A Symbian Anna extravaganza: the hardware.

As luck would have it I’ve both of the first two Nokias running Symbian’s Anna update under one roof — that is, the E6 and X7, the latter locked to the Rogers network in Canada.

You can see a video primer on Anna here, and I’ll be giving my own thoughts on it in a future post. But first, let’s see if this latest hardware is up to Nokia’s high standards of construction.

I was personally most excited about the E6. I say “was” because hardware-wise it’s a bit of a letdown compared to other Eseries devices, even with its high-res touch-enabled 640×480 pixel display.

The keypad continues to be best-in-class (and that includes BlackBerries, by the way) but I’ve some minor gripes with the layout — specifically the missing Bluetooth and flashlight convenience keys. And I’d gladly take a narrower space bar so I wouldn’t have to press ‘alt’ (or whatever that bottom-left corner button is) to get an apostrophe.

The E6 has the same “me too” metal trim as the last-gen iPhone, which seems more than a bit dated for 2011. But what really got me was the plastic battery cover round back. It makes this high-end enterprise device feel surprisingly low-rent.

But again, this is only in comparison to previous Eseries handsets — E63 not included.

The X7 is a different story. It feels very substantial in my hand and the brushed aluminum back is high class all the way. It’s also prone to scratches though… Sorry, Rogers.

Two possible points of concern: You can’t remove the battery and the SIM card tray is especially flimsy — so much so that a fellow Nokian broke his while trying to get it out.

You’ll see more of the X7’s beautiful screen in my next post. Promise.

And now for the really bad news…

The cameras on both these Anna-powered Nokias suck.

The problem is the 8 megapixel EDoF lens that they share. It’s fine for casual photography and even high-def video, but if you’re a food blogger or have any other use-case for an autofocus macro lens you’re going to be very disappointed.

Observe…

Here, as an example, is an entrée I enjoyed during Toronto’s recent Summerlicious Festival. You can click on either photo for a closer look, or right-click to view/save the original camera file. I think you’ll agree that they’re both quite useless.

Here’s that same meal (a delicious Cornish hen) captured by the autofocus 5 megapixel lens on my E73.

If you’ll never, ever be shooting anything from less than a metre away you won’t be bothered by this; just know that with either of these handsets you’ll never, ever have that option available to you.

I’ll look at what the Anna software update has on offer in my next post…

6 comments:

  1. Great pictures of the phones! I’ve had my E6 a bit longer and I discovered a few tricks.

    To use the flashlight hold the lock slider down for a second or two while on the home sceen.

    A long press on any key outputs the key’s Alt character. So a long press of the “L” key outputs an apostrophe.

    My E6 has a metal battery cover. Strange that yours has a plastic one.

  2. “But what really got me was the plastic battery cover round back. It makes this high-end enterprise device feel surprisingly low-rent.” Are you sure ? E6 has metal back cover.

  3. My bad, the back cover is indeed metal.

    But it still feels cheap to me in comparison to the brushed aluminum cover on previous Eseries handsets.

  4. Brushed aluminium? Pah!Where did the good old, polished stainless steel of the E71 days go?

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