E61 Nokia Builds a Smartphone, North American StyleNokia throws its keychain into the "Blackberry Killer" fishbowl with its Smartphone, aimed squarely at business application. The form factor is new for Nokia and indeed pretty much the European market. The E61 is another jumping into the Blackberry / Treo QWERTY keyboard Smartphone market. No surprise it looks like Motorola's Q with a silver design. Not as stylish as Q but only just a little thicker at 14 mm. Still the E61 has a thin design that would fit into your shirt pocket without leaving a ripple.
The screen is attractive - in true Nokia form, it ups the color numbers beyond competing devices at 16 Million in a 240x320 screen, as opposed to the 65K we've seen in screens of this resolution before. And while we're on form factor, the keypad is a nicely laid out QWERTY that includes a backspace (delete) button, a step up from the Moto Q. But reports on the interface by the early reviewers say it needs some polish. The menu looks too large and out of place, the keypad has been cited for a lack of consistency with little quirks that make its operation a bit annoying. That shouldn't be so surprising considering this is Nokia's first stab at a Smartphone, in a league with RIM's Blackberry who have been doing it for years. Most first generation devices need a few years of seasoning before becoming serious contenders.
Powerful email features are essential to building a well-connected Smartphone. To compete with the slew coming out this year, Nokia has added advanced email features like incoming notification. The E61 will notify you instantly of incoming emails with its red LED. It supports many advanced features of Microsoft Office applications including Office '97, 2000, XP and 2003. It's also compatible with Zip Manager and Adobe Reader. As expected with a Nokia Smartphone, it uses the Symbian OS, compatible with OS 9.1 and S60 software for Symbian.
High speed network connectivity is brought to the E61 thanks to GPRS. GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) network connections are around the 9.6 kilobit speeds but the GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) can support speeds up to 140 kbps and is compatible with GSM and TDMA networks. The E61 is compatible with GSM bands 860/900/1800/1900 and WCDMA band 2100.
This early example of an S60 interface, Symbian Smarphone needs polish. Maybe a future version will have it perfected. Most North American users are likely to stick with the Blackberry / Treo or a Windows Mobile device (which could even be a Treo 700W these days). Although, Symbian has a loyal following among North American Smartphone users and now they have a home in the QWERTY handset market.