia' s usual Chr and Ctrl keys (think of Nokia Communicators such as the Nokia 9300 which use those two) and a blue Fn key with an arrow to switch to numeric entry. You can turn on shift lock by pressing the shift key twice in quick succession and use the chr key to enter symbols. You can lock the keyboard to prevent accidental button presses by briefly pressing the power key and selecting "lock keypad". We noticed that the E62 switched back to the default Nokia ringer rather than our selected ringtone when the keypad is locked. . . strange. If we used the other keypad lock method (press the left soft key then the Fn key in quick succession) the ringtone wasn't changed.


The E61 is one of our favorite smartphone / PDA phone devices, and the E62 is also near the top of our list. Had Cingular left WiFi intact, the phone would've earned another half star. Though some of Cingular's changes were for the better: the standard mini USB sync port and 2.5mm headset jack are more IT friendly than Nokia's Pop-Port connector. The E62's low price tag, large and exceptional display, QWERTY keyboard and smartphone features make it an excellent choice. It syncs easily to Outlook, supports several push email solutions including BlackBerry connect and it makes a good MP3 player too. We wish the phone were a little more responsive when opening folders and launching applications.

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